We all know an essential piece of kit to carry in the hills is an insulation layer. As soon as you stop moving you stop generating heat, and nobody wants to be cold in the hills. Well I was cold in the carpark due to all the waiting while folks were packing and unpacking rucksacs as test kit got handed out, tried on and fondled. I was fairly chuffed then, when I was handed the Skisky 2 Jacket and I immediately started “testing” it there and then.
Pulling it on I was instantly cosy and that's how an insulation layer should be. The Gore windstopper shell cut the sharp breeze out immediately and the 60g/m Primaloft fill immediately started doing it's job. It made me think that my old Rab generator smock has had the life and loft squashed out of it too often over the years because it's not even half as warm as the Skisky 2 Jacket.
As my arms were shoved down the sleeves they exited the cuffs straight into the handcover/thumbloop things. Genius things they are too. They stop any errant drafts getting up your sleeves and they make that whole irritating tucking in of gloves/sleeves a thing of the past. The material is stretchy enough to just have the cuff tucked inside and have your whole hand out like a conventional sleeve too if you so wish.
Pulling the hood up was like shutting the door or that feeling you get when you hunker down into a snow hole or grave and it all goes suddenly quiet. My head, ears and neck were warm and the hood is well designed and thought out. It moves with your head just like a well designed waterproof shell hood does and it's low profile should allow it to layer underneath your waterproof. This means extra warmth whilst moving in truly horrible conditions. I wouldn't worry about using it in our damp uk climate either as we all know synthetic copes well here and that windstopper shell should shrug off any wet snow/rain that lands on it by time you pull your shell over the top.
On the hill the 446g garment easily found its way stuffed into the top of my pack for instant retrieval when needed and I was glad of it several times on the walk in. At camp it was pulled on and forgotten about while tents were pitched...and then repitched in my case (more about that later!). Any garment you pull on and forget about on the hills is a good thing...it means it's working and doing its intended job well. The jacket was certainly warm enough and it's low bulk meant it didn't get in the way whilst I got in and out of the tent, cooking etc.
I remember getting a little cold after the sun had gone down and we were all hanging around the campsite not moving. I supplemented it with my PHD ultra pullover and was cosy warm again. I dont have any complaints about the Skisky 2 jacket I can think of other than it was a little tight and short around my midriff but thats more to do with sizing rather than an actual fault with the jacket itself. If I was buying one (and I would if I was in the market for a synthetic filled top) I'd personally go up a size.
For a lightweight insulated top you can pull on for instant warmth as soon as you stop moving and one you could layer under your shell I'd certainly recommend it.