The female specific Arc'teryx Shashka Jacket has been around for a few seasons now and has become our go-to shell layer for backcountry missions.
Weighing in at a feathery 450g, the Shashka is Arc'teryx's lightest and most breathable women's ski shell jacket and has been designed with fast and light ski mountaineering in mind. Barely noticeable in your pack, the Shashka may be a stripped down minimalist bit of kit but it packs every feature you'll ever need for a winter backcountry adventure.
Wild weather protection comes courtesy of GORE-TEX Pro which has been designed to deliver in the most demanding of conditions. Taped seams add additional protection, as does the helmet compatible StormHood with laminated brim that's easy to adjust without having to remove gloves.
When the wind whips up the high collar on the Shashka provides a safe and comforting place to hide from the storm. This is arguably our favourite feature of this jacket and we cannot overestimate how simple yet important it is. It's surprising how many brands overlook this requirement, but you can always rely on backcountry experts Arc'teryx to deliver the essentials.
As any ski tourer will tell you, snowy days aren't necessarily the coldest, but you still need to keep dry. The Shashka has been designed to function on these days too as the fabric is breathable so you can wear it with a baselayer when skinning and the integrated pit zips allow for extra ventilation as required.
Freedom of movement is mega important in the backcountry and the combination of the Shashka's e3D Ergonomic 3-Dimensional patterning, articulated elbows and no lift gusseted underarms allow you to bend, stretch and lift with no restriction, facilitating progression on the hill and fluid transitions.
Other features of note include a number of snowsports-specific additions such as ski pass pocket, internal stash pockets for gloves, hidden Recco reflector and integrated powder skirt.
In terms of fit, the Shashka is on the slim side so be sure to consider sizing up if you like to pack lots of layers on underneath.