Fit and Features
Volcom’s outerwear is split into three different fit categories: Standard, Athletic, and Drop Tail. The Slack vest opts for the latter, which worked very well when paired with a technical shell jacket. It leaves ample space for mobility around your hips (whether that be skinning, boot packing, or reaching for the grab), while the slightly extended coverage in the back increases storage capacity and protection.
On that note, the Iguchi Slack Vest comes with a decent bit of foam padding around the back and shoulders. Not enough to warrant being called a back protector, but enough to give you a buffer between your body and the various bits of kit you’ll be loading into the vest.
As for the features on this thing? Well, they’re in no short supply here. Asides from dedicated compartments for your probe, shovel head, and shovel handle, there’s also a radio pocket, various accessory pockets on the chest, and a detachable backpack lid for the days you need some extra litres.
The straps on the Slack Vest can be used to adjust the fit on the front and sides or to carry a snowboard on your back when the boot pack gets technical. Should you ever find yourself needing to cool off in a hurry, the YKK water-repellent zip runs right through the centre of the vest, so you can open it fully in a matter of seconds while keeping it secure with the buckles on the top and bottom.
“When something not only gets Bryan Iguchi’s seal of approval but has been essentially been designed by him at every stage of the process, you can rest rest assured it’s fit for the task”
Products designed in collaboration with pros are sometimes approached by us consumers with a healthy dose of skepticism. After all, it’s hardly snowboarding’s best-kept secret that some pro models share little more than a top sheet in common with the ones stocked on the shop floors.
On top of that, any potential overlap in the pros’ requirements and our own are often miles apart. If all the needs of your average rider were compared with those of a professional and presented as a Venn diagram it would look more akin to a map of our solar system.
Perhaps the one area this trend no longer applies is in the backcountry. The conditions and risks don’t discriminate against who falls victim to them, nor does the essential safety gear checklist change depending on your experience levels.
As such, word of mouth and recommendations on backcountry gear often counts for as much as any online review or targeted ad campaign. When something not only gets Bryan Iguchi’s seal of approval but has been essentially been designed by him at every stage of the process, you can rest assured it’s fit for the task.
- Amazing functionality. We’re talking Mary Poppins’ handbag levels of seemingly impossible storage space.
- Creates a more natural riding feel than a backpack which can either limit mobility or place weight further from your centre of mass.
- If you’ve already dropped the cash on a backpack, you may struggle to cough up the extra dough on what is essentially a non-essential accessory item.
Tom Mangham – Marketing Manager UK & Ireland, Volcom
“When you’re touring some of the world’s best backcountry in adverse conditions, you need kit that has your back. The Iguchi Slack Vest provides a host of storage for crucial recovery tools, with a probe sleeve, shovel handle pocket, and interior blade pocket, as well as external snowboard/ski straps and a Guide Proven radio chest pocket. The tough design has been designed and tested by the backcountry innovator and our resident guide Bryan Iguchi as part of his signature collection to deliver hands-free function when you’re digging, hiking, splitting and snowmobiling.”