Great brand and great Jackets... The sidewinder can be had for less though (check the populat auction site). While the idea was good (no zipper rubbing up against your chin), it never proved to be popular. If one gets hot and decide to unzip the front, there's that flap.
This might be off topic but does anyone have experience with the LL Bean Ascent Jacket, with Gore-Tex? Prices are great now ($229) and the reviews are good.
Sorry if my joke mis-landed but I picked up my Oakley jacket for $35 so this hardly seems a "deal" but as a hobbyist I may not understand that is the end-all-be-all in snowboarding jacket technology so $345 may be a steal.
Arc'teryx make some quality gear. Although the quality suffered a little when they first began making their clothing outside of Canada, they have rectified the quality control very quickly and now it is still extremely well made and unlikely to fail on you when you are outside in the cold.
Their quality control is probably the best in the outfitter business. I've always appreciated quality and will pay a premium for it especially for gear that you rely on. When I purchased my Arc'teryx fleece and shell I was really impressed with how well it was made. Not a thread out of place or dangling and the seams of my jacket were well sealed and has lasted after 8 years of much punishment. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my The North Face Gore-Tex XCR shell. The string tabs of my TNF jacket has snapped off and the waterproof seals are starting to fray. Maybe it's just wear and tear after years of use, but this has not happened to my Arc'teryx. Real quality gear!
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