“The Perfect Fit Guaranteed”. This is the premise of MADE, a new apparel company that creates custom hardshell jackets and pants to fit your individual body shape with only the features you want. Let’s face it we’re all built differently, from our height, weight, and overall proportions—there is a myriad of combinations that make you uniquely ‘you’. So how is it that we’re all supposed to fit into approximately five predetermined sizes of apparel? What if you are longer in the torso, wider in the hips, narrow in the shoulders, or just carry some extra insulation around the midsection? Until now we’ve just had to slot ourselves into the closest fit from a particular brand. And these sizes are not the same from brand to brand, making it even harder to buy apparel from more than one manufacturer.
There are also individual preferences for various jacket features. Some people love powder skirts, others hate them. Resort skiers want a pocket on the upper arm for lift tickets, climbers like harness-compatible pockets while others prioritize hand warmer pockets, and some people prefer simplicity and packability over a multitude of features that bulk up a jacket. Generally, our outdoor adventure of choice dictates the best design for a jacket, and our own individual preferences and likes/dislikes further fine-tune what we want and need. The point is we’re all unique in our body shape, our personal preferences, and our sports of choice. This makes it nearly impossible to get the perfect jacket for you. Until now.
MADE has taken the guesswork out of finding which size is right for you and instead custom creates apparel that is guaranteed to fit you. They have broken the process down into three simple steps. Design, Scan, Shred.
Step 1: Design
Let's walk you through the design process of how I created my specific jacket. Below, you’ll see all of the options I chose as they are highlighted in the photo slider below.
Step 2: Scan
Once the process of choosing all the options you want in your MADE Hard Shell Jacket is complete (which is a tough one given all the options you can incorporate) it’s now time to get the fit dialed. You will be sent a link to MADE’s measurement app which will take a few photos of you in tight-fitting clothes in order to get the most accurate body measurements. These photos are not saved and never seen by human eyes, it is all AI magic in action here. This process only takes a few minutes and a measuring tape is not needed, imagine that.
Step 3: Shred
This is the most fun step in the process. After your custom pattern is created, MADE gets to work creating your unique jacket and then ships it off to you in a few weeks. From here on out you get to enjoy the custom look and fit of a jacket you designed.
The other huge benefit of the MADE approach to custom apparel is that their supply chain is more optimized since they only make what they need. Products are shipped directly to customers only once they are ordered so there are no warehouses full of inventory that has to sell before the next season’s fashion trends change. They also use Sympatex which is a sustainably developed fabric and the Polartec Neoshell fabric that they use is called ‘dead stock’ that would otherwise be headed to landfills. This business model makes good sense for the environment and also for you the customer.
Below I've highlighted some of the features which I chose for my MADE Hard Shell Jacket. First off is the interior dump pocket and laminated pocket—I chose one of each for versatility.
Over the past 15 years of running backcountryskiingcanada.com, I have had the opportunity to review hundreds of jackets from all the major brands. Since I am 6’ and 175lb I typically fall within the size medium of jackets but occasionally with other brands, it can be large. Some arm lengths are a little too short for me and I have a long torso so I like a jacket that is longer to help keep the weather out. I would have to say that 75% of jackets fit me pretty well but there is always room (literally) for improvement. This is why the concept of MADE was so intriguing to me, to be able to get a custom-fitting jacket for about the same price as other premium brands is a huge plus. Just as in getting a tailored suit, MADE takes your measurements and makes a one-off jacket just for you, there are no predefined sizes that you have to fit into. The jacket that I designed on the MADE website fit me perfectly, the arm length was spot on and since I ordered the ‘past the hips’ length it was long enough to keep any snow out without the need for a built-in powder skirt which I find just adds weight and bulk. The fit across the shoulders was better than any jacket I’ve owned before and best of all I got to pick the accent colours for each feature I chose.
I am insanely picky about what features I want in a jacket. For ski touring I follow the mantra of ‘less is more’, and therefore no need for too many features and heavy fabric that will only weigh the jacket down and make it too bulky to fit into my touring pack where it will spend 95 % of the day. For mountaineering and hiking, I like a few more features like harness-compatible pockets and cuff gaiters and the fabric has to be bomber to help keep me warm and dry. This is why I chose Polartec Neoshell for my MADE jacket, it's my favourite waterproof/breathable fabric bar none. I find it to be far more breathable than Gore-Tex and it still keeps me just as dry but it has the added benefit of being super stretchy so there is a lot of give when I am moving. Being able to choose all the features I want in my jacket, their location and their colour goes a long way to making the perfect jacket for ‘me’. The top features that I chose on my MADE jacket were the chest pocket and hand pockets, pit zips, fully featured hood, gaiter cuffs, key clip and extended zipper guard.
I was really happy with the final product I designed and ordered from MADE and the only real criticism would be with a few of the features. This should be taken with a grain of salt though since MADE hasn't even been in business for two years since launching on Indegogo in March of 2021 so they are still tweaking a few things. I think they have the fit dialled but I would like to see more feature options. I know this sounds a little ridiculous since I counted up a total of 56 different options you can choose from when designing your jacket. My feature requirements are very specific to ski touring and in my jacket, I chose more features than I normally would have since I was reviewing this jacket and I wanted to see how the vast majority of them were integrated into the jacket and how they functioned. I like a streamlined light and packable jacket for ski touring and the jacket I designed is mostly that. The Polartec Neoshell fabric is thin so it packs down nicely and most of the features on offer really don’t add that much additional weight and bulk. I didn’t choose the powder skirt as it was not removable, a must in my books. I did choose the longer ‘past the hips’ length in its place and while this additional fabric does add weight and bulk to the jacket it does a great job of keeping the snow out on deep powder days. The Interior pocket has four options: dump pocket, laminated pocket, both or none. I chose both but a dump pocket on both sides (left and right) of the jacket would have been my first choice. In retrospect, I am glad that I have both as the dump pocket is only big enough for a phone or your wallet and really needs to be twice as large so that it can accommodate climbing skins. Another high priority for me.
Overall, I am thoroughly impressed with the web-based design process, quality and construction of my MADE Hard Shell Jacket. I’ve been testing the crap out of this jacket by ski touring a bunch of deep powder days, resort skiing in foul weather and working at a backcountry lodge trying to find the weak point in the fit, design and construction and I simply can’t. It’s MADE to fit, last and perform.
Price: Depends upon features chosen. The jacket created in this review was $952.90CAN / $722.98US
Size: Custom to you
Colours: Black, Grey, Deep Teal, Chartreuse
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