TREW Cosmic Jacket/Shell: GEAR REVIEW (2012/2013)

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I’ve been testing the TREW Cosmic for the last two months here in Jackson Hole. I’m 5’11”, 190 lbs and have been testing the size LARGE, color Olive.

It’s a solid jacket that I would recommend to my friends. I plan to ski the rest of the season in this jacket instead of going back to my trusted 2010 Burton AK shell or my backup Arcteryx Shell circa 2008.


Though it’s still early season I’ve taken this coat backcountry skiing seven times in a variety of conditions ranging from 10*F with high winds and blowing snow to 45*F with pissing drizzle.

I’ve also taken a shower in this jacket as the ultimate test of its waterproofness with surprising results: the jacket kept my upper body dry after a few minutes in the shower. A little water snuck into the zippers and the outside layer of the jacket retained a little water, but inside I was dry aside from what snuck in the zippers. This makes sense since an outerwear company out of the Pacific Northwest is going to prioritize waterproofing as high humidity and sloppier conditions are common in that region.

TREW is a young outerwear company based in Hood River, Oregon. This season their lineup is more suited towards backcountry skiing, so I’m stoked to put their gear through the ringer this season.

Here are my findings on the 2012/13 TREW Cosmic Jacket/Shell…

THE GOOD:

*lightweight at ~31 oz for the size Large

*fabric is lightweight and supple yet seems very durable

*rolls up and packs down small, great for big days with a smaller backpack

*3 layer fabric, durable but minimalistic, no frivolous crap

*very water resistant material and has waterproof zippers on all pockets and front closure

*zippers seem solid (NOT the waterproof kind known for wearing out quickly)

*huge armpit vents, several pockets that double as vents, and two way zipper up front make temperature regulation easy

*spacious hood fits over my helmet without restricting motion, good hood drawstrings

*collar has comfy liner and zips up past my nose, great for cold/windy conditions

*slim fit, but not ridiculously tight, does not restrict arms or any other movement

*layers well over a sweater, softshell, or micropuffy jacket (not too tight, not too loose)

*good length, not too long like my old AK shell, not too short like my old Arcteryx shell

*long sleeves with good elastic/Velcro closures keep my wrists warm and dry (I HATE snowy wrists.)

*LOTS of big pockets, including mesh ”drop in” goggle pocket, two large waist pockets, and two chest pockets (one of which sports headphone cord access hole)

* quality elastic powder skirt with adjustable Velcro and button closure

*good waist drawstring in addition to the powder skirt

*understated colors (BLACK and OLIVE) suit my tastes nicely (I don’t like looking like a Wildberry Skittle… but they’ve got this jacket in bright colors too if you’re into that sort of thing)

*more affordable ($395) than similar shells from Arcteryx ($500) and Burton ($600)

*Lifetime Warranty against defects (issued at TREW’s discretion)

THE BAD:

*Made in Vietnam, NOT made in North America (but neither are any of the major brands like Patagonia, Arcteryx, Burton, etc.)

*small wrist/sleeve pocket seems a little frivolous to me but I suppose it’s good for storing a season pass

*$395 is more affordable than most competitors but still a little steep for struggling ski bums

*Waterproof fabric is not Gore-Tex, but a combination of GELANOTS waterproof membrane and SUPERFABRIC exterior. I’ve never worn these fabrics before this coat. The Cosmic seems very solid and functional but some Gore-Tex aficionados may be hesitant to try something new.

*no roach clip for my “goggle wipe” or anything else I want to roach clip (Burton used to offer these back in the day)

*not available in camouflage for our hunter/revolutionary/post-apocalyptic friends

*makes me think I can ski better than I actually do

That’s what I have to say now. I’ll be doing another gear review on the overall durability of this coat at the end of the season.

For more info on the Cosmic check out TREW’s website.

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