A Quick Note:
We wanted to start out this review by calling out that our all time favorite jacket is Cortazu’s Mountain Hardshell Jacket. It is similar to the jacket we are reviewing in this article here. That other jacket we have used nearly every day. It has been on resorts, in the backcountry, through blizzards, hard ski falls, hitting trees, working outside, and it still functions and looks like it did when we first got it. The durability and quality is unmatched.
In addition – we will continue to use this jacket and update with more images of use, and information on performance.
Cortazu is a direct to consumer outerwear company with values that we look for in outdoor clothing and gear brands. Cortazu is an Amsterdam based company that has earned the ISPO Gold Award for a waterproof jacket made from recycled nylon. They developed their 3L stretch fabric made from 100% recycled nylon for their 3-layer hard shell jackets. This nylon comes from post-industrial waste, is extremely durable, waterproof, and breathable.
Learn more about Cortazu’s mission, awards, and values here.
Where To Buy The Cortazu Jacket
Our Testing Scenarios
Backcountry Skiing Utah – We hit the Utah Backcountry on some extremely cold days, sunny days, blasting winds, and blower powder days.
Skiing Utah Resorts – We also hit some of Utah’s most well known resorts in this jacket (Snowbird, and Solitude).
Walking around town and going out – Maybe not the roughest conditions, but always important to be sure you can wear your equipment out and around. After all, who doesn’t want to be looking good in your outdoor gear?
About The Insulated Hardshell Jacket
Features: This jacket has lots of features. Some of the features we found most impactful: ski pass holder on the arms, a sunglass and goggle wiper, key cord, adjustable hood, and super warm pockets.
Material: The Dermazax®EV material is 100% waterproof, windproof, more breathable than Gore Tex and other similar materials. It is also comfortable and great feeling to the touch comparative to other jackets.
Fit: This jacket is meant as an outer layer, so order to your size expecting to put layers below this. We were able to comfortable fit a base layer, and mid layer below this jacket. This leaves enough room for another layer if needed, but also it is not too baggy without other layers. This makes the jacket both functional, and good looking with or without other layers.
– 40% of the insulation in this product is recycled.
– For each product sold Cortazu will re-green 62 square meters of land.
– Quote from Cortazu: “Our products are built to last. We believe in a buy less, but buy better ethos. And our products are built and produced around that philosophy.” Durability, and product lifespan might be the single most important item for both sustainability, but also budget friendliness. Products that are more expensive actually end up cheaper if you can use it for far longer than the competition. Given our experience with Cortazu – we believe this holds true.
In Depth Review
Here’s how the jacket performed on our adventures:
This jacket is insanely warm. Cortazu states that the warmth is the equivalent to an 800 fill down jacket. Given this is actually more windproof and waterproof than a down jacket – it actually feels warmer than that. In order to get the same level of warmth, we would think you’d need to toss an outer layer over a pretty substantial puffy.
This makes this jacket a must use jacket on any cooler days, or for anyone that runs cold.
As the main wearer of this jacket, I am an extremely warm blooded person, so I was often wearing this jacket with just a very thin base layer below it comfortably in temperatures substantially below freezing.
Wind & Waterproofing
We got this jacket blasted with wind around 50 miles per hour, snow that was melting on impact, and a bit of rain. It is completely waterproof and windproof. The cuffs work well to keep wind, snow, and rain from getting the hands wet with the proper glove setup,
This is a warm jacket – that means when ski touring, I was often fully vented in this jacket on the uphills, and just in a base layer. The jacket is lightweight and small comparative to other jackets this warm, so it made it easy to take off and place in the pack when needed. Because it is insulated, the jacket is generally always warm, so it is best used for resort days, and cold backcountry days.
This jacket is designed extremely well for comfort. The cuff adjustments, hood adjustments, zipper system, internal materials, and overall design give this a good fit.
In addition, for the warmth of this jacket, it is extremely light. This in itself adds an element of comfort in all situations.
Very solid and easy pocket system for hand warmers, phone, ski pass, stuffing gloves or hat, Warm hand pockets that have great warmth for the coldest days. The only item we don’t love about this jacket is that the chest pocket can be a little hard to get items in and out of due to its location and size. All other pockets are perfect.
Sunglass / Goggle Wipe
As backcountry skiers, this littler feature comes in handy so much. It is extremely nice to be able to wipe off moisture from the goggles whenever it is needed. This works great for the camera as well.
Cord Adjustment System
Around the waist, and around the hood, there is an extremely well designed cord system to tighten the hood around your helmet or hat, and to tighten the waist area. It is easy to use with gloves on, and works perfectly.
This jacket doesn’t have massive ventilation vents – but they work quite well. This is really nice to have for the uphill portions of your trip.
As an avid backcountry skier where avalanche risks can be high, it is awesome to know this jacket is embedded with RECCO scanner technology to help keep wearers just a little more safe out on the slopes.
To be quite honest, this is just a really good looking jacket. The nicely fitted design allows it to maintain a great looking shape while remaining comfortable. You’ll look good while adventuring or walking around town. We absolutely love the color options as almost all of them suit our style nicely.
Overall Rating – 5 Stars
We would give this jacket a 5/5 stars. It is definitely more expensive than many other insulated fully waterproof jackets out there, but the quality matching or greater than the most expensive brands in the world. When compared to the absolute top of the line jackets on the market, the price-point is actually lower, and the quality remains equal or better. If you are looking for a perfect skiing outer layer, or something great for some winter mountaineering, this is a perfect fit. The durability or our Cortazu jacket is astounding. We believe this jacket will be at the same quality a decade from now, making the extra investment in quality well worth it.
If you are a skier, this jacket is meant for you.
Cortazu Jackets can be found on their website.
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Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about