Zippers and faces just don’t mix. Leading manufacturer YKK has created a solution with its ‘Fix A Shape’ zipper.
If you’ve worn many ski jackets, you know that the part of the zipper that passes above your neck and up over your mouth usually kind of sucks. It’s hard to close (especially one-handed on a ski lift), feels cold and rough against the face, can catch whiskers, and usually presses against your chin and mouth with a little too much force.
YKK’s new zipper — licensed exclusively to ski jacket maker Eider for at least the next year — is designed to fix these problems.
In the area above the neckline, every tooth of the Fix A Shape zipper is slightly different, forcing the zipper to bend out away from the face, then back upward, in an arcing curve.
I tried on the jacket at the SIA Snow Show last week and it closed noticeably easier past my chin and face. Once closed, the zipper didn’t press in against my mouth like most jackets.
Eider Shaper Jacket
Beyond the zipper, the Shaper jacket (coming in 2016) upon which it’s featured is sweet, albeit pricy at $550.
The backcountry-oriented shell is made from a “bi-density weave” Defender face material. This fabric adds a really nice texture (not slippery or crinkly) to the front of the coat, is touted as extremely tough, and eliminates the need for some seams as it weaves some of the upper jacket together where sewing is usually needed.
It uses a waterproof/breathable laminate to protect against the elements and has a powder skirt, five large pockets, and pit zips for venting.
Eider is certainly a premium brand in the ski market, and this jacket’s fit and finish is what you’d expect for the price.
The new YKK zipper — something new and noteworthy that may be coming to other jackets after Spring 2017 — is icing on an otherwise highly-engineered cake.