Obermeyer has been an industry icon for decades. Unfortunately, we don't think they showed their experience with the Tuscany II Insulated jacket. In a lineup of technically performing and stylish options, we think they kind of missed the mark here. We feel that this jacket can perform well enough on fair weather days and transition well to apres seamlessly. If this sounds like your perfect ski day, this is a very reasonably priced option. However, if you want your jacket to take you anywhere in any weather, you may want to look elsewhere.Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Obermeyer Tuscany II Insulated on March 23, 2022, with an assessment of value and suggestions for similar products that may better match your needs and budget.
Obermeyer Tuscany II Insulated Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Inexpensive
Cons: Not very water resistant, not breathable, short fit
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Obermeyer Tuscany II Insulated
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|Pros||Inexpensive||Relatively inexpensive yet high-quality, breathable, great mobility, great ventilation||Warm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatile||Stylish, good hood and neckline, no frills, inexpensive||Inexpensive, three jackets in one, warm, comfortable|
|Cons||Not very water resistant, not breathable, short fit||Non-insulating, thin shell material, not for most casual skiers||Slim fit, heavy, poor ventilation when both layers are worn||Feels cheap, not many ski-specific features, lacking in weather resistance||Not very stylish, hood not helmet compatible, two layers don't work well when zipped together|
|Bottom Line||A bargain in terms of price point, but not very effective at insulating or weather resistance||An excellent value for a high performing technical shell that serves inbounds or in the backcountry||This jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hill, all at a reasonable price||We got lots of compliments on this jacket's looks, but found it lacking in durability and full functionality on the slopes||A decent deal for two jackets that can be worn in three combinations, this is a great intro ski jacket|
|Rating Categories||Obermeyer Tuscany I...||Outdoor Research Ca...||The North Face Ther...||Burton Jet Set||Columbia Whirlibird...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Obermeyer Tuscany I...||Outdoor Research Ca...||The North Face Ther...||Burton Jet Set||Columbia Whirlibird...|
|Main Fabric||60% Recycled polyester, 40% polyester||100% Nylon||100% Nylon||Polyester, nylon||Legacy Dobby 72% Nylon/ 28% Polyester.|
|Insulation||150g Thermore||None||100% Postconsumer recycled polyester||80g Thermolite||Thermarator|
|Waterproofing||HydroBlock Sport||3-layer Pertex Shield||2-layer DryVent||DryRide 2L||Omni-Tech|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered arm, 1 zippered internal, 1 internal mesh||2 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered arm, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 1 internal goggle Liner: 2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand, 1 mesh, 1 media||Shell: 5, Liner: 3|
|Weight||2.4 lbs||1.2 lbs||2.0 lbs||1.6 lbs||2.4 lbs|
|Hood Option||Yes, removable||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Cuff construction||Wrist gaiters||Velcro||Velcro||Velcro||Velcro|
|Powder skirt||Yes, snap away||Yes||Yes, behind insulating layer||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While Obermeyer has released many iconic jackets over the years, we don't believe that this will be one of them. It performs adequately in fair weather, but we cannot recommend this jacket for all conditions. We found its fit is not conducive to adding extra layers or providing extra protection on heavy snow days. We are also not convinced that the water-resistant coating will hold up in heavy precipitation or that the zippers will keep moisture out. Overall, if you seek a jacket for just a few sunny days of skiing, this is an inexpensive option that could fulfill that need, but not much more.
The materials of this jacket perform adequately. The Tuscany II shell material is intended to perform as a 10K/10K waterproof/breathable membrane. However, we have doubts about the Hydroblock Sport DWR coating. In our experience, not all DWR coatings are created equal, and we found that this material did not bead water well. We noticed water seeping into the material almost immediately.
Additionally, none of the zippers on this jacket are water-resistant. With their only layer of protection being a flap of material with non-continuous velcro, we found them susceptible to both wind and water. The cuffs of this jacket also leave something to be desired. They are not adjustable, and while they are lined with gaiters, the gaiters do not have thumb holes and therefore creep up, leaving wrists exposed to snow and cold. We think the detachable fur trim on the hood adds a layer of wind protection, but the hood and fur are too small to be truly effective.
Comfort and Fit
Overall, the Tuscany II sizing is well on the side of form-fitting. While not too tight in any places, we did find that there was not much room to add a layer or two on very cold days, so if you would like extra room, we suggest sizing up. This jacket feels markedly short in a world of slightly oversized fits.
We think the insulation and material have a nice stretch to them, which counteracts the trim fit of this jacket. The material feels soft and is surprisingly easy to move around in. The neck gaiter of this coat is relatively short, and we found it to be a little uncomfortable for this reason. This jacket feels tailored to a small female cut.
On the one hand, the Tuscany II is well insulated with 150g Thermore synthetic insulation. We felt this truly kept heat inside the jacket and amplified any heat we were creating while hiking or skiing hard. On the other hand, we also found that this jacket traps moisture inside, so while we warmed up quickly, we tended to get chilled on lift rides as our sweat cooled our bodies. Also, the short cut of this jacket allowed some cold drafts inside from the hem and cuffs. Overall, the insulated nature of this jacket warmed us up, but the cut and quality of the materials detract from this quality.
Of all of our criticisms of this jacket, we find the most trouble with the ventilation of this jacket. No matter your skiing ability, skiing always has the potential to be hard work, making the ability to control temperature is key. The Tuscany II lacks pit zips or any access to the outside air. This design, combined with the lack of breathability of the coat's material, led us to feel trapped in our body heat and moisture.
The Tuscany II does not lack style but is certainly a specific style. The fur hood makes a statement, and the trim fit is form-fitting. This jacket appears at home on a fair-weather slope, on-hill party, or apres scene.
The form-fitting nature of the Tuscany II inhibits the efficacy of ski features. We think the pockets are limited here. There is only one internal mesh pocket one internal zip, and the hand pockets are low and small. The wrist gaiters are only minimally functional without connecting to hands or gloves.
We do like the ability of the powder skirt to snap away into the jacket. Similarly, we like the versatility of removable fur on the hood and how the hood itself is removable.
Should You Buy the Tuscany II?
The insulated Tuscany II falls on the lower end of the price spectrum. That said, we feel that the lack of versatility in the performance of this jacket counteracts this inexpensive price point. We think several higher-performing and more versatile jackets are available at a similar price point with a higher intrinsic value.
What Other Women's Ski Jackets Should You Consider?
The Obermeyer Tuscany II Insulated is best suited for a skier who prefers a few fair-weather skis per season. But we recommend looking elsewhere in this price range for a higher-performing and more versatile option. The Columbia Whirlibird IV Interchange is a 3-in-1 jacket that is cheaper and far outstrips the Tuscany II in terms of performance. If you prefer a one-piece insulated jacket, the Burton Jet Set is also less expensive and higher performing. If you already own an insulating layer, the Outdoor Research Carbide is our choice for a shell jacket with maximum value.
— Jacqueline Kearney
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