What if Arcteryx announced that they would allow you to customize the entire color scheme of their top performing hardshell jacket and pants, that it would sell for half the usual price, and that it would be made in the USA? You might be excited, I know I would be. That’s practically what NWT3K is doing. I customized and purchased my NWT3K ski jacket and pants over a year ago and have thoroughly put them through the wringer with resort and backcountry skiing, and while trekking to Everest during Nepal’s winter this past February. In a few word summary I would say that I’m glad I made the purchase.
NWT3K’s website created an easy customization process that allowed me to add some unique locally made gear to my life. Consequently, I doubt I’ll ever see the same jacket or pants sitting next to me on a chairlift or while climbing a peak. You can see the custom choices I made in the photo below.
Both the jacket and pants share a loose free ride fit that allows for freedom of movement, and should work well for men and women. While customizing, you can add multiple options besides colors. This includes air vents, a powder skirt and wrist gaiters for the jacket, different zipper layouts, and you can choose regular length or bib pants. I personally opted to add vents to my pants.
As for the quality of materials and stitching, it’s superb. For instance, the hardshell is a 3 layer waterproof fabric rated to 20,000mm waterproofing. That fabric combined with KEE waterproof zippers has kept me dry through multiple late spring rainy days, and of course many snowy days. The material has also proven to be durable after I’ve bombed through brushy forest to get back to the car when backcountry skiing. Yeah, I tend to tear up clothes in what I call “survival skiing,” so I need well made hardshells. Concerning warmth and the wind shedding performance I’ve experienced; I used this clothing through many cold stormy days while resort and backcountry skiing in the Wasatch, San Juans, Mt. Adams in the PNW, and the Teton Range. Furthermore, this jacket kept me warm through -20 F high wind blizzards (with a Feathered Friends Helios Down Jacket) trekking to Mt. Everest in Nepal last February (photo below).
Thinking of possible critiques and improvements, I really can’t think of any for the jacket, and the pants are obviously made for and pretty much perfect for the resort. However, I’d love to see an option for full length side zipper vents on the pants for warm backcountry ascents and mountaineering. Also the mesh doesn’t bother me and can be helpful for wicking moisture but I bet many folks would like the option to remove it since the majority of hardshells on the market don’t include an inner mesh.
Due to the high-quality of construction and materials, plus the satisfaction of being my own custom design, I find my NWT3k jacket and pants well worth the purchase. If my NWT3K jacket or pants were theoretically lost tomorrow I would gladly purchase them again, which should tell you how I feel about them. I hope this review’s been helpful and hope it helps out a small local American manufacturer that does things right.
*Note that I don’t receive any money or compensation for writing this review.
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