Expert Review: Flylow Men's Dante Insulated JacketPublished on 09/10/2023 · 8 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in January 2022.
Staying dry while the snow guns are firing on the East Coast. Photo by John Everett
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money January 2022.
The Flylow Men’s Dante Insulated Jacket is built to take on any weather on the mountain while providing a comfortable fit with clever built-in features for a wide range of skiers and snowboarders.
About the piece
- Model: 2023 Dante Flylow Jacket (in Jupiter/Black Colorway)
- Size: L
- Fit: Comfortable and somewhat snug, but not baggy fitting. I wouldn't suggest going up or down a size; Flylow fits fairly true to size.
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 170lbs
- Experience: 24 years of snowboarding/skiing
- When I bought this: January 2022
- Days tested: 15+
- Where I’ve used it: Killington, Vermont; Powder Mountain, Utah; Mount Hood, Oregon.
- Conditions I’ve used it in: Bluebird days, colder days, snowy storm days, and light and heavy snow days. Vents open on spring days.
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for an insulated jacket with many features, such as a helmet-compatible hood, vents, large pockets, and plenty of storage area. I did not want a bulky-fitting jacket and liked the style and functionality of Flylow jackets. I was on the hunt for a new mid-winter jacket because I did not currently own any 20K waterproofing, and I needed a reliable jacket that would keep me dry and warm during the harsh New England winter of rain and snow.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Flylow Dante jacket in particular because I thought it was the best bang for my buck. The warmth I need to be suitable for mid-winter seemed very functional, with great jacket features, lots of pockets, and a cool style and colorway. I learned how functional it was through some research and knew that 20K/20K waterproofing was just what I needed.
I did consider buying other jackets but was drawn to Flylow, as I liked the style of their jackets the most and thought that they were functional and effective for the price and where I would be skiing the most. I considered the Quantum Pro jacket and the Knight jacket from Flylow. Through research, I found out that the Quantum is quite bulky and the Knight is more of a shell, so the Dante made total sense as a middle point in warmth and waterproofing between those two jackets. I liked the price, found it on sale, and went for it. The Flylow Dante was one of the best recent jacket purchases I have made, and it’s held up great through its first season on the mountain.
What I love about it
- Fit: The Dante jacket fits true to size. The Large fits comfortably to size, even with a layer or two underneath. This jacket is designed for a casual fit; it is not tight to size or baggy.
- Design: The Dante jacket is designed flawlessly and is functional and protective, regardless of temperature or weather conditions. It has many essential jacket features like a powder skirt, a helmet-compatible hood, several vents, and large pockets. Flylow put a lot of work into the functional design of this jacket by creating a perfect hybrid of warmth, waterproofing, and protection from the elements. I can trust the Dante jacket on the mountain during any weather.
- Style: As mentioned, the Dante jacket is “true to fit,” as I do not find it to fit super snug or loose fitting. It is a great fit with a layer or two underneath and has a relatively thin volume despite being properly insulated, with most of the insulation coming from the torso. This jacket has style, from its colorways to the tech features and sleek-looking hood. There are many different colors to match one’s gear perfectly.
- Quality of Materials: The Dante jacket features 20k/20k waterproofing and a synch system on the hood as some of the quality essentials, and the fleece-lined interior is a nice touch on this jacket. This jacket should last a while against the elements and normal wear and tear. The hardshell fabric used on this jacket seems tough and does not appear to rip, tear, or wear easily.
- Durability: The Dante jacket is durably built, featuring ripstop fabric in the elbows for higher durability, high-quality zippers, pockets, and a polyester hardshell fabric outer shell. The two-layer outer shell keeps the wind, water, and snow out and does not seem to tear, rip, or wear easily.
- Pockets: This jacket features many pockets, including a pass pocket on the sleeve, an interior goggle pocket, and a chest pocket. All pockets are large and can fit everything needed for a successful day. The Dante provides plenty of storage and holds everything I need for a successful day out on the mountain.
- Waterproofing: As mentioned,** **the Dante has a 20k/20k waterproofing rating, and the outer layer has a high-performance and durable water-repellent coating. This jacket has proven waterproof for me, even in the wet New England winter climate in the snow, rain, and sleet. The inside of the jacket has never been wet, even when poured on in the rain.
- Breathability: This jacket has underarm vents that are generously sized for airflow when I need it most. The powder skirt on the jacket can be buttoned to keep warmth in, keep snow out, or minimize cold airflow coming into the jacket when skiing at speed.
- Weight: The Dante jacket has to be one of the most lightweight jackets I have worn besides a shell jacket. It comes in at approximately 754 grams. Despite its lightweight nature, it is still a reliable, warm, and durably built jacket.
- Features: The Dante jacket has several handy features built in. There is a helmet-compatible hood that goes the extra mile when the weather hits. I like the fit and shape of the hood quite a lot. I think the pass pocket is handy, too, as I have never had any trouble getting through RFID scanners with the pass pocket location on the left lower arm of the jacket. The other standout feature of this jacket is the fleece-lined chin guard, so when the jacket is fully zipped, the fleece helps provide a comfortable feel on the chin or face when rubbing. Overall, Flylow has incorporated some unique features into this jacket that are very functional.
- Comfort: This jacket fits comfortably and does not feel too snug or restricting when appropriately layered underneath. The fleece-lined collar is a nice touch and keeps my chin and face from rubbing against abrasive material when fully zipped. I really enjoy the comfortable collar when the weather hits, and my jacket needs to be zipped up. When putting this jacket on, it feels comfortable as there is quite a bit of fleece lining on the interior as well. The Dante jacket is built to be comfortable in all conditions on the mountain.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Range of Motion: Expect a full range of motion in the Dante jacket. The torso and arms will remain unrestricted unless one has three or more layers underneath or something like a thick vest, as it could feel a bit bulky, and arm motion and torso twisting could be slightly restricted.
- Warmth: This jacket is designed to be warm in the core, with most of the insulation in the torso, not the arms. If someone lives in a frigid region and plans on wearing this jacket every day mid-winter, they could be cold in the arms if not layered properly. Flylow did an amazing job with insulation for the core and incorporating breathable mesh in the areas that need it. Still, I’d like to see Flylow incorporate a bit more insulation in the arms of this jacket.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with this jacket was in Powder Mountain, Utah, during the storm we received, which consisted of ice, rain, and snow. Most skiers were not enjoying the conditions, but the Dante jacket helped me embrace the weather, kept me dry, and allowed for a fun day on the snow. The inside of my jacket was not wet by the end of the day, whereas other skiers quit early or seemed somewhat miserable with the weather. I kept the powder skirt buttoned all day to ensure no weather was creeping in. If I wore a different jacket, I would not have had as much fun of a day in the variable precipitation in Utah.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Dante jacket is certainly worth the money and an exceptional deal if found on sale or discounted. It compares well against other brands’ mid-range priced jackets, such as Armada, Outdoor Research, or Patagonia. This jacket has an incredible competitive advantage through tech specs and unique features offered and built into the jacket. Flylow does a great job of building a quality jacket and increases perceived value versus other brands simply by incorporating several functional features that other brands do not include on every jacket, such as a pass pocket, fleece-lined interior, helmet-compatible hood with synch, and many interior pockets.
The Flylow Dante Insulated Jacket unlocks the ultimate protection from the elements while providing functional and user-friendly features for the skier or snowboarder to take advantage of. It’s worth the money and is built durable enough to withstand the mountain.