Not everyone needs an ultralight, ultra-high-performance ski jacket. Sometimes, all you need is a well-fitting, capable, and durable jacket that can stand up to a variety of skiing.
I slipped my arms through the soft, recycled lining of the Black Crows Ferus Mechanical Jacket and smiled. The wrist cuffs were sketched with slope lines from La Vallée Blanche in the Alps. Sadly, I wouldn’t be skiing off-piste in France (this time). But I could embrace what Black Crows calls “a strong touch of style” with this homage-to-Chamonix gear.
After 9 years of making skis, in 2015, Black Crows started making ski apparel. And in a relatively short time, the quality of its technical apparel has only gone up.
I got my hands on one of the first samples of the new Ferus Mechanical 2L jacket ($540) ahead of the 2023 season. I tested the Ferus on three different ski trips across the American southwest.
In short: This technical but approachable-in-price women’s jacket offers an amazing fit with a durable shell for a wide range of conditions. It has light lining and insulation, and is laden with pockets (and other features). Its buttery smooth exterior is as stylish as it is protective. The insulation was also stellar, from mild conditions to gusty, overcast days. It kept me warm and then some.
Finally, the double chest pockets, the pops of color and pattern on the wrist gaiters and hood, the longer cut anorak design — Black Crows is blending its performance materials with undeniable style.
Designed for “comfortable all-terrain skiing,” this ski jacket brings the quality of Black Crows to a broader market of skiers. It’s not all about high-performance apparel anymore. The Black Crows Ferus jacket is a blend of a modern anorak and traditional full-zip style.
I love the slightly tailored fit at the waist, the hidden zippered kangaroo-style pocket, and the placement of the double chest pockets.
In terms of the fit, this jacket is unique given the cinched style at the waist, the anorak pocket, as well as elastic in the back of the waist to adjust fit. More typical with other ski jackets, there’s also an elastic adjustment point at the back of the helmet-compatible hood. And it has a zippered pass pocket for resort skiing.
On top of the design, there’s a lot of what I would categorize as more premium features in this jacket — think stretchy Lycra sleeves with thumbholes at the wrists, a removable snow skirt, RECCO reflector, and YKK water-repellent zips on all the pockets (the main zip is fully waterproof).
Finally, we can’t talk about the design of this jacket without talking about the inside lining’s print. The soft pale blue, white, and hallmark Black Crows pink colors accent a topographical map of the mountains, peaks, and glaciers outside Chamonix, France.
The Ferus jacket wins some bonus style points here.
After testing, it seems like Black Crows thought of everything with this jacket. At least, for someone who enjoys a wide variety of all-mountain skiing, it’s got a lot of what you’ll need.
But also, it’s got a really soft and comfortable interior, and a unique style. The jacket’s insulation (what Black Crows markets as “light but effective”) kept me plenty insulated on a cloudy, windy ~20-degree day. But it worked for several bluebird days, too.
But of course, its amazing fit and feel, the shell and insulation quality, and all the little touches are reflected in this jacket’s price.
Overall, Black Crows nailed the design with this jacket (and the women’s fit was spot on, too — our 5’8″ female tester wore a size M). The Ferus Mechanical is both comfortable and durable after weeks of repeated, all-day use across resorts in the West.