❄ Burton [ak] Helitack 2L GORE-TEX® Snowboard Jacket Review.
❄ Brand: Burton.
❄ Model: [ak] Helitack.
❄ YOM: 2019, 2020,
❄ Waterproofing: GORE-TEX® Stretch Twill Fabic [2-Layer]
❄ Insulation: (2019) Stretch Lightweight 20 Denier Down-Proof Lining (120grms Body / 100grms Hood and Sleeves), (2020) Thermacore™ Stretch Insulation (100grms Body / 60grms Sleeves),
❄ Size: Mens XL (Chest 43-46", Waist 37-40").
❄ Fit: Regular Articulated,
❄ Venting: Open (2019), Mesh-Lined No-Snag Pit Zip™ Vents (2020)
❄ Colour: "Sparrow" (2019), "True Black" (2020).
❄ Price: $Au 649.99 RRP @2019, $Au779.99 RRP ($US589.99) @2023.
❄ Rider: 192cm (6'4") 93kg (205lbs).
❄ Rider Outerwear: Giro Range helmet, Anon M4 goggles, Burton [ak] Cyclic pants, [ak] Powergrid base layer, [ak] Guide gloves, [ak] Endurance socks, Burton SLX boots, Quiksilver TR Platinum 24L riders backpack,
❄ Board: Bataleon Surfer 159 / Genesis X Re:Flex™ (large),
❄ Camera: GoPro Hero 7 Black/Smatree S2C carbon pole.
I've been travelling to Hokkaido for 8 seasons now addicted to smashing through the heavenly joy that Japanese powder brings.
Through these years I've progressed through a variety of outerwear initially starting with a tech insulated hoodie under a GORE-TEX® shell jacket to more recently Quiksilver Inyo and Impact 2L GORE-TEX® (60/40grms PrimaLoft® silver) insulated snowboard jacket.
❄ Quiksilver Inyo 2L GORE-TEX® Snowboard Jacket Review (Part 1). ❄ Brand: Quiksilver, ❄ Model: Inyo, ❄ YOM: 2016, ❄ Waterproofing: GORE-TEX® 100% Polyester Plain Weave [2-Layer], ❄ Insulation: 3M™ Thinsulate™ Type G™ (60grms Body / 40grms Hood/Sleeves), ❄ Size: Mens XL (Chest 43-46", Waist...
❄ Quiksilver Impact 2L GORE-TEX® Snowboard Jacket Review. ❄ Brand: Quiksilver, ❄ Model: Impact, ❄ YOM: 2017, ❄ Fabric/Waterproofing: 100% Polyester Plain Weave, GORE-TEX® [2-Layer], ❄ Insulation: PrimaLoft® Silver (60grms body / 40grms hood/sleeves) embossed taffeta and brushed tricot knit...
Over the last few seasons, I've really come to love the high quality and superb performance I've experienced from all of my Burton [ak] outerwear and also ride with both the [ak] Swash and [ak] Cyclic snowboard jackets which are much better suited for our generally plus -5°C Australian Alpine conditions.
❄ Burton [ak] Swash 2L GORE-TEX® Snowboard Jacket Review (Part 1). ❄ Brand: Burton, ❄ Model: [ak] Swash, ❄ YOM: 2021, ❄ Waterproofing: GORE-TEX® 2-Layer Printed Polyester 150D Plain Weave Fabric Blocked with Nylon 200D Plain Weave Fabric (Side Panels), ❄ Insulation: PrimaLoft® Silver...
❄ Burton [ak] Cyclic 2L GORE-TEX® Snowboard Jacket Review (Part 1). ❄ Brand: Burton, ❄ Model: [ak] Cyclic, ❄ YOM: 2020, ❄ Waterproofing: GORE-TEX® 2-Layer Nylon 70D Plain Weave Fabric Blocked with GORE-TEX 2-Layer Nylon 200D Plain Weave Fabric (Side Panels), ❄ Insulation: Living Lining™ mapped...
Quickly I've learnt, and this is me personally, that I much prefer riding with the unrestricted freedom that an insulated jacket gives you over the multiple layering up under a shell. I always ride with just a full length [ak] Power Grid® LS top/bottom (200 mid-weight) combined with just the right level insulated jacket for the conditions. Here...., I'm pretty sweet.
❄ Burton [ak] Power Grid®/Expedition Base Layer Review (Part 1). ❄ Brand: Burton ❄ Model: [ak] Power Grid® / Expedition, ❄ YOM: 2017/18/19/20, ❄ Waterproofing: N/A / Dryride, ❄ Insulation Rating: 200 midweight (Powergrid), 300 Heavyweight (Expedition) ❄ Size: Mens XL (Waist 37-40"/ Chest...
However the big downside here is the more substantially required $$$ outlay for purchasing multiple jackets to suit the variety of your temperature conditions. Now generally riding in Australia you can get away with just a shell and a decent base layer to protect you from our -5°C to +5°C (generally around 0°C) chilly winters??? But in Wintry❄ Northern Japan facing temperatures well below the -10°C (-14°F) mark it's a completely different ball game. I've also been out a few times in frosty windchill temps around the -35°C (-31°F) mark.
So it's hard to argue that in Japan..., it's pretty frigging cold.
Firstly, the most restrictive wall in buying multiple jackets is going to be the dollars......, and with the Burton [ak] Helitack it's well up there in the top price range for insulated GORE-TEX® jackets. Unfortunately with Snowboarding/skiing they're very expensive sports. As a result I generally try to avoid paying full RRP for my snow gear and always try to grab them around those friendly EOS sales. Thankfully I was able to grab both the [ak] Helitack in "Sparrow"
(2019) and "True Black"
(2020) for just under $Au500 ($US337). This is still pretty expensive but with this jacket you're getting a hell of a lot of performance and incorporated premium tech'.
Well, the most important issue you'll be looking into when grabbing the [ak] Helitack is its insulative ability. So, is it going to be too hot or alternately, not warm enough? I've noticed on a few SBF posts that there's a perceived big fear that you're going to be well and truly cooked in this level of jacket. The temperatures I tested this jacket out in were around -8°C to -20°C windchill (generally -10°C).
Now, I'll put this out there straight away...., with the [ak] Helitack you're not going to have any real concerns about being too cold. Riding the Gondolas where you're fairly insulated from the external elements feels a little bit toasty in this jacket especially if you're on say a 15 minute ride. However, when you're out there in the kill zone, this is where the Burton [ak] Helitack truly comes out to play. I was able to transverse and ride a lot of open chairs, as you can with the [ak] Helitack, whilst it was snowing and you feel absolutely comfortable here. My wife was out there in her TNF 2L Lostrail 100/80grms jacket with a multi double layered up [ak] Power Stretch® baselayer telling me she was really cold. I'm not sure if I'm suppose to work this out???
So you might be saying to yourself, "With all this extra insulation there must come bulk? Well this is definitely not the case here with the [ak] Helitack. This jacket sits really nicely on your body with its regular articulated fit. It's pretty light weight and very far from having any sort of bulky feel. The fit and cut with the Helitack as expected from Burton [ak] outerwear, is at the very top level and I have no concerns with a men's XL for my size.
I also had absolutely zero problems with the water proofing ability from the [ak] Helitack. With proven 2L GORE-TEX® protection and a solid DWR external fabric I never had any wet spots which probably you wouldn't expect anyway at temperatures well below sub zero. So absolutely totally dry and breathable all day long.
Like I mentioned earlier, with the [ak] Helitack you get a lot of high end inclusions thrown in at this price point; front and left chest/shoulder pocket/Pit Zips™ (2020) with YKK® water-resistant zips, double slider function on central front zip, a removable snow-blocking waist gaiter, superb Cohaesive™ embedded hood cinch and an internal dump pocket for on-hill supplies. Unfortunately there is no Lycra type wrist gaiter system with this jacket but I just utilize this function with my base layer down into my gloves/mitts.
Additionally Burton has added some big positive improvements from the 2019 to 2020 models. You now get a left shoulder lift pass pocket (moved up from the lower left internal hem on 2019), Meshed Pit Zips™ which I love, dual zone outside/inside zippered left chest/insulated media pocket, a lowering of the insulation weight (which I didn't really notice that much) and a more distinctive/bolder labelling. I really love all these improvements, however one little problem I had was with the working ability of the shoulder integrated lift pass pocket. As I'm 6'4" (192cm) I had to bend my legs to get the lift pass lower enough down to activate the lift gates every time I went through. Burton..., maybe this is why most Company's have them in the sleeve area??? I had no problems negotiating lift gates with the 2019 [ak] Helitack.
So pretty stoked with the [ak] Helitack as a really superb specifically designed insulated cold climate jacket. You can comfortably ride all day long without the need for bulky and heavy internally layering up with restrictive technical fleeces. The Burton [ak] Helitack..., a purposely designed riders jacket for those seeking adventures well below sub zero ❄.
A Hell of a great jacket ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐