Spyder Enforcer Jacket // Ski Gear Reviews
In today’s day an age jacket selection can be extremely challenging, confusing, and ultimately frustrating. With so many different styles, fabrics, insulation, features, etc. it can be a little overwhelming when trying to determine what jacket is right for you. To help, SkiEssentials will be including a series of jacket reviews in the gear review section of Chairlift Chat throughout the winter. To start we’re going to take a closer look at a great all around jacket from one of our favorite brands, the Spyder Enforcer.
A very common dilemma when choosing a new jacket is whether to go with an insulated jacket or just a shell, requiring more layering underneath. Spyder has positioned the Enforcer jacket right in the middle of these two categories emphasizing the advantages from both an insulated jacket and shell. The Enforcer features both a technical shell material with membrane and a relatively thin, very efficient amount of insulation. Combine this with fully taped seams, a waterproof front zipper, waterproof hand pockets and vent zippers, under arm ventilation systems, and more, and you’ve got an incredibly versatile, highly capable jacket for a seemingly impossible price of $350.
Josh Bibby, Spyder athlete and backcountry phenomenon, perhaps says it best, “My jacket of choice, I use this in all weather conditions. The shell is great because you can layer up or down to meet any temperature. You can wear this all year round, even in the summer up on the glacier.” Because the Enforcer features a relatively thin layer of insulation it’s much easier to regulate temperature than some heavier jackets.
The insulation used in the Enforcer jacket is 3M Thinsulate. Thinsulate is comprised of low profile microfibers that efficiently trap insulating air, reflect radiant body heat, and ultimately provide warmth that is two times greater than down and other polyester alternatives when equal thicknesses are compared. This means the Enforcer is able to stay very light weight compared to other insulated jackets making it much more favorable for alpinist use. Also, because it’s so easy to regulate temperature you can use this jacket for both cold weather lift service skiing and also active touring, side country boot packing, etc.
Now let’s take a look at the exterior fabrics and waterproofing. The Enforcer features Spyder’s Xt.L fabric, which is an ultra-thin membrane that provides maximum waterproofing and breathability, once again making it an excellent choice for any active alpinist whose body temperature runs high during outdoor activity. The fabric is lightweight, pliable, and features stretch recovery, all while remaining extremely durable. Spyder ensures that even after multiple seasons of use the exterior fabric will still look great and perform like new.
The exterior fabric is also treated with a durable water repellent called Spylon. Spylon helps take the Enforcer’s waterproofing to the next level, further guarding against water. Imagine what your windshield does after a fresh coat of rain-x, water will bead right off your jacket in the same manner. On top of that, Spylon also helps protect against oil based stains, so don’t worry about being careful with that poutine in the base lodge. When you combine Thinsulate, Xt.L, and Spylon you end up with an extremely reasonably priced jacket boasting 20k/20k waterproofing/breathability. If you’re unfamiliar with water column and breathability ratings, 20k/20k is usually only seen on very high end jackets, and typically does not hit a price point under $400, let alone $350 including 3M Thinsulate insulation.
Need to outfit the kiddos? The Enforcer also comes in a junior fit, featuring all the same highlights as the adult jacket with 10k/10k waterproofing/breathability. The junior version of the Enforcer also features double the insulation of the adult jacket, coming in at 80g of Thinsulate insulation, ensuring your young ones stay warm, dry, and comfortable for a long day on the hill. Your kids don’t like the look and feel of a hood? No problem, the junior jacket also boasts a removable, and still helmet compatible, hood.
Overall we are very impressed by the Spyder Enforcer jacket and are happy to report we can recommend this jacket to a very wide range of skiers. Spend all your time on lift service, resort terrain? No problem. The 40g of Thinsulate insulation combined with a good base layer and insulating mid layer will keep you warm through the coldest of temperatures. More of an active alpinist who enjoys touring and earning your turns? You’ll love the light weight of the Enforcer jacket, it’s breathability, and ultimately it’s unique ability to combine the technical features of a shell with light insulation.
Looking for a whole new outfit? Check out the Spyder Propulsion Athletic pants as well. These pants feature the exact same combination of fabrics and insulation, have an athletic, comfortable fit, and are available in all the color way you need to match or accent your new Enforcer jacket.