Eira Northern Shell Jacket
Meghann Maurer, January 14, 2015
With a name that translates to “snow” and a lineup of stylish garments that refuse to compromise on utility, technicality, and durability, Eira Outerwear is poised to swiftly take hold of the freeskiing community.
Eira first caught my eye after browsing through professional freeskier Dania Assaly’s instagram profile and, not surprisingly, locking in on the shocking pink Woodlot Suspender. Research on the brand led me to the fresh 2014-15 Eira Women line of technical outerwear. Eira, which hails from Mississauga, Ontario outside of Toronto has been crafting outerwear exclusively for men since 2010. Recent growth and success allowed the creation of the women’s line for the 2014-15 winter.
To help showcase the capabilities of their garments, Eira boasts an accomplished athlete roster with Assaly, Joe Schuster, Peter Olenick, Matt Walker, and Mack Jones to name a few. Each and every product receives athlete input and trials to make sure they can go the distance.
With growing hype from industry publications and undeniably eye-catching styles, I was eager to get my hands on something from the lineup and try it for myself. In need of a new hard shell, I settled on the Northern Shell Jacket. I was not disappointed.
Eira’s product brochure explains that the women’s line “combine[s] technical outerwear with unexpected finishes, drawing inspiration from the world of women’s accessories. Metallic trims and luxurious details meet performance fabrics and on-hill functionality.”
The exterior of the jacket is clean and functional with easily accessible exterior pockets, fully taped seams, YKK AquaGuard zippers, underarm ventilation, an ergonomic hood design, and a drop tail hem for better coverage of your backside when strapping down boots or taking falls.
The performance features of the exterior extend to the interior of the jacket and add “luxurious details” with a custom printed rose-colored satin, 100% polyester, lining that displays the brands mascot, the “Deira” (also featured on the hood). Multiple interior and exterior zippered storage and media pockets provide ample room for snacks, extra gear, and all of the little things. For the deep days, the jacket also provides a powder skirt and is easily removed with a zipper to shed a little extra weight when not needed.
Beyond its visible aesthetics, the Northern Shell, inherent to all Eira products, is equipped with 20K waterproofing and 20K breathability as well as eco-friendly and sustainable fabrics . The exterior is made from 100% recycled mechanical stretch polyester. A DWR (durable water repellency) coating provides superior resistance from water and stains and micro-porous nylon membranes allow perspiration to escape while keeping heat in and snow and wind out.
I tested the Northern Shell’s capabilities in varying temperatures and activities in Winter Park, CO, Crested Butte, CO and Ketchum, ID. Paired with a couple base layers and a micro down jacket the Northern Shell held up admirably in freezing temperatures in Colorado. In Idaho, temperatures rose and the jacket’s ventilation properties proved itself an ally skiing Sun Valley Resort as well as a protective layer on an 8km snowshoeing trek at Galena Lodge north of Ketchum.
With impressive specs, dedication to environment sustainability, tried and true durability and performance, and a touch of sass the Eira Northern Shell Jacket has solidified itself as a staple in my skiing kit. Look to Eira to continue crafting products with a freeskier’s agenda and gaining international acclaim in the very near future.