For this variation of the Odlo SharpX hardshell jacket and pants Odlo teamed up with free ski legend Jon Olsson. He provided design input for this variation and I have to say, even though I am not a lover of cameo prints per se, I think this ensemble just looks, really, really good. So I couldn’t wait to take it up the mountain.
The Odlo SharpX set was tested during a week of snowboarding in Gargellen, Austria. Temperatures varied between -5 and +14 (historically high temperatures for the winter) degrees celsius. Snow conditions varied a lot, from icy morning groomers, to fresh powder, to slush conditions at the end of the day. I have also worn the jacket on a day-to-day basis in the Netherlands, in rainy and cold conditions.
Wind and water resistance
Wearing it in the Netherlands before heading up into the mountains I already got to notice the waterproofness of the material. The material of the jacket is Odlo’s own Logic 3-layer Stretch Dobby material with a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish. This material offers a 20.000 water column water proofness which is very sound.
I noticed there is less of the water “pearly” effect then you would see on 3-layer Gore-Tex. In the mountains falling snow had no effect on it at all. I did notice two things however: sitting too long in the slushy snow (end of the day), as snowboarders are want to do at times, really challenged the waterproofness. The fabric did retain moisture on the outside. Secondly at the cuffs of the jacket the fabric got wet as well. So that could be better.
Having said that, the set is originally a ski set, where sitting in the snow is less of an issue. So skiers will not notice that issue as much as snowboarders. But it does show the limits of the waterproofness.
As for wind resistance that is quite up to par, at no time did I notice any wind coming through the shell jacket or the pants.
Obviously a shell jacket is not the kind of jacket that will keep you warm of itself (as a down jacket would do). But obviously it wil insulate and give warmth of itself a bit. The materiaal of the Odlo is quite thin, giving a bit less of this warmth than a thicker 3-layer Gore-Tex would give. So a really good midlayer is crucial.
The stretch in the fabric ensured that the tight fitting model, (it is a quite a european snit tapered at to the waist) was really comfortable. At no time did I feel in any way constricted even though I think perhaps I could have worn a larger size. The size I wore was a size L, the size I normally wear.
I noticed that most in the fact that the legth of the sleeve seemed a bit short. Added to the cuff’s being a bit tight, I found the cuff of the jacket slide down the cuff of my glove, leaving skin exposed at times to the cold. So it would merit checking the sleeve length in relation to the glove you are wearing. There are gloves which you wear over your sleeve cuffs, such as the 10 Peaks Mount Little and other gloves, like the 10 Peaks Mount Tonsa which you would cover with the sleeve cuffs. In the case of the Odlo SharpX it would combine better with the former than the latter kind of gloves.
There are only three pockets in the jacket. The very well place ski-pass pocket on the left sleeve. Just perfect, and two large outer breast pockets which are nice and deep. What I like about that is you can just drop in anything into the pocket, and even when you forget closing the zippers, it will hardly fall out.
The pants also sport two side pockets and two back pockets. Also deep and safe to use.
The front zipper of the jacket has a really cool contrasting purple colour and is completely waterproof. It went a bit heavy, but nothing too anoying. The pants also sport two full length zippers along the outside of the pants. I am not sure about the use of this. They don’t work as ventilation zippers and if zipped completely you can just zip through the whole pant and take of your pants without taking of your snowboard, ski’s or your shoes. But I am not sure of the use of that.
There are also two zippers in the armpits, which are ventilation vents. However I feel they are not smartly placed and to short to reach easily. If you are wearing a back pack the arm straps will run across the zippers and you’ll have to take off your back back or fumble with the zippers until you give up in frustration. And because the zippers are quite short it is really difficult to reach and zip them effectively with your opposing arm. I feel running these kind of zippers along the chest in stead of the armpits work better, without but especially with a back pack on. So Odlo could improve on these two zippers.
Like I said in the beginning, the Odlo SharpX Jon Olsson just looks really, really good. I love the detailing of the brand name on the sleeve, the pant pockets also have a bit of cameo print you only noticed when the pockets are extended; subtle and stylish. You can get the pants in the greene single tone I tested, and in the same kind of urban cameo print of the jacket.
So in addition to looking really good on the mountain in your technical shell jacket, you can look really good in the apres-ski or even in your day-to-day commute or anywhere you wear the jacket. Certainly for a technical shell jacket, where function oftentimes eclipses style or looks, the attention to the look of the jacket is admirable and in way extends the use of the jacket (and the bang for your buck) to every day use even for the more style savvy among us.