Despite the BSC team's long-standing love affair with all things Dynafit, the Chugach Windstopper Softshell Jacket is the company's first Gear of the Year designate. Super simple, lightweight and perfect under the equally impressive Yotei hardshell, the Chugach jacket rules. Herzliche Glückwünsche Dynafit.
The Backcountry Skiing Canada Team.
Dynafit has been a powerhouse in providing lightweight, ski-touring focused apparel and gear for more than three decades. The Dynafit Chugach Windstopper Jacket is proof of this. They are also one of the few manufacturers who offer the triple crown of apparel, boots and skis—and their kit is superb. And anyone who has made the transition to their tech bindings knows there’s no turning back from the brand. Perhaps because Dynafit invented tech.
Big, harness compatible pockets and 2 handy cinch cams at the waist. Here’s where my picture of the innovative bicep ventilation zips should be (but isn't)
We have been enjoying the Chugach Windstopper Jacket for more than a season. It answers the need for a super comfortable (thanks to streeeetch), close fitting, windproof jacket with all the essential features for a day, or a week, in the backcountry. It is not a particularly warm jacket but I find it works well in milder temperatures. If it is super freezing and I’m not slogging up an uptrack (when it’s never cold) I’ll throw on a jacket with some insulation.
The Dynafit Chugach Windstopper Jacket performed very well for me on a week-long trip to Boulder Hut Adventures mid-winter, as well as for a week of touring around Cooke City in the Beartooths with Beartooth Powder Guides. I seem to vacillate between hardshell and softshell jackets for when I tour, and I like this jacket for warmer days. The Chugach is a lighter softshell than something like the Marmot Nabu—which is a little more robust, heavier and less stretchy. The Gore Windstopper fabric is light and if also found in the OR Valhalla Jacket, which we reviewed here.
I’ve grown to appreciate Dynafit designers because they are willing to take some risks to address issues they perceive in other manufacturer’s jackets. Case in point: the Chugach pitzips. They reside on the inside of the jacket’s upper arm, making them very easy to deploy and shut. The skin pockets, unlike other makers’ and even unlike some other Dynafit jackets, are actually big enough to fit fat skins. Jackets like the Yotie are positioned as freeride jackets, but the skin pockets fit only 100ish mm skins. Go figure.
I know colours aren’t a life or death feature but everybody likes to look nice. Dynafit’s colourways agree with me. Muted and classic at the same time, they help you stand out on the hill or in the backcountry.
Did we miss something? Are we totally out to lunch? Let us know what you think. People like/dislike gear for different reasons so chime in below and we'll get a well-rounded evaluation. You'll need to login or register before you can comment but it only takes a few seconds, then you're good to go.