The folks at FlyLow have perfected the hardshell ski jacket with the Flylow Billie Coat. Although it has a Spartan feel, the features and weather resistance are second to none. We also love the cut and colors. This jacket was great to ski in on days when the weather wasn't, and we appreciated the oversized hood and removable powder skirt in changing conditions, as well. Since it's a shell jacket, the Billie Coat doesn't get high marks for warmth. Nevertheless, it has plenty of space for layering underneath.
Flylow Billie Coat Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Stylish, great ski features, inexpensive, more versatile than an insulated ski jacket
Cons: Heavy for ski touring, stiff, no insulation
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Our Analysis and Test Results
We always knew Flylow was a cool company with excellent products, and the Billie Coat convinced us that we know what we're talking about. The jacket performs well on the slopes and looks good, too. We felt it had everything we wanted in a hardshell despite feeling a little stiff and crunchy at the outset.
The Billie Coat is a three-layer hardshell, and you can tell. The fabric was slightly stiff at the outset, but we didn't mind because of its amazing ability to protect us from the elements. It boasts OmniBloq Durable Water Repellent coating, which is supposedly more protective than the industry standard DWR. We certainly didn't get wet during a sloppy snowstorm.
The jacket also protected us from the vicious winds of the Colorado Front Range. The hood helped, too, with more than ample room to fit over our helmets and then cinch tightly around our necks. We could still move our heads from side to side even with the hood fully cinched down. And, the Billie's zippers didn't allow any noticeable drafts through.
Comfort and Fit
This jacket fits true to size, and we were able to layer up underneath it easily. It has a long, flattering silhouette, and we liked that it was feminine without being girly. It was easy to move while we skied and rode. It felt a bit stiff the first few times we used it but it seemed to develop some flexibility with use.
The Billie Coat has great subtle style. It's not flashy but it still manages to stand out in a crowd. Because of how flattering it was, our testers all wanted to be the one wearing this jacket for our photos. We like its long hemline, color choices, and how it tapers at the waist and flares at the hips. Our testers received many compliments when they wore this jacket.
The jacket isn't insulated, so it received a lower rating in this category. It was the least warm of the hardshells we reviewed, so it was important that we always had adequate layers on underneath. We will say, however, that the thick shell material did not let any wind pass through the material itself or through the front zipper when traveling at high speeds down the mountain.
The Billie Coat breathes well for a hardshell and has large, gaping pit-zips. Because the shell has no insulation, it vents easily. We found that we could hike short distances without overheating in this jacket.
We love the interior pockets in this jacket! They're both zippered and nine inches deep. The outer hand pockets are similarly spacious. Manufacturers often skimp on the usefulness of features in women's products, but the Billie Coat defies that trend. We love that the powder skirt is removable and wish that all jackets had this option.
Another favorite feature of this jacket is drawcord for the hood. The toggles are placed on the outside of the collar near your collar bones and make it super easy to cinch down your hood when things get windy sitting on the chairlift.
We think that the Billie Coat is a decent value for a hard-charging hardshell. It has all the features we want and need and offers superior weather resistance. Our only complaint is that its not that warm, but that's to be expected for a hardshell. Needless to say, it's a jacket that will hold up to the test of time, and that's invaluable.
If you are looking for a stylish, high functioning ski shell that will help you rip around the mountain and look like a pro doing it, look no further than the Billie Coat. Our testers received many compliments on this jacket and reached for it when they were hitting the town as well as the slopes. We love its well-thought-out ski features, wind and waterproof exterior, and subtle style.
— Jessica Haist