Nunatak has filled a void in outdoor wear, namely a non-down jacket that is useful beyond just lounging around camp or at a temporary rest stop like a belay jacket. Made from Climashield Apex, the customer can essentially customize their order of the Skaha Apex jacket by means of multiple pull down options. I wanted a jacket that could also do duty as a standalone sleep piece or used in conjunction with an elephants foot half bag. With this in mind I ordered mine with these options:
• Extra Tall collar • Apex 2.5 in the arms and collar, but 3.6 in the main body • Added 6 inches to the back length (which also adds about 4 inches to the front) • Shell material: Robic ripstop .74 oz/yd Dark Grey• Hand warmer pocket• One interior zippered chest pocket• Sleeve end: Lycra stretch banding• Liner fabric: Pertex Quantum ripstop .80 oz/yd Mountain Safety Orange
To complete an ensemble for fastpacking or trips that require little rest time, Jan made the half bag in 2.5 Apex for me with the same exterior material, the .74 Robic. This Akula Apex Half Bag is now available on the Nunatak website. Nunatak describes the lighter 2.5 Apex: Combined with other layers it should be good to 40° for brief stops, naps, recovery breaks. For a full night at those temperatures up the insulation to 3.6 oz/yd or 5.0 oz/yd. In this regard I agree, as I have spent 3 nights out with the combo and in the wee hours was thinking more insulation on the bottom would have been more comfortable. But with the difficulty of finding custom work of late, the beauty of Nunatak is the ability to customize your order from the myriad options available to you right on the website.
You'll notice in the photos that my jacket is long enough to cover my backside, one of the options I wanted if using this piece as my primary insulation for sleeping. I have found the 3.6 Apex in the main body to provide that extra bit of joule retention when the body is at a heat producing low. On my nights out I was able to sit up at various points and attempt night photography, with no loss of body heat; this was another primary consideration when I ordered this jacket. And as far as moisture resistance goes, water simply beads up and rolls off the Robic material, and I have yet to feel any sort of dampness from general condensation or breath. I even left the jacket on after arising early one morning and hiking a few miles to my vehicle, with only one problem: getting too hot. The only improvement I could think of (and I related this to Jan at Nunatak) is the lack of ability to cinch up the extra tall collar for trapping that last bit of body heat. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see this as an option at some point considering the responsiveness and nimbleness of this company. This jacket has and will be in my pack for every trip this season, be it skiing, biking, climbing or hiking.
If you want inexpensive look elsewhere. If you want to order extremely high quality, fully customizable pieces with an astounding number of options and choices, and don't mind excellent customer service from the owner and team that make up Nunatak, then spend the dough and take the plunge. Now here's the disclaimer, I paid full price for these products.