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A truly impressive bit of kit, the new Airah jacket on test from Arc'teryx could be the only cold weather freeride/backcountry layer you'll ever need.

arc teryx airah jacket
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The high chin guard with brushed microsuede fabric provides a soft and warm place to hide when the winds are howling.
What's not to like? If you use the Airah as intended, it's perfect in every way.

The new Airah from Arc'teryx is a primo women's synthetic insulated GORE-TEX shell jacket designed to deliver the full package when embarking on super cold backcountry missions.

Waterproof, windproof, durable, breathable and insulated with lofty fleece knit air permeable Polartec Alpha insulation, the Airah is clearly designed for high-output adventures in a cold, demanding mountain environment.

When it comes to touring, everything about the Airah will work perfectly when things are at the extreme end of chilly. Absolutely ideal for wild, windy January ski tours in Japan, Arctic adventures or freezing dawn patrol North American mountain missions, the Airah will keep you toasty warm in transition and on the descent and is sufficiently breathable that you won't overheat on the skintrack. The fact that you won't constantly be switching layers means you'll save weight in your pack and time on the mountain.

At 615g, the Airah is no 'fast and light' jacket however. So whilst it's likely to provide too much bulk and warmth for a sunny, spring touring day in the Alps, it's a perfect jacket for wintry freeride adventures in and around resort. If you're heading to Europe this season then the Airah will be the perfect companion on those glorious, memory-making powder days in resort and short hikes in search of secret stashes.

If you need a bit of inspiration to figure out just exactly where the Airah will fit in your winter wardrobe then, let us help you out a bit. We're heading to the Dolomites in early February for some resort-based powder skiing (fingers crossed) and anticipate earning our turns from the lifts with some short bootpacks into a few well-known local couloirs. The Airah will be absolutely spot-on for this type of activity and terrain. We're also planning on a few short day tours and if the weather whips up proper wild and stormy, the Airah will definitely be putting in an appearance on those days too.

All in all, the Airah is a versatile freeride/backcountry jacket for the educated female skier who knows what they're doing and needs the right kind of gear for the job in hand.

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