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Spyder Chambers Review

A racer-inspired, versatile ski jacket that is great for most conditions.
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Price:  $399 List | $249.99 at Amazon
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Weather resistant, great features, warm enough
Cons:  Not very breathable, ski racer style is polarizing
Manufacturer:   Spyder
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 3, 2019
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Warmth - 20% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 8
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 6
  • Ventilation - 15% 5
  • Style - 15% 4
  • Features - 10% 8

Our Verdict

If you like carving up groomers and ruling the NASTAR course, then the Spyder Chambers is for you. This jacket is another fine piece from the Official Apparel Partner of the US Ski Team. Its combination of warmth, weather resistance, and ski-specific features is impressive, and we can recommend this jacket to anyone looking for versatile and reliable ski outerwear. The style of this jacket is not for everyone, and that will probably determine who ends up wearing it and who doesn't.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Weather resistant, great features, warm enoughExcellent performance in every category, durableImpeccable quality, clean lines, very warm, excellent weather protectionVery warm, great weather resistance, high quality constructionCompletely weather resistant, good ventilation, freeride style
Cons Not very breathable, ski racer style is polarizingMore snug fit than other optionsSuper expensive, too warm for some applicationsBoxy fit, unremarkable style, expensiveExpensive, too heavy and warm for most backcountry use
Bottom Line A racer-inspired, versatile ski jacket that is great for most conditions.This excellent all-around ski jacket wins our Editors’ Choice Award.Arc'teryx’s top of the line ski jacket keeps you warm, dry, and comfortable, for a small fortune.High quality warmth and weather resistance, at a price.A durable, weatherproof jacket that wins out Editors’ Choice Award for shells.
Rating Categories Spyder Chambers Helly Hansen Alpha LifaLoft Arc'teryx Macai Patagonia Primo Puff Arc'teryx Sabre AR Jacket
Warmth (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
4
Weather Resistance (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
10
Comfort And Fit (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Ventilation (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
8
Style (15%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
8
Features (10%)
10
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8
10
0
10
10
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6
10
0
9
10
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5
Specs Spyder Chambers Helly Hansen Alpha... Arc'teryx Macai Patagonia Primo Puff Arc'teryx Sabre AR...
Main Fabric 2L stretch polyester 2-layer stretch polyester N40p-X GORE-TEX 2-layer, 4-oz 75-denier 100% recycled polyester N80p-X GORE-TEX
Insulation 80g PrimaLoft Black ECO synthetic LifaLoft synthetic Coreloft 100, Coreloft Compact, and 750 fill goose down PlumaFill synthetic Light flannel backer
Pockets 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered internal, 1 mesh goggle 2 handwarmer, 2 chest, 1 internal chest, 1 internal mesh, 1 sleeve 2 handwarmer, 1 sleeve, 1 chest, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal chest 2 hand, 1 chest, 2 interior 2 hand, 1 sleeve, 1 internal
Weight (pounds) 2.82 lbs 2.56 lbs 2.64 lbs 2.54 lbs 1.66 lbs
Waterproofing Gore-Tex Helly Tech Professional 3L Gore-Tex Pro Shell Gore-Tex Gore-Tex
Hood Option? Adjustable and removable Adjustable and removable Adjustabe and Removable Adjustable Adjustable
Pit-Zips? Mesh-backed Mesh-backed Mesh-backed Open Open
Cuff construction Interior stretchy wrist gaiters and external velcro cuffs Interior stretchy wrist gaiters and external velcro cuffs Velcro Velcro Velcro
Ski Features Powder skirt, pass pocket Powder skirt, fixed goggle wipe, high visibility brim, pass pocket Removable powder skirt, attached/removable goggle wipe, pass pocket Pass pocket, powder skirt attaches to Patagonia pants Fixed powder skirt buttons to matching pants, pass pocket
RECCO? No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Chambers performed well across the board. We especially liked its weather resistance and refined ski features, but also appreciated its warmth and comfortable fit.

Performance Comparison


To test this ski jacket  we went skiing. A lot.
To test this ski jacket, we went skiing. A lot.

Warmth


We found the warmth of the Chambers to be about average as far as insulated ski jackets go. The jacket features synthetic insulation, stretchy cuff closures, and an insulated hood. The fit is slightly snug, which reduces the amount of air around your torso that can be used to insulate your body but also eliminates cold drafts from bringing your temperature down.

Whereas other jackets in the market are warmer than the Chambers, this usually brings a decrease in versatility. This jacket is extremely versatile and can be worn across the gamut of ski conditions, from warm sunny days at Alta to the cold Nor'easters of New England.

A moderate amount of synthetic insulation provides warmth in the Chambers.
A moderate amount of synthetic insulation provides warmth in the Chambers.

Weather Resistance


The Chambers uses a Gore-Tex membrane to keep you warm and dry, no matter the external environment. It also features fully sealed seams and waterproof zippers, as well as a well-designed hood and hood closure system. Our testers noticed that on windy chairlift rides, the jacket effectively stopped the wind from impacting the internal environment of the user.

Stretchy wrist cuffs seal out the cold and wind from getting up your sleeves, and a drawstring around the hem seals the jacket at the waist. A powder skirt keeps the snow out when the conditions get deep. Furthermore, the synthetic insulation used in the Chambers will retain its insulation even if it does get wet. Overall, we were impressed by the weather resistance of this jacket.

The clean and effective powder skirt inside the Chambers.
The clean and effective powder skirt inside the Chambers.

Comfort and Fit


The Chambers is a close-fitting jacket that is tailored to slim, active skiers. This was appealing to some testers who liked the slim fit because it stayed out of their way. Other testers preferred more baggy jackets; neither are correct, it's just a matter of preference.

A tailored fit  but not too snug  earns the Spyder high marks for comfort.
A tailored fit, but not too snug, earns the Spyder high marks for comfort.

The interior fabric is very comfortable against the body, and there is a nice fleece patch that protects the chin from the zipper. The stretch knit wrist cuffs are very comfortable and enhance the feeling of the slim fit, making the user feel like they are sealed in tight. This jacket feels like an extension of the body. The outer shell fabric is slightly stiff but doesn't take away from the jacket's comfort too much.

Stretchy cuff gaskets provide major comfort around the sleeve openings  not to mention increased weather protection.
Stretchy cuff gaskets provide major comfort around the sleeve openings, not to mention increased weather protection.

Ventilation


The Chambers allows ventilation through relatively short armpit vents that are also lined with mesh. Despite the small opening and mesh liner, air seems to move pretty well through the vent. Another feature of the jacket that improves ventilation is the removable hood. Our bodies bring warm blood close to the surface when they are too warm, and nowhere on the body does this as efficiently as the neck. When you are not worried about precipitation, you can remove the hood and enjoy the efficiency of breathability through the top of the jacket as well as through the pit vents.

Despite all that, this jacket is not designed to be used in very warm conditions or for extended bootpacks. It is best used for downhill skiing in most weather conditions and has decent versatility when things heat up.

The pit vents in the Chambers jacket from Spyder are relatively short and mesh-lined  so they don't ventilate as well as other options.
The pit vents in the Chambers jacket from Spyder are relatively short and mesh-lined, so they don't ventilate as well as other options.

Style


Spyder is the official apparel provider of the US Ski Team, and it shows in the style of their jackets. If you want to look like a racer and use fashion to claim that you are a fairly serious downhill skier, look no further. In the Chambers, you'll look like you just got out of training for your next World Cup race. The cut, exterior colored fabric panels, and color options are all congruent with a decidedly on-piste skier look. Many skiers will not find this jacket's style appealing.

Big color panels and sharp lines  combined with a slim fit  give this jacket a racer style.
Big color panels and sharp lines, combined with a slim fit, give this jacket a racer style.

Features


This jacket has a ton of features that make life easy on the slopes. Two large handwarmer pockets on the front of the jacket are fleece lined and comfortable. Another sleeve pocket conveniently positions a ski pass to be easily detected by scanners. There are two large internal stash pockets and an internal zippered chest pocket, which keeps a cell phone close to the body and warm. We also appreciated the removable hood and powder skirt.

A closer look at the hood and sleeve pocket.
A closer look at the hood and sleeve pocket.

Value


The Chambers is fairly priced for what it delivers. Overall, the buyer comes out ahead, given the sophisticated ski-specific design of the jacket and its features. It has great versatility and will likely be the only ski jacket that you need, even though you might need to add a layer underneath for the coldest conditions. The synthetic insulation will wear out after a few years, but the construction of the jacket is durable, and the jacket should last as long as the insulation does.

Conclusion


The Spyder Chambers is a versatile jacket for all weather and temperatures on the ski slopes. Some may be deterred by the ski racing style, but if you like the look, then this jacket should be high on your list.

The Chambers is a versatile jacket for most ski conditions.
The Chambers is a versatile jacket for most ski conditions.


Jeff Dobronyi