A WINNING JACKET
Haglöfs Vassi Jacket is a winner of the ISPO Award 2012 in the Action Apparel class. A suitable start for our latest freeride addition, designed in cooperation with two of Scandinavia's most avid skiers.
An extremely demanding designer duo have left their mark on the latest Haglöfs freeride addition.
Extreme skier and Haglöfs-friend Per Jonsson together with his skiing partner Asbjørn Eggebø-Næss were given the illustrious task of designing the ultimate freeride outfit together with Haglöfs designers. With 150–200 ski days annually, you tend to get quite picky about your equipment – something that has clearly left its mark.
"Freeskiing is all about not allowing yourself to be limited. OK, maybe by the mountain, but not by the pistes and definitely not by your equipment. We have looked exclusively at our own needs," says Jonsson.
In other words, no compromises when it comes to freedom of movement, so both the jacket and pants are generously fitting, which suits the style of many freeskiers. Plus if you ski in both the coldest of winters and far into spring, it is important to be able to regulate the temperature. Ventilation has therefore been given a central position.
"Often it's positioned under the arms but we've opted to put it right in the middle of the chest. After all you are skiing in a downwards direction so in this way you maximize the air inlet when you want to cool down quickly. It's also a lot easier to open the zippers if the backpack's straps aren't in the way. "
Something that you definitely do not want inside the jacket is snow, which is not always that easy to avoid if you are drawn to meter-deep snow. The snow skirt is brilliantly designed having a standard length on the zipper so that the jacket and pants can be zipped together even if you have different sizes on the top and bottom.
"We spent a great deal of time on this," says Jonsson, pulling on the stretchy material in the snow skirt. We wanted exactly the right length so that it didn't wear out or break when you bend forward."
The length of the jacket and the pocket covers are other details designed to keep the snow out. The outer-lying forward pockets have been made large enough to hold everything you need to hand without having to take off your backpack. Binoculars, telephone and a sandwich fit without a problem. The pockets have also been moved as far down as possible to avoid ending up underneath the backpack's waistband.
The pants follow the same principles as the jacket – roomy and with extra reinforcement just where it is needed. This demanding duo have also designed the perfect freerider backpack, Skrå, which is available in three sizes.
"The smallest of them has enough room for what's most important. Safety equipment, food, water and extra layers. You can attach your skis to them without taking off your gloves, and it's slimmed down so you don't have to take it off in the lift."
Designing his own ski outfit is literally a dream come true for Kiruna-local Per.
"Sure, it was something that I could sit and fantasize about many years ago when I worked down in the mine. In fact, I even found a sketch I made of a jacket, and even if it's real ugly, you can still tell it's a Vassi."
VASSI, WHAT'S THAT?
The name comes from the Vassitjåkka mountain range – a mythical place in both Sami history and freeride circles. A mountain to be inspired by.