Flylow Billie Coat Review
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Flylow Billie Coat
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|Pros||Stylish, great ski features and pockets, strong value, more versatile than an insulated ski jacket||Warm and lofty insulation, breathable for an insulated jacket, very comfortable, good value||Relatively inexpensive yet high-quality, breathable, great mobility, great ventilation||Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatile||Stylish, good hood and neckline, no frills, inexpensive|
|Cons||Not the lightest hardshell, stiffer material, no insulation||Runs a little large, no insulation on collar||Non-insulating, thin shell material, not for most casual skiers||Slim fit, heavy, poor ventilation when both layers are worn||Feels cheap, not many ski-specific features, lacking in weather resistance|
|Bottom Line||This ideal and stylish hardshell fends off wind and moisture in a functional, no-frills package||This reasonably priced jacket is a top insulated performer in many categories||An excellent value for a high performing technical shell that serves inbounds or in the backcountry||This jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hill, all at a reasonable price||We got lots of compliments on this jacket's looks, but found it lacking in durability and full functionality on the slopes|
|Rating Categories||Flylow Billie Coat||Patagonia Insulated...||Outdoor Research Ca...||The North Face Ther...||Burton Jet Set|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Flylow Billie Coat||Patagonia Insulated...||Outdoor Research Ca...||The North Face Ther...||Burton Jet Set|
|Main Fabric||3-layer nylon Dobby Intuitive fabric||75D postconsumer recycled polyester||100% Nylon||100% Nylon||Polyester, nylon|
|Insulation||None||80g Thermogreen recycled polyester; sleeves: 40g Thermogreen recycled polyester||None||100% postconsumer recycled polyester||80g Thermolite|
|Waterproofing||20k/20k waterproof breathable membrane||2-layer H2No waterproof membrane||3-layer Pertex Shield||2-layer DryVent||DryRide 2L|
|Pockets||2 hand, 1 chest, 1 sleeve, 1 internal||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered internal stash, 1 internal drop-in||2 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered arm, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 1 internal goggle Liner: 2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand, 1 mesh, 1 media|
|Weight||1.5 lbs||1.7 lbs||1.2 lbs||2.0 lbs||1.6 lbs|
|Powder skirt||Yes, removeable||Yes, snap away||Yes||Yes, behind insulating layer||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We always knew Flylow was a cool company with excellent products, and the Billie Coat convinced us that we know what we're talking about. The jacket performs well on the slopes and looks good, too. We felt it had everything we wanted in a hardshell despite feeling a little stiff and crunchy at the outset.
The jacket isn't insulated, so it received a lower rating in this metric. We always needed to have adequate layers underneath. We will say, however, that the thick shell material did not let any wind pass through the material itself or the front zipper when traveling at high speeds down the mountain.
The Billie Coat is a three-layer hardshell, and you can tell. The fabric was slightly stiff initially, but we didn't mind because of its amazing ability to protect us from the elements. It boasts OmniBloq Durable Water Repellent coating, which is supposedly more protective than the industry standard DWR. We certainly didn't get wet during a sloppy snowstorm.
The jacket also protected us from the vicious winds of the Colorado Front Range. The hood helped, too, with more than ample room to fit over our helmets and then cinched tightly around our necks. Even with the hood fully cinched down, we could still move our heads from side to side. And, the Billie Coat's zippers didn't allow any noticeable drafts through.
Comfort and Fit
This jacket fits true to size, and we were able to layer up underneath it easily. It has a long, flattering silhouette, and we liked that it was feminine without being girly. It was easy to move while we skied and rode. It felt a bit stiff the first few times we used it, but it seemed to develop some flexibility with use.
The Billie Coat breathes well for a hardshell and has large, gaping pit-zips. Because the shell has no insulation, it vents easily. We found that we could hike short distances without overheating in this jacket.
The Billie Coat has great subtle style. It's not flashy, but it still manages to stand out in a crowd. Because of how flattering it is, our testers all wanted to be the ones wearing this jacket for our photos. We like its long hemline, color choices, and how it tapers at the waist and flares at the hips. Our testers received many compliments when they wore this jacket.
We love the interior pockets in this jacket. They're both zippered and nine inches deep. The outer hand pockets are similarly spacious. Manufacturers often skimp on the usefulness of features in women's products, but the Billie Coat defies that trend. We love that the powder skirt is removable and wish all jackets had this option.
Another favorite feature of this jacket is the drawcord for the hood. The toggles are placed on the outside of the collar near your collar bones and make it super easy to cinch down your hood when things get windy sitting on the chairlift.
Should You Buy the Flylow Billie Coat?
If you are looking for a stylish, high functioning ski shell that will help you rip around the mountain and look like a pro doing it, look no further than the Billie Coat. Our testers received many compliments on this jacket and reached for it when they were hitting the town and the slopes. We love its well-thought-out ski features, wind and waterproof exterior, and subtle style. Our only complaint is that it's not that warm, but that's to be expected for a hardshell. It's a jacket that will hold up to the test of time, and that's invaluable.
What Other Ski Jackets Should You Consider?
We think that the Flylow Billie Coat is a stellar value for a hard-charging hardshell – it has all the features we want and need and offers superior weather resistance. That said, award-winning hardshells like the Arc'teryx Sentinel or the value-minded Outdoor Research Carbide have a slightly more tailored fit. Other technical shells, like the Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro offer a bit more ventilation for backcountry-focused skiers. But none of these shells offer the standalone warmth of the award-winning Helly Hansen Powderqueen 3.0 or even the price-point The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1.
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