Very Close to Love - Poor Durability
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: Large
By now, everyone knows Arc'teryx makes some of the best outdoor products in the world and I walked into the Cassiar expecting no different. As other reviews mention, the quality is evident the minute you hold the jacket - construction is top notch, materials look/feel excellent and each design decision appears to be thoughtfully considered.
After about 20 days of use, I feel capable of writing a review that speaks to my experience with the product and hope it helps others make an expensive decision.
FYI: My use of the Cassiar has been exclusively while snowboarding, otherwise it's on a hanger in my closet due to my warm home climate. 100% of its use has been on a resort (Verbier, Snowbird, Vail/Beaver, Jackson Hole) and I do not wear a backpack during these trips.
Right out of the gate, I was underwhelmed by the water repellency of the face material. In my first use of the jacket in Switzerland, we were graced with a foot of powder while on the mountain and the Cassiar became quickly drenched. I will say, the water didn't permeate past my mid layer, but the splotchy sleeve image shows what the Cassiar looks like on a snowy day..
Obviously, DWR coatings require maintenance and I used a Nikwash technical detergent after 5 days of riding and sprayed Granger's DWR before throwing it in the drier, hoping to avoid another soaked jacket day. My following trip to Snowbird where we received 24" in 24 hours left my $725 coat wet again.
Since I wasn't getting wet, just appearing drenched and feeling the weight of a heavier jacket, I looked past this issue. However, when I started to notice the face material peeling back from the underlying layer on my trip to Colorado, I was concerned about long term quality. Photo attached shows outer material revealing white beneath. As I mentioned, I don't wear a backpack while riding and am not skilled enough for backcountry riding, thus the Cassiar is surely not having its limits pushed in my ownership, nor being abraded from a backpack strap/shovel/gear.
I took the jacket to Arc'teryx in Denver where a staff member patched the problem area with Tenacious Tape and assured me this would prevent any spreading.
I just returned from Jackson Hole where I used the taped up Cassiar for the first time. The glorified band-aid has not detached completely, but it's on its way. We received another heavy snow day while on the mountain and I was unimpressed with the water repellency, but most concerned that a jacket of this price point needs the occasional band-aid to prevent from coming apart at the seams.
I will update this review after additional trips, but please know that the stretchy fabric that makes this a very comfortable jacket may not be ready for prime time when it comes to durability.
There is no excuse for such deplorable performance in an expensive Arc'teryx jacket. I might have shrugged if you'd had it for 7-10 years or if you didn't take care of it, but I would be furious if I'd had your experience. I own two Arc'teryx jackets and am happy with both, but I am very gentle on them and only wear the more expensive one on rare occasion, so they've held up like new.