Gear Review: FlyLow Lab Coat 2.0 Ski Jacket
Weight: 795 grams
Warranty: Practical Lifetime of Item
Summary: Designed by backcountry skiers, this award winning, bombproof, technical jacket is the perfect companion for inbounds and backcountry pursuits where you need a lightweight, breathable, and waterproof jacket.
The FlyLow Lab Coat 2.0 is an award winning technical hardshell designed for peak bagging ascents, backcountry pow laps, and in bounds shredding. Designed with backcountry skiers in mind, the Lab Coat 2.0 covers all of your uphill and downhill needs. Plus, the single color and simple design look sharp.
I’ve tested the FlyLow Lab Coat 2.0 in both backcountry and ski resort situations and I like it. The Lab Coat 2.0 is a thin shell that requires appropriate layering techniques. It is made out of Polartec Neoshell. This 3 layer design guarantees that it is lightweight, breathable, and waterproof. The FlyLow website claims that the Lab Coat 2.0, an updated version of the Lab Coat, is “up to 15 percent lighter and more packable” than the older Lab Coat. That’s impressive, but let’s take a closer look at weight and packability.
FlyLow claims that the average jacket weight is 725 grams (1.75 lbs). Then on the same webpage, they claim it is 602 grams (1.33 lbs). Due to the large discrepancy in weights on FlyLow’s page, I weighted my XL Lab Coat. It weighs 795 grams (1.75 lbs). That’s quite a lot when compared to my Patagonia Triolet Jacket, which weights 589 grams (1.29 lbs). The Lab Coat 2.0 also seems to take up quite a bit more room in my backcountry pack. To me it seems bulky, but it is an improvement over the original Lab Coat. I opt to hike in a more breathable, lightweight soft shell like the Patagonia Simple Guide Hoody, so I generally carry my hardshell in my pack so packability is important to me. When it’s nuking snow or howling wind, I will walk uphill with this jacket and it seems to breath well – especially when utilizing the 14 inch pit zips.
Neither the weight nor the packability are necessarily reasons to not purchase this jacket. It has a lot of good things going for it. After getting stuck in a snow/rain storm on the slopes in Switzerland this year, the Lab Coat 2.0 kept me completely dry. All of my layers were bone dry and my cell phone in the chest pocket was completely dry too. The slightly sticky YKK Waterproof zippers, the DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish, and the fully taped seams all do their job.
The FlyLow Lab Coat 2.0 is very durable. After skiing it in all conditions, stuffing it in bags with sharp objects, and brushing a few tree branches, the jacket doesn’t seem to have a scuff on it. FlyLow is known for their quality gear, and the Lab Coat 2.0 lives up to that reputation. As for the jacket’s warranty, it lasts for the “practical lifespan of item.” Fair enough.
The jacket is designed quite well too. There are 7 pockets – 4 external and 3 internal. On the outside, there are two generously sized hand pockets, a left chest pocket, and a small pass pocket on the left sleeve. Inside there are are two large pockets on each side of the jacket that connect to the hand pockets – so be sure to keep all of your zippers zipped. There is also a smaller mesh pocket that’s perfect for a phone.
Other features of the jacket include a removable powder skirt that snaps into accompanying pants, low profile velcro cuffs, and a helmet compatible hood. The helmet compatible hood is awesome. When the jacket is fully zipped up, the collar is quite roomy and the hood slips right over my Smith Vantage helmet without obstructing my peripheral vision at all.
I’m 6’1″ and weigh 190 pounds. I chose the XL jacket for sleeve length and layering ability. It’s perfect for me. Check out the FlyLow sizing chart to find your size. FlyLow says this jacket has an athletic fit, but I feel it still has a nice freeride cut for an alpinist style technical shell. It seems to move naturally.
For me, the FlyLow Lab Coat 2.0 is perfect for sub-4000 foot ski days, short powder laps, skiing at the resort, quick hikes, lift accessed backcountry, and wearing around town. For bigger days where space and weight are an issue, I’ll opt for a different jacket. Overall, I give the FlyLow Lab Coat 2.0 a big thumbs up.
FlyLow Lab Coat 2.0 Ski Jacket Details
– Polartec Neoshell: Guaranteed waterproof, guaranteed breathable
– Articulated shoulders and sleeves
– Fully seam taped
– 7 pockets (3 internal, 4 external)
– Helmet-compatible hood
– Powder skirt (removable and snap connectors)
– No Bulk Cuffs
– YKK waterproof Vislon zippers
– High performance DWR (Durable Water Repellent)
– 14-inch pit zips
– Average weight: 725 grams