By Ann Schissler

A recent visit to the SIA (Ski Industries of America) trade show in Denver was fun and informative. This is the one place where you get to see the latest and greatest developments for snow sports in 2016-2017. There were 900 exhibitors and over 20,000 attendees at this event. The experience really felt like being a kid in a candy store.

Of course my first impulse was to focus on fashion. At the Karbon booth, I had the pleasure of meeting Hugh Schure, the Global Sales Director for the brand. He’s extremely charming and very passionate about the new collection, Compass. Designed using the Hydrostretch Pro fabric, it combines unparalleled comfort and performance. He noticed that I was admiring a jacket from the new line and came right over to tell me all about it. He said if someone were to ask him to show them the warmest jacket they make, it would be this one. It’s the Compass model #K6621, retails for $590 and is available in sizes 4 – 16.

The most fantastic thing about this piece is the way it’s made. It’s comprised of a 90/10 goose down insulation that made it warm and yet the fit was sleek and slender because of the 12% Lycra that allows the material to stretch and move with you. He had me try it on and go through the motion of actually skiing. I leaned forward, planted my poles and have never felt more comfortable. I was sold! Warmth, style, comfort, this coat had it all! Then Hugh reminded me there are times when it’s not necessary to be wearing one of the warmest jackets on the market. He offered several different models in the Compass collection to consider.

Model #K6623 is similar to the down filled version, but it’s made up using 100 wt. Thermolite Active insulation. Thermolite is a thin insulation whose thermal bonded fibers provide a high level of warmth at minimal weight. It’s exceptionally soft, flexible and durable. Once again the jacket fit like a glove. Not the typical down puffer style jackets that I deplore. Seriously, almost no one looks good in one and for the most part bear a close resemblance to “Bip” aka the Michelin Man. Sleek, svelte and stylish with the same Hydrostrech fabric, this jacket is worth a look. The model retails for $500 and comes in sizes 4-16.

The last model Hugh showed me, #K6624, is similar to the others in the Compass collection, but had subtle differences. It’s made with Hydrostretch Pro 3ply and Karbonite 20,000. Karbonite is an advanced waterproof, breathable coating which keeps you dry and protected from the elements allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities in comfort. This is a versatile jacket that’s perfect for layering up or down depending on conditions. It retails for $500 and is available in sizes 4 – 14.

Remember, these are 2016/2017 products so check them out at a retailer next fall. They’re worth the wait. For more information go to

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