Highlights of the Nunatak Skaha Apex:
- Best warmth-to-weight ratio of all jackets in this review series. With the 5 oz/yd (170 g/m) insulation option, the Skaha Apex only weighs 15 oz (425 g). That's 30-40% less than other similarly warm parkas.
- Even though the jacket costs less than its closest competitors, it is custom-made in Utah;
- Choose from six levels of insulation, three fabrics (want a highly durable fabric? - Ask for the HyperD or EPIC fabric), a variety of pockets, and select the width, length, and sleeve length that best fit your body.
The Skaha Apex is for anyone who wants a custom fit jacket or the highest warmth-to-weight ratio.
It can take Nunatak up to six weeks to make your jacket. If you are in a rush, consider the Patagonia Micro Puff.
Features & Specifications
- Custom-made to order;
- $225 base price with a hood;
- $260 and 9.9 oz (281 g) as tested;
- Available in three weights of Climashield Apex insulation (85g/m, 122g/m and 170g/m);
- Option to have more insulation in the torso than the arms;
- Choose from three ultralight fabrics or more durable fabrics;
- Multiple handwarmer and interior pocket options;
- Select the size, length, and sleeve length that fits your body best;
- Includes waist and hood drawcords to seal in warm air, unlike most ultralight jackets.
We tested this jacket as part of our Synthetic Insulated Jacket State of the Market Report (to be published on March 25, 2018), which compared fifteen of the best jackets over two years of hiking, climbing, mountaineering, packrafting, backcountry skiing, and ski mountaineering.
Description of Field Testing
The author used this jacket on a two-week ski mountaineering expeditions in the St. Elias Range, a two-week skiing-packrafting expedition in the Alaska Range, a five-day mountaineering trip in Southeast Alaska, and on a variety of overnight and day trips. The author’s friend purchased an identical jacket (different only in size and color) and used it for a month-long rock climbing expedition in the Arctic. Combined, we have close to 90 days of use.
Description of Custom Options Tested
The base Skaha Apex costs $200. The jacket we tested cost $260, weighed 9.9 oz, and was configured as follows:
- Size medium (+$0);
- 85 g/m insulation (+$0);
- 0.66 oz/yd (18.7 g/m) Membrane liner fabric (+$0);
- 0.8 oz/yd (25 g/m) Quantum exterior fabric (+$0);
- Hood (+$25);
- 2” extra sleeve length (+$5);
- 2” extra torso length (+$10);
- Elasticized “lycra stretch banding” cuffs rather than unfinished cuffs ($5).
Member's Only Content
- Performance Assessment
- Weather Resistance
- Insulation Durability
- Fabric Durability
- Contruction Durability
- Strengths & Limitations
Word Count: 3,448
A comprehensive Synthetic Insulated Jacket State of the Market Report will be released on March 25, 2018. When that report is published, we’ll update this review with a comparison summary of this product with other notable products in the review.
This is a fantastic jacket! We hope that Nunatak invests in refining its features and fabrics to further increase performance.
This review is part of a comprehensive State of the Market survey of synthetic insulated jackets that has been ongoing for the past two years. Included in this survey:
- Arc'teryx Kappa Hoody Review
- Patagonia Nano Air Hoody Review
- Outdoor Research Uberlayer Review
- Rab Xenon X Review
- Montbell Thermawrap Guide Review
- Rab Nimbus Review
- Patagonia Nano Air Light Review
- LLBean Primaloft Packaway Review
- Arc'teryx Proton LT Review
- Black Diamond Heat Treat Hoody Review
- Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody Review
- Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Jacket Review
- Nunatak Skaha Apex Review
- Montane Spitfire Parka Review
- Arc'teryx Nuclei AR Parka Review
- Patagonia DAS Parka Review (TBA March 25)
- Synthetic Insulated Jackets State of the Market Report (TBA March 25)
The manufacturer provided a sample of this product to the author with no agreement, requirement, or obligation for media coverage of any kind. Some links are affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, Backpacking Light gets a small commission on the sale. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps support Backpacking Light’s efforts to publish authoritative and valuable information about lightweight backpacking gear and techniques, inspiring stories and film festivals, and remain an active member of the outdoor industry to promote and protect opportunities for public outdoor recreation.