Yay or nay?

Discover what the internet is saying about 686.

Upgraded Reviews scanned the web to find out what real users are saying about 686.

See the highlights below and decide for yourself!

Pros and Cons

Table of contents

✅ Pros

A single purchase gets you both your insulated midlayer—with the option to remove it on warm days—as well as your waterproof shell.
Review Pros
This is a comfortable jacket that is easy to wear and won’t limit your movement when riding.
It is heavy enough to wear with a base.
There is a wide selection of outdoor gear to choose from.
The jacket has two large backpack compatible pockets on each side.
It can be worn on colder days or warm days.
The Geo Insulated jacket is an affordable and high-quality option and makes for a solid value for just about any rider.
On its own, it’s pretty warm with 600 down insulation, and it repels water, so it’s often all you need.
The pant-to-jacket system is efficient and works well.
While the Gore-Tex fabric keeps you dry in the nastiest conditions, its stretch construction allows maximum mobility.
The zip-out insulated jacket is quite warm thanks to its 160-gram synthetic fill.
686 has somehow managed to integrated 13 individual pockets into the design.
It offers good breathability.
We found its exterior storage to be generously sized and easy to access on the lift.
It is stylish.
The ease of layering makes it so you can even pull the outer shell on over street clothes if needed.
These pants are a heavy warm pant designed for almost all elements.
With SMARTY, you have the option to wear the liner for extra insulation and warmth on the hill or by itself for when you’re chilling indoors.
They look stylish and elegant.
It’s properly outfitted with a burly outer layer that sheds moisture and blocks wind.
It is involved in several eco-friendly organizations such as Climate United.
From spring days in Aspen to storm days at Mt. Baker, this jacket is prepared for the gamut of weather conditions.
Other interesting features include a belt made from a shoe-lace that provides a back-up should you need a spare while traveling and a key ring eyelet integrated directly into a belt loop.
It offers roomy fit for layering.
It is made up of comfortable, durable & flexible materials.
The waterproofing capabilities of the Geo Insulated jacket are excellent.
With protection from the elements covered, inside you’ll find plenty of protection for your gear.
It’s an insulated jacket, so it has a somewhat cushioning feel that adds a little padding if you take a bad fall.
The bibs are held up with broad, easy to adjust suspender straps, and include large loops for a belt which will help pull the contents of the bib pockets tight if you’re using a lot of layers.
Huge breathability was found in the Tech jacket while remaining waterproof.
They have a baggy fit to allow for layering.
It features pit vents for added breathability during warm days.
Aesthetically, 686 says it’s a slim fit, but because of the semi-puffy down filling, it falls slightly boxy around the lower waist, so better for freedom of movement than a figure-flatterer.
Zippers are super smooth and fluid without hanging up on any of the cover flaps.
The material choice is excellent.
This jacket is designed with 686’s Smarty compatible technology, so that it can be worn as a top later, or converted into a mid-layer to wear with a 686 Smarty jacket.
It has lots of pockets without looking ridiculous.
Drawcord hood adjustments don’t smack your face when going fast.
The front zipper is Smarty compatible, along with the center back neck and lower sleeves, where there are lining connection points.
You’ll quickly realize just how comfortable they are and after wearing them a bit.
It is waterproof for real.
The Jacket also has a removable powder skirt for those days when the snow is really dumping.
The fit isn’t too baggy or too tight, or a functional fit.
The fabrics themselves are not only DWR treated, but also are antimicrobial, which prevents the pants from collecting odors while on extended journeys.
It is a jacket that’s super waterproof, warm enough for airy chairlifts, with enough pockets to fit everything I need all day.
The jacket keeps off the snow.
It has smart & clever design.
It provides service discounts for essential workers.
It does a great job at blocking the wind from entering and making the user cold.
The coat is equipped with RECCO advanced rescue technology to help keep you safe if you do find yourself in danger.
Waterproofing works well in a variety of conditions for versatility.
It offers a lot of pocket storage.
Incorporated into the powder skirt is the PJ Connect which allows you to integrate the jacket with a compatible pair of 686 ski pants.
The jacket is lightweight.
Being an insulated jacket, the Geo also offers plenty of warmth.
At a reasonable $270, the 686 also manages to undercut popular competitors like The North Face Clement Triclimate.
There is free shipping on US orders over $99.
686 has enduring quality in my opinion.
The pocket also has a headphone jack slot to route your headphones through the coat up to your helmet.
686 promotes The Compton Surf Club to help at-risk youth.
Inspired by three-time Freeride World Tour Champion Sammy Luebke, this versatile piece, complete with removable and individually wearable liner, is one jacket that can do it all.
Pockets in the back are awesome, and are my favorite feature of the bibs.

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❌ Cons

Some users found the jacket not as warm as they were hoping.
Their collection isn’t affordable.
They’re consistently the heaviest and bulkiest options.
It is slightly bulky.
Some bigger-sized people may wish that the length was a bit longer.
It can get wrinkly after being compressed.
It’s far from a high-performance piece.
I wouldn’t rock them in the spring/summer riding as they’d be a bit too heavy.
RFID tag detracts from the streamlined look.
We ran warm quickly on a sidecountry hike.
The four belt loops are weird and unwelcome.
The buttons that cover the bottom of the zip caused some problems while relieving myself on the side of the trail.
The liner is clingy to both wool and cotton, so it can be tedious to put on the jacket.
The front right pocket has an audio cord port, but other than that, there aren’t any other special features or places to stash your pass, phone or money safely, with only two front pockets and none on the interior.
Material picks up fluff easily.
With a retail price of $500 for the jacket and $450 for the bibs, this certainly won’t be an impulse buy for your average fat biker.
The sleeves are a little tight for climbing comfortably.
Opening the pit zips only partially helped in dumping heat.

⚖️ Final Say

Read the summaries of what reviewers think about 686 below.

Review Summaries
If you’re set on a 3-in-1, the 686 is a solid choice, but it’s important to understand the compromises with this style of jacket. For those wanting to maximize versatility and value for lift-assisted or terrain park days, the 686 Smarty is a well-built 3-in-1 design.
Do you want a jacket that helps you crush the hill bell to bell and that delivers just the right amount of protection, warmth, and features? This Men’s 686 Snowboard Jacket – GLCR Hydrastash Jacket ($270) is as techy and as comfortable as it gets, as full of practical tricks as it’s full of steeze, and it has water. Killer.
The 686 Smarty 3-in-1 Form Jacket for men is a high-quality, waterproof, and comfortable jacket to wear all-day-long on the mountain. Despite not being as thick as some hoped and the material being a bit clingy, the jacket provides weather protection and warmth for a thinner jacket. Although many users like the fit, it might be too tight in the sleeves for climbing functionality.
On its own, it’s pretty warm with 600 down insulation, and it repels water, so it’s often all you need. Aesthetically, 686 says it’s a slim fit, but because of the semi-puffy down filling, it falls slightly boxy around the lower waist, so better for freedom of movement than a figure-flatterer.
Mostly, I envision the Specialized x 686 gear will find a home with riders who are venturing out farther and longer into the frozen back country and want the most versatile, protective clothing they can find. It will also be a hit with well heeled riders who struggle with the cold or moisture control on their rides no matter the length. Or simply put, any rider who wants the absolute best for their next fat bike mission.
The 686 Serac 2.5-Ply Jacket does a wonderful job keeping you warm, dry and protected from the elements. It offers a nice array of features that not only keeps your personal items safe, but also offers ample room for storage. If you’re looking for a versatile jacket that can cover you in any condition I think taking a look at the 686 Serac 2.5-Ply Jacket would be a good idea.
The three pieces work well individually, and they have at least a small amount of synergy when used together. But the functionality is not seamless. We can cobble together other jackets, layers, and pants here and get a similar fit.
An excellent jacket for warmer winter temps. You will always be warm and dry no matter the conditions you face. Performance outer wear you can’t go wrong with!
Despite the fluff the fabric picks up, we’re digging the 686 Everywhere Multi Pant’s comfortable material and subdued, but plentiful features.
Performance wear should be durable, breathable, and above all, functional. Fortunately, 686 doesn’t disappoint—but you probably already knew that from the number of positive reviews online. It’s a great brand for sports enthusiasts and cold-season veterans, as they know how to make a well-insulated jacket and a pair of thermal pants.
If you’re someone who travels a lot, you’ll find a surprising number of things to like here. Like me, you’ll probably find yourself packing them in your suitcase or backpack on just about any trip you’re taking.
If you are the type of rider that likes the urban look and feel of a hoody while riding this is a good option. It’s waterproof characteristics and roomy feel allow for versatility so you’ll have the look of a hoody and the waterproof/breathability of a light jacket while riding, It’s a great piece to have for winter into spring.
From spring days in Aspen to storm days at Mt. Baker, this jacket is prepared for the gamut of weather conditions. Inspired by three-time Freeride World Tour Champion Sammy Luebke, this versatile piece, complete with removable and individually wearable liner, is one jacket that can do it all.
686 is a quality outdoor apparel brand that makes excellent snowboarding jackets. The options they offer are capable and affordable, making them an attractive option for any rider. The Geo Insulated jacket is my favorite option the brand makes.
These pants are a heavy warm pant designed for almost all elements. I wouldn’t rock them in the spring/summer riding as they’d be a bit too heavy but for prime winter conditions I’d strongly recommend them. 686 has enduring quality in my opinion and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending them to someone that wants solid bang for the buck.

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