words: Tyler Davis
THE OUTERWEAR THAT WE CHOOSE often says more about our snowboard personality than any other piece of equipment. It’s a means to display our likes and dislikes, our quirks and style. It’s a calling card to other snowboarders; it’s what differentiates us from those in tight suits, furry jackets, and in some cases, a pair of badly fitting jeans.
As a longtime member of the Quiksilver snow team, Travis Rice designed his signature jacket with style, functionality, and fit that is equally at home building backcountry kickers in Jackson Hole or capturing first descents in Alaska. The T Rice Gore Infinium Jacket is unique in its ability to blend comfort with performance. It’s insulated but doesn’t restrict your mobility; the jacket has puffy-level warmth but provides you with the capacity of movement found in a shell.
Quiksilver has committed to using as much organic and recyclable materials as possible in its outerwear, the goal being that for their winter 2023 lineup, 89% of Quik products use at least 30% recycled or organic material. This is such an important element for clothing that is designed to be used in the natural world, and Quiksilver has a long history of pushing toward a better model of environmental sustainability without impacting performance, warmth, or durability. For Travis, this is a topic that comes up at every design meeting. “I think that there’s a self-audit that comes with being in the position of being a mover and shaker,” he says. “We now have access to higher conscious materials and I really appreciate Quiksilver’s dedication to constantly evolve what they use to reach a certain level and standed. It’s nice that there are finally materials out there that meet those levels of waterproofing and breathability.”
The T Rice Infinium blends warmth and waterproofing to create the perfect combination of insulator and weather-resistant shell. The Primaloft insulation ensures the jacket is very warm but not overly bulky, and the result is incredibly comfortable and non-restrictive. According to Travis, his jacket has “a pajama-level of comfort because it has a lightness and moves well. The fit is dialed, but you’re still ready for a blizzard.” Explains Travis, “The beauty of this jacket is that it’s got such a high quality of insulation. Historically, high-performance jackets that have insulation are either a full puffy or have compromised insulation in favor of resistance to the elements. With this jacket, you get this good-looking and good-feeling material with a really high-end, lightweight insulation.” The use of Gore-Tex Infinium fabric—a two-layer construction that provides the weather protection of Gore-Tex with a softer, ripstop-like feel—means that Travis’ signature jacket is at home anywhere, both in and out of bounds.
As a self-confessed gear nerd, anything that Travis rides needs to be on point. “If you’re not comfortable, you’re not having a good time,” he says. “It’s crazy how much of a direct correlation there is, feeling enjoyment out in the mountains and how quickly that can go downhill if you’re not warm, or if you’re not able to move, or if you’re wet. If you don’t feel good, it changes your entire attitude.” While it’s hard to argue against that logic, oftentimes riders have to choose between a jacket that looks good or that performs well. This Quiksilver jacket however, has the best of both worlds, a fact directly related to Travis’ hands- on approach to design. “Quik does a great job of balancing my desires of needing something that’s maybe louder than the general rider would like,” he explains. “The nice thing with Quik is that I’ve got such a long history with them. I have a rack with every jacket that I’ve been involved with on the design end, and I draw a lot on past successes and past failures. It’s really nice to be able to critique what’s been done; I keep things that I really like, as well as a few things that I don’t like, in order to have a better understanding of what elements to incorporate with each new season.”
If you are looking for the one jacket to rule them all, you won’t go wrong choosing the T Rice Gore Infinium jacket. And while it might not make you ride like Travis, you can feel confident that not only will you be warm and dry, but you’ll look pretty damn good as well.
This article originally appeared in issue 19.1, October 2022.