Ortovox asked Dr. Gear to test their new 3L Guardian Jacket & Pants and matching mid-layer, at the right moment. Dr. Gear had just planned two trips, so that all features of this versatile piece of apparel could be tested extensively and in all circumstances.
The 3L Guardian Jacket & Pants by Ortovox consists of a shell pants and jacket. It is available in the colors blue, green and black. Dr. Gear tested the color blue with a rock print on the jacket. You should love the rock print, but Dr. Gear definitely liked it and even got some positive remarks in the apres. Turns out it's eyecandy over there as well. The zippers with contrasting color (fluorescent green) give a playful effect to both the jacket and pants. The zippers are rather stiff. Especially of the jacket, making it a little tricky to zipper it all the way up with one hand. Dr. Gear often had to use both hands for this. This turned out to be the novelty, because at the end of the test period the zippers were as smooth as can be.
Dr. Gear really likes the double zippers under the armpits and on the side of the legs. This resulted in optimal ventilation during a hike. Ideal! You'll find four pockets with zipper on the pants where. On the jacket you'll find two large high pockets with zipper and on the sleeve there is a small pocket where you can store a ski pass, for example. A helmet fits perfectly under the hood. Dr. Gear had to open the zipper of the jacket slightly to get the hood over his helmet, but then the hood fits perfectly. You can easily adjust the hood as well.
The jacket and pants both have a merino inner layer, which should prevent moisture from forming on the inside of the shell and allows moisture to escape to the outside. Although Dr. Gear was very pleased with the merino layer of the jacket, the pants were simply too warm for Dr. Gear with temperatures around freezing level. It should be noted here that the pants were fantastic when it got colder. And very honestly, Dr. Gear doesn't get cold that fast. Friends of Dr. Gear that get colder much faster were positive about the pants in the positive digits as well.
The jacket and pants are waterproof (20,000 column), windproof and breathable (45,000 g m²/24h). Dr Gear has been able to test this very good during his trips. Both strong winds (in the lift and the rotorwash of the heli) and multiple days of snow and a lot of powder sprays do not get a grip on this jacket and pants. The apparel of Dr. Gear his buddies was pretty wet on the outside by the end of the day, but the Guardian Jacket and Pants was still dry. That's definitely an A+!
The fit of the jacket and pants is very good and it doesn't get stiff in low temperatures. The fit of the suit is "loose" or baggy. It was love on first sight with the jacket, but Dr. Gear had to get used to the pants. This has a high elastic waist. Just a bit lower than a bib and a lot higher than a normal pair of pants. The pants are adjustable with two velcro waistbands to ensure a good fit to your body. Dr. Gear has both skied and snowboarded and it should be noted that the pants were perfect with skiing. With snowboarding the pants occasionally came down a bit, after several times of bending the knees to get strapped in. Anyway, this pants are developed for skiers, so we can't complain. Possibly offer the possibility to zip the powder skirt to the pants?
Despite considerable amounts of powder during both trips, Dr. Gear has not felt any snow on his body since the adjustable and removable powder skirt in the jacket has done its job well. Another positive side effect of this jacket and pants: Dr. Gear's powder friends thought that Dr. Gear was riding better with the Ortovox jacket and pants on. So you see what apparel can do with your style when the fit and the looks are good.
Dr. Gear also tested the matching SWISSWOOL Piz Boval mid-layer jacket. This light hybrid (wool/PLA fleece blend) jacket has a good fit, is very warm and can be packed small. However, a down mid-layer takes up less space. An advantage over down is that the wool/PLA mixture also keeps you warm when it gets a bit wet. The outside of the jacket is made of water-repellent Pertex as a lot of mid-layers have nowadays.
It's a nice detail is that you can wear the jacket on both sides (the jacket has different colors on the inside and outside). The zippers also change, because they are in a different place. Dr Gear only used the jacket during breaks to keep him warm. It has done a great job there!
The conclusion: a great technical jacket and matching pants from Ortovox which is initially made for skiers, but that definitely will make snowboarders happy as well. Skiers and snowboarders who are looking for a technical outfit won't be disappointed!
More information about this set can be found on the website of Ortovox.