Expert Review: Flylow Women's Sarah Insulated JacketPublished on 05/13/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2023.
All smiles! All photos courtesy of Emily Halporn
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2023.
The Flylow Women’s Sarah Insulated Jacket is perfectly catered towards the intermediate skier who spends most days on the resort while venturing into the backcountry occasionally.
About the jacket
- Model: 2022 Flylow Sarah Women’s Insulated Jacket
- Size: Medium
- Fit: True to size, longer in the back
- Height: 5’3”
- Weight: 130lbs
- Experience: 22 years of snowboarding/skiing
- When I bought this: February 2023
- Days tested: 40+
- Where I’ve used it: Vermont, Maine, Utah
- Conditions I’ve used it in: Resort days, cold conditions, powder days, rainy/wet snow
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for a stylish jacket that was made from good quality material and could hold its own against freezing Northeast temperatures. In addition, I already own a shell, so I wanted to find something insulated that would work well on the resort.
Why I chose this gear
I have owned Flylow products in the past, and I really like the style and aesthetics of the products. This jacket fits nicely in my price range and happened to match the bibs I already own! I considered buying the Patagonia Insulated Powdertown jacket; however, it was a little outside my budget and tended to fit slimmer (especially around the hips) than I like for skiing.
What I love about it
- Fit: This jacket is more relaxed than other technical ski jackets, which is quite comfortable. It also allows for layering underneath for those really cold days. The jacket is longer in the back, covering my chairlift seat.
- Range of motion: The roomier fit allows for a good range of motion while skiing; the material is pretty stretchy.
- Design: This jacket was designed for people who ski on the resort but can also work for side-country runs or colder day backcountry trips.
- Style: Again, this jacket definitely has a more casual fit and styling, which can be nice for freestyle or all-mountain skiers.
- Pockets: It has eight pockets total: four on the outside, two zippered on the interior, one dump pocket, and one ski pass pocket.
- Warmth: I ski in the Northeast, so oftentimes, temperatures can be well below zero with windchill. The combination of the hardshell and insulation make it windproof and secure. Additional base or mid-layers can be added on really cold days for extra toastiness.
- Weight: The weight of this jacket is comfortable and comparable to similar items in its category. It is not as light as more technical or pricier gear, but it works well for its purpose.
- Features: This jacket has several ski-specific features that help to accommodate comfortable skiing and/or riding. The pit vents allow more breathability on warmer days or when shredding hard on moguls. The helmet's comfortable hood and powder skirt lets the wearer seal in warmth on colder days. I also appreciate the synthetic insulation, keeping me warm even if the material gets wet.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Quality of materials: The outer shell is a 2L fabric manufactured by Inutive and finished with DWR. Typically, this construction makes for good-quality products. This is the case for this particular jacket if it has limited use but starts to fail with overuse.
- Durability: Although I love Flylow products as a whole, they are not always the most durable if someone skis and rides more than a few times a year. Like some of my other products, the outer shell material has torn in a few places after a few weeks of skiing.
- Waterproofing: The waterproofing on this jacket is sufficient for the first couple of uses, but if the wearer skis in variable conditions, it can quickly become waterproof. Rewashing and re-waterproofing with technical wash can help to mitigate this issue.
- Breathability: The armpit vents in this jacket help with ventilation, but overall, the jacket's material is not very breathable, so I wouldn't recommend it for warmer days.
Favorite moment with this gear
There is no better feeling than getting a hoot and holler from the chairlift when I send something gnarly under the lift. Even without showing off, it’s pretty easy to get noticed wearing an all-pink kit, but one such moment stands out in my mind from this past winter. I was skiing at Brighton Resort over on the Milly, and it had just snowed 48 inches overnight—perfect sending conditions. My best friend sent the cliff first and, of course, nailed it. The pressure was on. It had to be at least 15 feet, nothing like what I’ve hit before, but like I said, it was perfect sending conditions. I took a deep breath and let my skis do the rest. I took a bit of a back seat on the landing, but hey, I landed it, and I got that hoot and holler from the lift.
Value for the money vs. other options
I believe this jacket is worth around $300 for a high-quality insulated ski-specific jacket. It is a good investment. There are cheaper options, but the specs and features are not always there on a generic winter coat. It is much less expensive than comparable insulated ski jackets from brands like Patagonia or Arcteryx. It is the perfect choice for someone not looking to break the bank.
Overall, this jacket is great for the casual skier who loves to look stylish on the resort while staying warm on colder days.