66˚North Skaftafell Ski Jacket | Quickfire Review

We took this lightweight and breathable jacket for a blast on the slopes of Kühtai, and it didn't disappoint

You’d be forgiven if you haven’t yet heard of Icelandic-based 66º North, especially if you usually lean towards the tried and tested traditional ski brands, when it comes to buying a ski jacket. 66º North have, however, been around since 1926, originally creating clothing for Icelandic fishermen braving the North Atlantic elements.

To put things simply, 66º North makes impressively technical outdoor gear to survive the  pretty tough conditions you can come to expect to see out in Iceland. So, when they hit us up to test out this new technical three-layer jacket, we couldn’t turn down the invite, promptly taking it for a blast around the slopes of Kuhtai.

What Is It?

So the 66˚ North Skaftafell is essentially a technical three-layer jacket that’s versatile enough to join you in all sorts of climates and activities. This is largely thanks to the Gore-Tex Infinium membrane that covers the whole of the jacket. The jacket is cut to move with you through dynamic movements (we’re thinking downhill skiing), while being breathable and comfortable enough to not slow you down over long ascents.

The Fabric

Gore Infinium is a windstopper fabric that’s been designed to make windproof clothing as durable, water resistant and as highly breathable as possible, which, to us, is all essential stuff for staying comfortable while you’re out skiing in the hills. Brands often like to cover their jackets in membranes that can stand up to a soaking, but, more often than not, you don’t require that much waterproofing as, when you’re skiing in the high mountains, it’s more likely to snow than rain.

Although Infinium is classed as a windproof material, it still upholds a good level of water repellency for those powder hunting tree skiing days. We found this fabric to be the ideal choice for a ski jacket: it was very unrestrictive when we were slashing around the resort and, when you begin to work up a sweat, we found that breathable membrane more than capable of dumping any unwanted moisture.


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Photo: Chris Burkard taking the Skaftafell jacket for a shred in northern Iceland

The Fit

The fit’s pretty spot on and in line with many other brands. We opted for the large and it fits me great with a down jacket layered beneath for warmth. As I mentioned previously, the jacket felt really unrestrictive, and while this is largely thanks to a supple face fabric, the cut of the jacket has been built to not restrict you in any way.

There’s a men’s and women’s versions of these jackets available, they both share the same colour choices of blue, grey and yellow, so it’s just the fit that changes.

The Features

Being a jacket that’s built for a range of activities – from climbing to skiing – there aren’t as many ski-specific features as you’d find on a traditional ski jacket. This lack of features helps to streamline the whole jacket, creating a clean look – and generally less stuff to break.

What you do have are a pair of hip pockets that have been raised to stay out of the way of your ski touring backpack, or glacier harness, a small pocket at the chest and you’ve got a large hood with loads of adjustment. Then a few standard features, like adjustable cuffs and a drawstring hem, help you to tune the jacket the way you like it.


We found the Skaftafell to be an extremely capable jacket that’ll see you right both in and out of the resort boundaries. The use of Gore Infinium is a great fabric choice from 66º North. It’s more than capable of holding off all but the worst winter storms, while still remaining highly breathable to be able to dump heat at will.

The Skaftafell jackets upholds enough protection to be able to join you in the resort, yet remains lightweight and breathable enough to be a great companion at the climbing crag, and even just nipping to the pub with your mates – and that’s a trait that traditional ski-specific jackets are often lacking.

Price: £425 / 495€ / $575

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