The Mountain Hardwear Viv Jacket has got to be every ski mountaineer’s dream jacket
Why we chose the Mountain Hardwear The Viv Jacket: Technical, breathable, well thought out
As someone who’s skied his fair share of ludicrously steep faces – such as Nant Blanc and the Migot Spur – it’s fair to say that Vivian Bruchez is one of the most experienced steep skiers out there. A Chamonix native through and through.
Not only has Vivian been on the sharp end of steep skiing for quite some time, he’s also been an athlete for the Californian-based clothing manufacturer, Mountain Hardwear, for many years.
To celebrate this partnership, Mountain Hardwear and Vivian stuck their heads together to create what could be one of the most technical ski mountaineering jackets out there. There’s no question about it – the Viv Jacket is designed to be used and abused on steep and exposed backcountry descents.
“It’s fair to say that Vivian Bruchez is one of the most experienced steep skiers out there”
Featuring Gore-Tex’s all-new waterproof fabric material, Gore-Tex Pro Most Breathable, the Viv jacket looks to strike that balance between breathability and waterproof protection. If you’ve not heard of this new waterproof fabric, then head over to our friends at Outdoors Magic for their in depth preview of the new fabrics and how they can make your life in the mountains that bit more comfortable.
In short, the Most Breathable Gore-Tex fabric is the lightest weight of the three new Gore-Tex fabrics. While this weight is usually paired with an extremely delicate face fabric, Most Breathable can still be used with a 30-denier face fabric – giving you a good deal of durability.
Taking a quick look at the Viv Jacket, you’ll soon learn that it’s packing an extremely well thought out feature set that‘ll help make your life in serious ski mountaineering terrain that little less stressful. First up, let’s chat pockets. Featuring two napoleon chest pockets and two hip pockets (that stay out of the way of your ski touring harness), you’ll have plenty of space for radios, spare gloves, and goggles.
Featuring a RECCO reflector, internal powder skirt and a helmet compatible hood, the Viv jacket is built for deep days in the mountains. There’s also large pockets on the inside of the jacket for keeping your skins warm, and a tab to clip your lanyard to your chest for when you’re travelling in avalanche terrain. When you start to take a look at these specific features, you begin to realise just how well thought out this jacket is.
“We’re stoked to see this level of innovation”
It’s not all funky features and posh fabrics with the Viv jacket, either. This jacket also looks the part too. With Deep Lake or Desert Red colourways and a long fit, the jacket will work just as well strolling through Chamonix town centre, shouldering your skis, having just ticked that dream couloir as it will while you’re ripping down said couloir.
Coming at a hefty price of $725, this jacket isn’t going to be for the one-run-and-done skier. The technical materials used, combined with the packed out feature set, mean that the jacket will thrive in the most demanding terrain out there. We’re stoked to see this level of innovation come from the team over at Mountain Hardwear. Long may it continue.