Obermeyer Foundation Review
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|Pros||Inexpensive, warm, comfortable, good features||Strong value, highly versatile, warm, loaded with ski-friendly features||Weather resistant, good vents, plenty of features||Inexpensive, moderately weather resistant, warm enough||Inexpensive, warm|
|Cons||Not that stylish, compromised weather protection, doesn't breathe well||Heavy, poor ventilation in combined figuration||Hanging liner makes it a bit warm for a shell, fit isn't perfect||Bland style, poor ventilation, generic fit||Doesn't look good, minimal features, no vents, poor fit|
|Bottom Line||This jacket packs lots of performance into an inexpensive package, creating great value||This versatile and reasonably priced jacket helps you customize your layers, whether you prioritize warmth, weather resistance, or both||A high-performance shell at a great price||An average-performance ski jacket with decent features at an affordable price||This incredibly inexpensive jacket lacks the performance of most others on the market|
|Rating Categories||Obermeyer Foundation||The North Face Ther...||REI Co-op First Cha...||REI Co-op Powderbou...||Moerdeng Waterproof|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Obermeyer Foundation||The North Face Ther...||REI Co-op First Cha...||REI Co-op Powderbou...||Moerdeng Waterproof|
|Main Fabric||45% Repreve Polyester, 55% Polyester||100% nylon||2-layer Gore-Tex||Nylon||100% polyester|
|Insulation||100g synthetic body, 80g sleeves, 40g hood||100% Post-Consumer Recycled Polyester||Recycled polyester lining||60g polyester sleeves, 80g polyester body||Synthetic with fleece lining|
|Pockets||2 zipppered chest, zippered pass pocket, interior electronics pocket||Shell: 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest,1 internal media, 1 internal goggle, 1 internal zippered sleeve. Liner: 2 hand||2 handwarmer, 2 chest, 1 internal chest, 1 sleeve||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 sleeve, 1 internal zippered chest, 1 internal mesh||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest|
|Weight (size large)||2.62 lbs||2.86 lbs||1.76 lbs||1.81 lbs||2.40 lbs|
|Water Resistance||HydroBlock Pro with critical seams sealed||DryVent 2L||Gore-Tex||2-layer waterproof breathable laminate||Unknown|
|Hood||Adjustable and Removable||Adjustable||Adjustable||Adjustable||Adjustable and Removable|
|Pit-Zips||Yes||Yes (shell only)||Yes||Yes||No|
|Cuff construction||Velcro, inner sleeve with thumb loop||Velcro||Velcro||Interior wide hook-and-loop adjustments and external velcro||Velcro|
|Powder skirt||Yes||Yes||Yes, removable||Yes||No|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Some jackets deliver excellent performance across the board and cost a lot. Others are cheap but don't deliver great performance. This jacket scores squarely in the middle of the pack, but it is priced on the lower end, making it a great value.
The Obermeyer Foundation is a warm jacket. With tons of synthetic insulation throughout the torso and sleeves, it kept our testers warm in cold winter weather. Stretchy wrist gaiters and hook-and-loop straps seal the cuff openings, and a fleece-lined neck rib adds a cozy feeling to the chin and neck area. The hood doesn't contain any insulation, but rather it has a thin hanging nylon liner that traps some warm air. This jacket is warmer than most others on the market.
The Obermeyer Foundation lacks key weather resistance features. With a proprietary waterproof and breathable membrane, a hood that doesn't seal all the way around the neck, and front zippers that aren't waterproof, the jacket can't stand up to the wettest winter weather. In the cold and dry winter climates of many ski areas, this jacket is just fine at repelling wind and light snowfall, but if you live or ski where it dumps snow and sometimes rain, this jacket isn't going to protect you all the time.
Comfort and Fit
The tailoring on this jacket is excellent. The fit contours gently to the body without feeling constricting. The jacket feels light compared to other heavily insulated options. The fleece-lined neck rib and soft, stretchy wrist gaiters add an element of luxury, while the sleeves and hem are the perfect lengths. The hood also fits over helmeted heads nicely. Overall, this jacket fits very well and is a pleasure to wear.
The Overmeyer Foundation has armpit vents, but they aren't very long, and they are lined with mesh. This prevents the free flow of air through the vents, and we prefer vents without mesh. That said, this jacket is designed for cold weather and resort skiing, not aerobic activity. The material doesn't feel like it breathes very well. The focus here is clearly on warmth, not ventilation.
This jacket has a classic resort "family" look. It doesn't try to be stylish, and some of our testers called this garment the "classic dad jacket." It blends in with the crowd on the ski slopes, and doesn't stick out. We think it looks okay, though we prefer jackets with a more freeride style or jackets that take chances to catch looks at the après bar.
The Obermeyer Foundation has a full set of features that makes your day at the ski resort easier. There are two handwarmer pockets, two zippered chest pockets, one sleeve pass pocket, one internal zippered chest pocket, and one internal mesh stash pocket. This creates plenty of storage space for your necessary belongings. The Foundation also boasts a removable hood and a powder skirt. Few jackets on the market can match the set of features found on this jacket.
Should You Buy the Obermeyer Foundation?
We like this jacket a lot for day-in and day-out use at the ski area. It is the perfect jacket for busy parents who need to store lots of electronics, snacks, keys, and other trinkets while wrangling a family around the resort. It also functions well enough in most winter weather. For the price, this jacket packs in lots of value, but there are cheaper options on the market that get the job done as well. If you want a good jacket that performs well above its price tag, this is a good option.
What Other Ski Jackets Should You Consider?
This jacket outperforms our top choice for users on a budget, the REI Co-op Powderbound Insulated, but it's a little more expensive. Another great deal is The North Face ThermoBall ECO Snow Triclimate, which combines a hard shell with a removable insulating jacket underneath. If you are looking for an even higher-performance insulated jacket, our top pick is the Helly Hansen Alpha LifaLoft. The Arc'teryx Macai is also a top contender, though it costs several times more than the Obermeyer Foundation.
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