This season I am skiing with a Penguin Dermizax Shell suit, consisting of a jacket and pants. After dozens of ski touring tours and many skiing days, it is time for a test report!
Let’s start with the technical specifications. This apparel is made of high-quality Dermizax, with a water column of 20,000 mm, which guarantees dry skiing even in rain and snow. In addition, Dermizax breathes excellently, really very well, I have not had a clammy feeling in these clothes so far. The apparel has waterproof YKK zippers and easy-to-operate ventilation openings.
The jacket has a nice high collar, a removable snow skirt, a Lycra hand snow skirt with thumb hole and a very adjustable hood.
The pants are a salopette, the top part of which can be unzipped. I have already tested the sturdy Cordura protection at ski boot height through sharp steel edges and it has been found to be very strong! The pleasant and robust snow catchers around the shoes work well and a special pocket for your mobile phone (far away from your avalanche transceiver) is a nice detail.
The Penguin suit has quickly become my favorite apparel for touring and freeride days. I’m personally a fan of high-necked trousers, especially in deep snow when ski touring, as they provide extra heat protection around my hips and lower back. This also ensures excellent range of motion of the legs and hip. The suit also offers sufficient freedom of movement while walking and climbing. The cut is fine and in my opinion just wide enough. I am not a freestyler and therefore have no need for extremely baggy clothing. I therefore stuck to the low side of Penguin’s sizing.
Balance between lightweight and abrasion resistance
The jacket has a good balance between lightweight and abrasion resistance. It is an ideal compromise for freeriders who also want to tour the mountains. I often remove the zip-off snow catcher from the jacket while touring (every little bit helps). The collar and hood provide sufficient protection in bad weather, and the ventilation openings in the collar prevent overheating when walking uphill in a snowstorm, for example, so that your goggles do not fog up too much.
Sandra and I have been wearing Penguin clothing since November, with dozens of ski touring trips and even more ski days. For many winter sports enthusiasts, this represents the number of ski days over several seasons. So far the suit has held up very well. There is no premature wear visible, even on the usual wear areas such as the inner gaiters around the shoes. I will keep you updated later in the season and next season.
Small point of criticism
Is everything exclusively positive? Well, I have a little comment. Personally, I like to carry my avalanche transceiver in a special pocket of my ski pants, especially with high salopette-like ski pants like these. The beep is then easier to grab than from its holster under all your clothing. I was happy to have a perfectly fitting pocket on the chest of the pants. But there is a ‘but’, and that is that you cannot secure the beeps in the bag with, for example, a plastic ring. I solved this by attaching the transceiver to the zipper. A small extra hook would make the trousers more complete, and I don’t think that would be too much trouble for Penguin.
Furthermore, I am a fan of the philosophy of the Penguin brand. One suit, but in different colors. Just good and simple. In a world where we are inundated with unnecessary variations of everything, a brand that chooses a clear course and thus saves on unnecessary production is certainly my preference. Because how many jackets do you need to freeride? If it’s a good jacket, just one?
So far I am very satisfied with my Penguin suit. I like the timeless earthy colors, especially the yellow Curry Gold and the burgundy Mahogany Red. But as you know, there’s no accounting for taste. If you are looking for a new freeride suit that is also perfect for touring, then definitely consider the Penguin clothing!