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Cortazu Mountain Hard Shell Ski Jacket | Review

An incredibly technical lightweight 3-layer jacket, there's a lot to love about the Cortazu Mountain Hard Shell

Why we chose the Cortazu Mountain Hard Shell: Incredibly waterproof, incredibly breathable, and less expensive than some of its rivals in the ski touring jacket world.

Price: €399 / $471

BUY HERE

It was Will Renwick, the editor of Outdoors Magic, who initially got us switched on to Cortazu. Until he spoke to us about them, back in 2019 we think it was, we’ll confess that we didn’t know too much about them. In our defence though, the brand was only founded in 2017 so maybe you can forgive us for taking our eye off the boil on this one. 

They might be based in Amsterdam, which is two metres below sea level, but the passionate skiers behind Cortazu have their hearts and minds very much situated in the mountains. Built on a simple, yet difficult to nail, vision of creating premium sustainable clothing at unprecedented value Cortazu have been quietly building something pretty special. Their technical clothing has been doing jobs for outdoorsy people everywhere from the Himalayas to the Rocky Mountains.

Materials

When it comes to materials on the Cortazu Mountain Hard Shell, it’s all about the Dermizax EV 3-Layer fabric. In the breathability stakes, it’s got a properly excellent rating of 25k. The waterproofing is, it’s well worth mentioning, equally excellent (25k rating as well). This genuinely high level of breathability and waterproofing is right up there with the best in the industry. It’s a twin factor that will ensure you stay dry and comfortable in the stinkiest conditions, and most active of mountain days. 

“In the breathability stakes, it’s got a properly excellent rating of 25k”

The fabric is also exceptionally windproof, and has a DWR finish to keep wind and water where you want it (on the outside of your jacket). It’s also nicely stretchable, meaning it’s perfect for ski touring and active outdoor types. 

In terms of sustainability commitments, 50% of the shell fabric fibers here are recycled. On top of this, for each product sold Cortazu is looking to re-green 50m2 of land. Cortazu also claims their products are really built to last. To be fair to them, this is a very well made bit of kit. Their dedication to durability, as far as the brand is concerned, means that you’ll be buying less, buying better, and making less of an impact on the environment as a consumer.

Features

Features? Yes, the Cortazu Mountain Hard Shell has got them alright. It’s a jacket with ski and snowboard functionality at its heart, but there’s also a multipurpose, all-season, versatility weaved through it as well.

In terms of features, let’s just work our way through shall we? There’s a helmet compatible hood, nine (yes, nine) nicely implemented pockets, waterproof zippers, a soft chin guard, a ski pass pocket, taped seams, a sunglasses and goggle wiper, RECCO, adjustable cuffs for optimising fit, armpit zippers for when you’re in desperate need of some cooling airflow, a laminated brim and adjustable Cohaesive Cords.

“It underlines the passion and knowledge Cortazu has when it comes to skiing”

We like the anti-slip feature up in the shoulder area of the Cortazu Mountain Hard Shell. It underlines the passion and knowledge Cortazu has when it comes to skiing, and demonstrates a deeper level of practical thinking when it comes to ski jacket design.

Conclusion

Team this up with the Cortazu Shell Pant and a Cortazu mid-layer / fleece option, and you really will be ready to tackle anything in the mountains. With an RRP a smidge under 400 Euros as well, this is a backcountry ski jacket that isn’t as expensive as some of its pricier rivals from more well known brands. This update on Cortazu’s award winning shell should definitely be on your jacket-buying shortlist this season.

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