What does it take for a serious alpine jacket company to get the attention of ski buyers, especially when that company is based in Richmond, Virginia? Having a product that over delivers in fit, function and features is key, and we believe that Nivis Gear checked all three of these boxes in their jacket.
While Nivis Gear is based in Richmond, in the mid Atlantic, which is hardly a skiing mecca, most of their R&D was in Snowshoe WV, which is the 4th highest ski area east of the Mississippi, so you have a jacket that can withstand cold. The Nivis1 is a premium 4-way stretch with 20k/20k breathability and waterproof, Primaloft Gold Insulation. As far as warmth, what I liked about the Primaloft Gold is the range of warmth. We first tested the jacket in the low single digit temps of Colorado and Utah (with a light mid layer) and then in Tahoe where the temps were in the 20's. With just my SkiTalk quarter zip beneath, I was fine.
The Nivis1 fit is billed as “athletic” and when I think of that, I think of a slimmer Euro fit, and that is just not the case with this jacket. We were supplied with two Nivis1 jackets in in Slate and Clay Red in a Men’s larges and we were fortunate enough get Andy Mink and Stephen, two of our other men’s testers, in the jackets as well. We all were not only impressed with the features, but also the fit, which for me, at 5’10” 195lb, was extremely comfortable.
(From Nivis's site) DESCRIPTION:
- Premium 4-way stretch composite fabric
- 20k / 20k breathability & waterproof ratings
- Athletic tailored fit
- Primaloft gold insulation (perfect weight -- not too much, not too little)
- Lightweight yet highly functional in all conditions
- Interior Aerogel insulated phone pocket -- preserves battery
- Pass holder pocket in left sleeve
- Interchangeable patch on right sleeve enables personalization
- XL+ size has same sleeve and body length as XL, but larger chest
Andy: Yes, I showed up to Utah with shells and a puffy for the frigid weather we had. Since Phil took the Monday before WSSRA off, I wore the Nivis Gear coat to Deer Valley. While I usually wear an XL at 5'10" and 220#, the Nivis didn't feel overly snug; movement was comfortable and not constrictive at all. Even though it is not a heavy jacket, it was plenty warm in the temps that never exceeded the mid teens. Pockets were well placed and every ski jacket should now have a pass pocket on the sleeve. The Nivis has that. The overall construction appeared to be very good with no noticeable hanging thread, missed stitches, or other production faux pas. The YKK zippers worked easily and even the pit zips were easy to access and use, both ways. Will Nivis make it into the mainstream? That's a tough call, but there doesn't seem any obvious reason why they shouldn't.
Stephen: This jacket is the bee’s knees, the fox’s socks, the cat’s meow. I would have never guessed this was a new jacket company. Throughout the day while wearing it, I kept coming across little things that made me think, "Nice! Well thought out.” I even thought I had “caught” them one time with a missing feature of a large inside pocket but nope, it’s got one, and it is of course - well thought out. The pass pocket on the sleeve has the nice bonus of a clear pass holder on a lanyard that is attached inside the pocket - a great help at non-RFID resorts. The four way stretch material is fantastic, making for a very comfortable fit that moves with you while you are active. It’s also how Phil, Andy, and I were able to all wear it comfortably and stylishly, in my opinion. The insulated phone pocket is great for those cold days, and I like the exterior zipper to access it. The only “problem” that I could find, and believe me I looked, was the the closure on the sleeve at the wrist. The gusset could use a slight adjustment and the velcro could use some heavier stitching all the way up to the edges. Neither of those things would deter me from getting that jacket. The Nivis1 gets 5 stars from me.
We are looking for some exciting things from this new company … when we see them at Outdoor Retailer next year.
- Who is the Nivis Gear Nivis1 for: Those who are looking for a well built great fitting waterproof insulated jacket.
- Who is the Nivis Gear Nivis1 not for: Peacocks, Nivis's color palet is in the conservative side.
- Insider tip: Quality never comes cheap and the Nivis1 is a quality jacket.
- Insider tip II: While the Nivis1 is not inexpensive at $650, quality never is, here is a Discount Code: 25skitalk.com Good till, 3/31/23