Guide-designed Frontpoint jacket spot on
First Ascent Frontpoint jacket
- Pros: High collar; Very wind resistant; Pockets accessible while wearing pack
- Cons: No powder skirt; Hood too large when not wearing helmet; Minimal colors for men and women
- Bottom Line: Though a little pricey for a basic shell, the Frontpoint jacket is great for nearly every mountainous condition you can throw at it.
- MSRP: $250
For a new brand that came out of Eddie Bauer, First Ascent did its homework.
The mountaineering-oriented gear was developed by mountain guides for everyone who enjoys getting outside. The Frontpoint jacket is no exception.
The outer shell has a softshell chest and back but hardshell fabric throughout the rest of the jacket. The stretchy softshell helps it breath while the hardshell gives more durability and increased water resistance.
In my tests, over the course of a few months, the jacket performed well in all conditions.
I used it skiing and snowboarding, hiking, to and from work, and nearly everywhere else I went.
Water didn’t penetrate the fabric in a heavy sleet and snow beaded up on the shoulders and hood.
And despite a lack of pit zips, the jacket seemed to breath while still blocking wind.
Compared to other shells I’ve worn, the Frontpoint jacket felt considerably lighter with much thinner fabric. The entire shell weighs just more than a pound.
I thought the lightweight material may translate into a less durable shell, but I haven’t found that to be true. While I haven’t tried to intentionally push its durability limits, I haven’t been careful with it either.
With an overly large helmet-compatible hood, strategically positioned pockets that are accessible even when wearing a backpack with hip belt, and enough cinch cords throughout to keep out nearly any element, the jacket is clearly designed by mountaineers. But it’s just as suitable as a go everywhere, do everything winter shell.