When you think of Spyder you probably don't think of amazing freeride kit that would suit even the most demanding off-piste skiers and snowboarders, but the Sanction GTX Pro on test will make you re-evaluate the brand. They still do very high end piste focused gear in the same mould as the likes of Schoffel, and they cater extremely well to that crowd, but their freeride range is also seriously impressive.
From the second you get hold of this thing you just know it's going to offer a massive slug of no-compromise performance and with one of the most accomplished big mountain skiers in the world, Chris Davenport's name on the label you should be in no doubt that this jacket means business.
And in use it produces the goods, with a Gore-Tex Pro membrane and fully taped seams ensuring that not a drop of moisture passes through from the outside and big two-way zipped pit vents letting you dump excess heat from the inside.
But you don't have to live with that high performing but stiff and crinkly Gore Pro material all over the jacket, as large swathes of panelling across the chest and back have been given over to an articulation friendly 4-way stretch material that still has those same great Gore Pro properties.
All the stitching, panelling, adjusters and zips are of the very best quality, ensuring lasting durability, which is good considering the lofty £642 price tag. But Spyder have always appealed to an audience who are willing to spend to get good quality kit, so the price should come as no surprise.
Looks are absolutely on point and the range of colourway options is excellent with something for everyone from bright red to more subtle greys and mustard tones, all with contrasting detailing in the zips and pullers which incidentally are all YKK with Aquaguard so they're smooth running, durable and don't let any water in.
The two front hand pockets are more dump pockets, they're absolutely huge and are complemented by two mesh dump pockets inside, with a further internal media pocket and lift pass pocket on the arm, giving you all the storage space you might need for a day shredding the backcountry.
What would we compare this jacket to? The likes of Arc'teryx' Alpha SV or Black Diamond's Mission jacket, both coming in at similar price points and with similar specs. The Sanction GTX Pro easily competes, so if you're looking for something a little different to add to your freeride apparel collection it's well worth a peek at Spyder's new range.