Descente ski jacket is a decent fit and more |

Descente ski jacket is a decent fit and more

Carolyn Sackariason
Aspen Times Weekly

As a recipient of hand-me-down ski jackets for the past few years, I finally invested in my own for the 2008-’09 season.

I had no particular brand in mind ” obviously I’m not that picky when it comes to skiwear, otherwise I wouldn’t have been wearing early 1990s Obermeyer jackets for the past three years.

Descente is known for its fashion, function and high price. But since skiwear has come so far in the last decade, Descente wasn’t as expensive as some of the other brands out there.

I was looking for something sharp-looking yet warm. And while you can make the decision about whether you look good on the showroom floor, the jacket’s functionality and warmth can only be determined once you’re out in the elements.

Descente’s technology is touted as high-tech ” its jackets are imbedded with negative ions. Yes, negative ions. Apparently, ions are affected by fluctuations in temperature, humidity and the atmosphere.

Descente’s position is that positive ions ” which are produced by things like fumes from cars and factories ” are problematic because they cause allergies and intestinal troubles. As the number of positive ions in the air continues to grow, the balance between positive and negative ions is becoming skewed, according to Descente. That’s why Descente has infused its sportswear with ion bodies.

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Minerals that generate negative ions are powdered and impregnated into fibers used in the fabric. Descente claims it’s the first to use negative ions to enhance sportswear performance.

The jacket also has what’s called “titan thermo lining,” which absorbs and retains your body heat, but allows moisture to evaporate through.

The secret of the system is that a titan thermo sheet is inserted in the lining of the fabric. The sheet is created by “sputtering,” the process by which the impact of high-energy ions cause metal to coat to the sheet’s surface.

I’m not yet sold on the effectiveness of Descente’s ion bodies or if it’s just a gimmick, but this jacket is warm and functional, with its stretch fabric, pit zips, double chest pockets, hip adjustment band and zip-off hood.

The only thing that’s not functional about the jacket is its color. While white is clean-looking, it only took one day on the mountain to trash it: I’ve already got stains on the cuffs from grease dripping from the FIS chairlift and yellow marks where I sprayed Scotch guard.

It’s definitely a one-season jacket. But you know what they say, “fashion over function.” I guess that’s certainly the case in Aspen.