Jacket tested: Flylow’s new 2013/14 Quantum Shell
Color used: Mahogany
Colors Available: Black, Indigo, Mahogany, Red, Navy (2012/13), Quarry (2012/13), Red-Chinchilla (2012/13)
Weight: Average of 656 grams
Cost of 2013/14 jacket: $380.00 from Flylow’s website; Not yet on Evo.com
Cost of 2012/13 jacket: $380.00 from Flylow’s website; $277.50 from Evo.com!
Find the Quantum jacket on Flylow’s website here: flylowgear.com
Find the 2012/13 Quantum jacket on Evo here: Flylow Quantum Jacket
The Quantum jacket has been tested for a week of intensive skiing in Portillo, Chile, as well as in the drizzly regions of the US known as the Pacific Northwest. It has been used for both in-bounds play and backcountry travel and has been tested in conditions ranging from all out downpours to bone-chilling winds, to warm–sloppy spring days.
It’s durability has been evaluated from activities and misfortunes including yard-sale falls on bullet proof crud and penguin sliding down Portillo’s upper slopes (intentionally sliding face first on your stomach down a steep slope). In addition to this, the Quantum Jacket has endured bread rolls, beer, skins, gloves, and extra layers being shoved into it’s many interior what-not pockets, as well as having to deal with those annoying leaky CamelBak bladders continually pooling water between your jacket and daypack on warm spring boot-packs.
Specs & Data:
2013/14 Quantum Jacket specs:
- 3-layer nylon Dobby Intuitive Fabric™
- 20k/20k waterproof breathable membrane
- High performance DWR (Durable Water Repellent)
- Fully seam taped
- 7 pockets: 4 exterior, 3 interior
- Helmet-compatible hood
- Removable powder skirt
- Powder guard snap connectors
- Inner Junk Trunk Pockets
- Large pit zips for ventilation
- No Bulk Cuffs
- YKK waterproof zippers
- Average weight: 656 grams
Differences between last years model and the 2013/14 Quantum:
- New Fabric: Tougher and with a better DWR and just all around nicer from the previously used Amaterrace Fabric mill that makes eVent
- New Factory: Flylow is using a Gore certified factory that used to make all of Cloudviels high end shell before they sold to Spyder and so on. They are the bomb factory, smooth taping and perfect construction.
- New Seam Tape: Coming from Bemis. Flylow is using the best seam tape they can get.
- Refined Fit: Flylow added length and pulled extra material out of the body of the coat.
These types of updates went across the line for 2013. Flylow’s gear looks like it is from a new company. We are impressed. The Quantum jacket, specifically, is part of Flylow’s “Deeper Line” classification of outerwear.
“A favorite of Flylow employees for its durability and versatility, the three-layer Quantum Jacket is one of Flylow’s toughest hardshells. The waterproof, breathable shell is truly adaptable for all conditions—blizzard, freezing temps, or pond-skimming alike. Large underarm vents keep you cool on a bootpack and a removable powder skirt blocks snow on deep days. Large, internal Junk Truck pockets easily store all that stuff you can’t leave home without.” (Flylow’s website description)
Flylow Dan presenting and explaining the features of the 2011/12 Quantum
Flylow’s 2013/14 Quantum Jacket is by far one of the most versatile, well designed waterproof shells out there. For being a relatively small company in the grand scheme of things, Flylow puts out incredible gear year after year. As an owner of an Arc’teryx shell, one of the first things I noticed about Flylow’s Quantum was how well it was designed for skiing.
You could compare many of the Quantum’s specs listed above with other ski specific shells and would most likely find many jackets that have similar features, but what it really comes down to is the little things. By this I mean seemingly insignificant features of the jacket that just make it really nice to wear–all day long. For one, the jacket is very nicely proportioned. It is spacious allowing for as many or as few layers as you need for the conditions.
When it’s cold, and you’re wearing two thick fleece sweaters, or a down puffy, you won’t look like the Michelin Man. When it’s warm on the boot-pack back to the top, the spaciousness allows for ample and swift ventilation.
Other, pleasing small details like the thin, soft synthetic lining on the wind collar make zipping the Quantum up to your nose a quite cozy experience. Additionally, the sleeves are cut just a bit longer, and the cuffs are large enough to easily side over any size of gloves. Ultimately, it feels nice to wear, and there is as little restriction of movement as possible.
The Quantum has 7 pockets. Four of these pockets are exterior with two medium sized breast pockets and two large hand pockets. The above is fairly standard, but the nice thing about the Quantum is it’s inner Junk Trunk pockets.
These three pouches can be used for any number of things. There are two very large pouches on either side for skins, lunch, or a six pack, as well as a smaller but still spacious mesh pocket for whatever else you don’t want to have to search you backpack to find. I found these very useful.
The shell also comes with a removable powder skirt. I find powder skirts to be 100% helpful, 50% of the time unless you have compatible snow pants to snap into. Sometimes I’ll use it, sometimes I wont, but I’ve never had a reason to actually take it out of the jacket. If you want to shed weight, then sure, maybe that’s a good reason to remove it, but the skirt itself weighs basically nothing and isn’t in the way of anything regardless of if you use it or not.
The Quantum is rated 20k waterproof, 20k breathable. This essentially means it’s damn near waterproof and breathes incredibly well. More specifically, the 20k or 20,000mm waterproof rating means that if you put a 1″x1″ square pipe onto the material and begin to fill it with water, it will start to leak when the water reached 20,000mm (65.6 feet) up the square pipe. That’s pretty damn impressive if you ask me, and from past experience with my Arc’teryx 3 layer GORE-TEX shell, the Quantum is at the very least on par with that level of performance.
Follow this link for a VERY useful explanation of waterproof ratings and waterproof outerwear in general: Waterproof Ratings and Breathability Guide on Evo.com
I conducted a little test of my own by spraying water onto the jacket. I proceeded to rub the water into the fabric with my hands specifically making sure I covered the few spots where the fabric had been slightly frayed from eating it on ice in Portillo. I let it sit for a while, came back, and this was the result. There was essentially no difference from when I initially sprayed the water on. Even the slightly scratched fabric held up.
In terms of durability, the Quantum has held up fairly well. The picture above is of the worst fabric scratches I could find after a week of many crashes on hard pack and ice. The pockets have been stuffed full with food, clothing, and other gear and held up like new.
Oh! and let’s not forget the most important part. The jacket is stylish, looks good, feels good, and thus makes you ski better.
(The previous comment is not scientifically proven)
I don’t know if this is standard, but mine even came with a complementary Flylow lighter! 😉
The Quantum jacket deserves a hanger in your wardrobe. It can be comfortably used for warm spring conditions as well as bone chillingly cold ones, and anything in between. It is definitely the most effective, well designed ski jacket I have had the opportunity to use. The amount of pockets, specifically the inner Junk Trunk ones make this jacket perfect for backcountry travel and really just everyday use. I know for a fact that with it’s beer carrying capabilities I could have quite the time at Friday night college football rallies.
One complaint I must add is that it doesn’t have a pass pocket on the upper arm. This really is not a big deal whatsoever, but it would be a nice addition to a future model.
I’m stoked to have gotten the chance to test this jacket not only because it’s a freaking sweet work of outerwear art, but also because it showed me how well Flylow designs and makes their gear. It’s definitely worth browsing their website.
Very nice jacket. Worthy of Shred. Highly recommended.
Find the Quantum jacket on Flylow’s website here: flylowgear.com
Find the 2012/13 Quantum jacket on Evo here: Evo.com
16 thoughts on “Gear Review: Flylow’s 2013/14 Quantum Jacket”
Great review!Does this jacket have polartecs neoshell?
I’m not certain id the Quantum has polartecs neoshell, but I know for certain that Flylow’s new Lab Coat and Compound Pant — new for fall 2013 — is made with Polartec Neoshell, the most waterproof, breathable fabric on the market.
Wow thanks for the quick response Bevan, I was hoping you were going to say that as i have a green and black jacket Patagonia Pow Slayer. I’ll have to go check em out in person. I’m hoping it works. Might be to red.
Killer review! Can you expand a little bit on the mahogany color? It looks very purple in some of the photos and very brown in others. Additionally, is it just the sample that came with silver zippers / they appear to be brown in many of the photos. Strongly considering a pair of Baker’s in this color and haven’t seen a pair in the flesh yet. Any guidance would be appreciated!
To be a bit more specific, I would describe it as a cross between Maroon and Purple, But definitely not brown. That being said its definitely not bright purple/maroon (which I personally like). I know what you mean though, some of the pictures were a little washed out and made it look brownish. I’ll blame my Iphone camera.
Yes, the zippers are brownish/tan. Silver zippers would be shweeet, but the brownish ones still look good.
The Baker Bibs are a very nice choice. I haven’t had the opportunity to use them yet, but I have heard great things, and judging by the superb quality of the Quantum, I’d be inclined to believe the rumors. I got a buddy with very similar colored ski pants and they look fresh. Just don’t get an orange jacket..
Best of luck to you.
Love my Quantum jacket and my Baker Bibs!
looks sweet. what’s the diff between 13 & 14 models? any upgrades?
Great question! Glad you asked. There are many! For reference, I have added the following to the review right after the specs.
New Fabric: Tougher and with a better DWR and just all around nicer from the previously used Amaterrace Fabric mill that makes eVent
New Factory: Flylow is using a Gore certified factory that used to make all of Cloudviels high end shell before they sold to Spyder and so on. They are the bomb factory, smooth taping and perfect construction.
New Seam Tape: Coming from Bemis. Flylow is using the best seam tape they can get.
Refined Fit: Flylow added length and pulled extra material out of the body of the coat.
These types of updates went across the line for 2013. Flylow’s gear looks like it is from a new company. We are impressed.
Hi Bevan, great review.
The upgrades that you say “across the line for 2013”,were implemented in the 2012/2013 season or not until the 2013/2014 ?
Thanks to your reviews I’m looking for this jacket, but prices change according to the year
I believe they meant upgrades were for the current 2013/14 models.
Flylow is everywhere right now bc the gear is solid.