Dakine pitch the Vapor GoreTex 2L jacket as a technical shell layer for everything the mountain can throw at you. And in terms of weather protection that is certainly true.
The Vapor jacket is fully featured when in comes to sealing out the weather - wrist gaiters, snow-skirt, high neck line and a great hood. The most obvious point of difference though - especially compared to other technical shells - is the extra length.
The Vapor comes down to almost mid-thigh, and although it may appear a matter of style at first glance, the cut actually brings a whole new level of comfort. If, like me, you've spent the last several years embracing the minimalism of mountaineering-inspired, fast and light clothing, and have a super-light layer for every occasion, it might come as a surprise to remember how cosseting a ski jacket can feel!
Despite having no insulation, and being rather heavy for a shell, the Vapor really does wrap you in a happy cocoon. I tested it in whiteout conditions in Switzerland and felt as protected as I ever have.
The wrist gaiters I actually found too bulky, and even ended up with damp forearms on my mid-layer at the end of the day (presumably from being too warm and too well sealed). It would be nice if they were removable like the snow skirt.
The only downside of all of this is that the Vapor isn't exactly backcountry compatible; it would be a little too bulky to stash away for a skintrack ascent, and probably a little too heavy in the pack. However, for everything else - including lift-served off-piste laps - it proves a great balance between technical shell, and reassuring weather-protection.