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If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ve seen that there a few brands that we keep turning to over and over again. These are the brands that really never disappoint, and that we know will keep us warm, dry, and comfortable all winter. Our favorite outerwear that works for the whole family? Akova (formerly Shred Dog). Our kids have been wearing their gear for the last 4 ski seasons (it’s some of the best kids ski coats and snow pants), and they keep introducing more and more adult gear. This season, they introduced their Akova Legacy Collection for men and women and we’re excited to share what we’ve seen as we’ve been putting it to the test.
About Akova Outerwear for Families
Akova is a new brand to the ski outerwear scene, but they’ve existed under the name Shred Dog for several years. It’s a direct to consumer company, so you won’t be seeing it at your local ski shop, but you’ve likely seen it on the mountain without even knowing it. It’s quickly become one of the top brands for kids ski teams to depend on and they’re really starting to grow the adult side of the business as well. Created by 2 dads, and Olympic athletes Julia Mancuso and David Wise, Akova outerwear is family centered through and through.
What’s in the Akova Legacy Collection
Inside of the Akova Legacy Collection, you’ll find their signature coats, snow pants and insulators for both men and women. The quality is outstanding. Last year they released a hardshell jacket for women and men that was very similar to the kids hardshell jacket.
While I liked the hardshell and it was good quality, the Akova Legacy Collection blows the hardshell out of the water. Our Akova Legacy outerwear review will show you exactly why we love it so much for both mens and womens ski outerwear.
Use code SKIINGKIDS for 20% regular-priced items or an additional 10% off sale items
Use code SKIINGKIDS-35 for 35% off orders over $500 (does not apply during sale events)
Akova Women’s Legacy Collection Review
I’ve been wearing this entire collection for 2.5 months and am nothing but impressed. It’s not cheap, but it’s gear that will last. We’ve had some of our Shred Dog kids gear for 4 years and it’s gone through 3 kids and is still in good shape. The Akova Legacy collection is significantly higher quality than the kids’ Shred Dog gear, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still wearing the same gear 7 or 8 years later. It’s fantastic quality.
As a mom, I have tried several different ski outerwear, and while I’ve liked all of them, this is the first one that I absolutely LOVE. I think a lot of that comes down to the fact that it’s designed by a mom, who’s also an Olympic skier, so you get the best performance and function.
The thing that I love most about this collection and that I rave to all my friends about is the POCKETS! There are so many pockets and they’re really big, so I can always stash extra things away. Truthfully, I could probably pack a full lunch for our while family of 7 and carry it around in my pockets (though I really don’t want to). The pockets are big enough that I can always keep some extra ski essentials stashed in it without taking up all of my pocket space. And there are lots of pockets on both the coat and the pants, so you always have a place to stash things. To be exact, the coat has 8 pockets and the pants have 5 extra large pockets.
Here’s what I’m always carrying with me:
- Extra neck gaiter
- Hand warmers
- 2+ Clif Bars
- Small candy
On ski days I’m also carrying:
- Collapsible water bottle
- Cut up fruit (usually apples or oranges)
- Lunch snacks
Honestly, these are the things that I’ve always wanted to carry around with me, but I’ve never had a coat that could carry everything, so I had to pass half of it off to my husband or carry a backpack. I also keep thinking back to our days of skiing with babies and these pockets would work so well at carrying a couple of diapers and some wipes. These sort of details are a game changer for active moms.
Here are a few other features that I love about the Women’s Legacy Collection Outerwear from Akova:
- Super waterproof. It’s made with Torain technology and I’ve been really impressed. We’ve ahd a really warm winter so far and have found ourselves stuck in a few “slush storms”. Water just beads right up and rolls off.
- Powder skirt is great. While I love what powder skirts do, I find that most are either uncomfortably tight or they make my jacket fit weird. The Legacy jacket powder skirt does neither, In fact, I forgot I had it on because i just couldn’t feel it tugging or pulling anywhere – exactly like it should be!
- Wrist gaiter is really comfortable and not lycra so it feels good on my wrist, but doesn’t shift around.
- Pants have articulated knees. To be honest, these felt strange just wearing them around the house, but once I started moving they were perfection. It’s another feature that made me not even notice my gear, which means it’s doing exactly what it should be doing.
- Hood is easy to adjust even with mittens on.
- Large pit and thigh zips that really work. Most coats have pretty small pit zips which really doesn’t do much fore ventilation. Not on Akova. Both the thigh zips and pit zips are generously sized so they really cool you down. With our warm winter, I’ve put this to the test A LOT, and I’m really grateful for these features.
- Insulated well. I know that some people really like having a shell and an insulator separate, but I feel like I get super cold so I prefer insulated coats. While our ski days have been pretty mild, we had a crazy week of single digit and sub-zero temps and I stayed toasty warm. I love that the insulation is body mapped so I get extra insulation where I get cold the fastest.
Thoughts on the Womens Legacy Bib by Akova
I will be honest and say that at first, I really didn’t love the Legacy bib when I first got them and almost returned them. When I tried them on at home, I wasn’t impressed. They just felt like they didn’t fit right. The area above the knees felt too tight, and the topf of the bib hit me at a weird spot (thanks to my extra long torso). Thankfully, my husband urged me to try just one day with them.
Before I went out, I played around with the fit a little bit. The top of the bibs hit be a little below my ribs,and when I sat down or bent over, they kind of dug up under my ribs and weren’t comfortable. So I unzipped the middle zipper about 2 inches and suddenly the problem went away. In fact, that’s the last problem I had.
I wore them on the mountain, and truthfully, forgot all about them. I didn’t have extra bulk around my knees, and didn’t feel things riding up or sagging down, they just fit right. Like me, most women I know have a hard time getting pants that fit great, so I knew I was onto something special. These Akova bibs for women were the best-fitting ski pants I’d ever worn. They keep me cozy and warm without the bulk and the cut is fantastic.
I also LOVE that they’re really long. I’m 5’9” and so most snow pants are too short, but these worked great for my longer legs. For reference, I typically wear a size 8 and the medium size fits me great!
Akova Mens Legacy Hardshell Jacket Review
Andrew is skiing in the men’s Legacy Jacket this winter and has nothing but positive things to say about it. It has a lot of the same thoughtful features as the womens jacket, but with performance and styling designed for men. Here are some of the things he loves most:
- It’s a hardshell that can be layered underneath. He likes the customization with a shell and jacket since he typically doesn’t need as much insulation.
- Super waterproof Torain construction – water just rolls right off. He’s even taken it out on walks in a couple of rainstorms and has come home nice and dry.
- Plenty of stretch. Andrew does a lot of the heavy lifting and moving in our family, so having a jacket that has 4-way-stretch is really amazing. He picks up tired kids, loads and unloads the ski rack and acts as our family pack mule. Having a jacket that moves right along with him just makes all that extra work a little easier.
- High collar with a soft lining.
- Lots of pockets…okay, he might not love that feature as much as I do. I have him carry all sorts of extras for the kids, even if he doesn’t love it, because it all just fits. Lately, we’ve had him carrying multiple collapsible water bottles on every ski day so we all stay hydrated between runs.
We haven’t tried out the men’s hardshell pants, but will update this article when we do.
Mens and Womens Akova Legacy Insulator Jackets
The mens and womens insulator jackets from Akova are both really similar and get worn a lot at our house. In fact, all 5 of our kids have one too, so our coat hooks are FILLED with these new puffy jackets. Made with synthetic insulation, these jackets are surprisingly warm, especially considering how thin they are. Most cold days, it’s all the jacket I need for running around town, hiking, and basically anything else where we don’t need a waterproof coat.
The Legacy insulator is made with 4-way-stretch material so it just moves with you. The sides have a stretchy fleece panel which gives you extra stretch in the waist area, but I mostly love it because it’s just so cozy and soft.
The Legacy insulator works great as a layering piece and Andrew always wears his under his hardshell jacket. Truthfully, the women’s Legacy jacket is pretty warm on its own, so I don’t see myself needing this as a layer unless I’m out all day in single digit temperatures or below.
The only downside to the Legacy insulator is that it’s pretty fitted around the wrist. While this is generally great from a fitting perspective, it’s tricky with my Garmin watch. While my watch normally sides through most wrist cuffs, this takes a little extra finesse to get it out of my wrist and check the time. It’s not a deal breaker, but it does get annoying when I’m putting it on and taking it off often when we’re running kids around to their after school activities.
Overall, the Legacy insulators are great and work really well as a warmer insulated layer without the bulk that comes with most mid-layers.