Nike ACG Gore-Tex Misery Ridge Jacket – Sturdy All Conditions Protection
Nike ACG Gore-Tex Misery Ridge Jacket
All conditions. Those are the key words in Nike’s All Conditions Gear (ACG) line. Making sure that you can keep going in style and comfort when the conditions get tough, they have designed the Nike ACG Gore-Tex Misery Ridge hard shell jacket to be the barrier between you and the All part of the conditions. Although the jacket is named to the Misery Ridge, in homage to one of the striking ridges in Smith Rock, OR, my experience with the jacket was anything but miserable.
Let’s start with fit. I am 6’3” and 180lbs and have a 6’6” wingspan, which is the definition of lanky, and I realize is a notoriously difficult body type to accommodate for. The dilemma is that, although my t-shirt size is generally a men’s large (or sometimes medium), I often need to size up to an XL in order to get enough length in the sleeves and hems to match my height/long arms, but then I am left with an excess of fabric around my body.
In the Misery Ridge, I was able to wear a men’s large, keeping a trimmer profile, but maintaining the arm/hem length I like in outerwear. In a men’s large I was able to reach above my head comfortably and maintain wrist coverage while keeping the hem from riding up. I also had enough room to get a couple layers underneath for cold days. All in all, I would say the Misery Ridge fits close to t-shirt size and provides great coverage for full protection on those, well, miserable days.
On that note, let’s get into the material and function of the Misery Ridge. As the name implies, the Misery Ridge is designed with Gore-Tex membrane and 100% recycled polyester face and backer. What this means in practice is a highly waterproof and breathable material that your conscious can get behind too.
My first impression putting on the jacket was how burly and durable it felt; the Misery Ridge is made to see a lot of action and keep going without you worrying. The main zippers are not taped, but do have drip panels behind/inside to provide a barrier against any moisture that may make it through the zippers. The main zip can be undone from the top as well as the bottom.
Additionally, the Misery Ridge has a few adjustment points to help dial in the fit and coverage. The cuffs can be tightened via Velcro straps, while the hem can be cinched tight with pull tab bungie. The hood is large enough to accommodate a hat, or in my case a climbing helmet, and has a bungie on each side to cinch the hood opening down.
If you need to dump some heat while keeping the jacket on, there are generously long pit zips on each side. As for pockets, the Misery ridge has the standard zippered side-hand pockets, two zippered outer chest pockets, and two mesh pockets on the inside of the jacket. I felt the Misery Ridge has the right balance of feature-function without becoming overbearing or frivolous.
Nike ACG Gore-Tex Misery Ridge Jacket Testing
To test out the waterproofing and coverage I spent a few days in the Misery Ridge ice climbing around central Colorado. On one specific outing, the ice was super wet with a light shower of water coming off the top. By the time I reached the anchors, I had spent an hour in the spray being waterboarded and had a nice, thin layer of ice armor coating me, yet I was bone dry underneath the Misery Ridge jacket.
With the hood up, hem cinched down, and the cuffs tight, I had very little water penetration through the jacket’s openings. If it can handle that and come out dry, I think it checks the waterproof box pretty well.
Durability is always a hard one for me to assess, as ideally, I’d be able to test a piece of gear for a few years/seasons, and then let you know what held up and what didn’t, but I don’t get that luxury often so we’ll stick to anecdotal evidence. After several days of ice climbing with numerous sharp objects attached to me, I’ve seen just one minor scuff on the jacket.
The zippers are still moving smoothly, if not just broken now in as I noticed many of the zippers started out really stiff for the first few days. The only thing I really see wearing out faster than other features, are the Velcro wrist/cuff straps, which is the piece I’ve seen fail on many other jackets before the rest of the jacket was finished. Otherwise, compared to my experience with other quality hard shell jackets, the Nike ACG Gore-Tex Misery Ridge feels like high quality piece.
If you’re in need a sturdy hard-shell jacket with maximum protection, the Nike ACG Gore-Tex Misery Ridge should be high on your list. Made trusted Gore-Tex fabric and sustainably source materials, you can have superb waterproofing, breathability, and durability in a environmentally friendly package. The Misery Ridge fits well with ample length for full coverage, and enough room for a few extra layers without feeling baggy. Don’t worry about the conditions with the Nike ACG Gore-Tex Misery Ridge Jacket.
A transplant of the Midwest, Austen immigrated to the promised land of western Colorado in 2012 in search of good climbing, deep snow, quality rivers, and a college degree when his goofing off allowed. He learned pretty quick the difference quality gear can make on the outcome of a day (or days) in the mountains and began looking for the best gear to abuse.
In the summer Austen is an avid whitewater kayaker, bouncing his boat down the steep, rocky waterways of Colorado, trad climber in search of the route less traveled, and works as a federal river ranger along the Gunnison River. During the winter Austen spends his time telemarking around the backcountry of western Colorado and working as a ski patroller up on the continental divide.
Austen says, “A hundred days of skiing and paddling each per year and you’ll figure out what is wrong or right with your equipment, especially when your lively-hood depends on it.” Austen also has his American Avalanche Association Professional Level 1 avalanche certification, EMT-B, and ACA swift-water rescue cert, as well as a member of the Search and Rescue team in Gunnison County for 6 years.