- Mar 18, 2018 at 9:26 pm #3525398Max NealeBPL Member
@maximumdragonflyLocale: Anchorage, AK
Companion forum thread to: Nunatak Skaha Apex Review
The Nunatak Skaha Apex is our highest rated windproof synthetic insulated jacket. Even though the jacket costs less than its closest competitors, it is custom-made in Utah. We highly recommend the Skaha Apex to anyone who wants the either the best fitting jacket or the highest warmth to weight ratio.Mar 19, 2018 at 12:06 am #3525436
Thanks for the thorough review!
I have a Skaha Apex jacket that I’ve been using about one year now. It’s also the lighter Apex insulation. This jacket has tremendous loft (at first I thought Jan may have sent me the wrong jacket), but it weighed 10 oz on the nose (Men’s Large), so it simply lofts well. No surprise, with the high loft comes warmth- I think the warmth to weight ratio is incredible with this jacket.
Mine is Robic and thus far I have found the fabric to be highly water and wind resistant. I agree with your assessment on breathability- this is not the jacket for high aerobic pursuits. With that said, I actually like the kangaroo pocket for rests, camp, glassing- all rather static activities.
I agree the jacket lacks the refinement of offerings from Patagonia, Arcteryx, etc, but I kind of expect that from a cottage shop. Certainly room for some improvement in that area, but much of the refinement seen on other jackets is simply eye candy- this jacket functions outdoors as it should.
In regards to the hood, I prefer a smaller hood as I don’t ever use a helmet. I do wish that in addition to the face closure adjustment, it had adjustment at the top, rear of the hood. It doesn’t add much additional weight and provides for a much better fit.
I choose this jacket to use on the 2017 Bob Marshall Open- wanted something light and warm, but more resistant to moisture than down. The jacket exceeded my expectations.
I didn’t purchase the jacket for elk hunting, but it went with me almost every trip this past fall. When combined with a base layer, a heavier mid-layer (R1 like weight) and windshirt, I was able to sit and glass for extended periods of time in quite cold conditions (more so than I would have thought). With that said I’d be better served with a warmer jacket for elk hunting and I’ll probably go with the same jacket in a heavier insulation for this next fall.
This is a very nice warm and light jacket that should fit nicely in someone’s quiver.
this past fall elk huntingMar 19, 2018 at 5:34 am #3525519Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
This jacket really shines at the heaviest insulation option. So impressed with the numbers (warmth:weight ratio), esp. if you’re willing to ditch the extra features and heavier fabrics, and just include the hood.
Reminds me of the Cocoon UL philosophy: warmth:weight, everything else be damned.
Mike, your photo at the Basin Cr Cabin! Ack, the memories of that place. Spent a few nights there sleeping on the porch recovering from long-distance / bad weather misery. It’s a nice refuge. Happy times. But a hard-sided Nalgene for the BMWO? I’m impressed ;)Mar 19, 2018 at 12:49 pm #3525543
Ryan- the morning after a 4-5 hour “nap” :) I think that must be John’s Nalgene (my Platy is off to my right)- he’s tougher than me, also uses a Stone Glacier pack!Mar 24, 2018 at 1:51 am #3526682nunatak down gearBPL Member
Thanks for including our Skaha Apex in this review.
I am happy it apparently scored up there with the offerings from leading manufacturers with much more refinements in their products.
We are taking all Max’s observations to heart and will try to address any that were not entirely positive.
At this point we are no longer focusing on developing lightly insulated down jackets in the sub 8oz category. There’s simply no point to going that route anymore.
We see more warmth for similar or lower weight in Apex products, with better performance in damp conditions over the closely quilted, lightly filled down competitors on the market.Mar 29, 2018 at 2:28 am #3527612Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Thanks for this thoroughly researched and well illustrated article on what looks like my next cold weather parka.
Good to see that tests reveal, yet once again, that Climashield insulations are just about the most durable in terms of retaining loft after repeated compressions. This is why the US Army’s Nautick labs chose a version of it for military sleeping bags.
I’d like this parka more if I could order with a full length zipper and two “hand warmer” pockets. But if not I may still order it as a pullover. And the customizable fabric shell and arm and torso lengths are almost too good to be true! At last.Feb 13, 2020 at 10:05 am #3631087
“Combining the Skaha Apex with an active insulation jacket, such as the Patagonia Nano Air Light, is a viable setup for fast and light winter travel in moderate temperatures (10’s and 20’s Fahrenheit). Carrying only 20 oz (567 g) of moisture-resilient insulating layers is truly outstanding!!”
this is my go to combo through all of shoulder season and most of winter; in colder weather I substitute Nunatak’s 2.5 Apex pullover w/ their 3.6 Apex jacket- this layered over Patagonia’s Air Light is extremely warm when stopped or at camp (with just a couple of ounces additional over the pullover)
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