Ever heard the saying, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear”? At Ski.com, we swear by this philosophy. Our Mountain Travel Experts aren’t just pros at planning ski vacations – they’re passionate skiers and snowboarders who know that having the right gear can make all the difference on the mountain. Just as our Experts meticulously vet hotels and destinations, we personally test our brand partners’ products in the field to provide the ultimate recommendations.

Recently, some of the Ski.com team headed to Japan on the Southern Hokkaido Guided Trip. Knowing they’d need dependable and versatile outerwear and layers, they packed their bags with the latest styles from our trusted partner, Strafe Outerwear, to put the products to the test. Spoiler alert: the Strafe gear, much like the skiing, was absolutely phenomenal.

Our Expert’s Strafe Outerwear Reviews:

Outerwear: Nomad 3L Shell Jacket and Bib Pant

Mid Layer: Ajax Snap Fleece

Tested by: Dan Sherman, Chief Marketing Officer

Wearing my Nomad Jacket and bibs made me feel like a snow samurai during my recent trip to Japan. Conditions included a mixture of powder, wind and sun and this freeride-cut jacket perfectly adapted to each environment. On the deep days, it only allowed powder in all the right places – my face. I love the double chest pockets and large hand pockets and the ski pass holder on the sleeve was the envy of my crew as we bounced between multiple resorts (and passes) throughout Hokkaido over 2.5 weeks.

I haven’t worn a fleece in many years and must admit that I didn’t think I would like the Ajax. However, I immediately fell in love with this warm and furry piece of armor. Tucked into my Nomad bibs, this was my ultimate layer on cold Japan days. Niseko temps during our trip were below zero Fahrenheit, and I remained toasty with minimal layers and bulk thanks to my new favorite piece from Strafe. —DS

Top: Lucky 2L Insulated Jacket

Bottoms: Pika 2L Insulated Pant

Tested by: Lee Ann Close, Mountain Travel Expert

This insulated jacket/pant combo proved indispensable in Niseko’s mixed conditions. The Lucky Jacket, aptly named, kept me snug and dry in temperatures ranging from the 20s to the 30s. Its convenient sleeve zip for the lift pass and double closure on the neck, complete with a spacious hood that comfortably fit over my helmet, were standout features.

Pairing the jacket with the Pika Pant was a winning fit. The roomy pant, with adjustable Velcro waist tabs, offered a stylish and comfortable fit that made every run a joy. Its insulation provided much-needed warmth, and the Sunset pink color added a fun pop to my ensemble. The easy zip front hip pockets were great for stashing essentials, and the handy hip zip vents allowed for quick cooldowns. It is worth noting that the vents open directly to your base layer. I appreciated the length of the pant (size Large), as it suited my 5’9″ frame with a 33-inch inseam perfectly. — LC

Top: Lynx 3L Shell Pullover

Bottoms: Willow 3L Shell Half-Bib Pant

Tested by: Carly Redfield, Marketing Manager

I loved how the vibrant Sunset and Storm Cloud Blue colors of this kit stood out against Japan’s snowy backdrop. This was my first time trying an anorak-style jacket, and my expectations were exceeded with this one from Strafe. Not only did it keep me warm and comfortable all day on the slopes, but the added convenience of side zips ensured seamless transitions when popping in for ramen and Sapporo Classic lodge breaks.

From resort powder laps to the hike-to terrain in Niseko, this kit proved versatile. The strategically placed side vents and lightweight material on both the jacket and bibs kept me cool during our many hikes. I was a big fan of the Lynx jacket’s kangaroo pouch which provided quick access to my phone, camera and 7-11 lift snacks all day long. Whether riding powder in the trees or exploring the village, I felt comfortable from morning to night. — CR

Top: Hayden 2L Insulated Jacket

Bottoms: Summit 2L Insulated Pant

Tested by: Adam Trattler, Mountain Travel Expert

The Summit pants paired with the Hayden jacket were spot-on. Their breathable and lightweight material made them a pleasure to wear. As someone accustomed to layering with a shell and multiple layers, I was pleasantly surprised by how much less bulky and heavy this insulated combo felt.

Despite their lighter feel, both pieces provided exceptional warmth—I was able to ski comfortably with just a base layer underneath, even during night skiing sessions. The pockets were a game-changer, with the pass sleeve being particularly convenient. Previously, I struggled with my pass scanning at every lift, but once I switched to the Summit jacket that issue was instantly fixed. — AT

Try Strafe Outerwear on Your Next Winter Getaway:

Just as you trust Ski.com‘s Mountain Travel Experts to plan your dream ski vacations, you can rely on them to recommend top-quality gear for your mountain adventures. When you book with Ski.com, you’ll unlock exclusive offers from our partner brands, including discounts at Strafe. Explore Strafe Outerwear’s range of technical ski and snowboard jackets, pants and layers that deliver unmatched performance, quality and style.