Gear Review: Dakine Prospect Bib and Mercer Jacket

The Oregon-based gear brand branches into outerwear with legend Peter Line at the helm

If you thought the fashion vs. function debate ended in the streets, you're wrong. Even in an environment as hostile as a 45 degree face at 10,000 feet, you can't be caught slipping because you know someone out there is checking ur fit—maybe even tagging you in an IG. And remember kids, the internet is forever. But lucky for us, legendary snowboarder Peter Line recently took the reigns of outerwear design at Dakine. Once known exclusively for making backpacks and gloves, the Hood River, OR-based brand’s outerwear line is surprisingly impressive, which we’ll chock up to Line’s involvement. In short, the 2016 line is very clean and very functional, with enough attention to detail to keep you looking and feeling good in most any conditions. We recently put Dakine's flagship models, the Mercer Jacket and Prospect Bib, through their paces at a range of Utah top resorts and parking lots.

Prospect Bib

These bibs though. Wow. Others at The Field have professed a newfound appreciation for overalls, which are officially trending in the streets, btw, for all you out there not up on your #menswear game. But on the slopes, the over-the-shoulder look packs an extra punch by also being hyper-functional—say goodbye to getting snow down your pants!. Slip through the side zip into the Prospect Bib and drape your body in three layers of GORE-TEX, baby.

It's hard to describe how good it feels to have ballistic wind and moisture armor from your feet to your arm pits...but just imagine the opposite of being wet and miserable and that’s pretty much it. These bibs also sport a swaggy, single cargo pocket on the left leg and a mysterious fold-out "tablet" tray on the chest, which we suspect Mr. Line just might intend to be used for rolling marijuana cigarettes. Ultimately, the Dakine Prospect Bib is a supreme garment that could, for springtime conditions and extra style points, be effective with just a hoodie. If you’re up against mid winter conditions demanding a DEFCON 1 level of moisture defense, we suggest pairing them with Dakine's Mercer Jacket for best effect.

Mercer Jacket

The Mercer Jacket is an exercise in thoughtful reduction, with everything you need and nothing more. In short, this jacket is in stealth mode. The silhouette is sleek and just the right amount of slim. Visual accouterments are non-existent with barely a logo to be found. And thanks to the same GORE-TEX 3L material as used with the Prospect Bib, you're impermeable to wind and rain too. Peter understands that little features like the wrist gaiters, a pass pocket on the forearm and an inner collar within the drop hood can go a long way, and they do. These details add up to a jacket that just FEELS good and carefully considered. They say money doesn’t buy happiness, but when it comes to outerwear, shelling out an extra hundred bones to get the Gore is always a good idea (especially if you live in the PNW).

So, in conclusion, the Dakine Prospect Bib and Mercer Jacket combo kept us comfy and dry in every situation we threw at it. And guess what, we’re nearing the end of the 2016 season, which means both pieces just hit the sale rack. So go cop the whole kit for $315 each and be stoked AF for the year to come.

images by The Field

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