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Used and Abused: Eddie Bauer BC EverTherm Jacket

An insulated layer that's surprisingly good at almost everything.

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BC Evertherm setting up camp
Staying warm and dry setting up camp.Photo courtesy of Eddie Bauer

At SKI, we test a ton of gear all year long. Some products might get used once and forgotten about, while a select few never seem to return to the gear closet.

The latter situation is definitely the case for the new Eddie Bauer BC EverTherm Jacket, featuring the brand’s proprietary Thindown insulation and a waterproof Weatheredge DWR finish. I tested this jacket on a pre-season trip to the French Alps and an early-ski season trip to the notoriously damp coastal mountains of Whistler Blackcomb.

During plane rides, the ample pocket space was critical for holding all the travel essentials—wallet, passport, phone, headphones, travel coffee mug, etc.—from security to plane and back again. The loose fit and massive interior mesh pocket were the reasons it could hold so much, and while the Thindown insulation is certainly warm, it’s quite lightweight and doesn’t get annoying like traditional puffy jackets tend to do during the on-off-on-off airport shuffle.

During both trips, the weather was, well, less than perfect. It might have been snowing up high, but In the foothills of the French Alps and around Whistler Village, it was as if the sky had sneezed a “wintery mix” and I walked around in the post-sneeze clouds for hours. The DWR finish was critical in these times, and water would visibly bead on the exterior surface of the jacket like in a magazine advertisement. Needless to say, I was dry and happy with this performance.

BC EverTherm
Eddie Bauer BC EverTherm JacketPhoto courtesy of Eddie Bauer

Where this jacket really proved its worth was back in Colorado, functioning as a puffy during a snowy ski tour. At the top of the skin track, I threw it on to keep warm ripping skins, but I didn’t take it off until we got back to the car. The low-moisture snowflakes falling from the sky were no match for the Weatheredge DWR finish, and the lightweight Thindown insulation kept me as warm despite being so much lighter and easier to pack than traditional puffy insulation. It’s a great addition to any backcountry kit, especially if you prefer to tour with a soft shell jacket.

The loose fit that made the Eddie Bauer BC EverTherm jacket so awesome while traveling is why it’s not my first choice for resort skiing. The cut is a bit too loose to be considered “resort-trendy,” so I’d rather go with a shell over a standard EverTherm insulating layer for days on a chairlift. But I will proudly bring the BC EverTherm with me while traveling and exploring the backcountry.

I still haven’t put the Eddie Bauer BC EverTherm jacket back in the gear closet. Instead, I keep finding solid uses for it while traveling and backcountry skiing. For resort trips, I still stick with the non-DWR treated EverTherm under a shell, but, overall, this is a great addition to any jacket quiver. [$499,]