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christos nicolaou

Hunter Bierce
PSIA Ski Instructor
Hunter Bierce is a PSIA Ski Instructor and multidisciplinary outdoor professional.

PRODUCT REVIEW

Wildhorn Outfitters Dover Men’s Ski Jacket

Over the course of this winter, I’ve had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of quality time with Wildhorn Outfitters’ lineup of outerwear. While I don’t think it will be replacing my technical shell for extended adventures, I’m extremely impressed with how it holds up as an affordable option for resort skiers everywhere.

And as a shell for resort skiing it does pretty well.

Wildhorn products aren’t in any way underbuilt. This is certainly true of their Dover ski jacket, which, alongside their Frontera women’s option, is one of Wildhorn’s flagship winter products. At a glance, I would describe these jackets as practical and resilient. Below we’ll take a closer look at the jacket’s specific features, but for now, here’s a technical overview and a few of the standout design aspects.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Reasons to buy

  • Awesome resort wear for a choice deal
  • Insulation effective enough you can get away with minimal base layers
  • 2 layer construction feels super durable
  • Helmet-compatible adjustable hood
  • Stretch thumb cuff and velcro adjustable outer cuff
  • True to size fit (for someone tall)

Reasons NOT to buy

  • Not the most breathable jacket on the market
  • Waterproofing needs to be reapplied after the DWR layer wears off
  • The insulation makes it too warm for spring skiing

Weatherproofing

The first and primary concern you should have about your jacket is how well it protects you from harsh winter weather. After spending some time with the Dover, I can confidently say that you can depend on the jacket to keep you warm when it comes to freezing temps.

In a word, I’d call the insulation robust. I never had to worry about wearing anything under the coat but my base layer, even in the icy mornings. I’d venture that most people will be able to slide by on any day with minimal insulation under the jacket.

When temperatures get warmer, and the weather turns wet, the Dover will fall behind some big industry competition in terms of breathability. But knowing your gear’s limits means you understand its specific performance range, which the Dover does well in the colder months.

Though the 12k polyester held up really well for the first couple weeks of skiing, I noticed that as the weather turned and the jacket was more broken in, moisture seeped into the shell. I was able to rectify this with a quick coat of spray-on waterproofing. While this definitely helped, and the Dover still keeps me dry in the wet weather of the Pacific Nor’ West, it’s hard for the polyester to keep up with Gore-Tex and other premium materials.

See the complete list of the best Ski Jackets here!

Comfort and Fit

I don’t expect a lot out of my outdoor gear when it comes to comfort. Above all else, I value utility and adaptability. For me, the Dover was a good look at just how far the industry has come. The inner liner that holds the insulation is quilted and soft to the touch. The collars are a soft synthetic felt that prevents some of the rubbing I normally get when I ski without a neck gaiter.

While the cut in price and long-term issues with waterproofing can be attributed to the materials that comprise the Dover, the jacket’s actual design is admirable. You’ll notice the weight and bulk, but the Dover is definitely comfortable. The first and biggest way that I quantify comfort is in restriction of movement. On this one, I was impressed.

A common theme I see in thicker, resort-style jackets are limitations in the range of motion, particularly across the shoulders and under the arms. For me, with my long profile, I felt like my XL was more than accommodating without being too bulky.

Wildhorn Outfitters Dover's Ski Jacket Comfort and Fit

Wildhorn Outfitters Dover Men’s Ski Jacket: Key Specifications

  • Thermal Insulation
  • Mesh underarm ventilation system
  • 4 external pockets, including one quick scan pass pocket
  • Zippered internal storage pocket
  • Internal mesh pocket
  • 12k waterproofing with DWR coating
  • Integrated powder skirt
  • Critically taped seams

Where to Buy:

Features

Pockets

The Dover jacket is not a revolutionary, game-changing garment in terms of the number of pockets and features. But it is perfectly serviceable, and the features that it does have, work.

The two zippered outside pockets are big enough for snacks, extra layers, and a beverage or two. And the zippers themselves have a waterproof flap to help keep water from seeping into your dry pockets.

The chest pocket is also amply sized with enough room for your phone or valuables that you want to keep close at hand. The waterproofing measures on this forward-facing pocket are much more comprehensive than those on the rest of the pocket. I’ve had a few “full-scorpion” faceplants in deep wet snow but haven’t managed to force any snow in there yet. There’s also a dedicated pass pocket along the left forearm for quick scanning at the lift.

There’s another nice zippered and sealed inside the chest and an open mesh pocket on the liner’s right side for quick access. The one complaint that I have about the pocket situation is the lack of a headphone port. With the switch to wireless earphones, you can likely write that one off, but it’s a feature I’d still like to see regardless.

Wildhorn Outfitters Dover's Ski Jacket Pockets

Adjustable Hood

Another important factor I look for in my jacket is a hood that is compatible with my helmet. It’s great when the wind really starts blowing, and I have something to keep myself a little more protected. The Dover’s hood is not only big enough to fit over my large, unwieldy helmet, but it also has one of the better-dialed adjustment systems that I’ve seen out of any jacket I’ve tried this year. Soaking wet on a windy day, I could take solace in the fact that my ears were warm.

Wildhorn Outfitters Dover's Ski Jacket Adjustable Hood

Wrist Gaiters

Integrated wrist gaiters are usually a feature I’ll skip on. But for what it’s worth, these particular thumb cuffs were actually long enough for my arms, which is a huge boon in my book. After losing a ski to a sapling in a couple of feet of loose wet snow, I put them to the test. The combination of my big, gauntleted mittens and the wrist gaiter kept me dry and warm while rooting through the boughs for my missing ski. It wasn’t until I actually took my mittens off later in the day that I suffered the consequences and dumped all the stored up snow on my hands.

Powder Skirt

Integrated powder skirts are a great way to keep snow from getting up your back or down your snow pants after a big storm day or if you end up sliding on your back a ways. The Dover’s powder skirt is serviceable and did the job of keeping snow out when I needed it to, but it didn’t work as well as other models I’ve had the chance to try.

Though the elastic can keep it tightly fixed to your waist, there’s no way to adjust the fit beyond that. There is, however, a very convenient means of storing the skirt when not in use. All told, it’s a simple snap button design that gets the job done when you need it.

Wildhorn Outfitters Dover's Ski Jacket Adjustable Powder Skirt

Who’s it for?

The Wildhorn Dover Jacket is strictly a chair-accessed resort jacket. But that’s not a bad thing at all. It’s waterproof, warm, and built to the same design standards as any other insulated snow jacket on the market. The biggest difference between the Dover and something more expensive is the materials. The Polyester and waterproof coating of the Dover will not be as breathable or waterproof as something made with Gore-Tex or other high-quality materials.

As a whole, between the price point and the quality of the product, the Dover is a can’t miss for folks looking for either a cold-weather resort jacket or an affordable entry point to the ski world. If you like the look of the Dover, keep in mind that Wildhorn makes a women’s cut version of the same jacket called the Frontera.

About Wildhorn Outfitters

Wildhorn Outfitters is a Salt Lake based enterprise committed to promoting affordable and accessible outdoor gear. From the mountains to the woods, to the beach- Wildhorn’s dependable products keep your exploration needs in mind for a notable price drop compared to the outdoor industry at large.

In addition to their economical, consumer-focused gear Wildhorn’s Reef 2 Leaf grant programs make annual donations to organizations such as the Coral Restoration Foundation to make the outdoors not only more accessible but make sure those wild places stick around for us to explore for generations to come.

See the complete list of the best Ski Jackets here!

What We Like

  • Awesome resort wear for a choice deal
  • Insulation effective enough you can get away with minimal base layers
  • 2 layer construction feels super durable
  • Helmet-compatible adjustable hood
  • Stretch thumb cuff and velcro adjustable outer cuff
  • True to size fit (for someone tall)

What We Don’t Like

  • Not the most breathable jacket on the market
  • Waterproofing needs to be reapplied after the DWR layer wears off
  • The insulation makes it too warm for spring skiing

Where to Buy:

Where to Buy:

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Wildhorn Outfitters Dover Men’s Ski Jacket

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    Is Wildhorn Outfitters' gear any good?

    Wildhorn Outfitters makes quality gear at an extremely competitive price. It’s perfect for any kind of entry-level outdoor enthusiast to get their foot in the door and start exploring right away. While it’s hard to keep up with the premium competition in terms of the textiles that go into the product, Wildhorn’s designs are definitely good enough to get you on the snow, in the water, or in the woods.

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    Where is Wildhorn Outfitters located?

    Wildhorn Outfitters is located just outside of the Wasatch Mountains in the Salt Lake Valley. It’s the perfect place to think of new camping, skiing, and outdoor exploration gear. The Utah office handles most of the design and test work, while manufacturing is done overseas in China.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    What products does Wildhorn Outfitters make?

    Wildhorn makes a wide range of products ranging from ski jackets to full-face snorkel masks. All Wildhorn merchandise is manufactured with the intent of getting you out exploring the outdoors without the exclusive price point of leading brands. Wildhorn makes quite a few different products, but here are some of our favorites:

    • Wildhorn Outfitters Outpost II Double Camping Hammock
    • Wildhorn Outfitters Seaview 180 Snorkel Mask
    • Wildhorn Outfitters Roca Goggles
    • Wildhorn Outfitters Dover Ski Jacket

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