Each day they’re on the job, members of the Aspen Snowmass Ski Patrol are put to the test working on wind-whipped summits, hiking deep into the backcountry for avalanche mitigation and, of course, rescuing any skiers or snowboarders who take a rough fall. And they do it all season long, through variable winter conditions that could involve driving snow one day, then spring-like temps the next. The job demands top-notch outerwear, and now you can outfit yourself with what the pros wear. ASPENX, a new outerwear brand from Aspen Snowmass, has launched its Ajax collection, and it includes three premium pieces of kit derived from the same gear used by the Aspen Ski Patrol and the mountain’s ski and snowboard instructors.
Aspen Snowmass wanted to offers its employees more premium outerwear that functioned at a rigorous degree, but also had a more luxe appeal (this is Aspen, after all.) So they decided to make their own, deviating from the usual course of partnering with an outwear brand to outfit its Ski Patrol and ski school instructors.
They landed on a three-piece layering system that’s symbiotic in its functionality. Each piece complements one another, so you don’t have to worry about your midlayer being too cumbersome and bulky under your jacket. It’s a result of rigorous rounds of on-mountain testing. Hundreds of Aspen employees tested prototypes and provided input to help develop the outerwear—and those insights informed the design as well.
The Ski Patrol kit is black with pops of Aspen’s trademark orange, while ski and snowboard school instructors will rock the jacket in Temerity Red. Consumers (so far) have all-back pieces, however all items feature a more modernized Aspen leaf across the back left side and black-and-white artwork by Paula Crown on the interior that dictates Aspen’s topography.
If you’re looking to pick up some top-spec gear for your next ski or snowboard trip, this is it. Here’s a closer look at what’s in the new collection.
1. Ajax Jacket
The Ajax jacket ($725) is designed for serious protection from the elements, but won’t stifle you when you’re working hard on the mountain. The outer shell is constructed from Gore-Tex 2L nylon fabric for excellent water resistance, and it covers a light layer of PrimaLoft Gold insulation for biting winds. Waterproof zippers and an adjustable hood boast additional protection from snow and sleet (or whatever wintry mix you’re facing).
In addition, ASPENX balanced the jacket’s protection with breathability and comfort. The insulation is confined to strategic zones to allow for maximum range of motion and breathability, plus generous 15-inch armpit zippers let you vent heat when things get steamy. Ajax Jacket also comes with eight pockets to store whatever gear and valuables you need for a day on the slopes.
2. Ajax Pant
The Ajax Pant ($525) uses some of the same protective materials as the jacket, and it includes several features to help you dial in the fit. Like the jacket, it utilizes Gore-Tex 2L nylon outer shell paired with PrimaLoft Gold insulation placed in key warmth zones, so it’ll block out moisture and keep you warm, too. And when temps rise, large 13-inch zippered vents are ready to help you keep cool.
It’s also easy to adjust these pants to your body: Tabs at the waist help you tighten or loosen the fit, and it comes with built-in belt loops so you can add a belt to keep them extra secure. Plus, they’re constructed with specialized textile patterns to create flexibility at the knees and seat, so they won’t bunch up or restrict you.
3. Ajax Insulator
What’s an insulator? It’s another word for a midlayer, and the Ajax Insulator ($395) is specifically designed to work with the Ajax jacket. It utilizes PrimaLoft Gold insulation to trap warmth, but it’s optimized for mobility and breathability, making it a great transitional piece (you can hoof it up the mountain skinning or cross country ski and never need to unzip it). It’s made with a blend of nylon rip-stop and stretch fabrics with added spandex, so it’ll conform to your body as you move. The DWR coating repels water to keep you dry, never soggy. Because of its thoughtful design and composition, you don’t have to continually remove and add layers as you go about your day.
The Ajax Jacket, Pant, and Insulator will be available for purchase at the new ASPENX retail space opening in Gondola Plaza in Aspen, CO, as well as in select Four Mountain Sports stores and online at aspenx.com starting Dec. 1.
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