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Obermeyer Foundation Review

This jacket packs lots of performance into an inexpensive package, creating great value
obermeyer foundation ski jacket review
Credit: Obermeyer
Price:  $259 List
Manufacturer:   Obermeyer
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 2, 2022
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 17
  • Warmth - 20% 8.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 6.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 7.0
  • Ventilation - 15% 6.0
  • Style - 15% 5.0
  • Features - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Obermeyer Foundation is a warm and comfortable ski jacket at a great price. It keeps us warm in most winter weather and has a great tailored fit. With pockets and features galore, it makes a day of wrangling kids at the ski hill easier. And, it comes at a price that is very attractive for such high performance. It lacks some key weather protection elements and doesn't ventilate well when the temperatures rise or when you have to carry all your gear to and from the parking lot, and we think the style could be better. There are better jackets on the market, and there are less expensive jackets to choose from, but this one delivers a good value for what you get.
REASONS TO BUY
Inexpensive
Warm
Comfortable
Good features
REASONS TO AVOID
Not that stylish
Compromised weather protection
Doesn't breathe well

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Pros Inexpensive, warm, comfortable, good featuresStrong value, highly versatile, warm, loaded with ski-friendly featuresWeather resistant, good vents, plenty of featuresInexpensive, moderately weather resistant, warm enoughInexpensive, warm
Cons Not that stylish, compromised weather protection, doesn't breathe wellHeavy, poor ventilation in combined figurationHanging liner makes it a bit warm for a shell, fit isn't perfectBland style, poor ventilation, generic fitDoesn't look good, minimal features, no vents, poor fit
Bottom Line This jacket packs lots of performance into an inexpensive package, creating great valueThis versatile and reasonably priced jacket helps you customize your layers, whether you prioritize warmth, weather resistance, or bothA high-performance shell at a great priceAn average-performance ski jacket with decent features at an affordable priceThis 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
Warmth (20%)
8.0
8.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
4.0
Ventilation (15%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Style (15%)
5.0
7.0
7.0
5.0
2.0
Features (10%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
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
RECCO No No No No 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.

Performance Comparison


obermeyer foundation ski jacket review - the obermeyer foundation on the slopes during early season testing.
The Obermeyer Foundation on the slopes during early season testing.
Credit: Sam Willits

Warmth


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.

obermeyer foundation ski jacket review - the foundation uses lots of synthetic insulation in the torso and...
The Foundation uses lots of synthetic insulation in the torso and sleeves to provide plenty of warmth.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Weather Resistance


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.

obermeyer foundation ski jacket review - the removable hood doesn't seal all the way around the neck...
The removable hood doesn't seal all the way around the neck, creating access points for water and wind.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

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.

obermeyer foundation ski jacket review - this jacket fits great and is comfortable to wear both on and off...
This jacket fits great and is comfortable to wear both on and off the slopes.
Credit: Sam Willits

Ventilation


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.

obermeyer foundation ski jacket review - the foundation has vents, but they are short and mesh-lined, which...
The Foundation has vents, but they are short and mesh-lined, which limits the movement of air.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Style


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 apr├Ęs bar.

obermeyer foundation ski jacket review - we don't love the foundation's style, but you might.
We don't love the Foundation's style, but you might.
Credit: Sam Willits

Features


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.

obermeyer foundation ski jacket review - a sleeve pass pocket is crucial for avoiding delays at rfid...
A sleeve pass pocket is crucial for avoiding delays at RFID turnstiles and having to do the Macarena to get on the ski lift.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

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.

obermeyer foundation ski jacket review - the obermeyer foundation is a good jacket for a great price, with...
The Obermeyer Foundation is a good jacket for a great price, with lots of performance in a comfortable package.
Credit: Sam Willits

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.

Jeff Dobronyi
 
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