Spyder Chambers Jacket Review

The Spyder Chambers Jacket is a great all-weather option with high versatility. The racer-inspired design is slick, and the multitude of features more than make up for the inadequate ventilation.

Quick Summary

  • Where to Buy: Amazon, Backcountry, EVO
  • Best for: Mild and strong conditions. A good choice for skiers who aren’t pushing themselves too hard in the backcountry.
  • Pros: This jacket is one of the sturdiest around in terms of both weather and water resistance. It repels moisture and has great seams to ensure the cold stays out and the heat stays in. It’s plenty warm and quite comfortable.
  • Cons: This jacket, while sturdy, is not the most breathable option. The ventilation could be better in warmer weather. The racing design or slimmer fit will also turn off some skiers.
  • Alternatives: Arc’teryx Sabre Ar, Helly Hansen Lifaloft, Burton Packrite Jacket

Why Trust Me

I’ve been hitting the slopes since I was a kid. I enjoy getting out in the snow and have hands-on experience with a wide range of different skiing items. I have spent plenty of time researching this jacket to see how it holds up in both tough and mild conditions.

Detailed Review

The Spyder Chambers is a racing-style jacket perfect for skiers who like to go fast. Even so, it has a surprising amount of durability and weather resistance for lighter outerwear. Though this probably isn’t the number one choice for true blizzard-like conditions, it will get the job done everywhere else. The ventilation could be better, but the versatility is excellent and the style will keep you looking sharp for years to come.

A Warm and Sturdy Option

Ski jackets need to offer you protection, which is why I always look at warmth when breaking down winter clothing. The Chambers jacket is a bit of a mixed bag here. Though the synthetic insulation and stretchy cuff closures keep the cold out in most climates, there’s no doubt that this model isn’t built for the harshest conditions.

The snug fit works well enough with the powder skirt to ensure no snow or moisture reaches your under layers. There’s also a Gore-Tex membrane, fully sealed seams, and waterproof zippers. Those three features work together to completely shut out water and give you a jacket that will work for just about every condition.

Even so, I found that this model doesn’t quite have what it takes to handle the roughest days in the dead of winter. For that, you’re either going to need something a bit more sturdy or pack on more insulated layers.

Comfort and Fit

As mentioned, the Chambers has a close fit that’s better suited for slim skiers. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that style. In fact, some people may prefer it. However, I like a baggier jacket. It’s all about what you want from your outer layer while you’re on the slopes.
The interior of the jacket has no such divisiveness. There isn’t a skier at any level that won’t be able to appreciate the warm lining and extra insulation. You aren’t just going to stay warm with this on, you’re going to be comfortable as well. The material is a bit on the stiff side, but that’s a minor complaint.

Poor Ventilation

Unfortunately, I found that the Chambers doesn’t quite have the same premium quality when it comes to breathability. It does cut down on sweat or overheating through the mesh-lined armpit vents, but they are a bit small for my taste. They tend not to let enough heat through, especially when hiking off-piste.

The jacket also has a removable hood, which I highly value in a versatile jacket. Despite that, the Chambers is simply too hot in warmer weather. If you primarily ski when the temperatures go up, or if you find yourself exerting a lot of energy each time you ride, there are better ventilation systems.

Slick Style and Ample Pockets

For those that don’t know, Spyder is the official clothing provider for the U.S. Ski Team. That’s incredibly apparent with their jacket style. These have a slim, aerodynamic fit made to fit downhill skiers. The fabric panels, cut, and colors all further that design. There’s no doubt the design will put some people off, but I found it to be quite eye-catching.

Even if the Chambers’ look isn’t for you, every skier will appreciate the different features it comes with. Each of the handwarmer pockets is incredibly comfortable due to the fleece lining, and they give you a way to protect your appendages when you need some extra warmth. The sleeve pocket is also nice to have because it means you can position your ski pass in a way where scanners can hit it.

The features that truly go over the top are the two internal stash pockets and the internal zippered pocket. The removable hood and powder skirt, while not completely necessary, are also extremely handy.

Price and Value

While not as pricey as higher end jackets, the Chambers jacket is definitely a decent chunk of change. However, that doesn’t bother me because you’re getting quite a lot here. The jacket’s versatility means you won’t need to buy another outer layer for different environments.

In addition, its durable construction means this is a lasting investment. The insulation will likely wear down far before the material, and even that will take a few years (or more). There are a few things that don’t quite hit their mark, such as the ventilation, but I would still recommend this option for its price range.

What I Like

The stand out feature in the Spyder Chambers jacket is its incredible strength. I always value jackets that can stand up to the elements, and this goes a long way to protect your body. Not only does the Gore-Tex membrane work hard to keep you both warm and dry, but the fully sealed seams and waterproof zippers do a fantastic job at ensuring no moisture gets through to your lower layers. It shuts out wind as well.

There’s also a lot to be said about the Chambers’ comfort. Beyond the protection, it has a special interior fabric that feels great against your body. This is complemented by stretch knit wrist cuffs and a fleece patch that ensures the zipper doesn’t rub or scrape against your chin.

What I Dislike

If there’s one negative mark on the Chambers Jacket, for me, it’s ventilation. Though the armpit vents and removable hood help regulate body heat, they don’t do it well enough on warmer days. That also means it’s not the best choice for those who like to take extended treks to find untouched runs.

The slim fit is also something I don’t like. Though this is something that small or leaner skiers won’t mind, I do prefer a little bit more room in my ski jackets. It’s by no means a deal-breaker, but the jacket is a bit stiff for my liking. I imagine it’s even more so for larger bodies.

The Alternatives

The Spyder Chambers Jacket is a well-made clothing item with long-lasting durability and premium comfort. Even so, it’s far from the only tough jacket on the market. If you want additional features or don’t mind paying a bit more, take a look at these:

  • Arc’teryx Sabre Ar – The Sabre Ar is an excellent choice for people with a higher budget. It’s a great outer layer due to the excellent ventilation and strong weather resistance. Though I wouldn’t recommend this for backcountry skiers due to the heavy weight, it still serves as a great choice for in-bounds riders.
  • Helly Hansen Lifaloft – This is one of the most well-rounded jackets on the market. The Lifaloft has a little bit of everything. It’s not as affordable as the Chambers, but it comes with better ventilation and a similarly snug fit. It’s also more versatile and works for just about every skiing style.
  • Burton Packrite Jacket – If you want a model that’s slightly cheaper than the Chambers but doesn’t sacrifice any of the premium qualities, the Packrite is a great way to go. This is warm, well-insulated, and comes with excellent waterproofing.

FAQs

How is this jacket’s fit?

The Chambers has a slimmer fit. Take that into consideration when picking out your size.

Are there multiple color options?

Yes. The Chambers Jacket comes in Lagoon, Volcano, Ebony, and Black.

Is this waterproof?

The Chambers jacket isn’t truly waterproof, but it is extremely water-resistant thanks to the Gore-Tex membrane, sealed seams, and waterproof zippers.

Final Words

The Spyder Chambers Jacket is a well-made clothing item. The tight seams and tough material repel moisture without suffocating you too much. In addition, the Gore-Tex membrane holds up time and time again.

You’re not going to get great ventilation, and that prevents this from being perfect for the backcountry. Even so, if you want a racing-style jacket made to handle just about every skiing condition, you’ will come away happy.

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