Friday, 18 December 2020 11:19

Horsefeathers Ripple Jacket reviewed

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The Horsefeathers Ripple jacket is very much a snowboarder's jacket of the 2020s, with its eco-credentials first and foremost in its marketing.

It's UltraTech Bluesign approved, uses C6 DWR, 100% recycled insulation and even comes in oxo-biodegradable packaging but with street prices between £180 and £240 these eco-credentials don't come at a premium price. Boarders and skiiers tend to need a lot of "features" for ski passes, phone pockets and snow skirts, and the Ripple doesn't skimp on these either.  It's not been the easiest of times to review fully, with our usual Alpine testing curtailed by Coronavirus, but we've had it out in sub zero temperatures, rain and a light snowfall and can't wait to put it to the test in the high mountains.

 Horsefeathers Ripple 1


  • Fully Taped Seams
  • Adjustable Bottom Hem
  • Adjustable Sleeve Cuffs
  • Audio Pocket with touch-friendly transparent window
  • Brushed Fleece Chinguard
  • Elastic Inner Sleeve Cuffs
  • Vents with Mesh Backing
  • Ergonomic Shaped Sleeves
  • Elastic snowskirt with non-slip band
  • Fleece pocket linning
  • Jacket-pant connectors
  • Lift-pass sleeve pocket
  • Multipurpose interior pocket
  • One hand front hood adjustment

What Horsefeathers say:

RIPPLE features the Primaloft® Bio™ insulation, the first-ever100 % recycled, biodegradable synthetic fiber. It also features Ultratech 20/15 material, laminated membrane and a DWR coating, which gives you optimal protection against wetness. Further details such as a jacket-pants connection system, sealed seams, a media pocket with transparent window, a snow guard, or adjustable sleeve cuffs will make this jacket your best friend on the mountain. So what are you waiting for? It's time to hit the slopes!


Horsefeathers Ripple on test:

Horsefeathers isn't the most well known brand in the UK, I'd never heard of it and I'm familiar with quite a few. We were sent the Ripple jacket for testing mainly for its use of the new Primaloft Bio insulation which is the first-ever 100 % recycled, biodegradable synthetic fiber that biodegrades into 100% natural elements. Being a Canadian brand, however, they know a bit about snow.

Given the problems with lockdown, tiers and travel it's been a bit of a mix putting the Ripple to the test. For a snowboarder/ski jacket it's seen very little snow, but it's been out in sub-zero temperatures, a few hours of light snow to test the DWR and a mix of active use and standing around in the cold. It's not perfect testing conditions but it did allow testing of the main properties and features.

Horsefeathers Ripple 4

The first thing to remember about a snowboard/ski jacket is that it may look like any standard waterproof, but that's just first look. A ski jacket needs more features, more insulation, and like it or not a different "style". Features and insulation add weight and if you're used to a lightweight shell the Ripple will feel heavy.

The fit is classic snowboarder, loose in general with the snow skirt, inner cuffs, and hood providing the seals against the elements. YKK zips hide behind velcro enabled storm flaps on the two horizontal hand warmer pockets and the main zip with a further large chest pocket and a ski pass pocket on the left sleeve.  Inside there's a touch sensitive transparent panelled pocket for your phone and while there's an icon on a label hinting at a cable route for headphones a closer look has still failed to reveal exactly where! To complete the picture there's an internal, mesh, pocket on the right hand side too.

Horsefeathers Ripple 3

 Horsefeathers Ripple 6

With all the zips closed and the inner sleeve cuffs sealed against draughts the Ripple does warm up inside pretty quickly, and thoughtfully Horsefeathers have made all the main zippers easier to grasp in mitts or gloves with big chunky zip-pulls. This is handy when you start  getting active as the pit zips are the most effective way of getting rid of heat. Similarly the combination of an articulated arm and the inner sleeve preventing the sleeve slipping, makes accessing the ski pass easy without risking exposed wrists. 

Along with twin toggles on the hem to keep warmth in the Ripple comes equipped with a snow skirt which can be directly attached to compatible trousers. Obviously without Alpine conditions it's been near impossible to test how well the snow skirt works on keeping snow out it does adjust, fit, and close well and it would be a real surprise if it turns out to be be anything but efficient.

Horsefeathers Ripple 5

 The hood is' as with the other features, simple to adjust with one hand, or one hand at a time with an easy-grab adjuster on either side.

So the Horsefeathers Ripple has the features you'd expect of a ski or snowboard jacket, giving an easy-adjust system with decent ventilation options where needed and a good weather seal around the extremities. The Primaloft Bio is simultaneously nothing special and very special; in terms of insulation it doesn't stand out as being  unusually insulating but it achieves this, almost indistinguishable from the competition, level while pushing the envelope on sustainability. It would take another couple of thousand words to explain Primaloft Bio properly, but essentially it's recycled and recyclable. If you want to see exactly why it's better for the environment Horsefeathers have a page dedicated to this and how it's used in their products here.


The last element is the price. 5 years ago I tried a very similarly specified jacket, but without the recycled plastic eco-credentials and paid around £350. The street price of Ripple jackets vary between £180 and £240 depending on the colour/model and outlet. In today's difficult economic environment it's as good a deal as you're likely to see anywhere. It's functional. durable, looks like a classic boarders jacket should look and it's a step forward in sustainability - to be honest it could get away with a higher price tag, that it doesn't means it's a bargain at full price never mind in the sales.

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