Updated for 2017-18, the Nomad and Northwoods are what started it all for Strafe. Built to withstand an entire season on the Freeride World Tour, the three-layer shells are burly, to say the least. I’ve tested the kit both in- and out-of-bounds, and I can say it stands up to a wide variety of conditions.
In late March, I found myself at Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor, wearing both garments. There, I experienced heavy, wet snow, howling winds and sunshine at the resort, and took a backcountry tour, all in the span of three days.
On one day, a storm rolled through the area, bringing with it dense, moisture-laden snow. Whether I was walking between Bachelor’s various base village buildings or skiing off of the Northwest chair, the highly waterproof eVent fabric along with a the full seam-sealed construction and DWR coating kept all moisture at bay.
That same day, the wind was brutal but the Nomad boasts a 100-percent nylon face fabric, which did its part in prevent any cold gusts from making it to my underlayers.
On my last day in Oregon, I took a pre-dawn tour up Tumalo Butte—the temperature hovered in the teens. With minimal layering, I stayed comfortably warm underneath the Nomad and Northwoods, and as the sun rose and the dawn revealed a bluebird day, the ample venting and high-breathability of the kit allowed me to dump heat with ease. For the rest of the day I lapped the resort, skiing under the early spring sun in comfort, thanks to the aforementioned attributes.
Additional details in the Northwoods Bib include a roomy chest pocket to keep belongings in, extra deep thigh pockets that could be utilized to store skins in the backcountry and a four-way stretch construction (also present in the Nomad) for optimal mobility. — Donny O’Neill, Senior Editor