Orage JP + Retallack Co-Lab ($450)
Buy this jacket; save the world. Seriously. For every purchase of an Orage Black Box item (including JP Auclair's new pro-model jacket, the JP + Retallack Co-Lab, shown here) five dollars will be donated to JP's humanitarian non-profit, Alpine Initiatives, which helps fund orphanages and schools in Africa.
WHAT IT IS:
This jacket was co-designed by JP and the guides at Retallack Lodge, a cat-skiing mecca in interior BC that gets up to 40 feet of snow each year. Which means the jacket was built to withstand the harshest storms and deepest powder days. It has rain-tight zippers, three-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell fabric, waterproof pockets, and fully taped seams. It was also made to be worn in the backcountry, thanks to a loop for holding a radio, big pouches for skins, and pockets you can access even with a pack on. "Some of my favorite features are the Gore, the waterproof shoulders, the huge chest pockets, the camera pocket, and the cut," says JP Auclair. "I can say I'm a 'function before fashion' kind of guy, but let's be honest, if I feel good in my outfit, I ski better and I'm happier. This is the best jacket we've come up with since Orage and I started working together in 2004."
WHY IT RULES:
Brand new for this year, the Orage JP + Retallack Co-Lab jacket is dripping with style. But that doesn't mean it lacks functionality or is missing all the technical features you'd expect from a fully-outfitted backcountry jacket. "JP is the most involved athlete when it comes to giving his feedback on technical aspects," says Isabel Lafortune, Orage's senior creative director. "It's never just about looking good, it's also about having the best gear on the market." So you're getting a jacket that looks cool and won't let you down whether you're skinning peaks in Canada or riding a rope-tow in Michigan. You'll pay the price though -- $450 is definitely on the steeper end of jacket prices (although it's comprable to other Gore-Tex Pro Shell jackets, which is the highest-end fabric Gore-Tex makes). But, maybe the cost is worth it for the good karma you'll receive by helping fund a community home for kids orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Kenya.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
This jacket will hit stores this fall. Find a local or online retailer at orage.com.