Overview

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.

Our Nunatak Skaha Apex is toasty warm, sized larger to fit over layers, and only weighs 9.9 oz. Here, Max Neale is wearing the jacket on top of a hooded baselayer and the Patagonia Nano Air Light. 16,000 ft. Mt. Logan’s East Ridge in Mid-April with a light breeze and full sun. Credit: Dan Sandberg

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 (85 g/m, 122 g/m and 170 g/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.

Review Context

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.

Max, in the Nunatak Skaha Apex, on a skiing-packrafting expedition in the Alaska Range. Credit: Dan Sandberg

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).

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