List Price US $479
Homeschool Universe Jacket 2014-2019 Review
Type Shell
Gore-Tex No
Hood Type Contoured
Powder Skirt Yes
Jacket to Pant Interface Yes
Vents 2 Meshed Pit Zips
Layer Count 3.5 Layer
Waterproof Rating 20K
Breathability Rating 25K
Manufactured in Vietnam

Semi Baggy

Waterproofing Great
Breathability Excellent


Packability Thin
Construction Great

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Homeschool Universe Jacket 2019 - 2014 Review by The Good Ride

The Homeschool Universe Jacket is back in 2019 after a bit of a break/re-org in the 2018 season. They had manufacturer issues but are now back on track and have a new line for 2019.  This Jacket offers up a great balance between waterproofing, breathability, and functionality for resort or backcountry riders. Just a note the Jacket looks a touch orange in the vid but in actuality, it’s more of a vibrant true red. It’s a tricky color to get on camera. If you want to see what the blue (stratus) Jacket will look like check out the Heavier Days Pant review.

Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews.  No one is perfect and we do make money from the “Where To Buy” links below, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.

Size Tried: Large
James’ Specs:
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 185 lbs
Chest: 44”
Upper Chest by lats: 46”
Arm Length (pit to wrist) 19.5”
Neck: 16″
Torso Length (collarbone to pant line) 23”
Shoulder Width 19” wide
Gloves: Burton AK Guide Glove
: Smith Vantage, Smith Maze
Goggles:  Smith IO Mag, Anon M2

Fit: The Homeschool Universe Jacket has a great fit to it that flatters most builds. Having medium arms, an XL chest and L torso it’s not easy for me to fit into most jackets like the waify male models you see that are 6′ and 160lbs.  This jacket seems to work with the even featured lads of the world as well as us regular uneven featured lads as well and that’s no easy task.

Construction: I laid this down side by side with the Volcom Guide 3L Gore-Tex Jacket and Volcom did have the edge in construction but not by as much as I thought it would be.  Also, the Homeschool Universe Jacket has more pockets so the construction is more functional for resort riding as well as backcountry where the guide is best for the backcountry.  If you wanted the same from a Volcom Jacket then you would have to pay $599 for the Gutch Stretch. I can attest to this Jackets reliability because I’ve worn many throughout a full season of riding in all kinds of weather.  As long as you wash it correctly it will hold up well and overall the construction is really solid.  It’s also a very functional jacket with 4 outer pockets that work well.  The bottom hand warmer pockets are well placed and work well with a backpack.  The top pockets aren’t huge but work well for small items like phones n such.  The Jacket to pant interface is borderline proprietary but it seemed to work ok with other pants that have a similar jacket to pant interface loop.  I would have just loved to see a loop with a button instead of the plastic piece you see in the vid above.  That way it works with almost any pant even if it just has belt loops.  Still, this is a nitpick because I rarely use the powder skirt anyways.  Overall I’m really impressed with the build of the jacket and the construction matches its price point.

Hood: The Homeschool Universe Jacket has an Excellent hood that is super compatible with most helmets out there.  Most people wear helmets and Homeschool is right there with Volcom and Patagonia when it comes to being one of the best jackets to buy if you wear a helmet. The “Wind Hater” hood design is unique to the industry and it does a great job for those that like to keep your hood on and protect your cheeks but still breath super easy while riding down.

Insulation/Warmth: None here.  This is a pretty thin and light 3.5 layer shell.  The first day I got this jacket it was 24 degrees outside with a wind chill factor of 10 degrees and snowing.  The jacket blocked the cold of the wind from coming through and I felt it was comparable to many Gore-Tex Jackets I have owned.  That’s all shells are supposed to do is block wind and water from getting in and it does its job.

Waterproofing: 3.5 Layer 20k waterproofing is pretty solid and I found that this does really well in wet snow to rain.  It’s not quite Gore-Tex which seems to be more like 28k, but it’s pretty close. Especially with the extra layer in strategic areas.

Breathability: 25k breathability is really exceptional and at or near the top of the industry.  Most Gore-Tex products are closer to 15k-18k so the Homeschool Universe jacket is noticeably better when it comes to helping regulate heat/moisture created from sweat.  To me, a guy who runs on the warmer side, the more breathability the better.

Packability: It’s not the lightest super packable jacket but it’s very thin and light. I would say it’s

Overall: if I wasn’t someone who reviewed jackets I’d probably just get this and use it all season. The hood/collar design, quality construction, breathability and overall design of this jacket really appeal to me.

Homeschool Universe Jacket Past Reviews

The Homeschool Universe Jacket is a durable 3.5 layer very breathable shell.  It’s got solid waterproofing but the real advantage is The Universe Jacket is more breathable than Gore-Tex jackets. Over the last 3 years the jacket has evolved using thinner, lighter material and it’s almost always my first choice when I go riding.

Size Tried: Large
James’ Specs:
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 195 lbs
Chest: 44.5”
Upper Chest by lats: 46”
Arm Length (pit to wrist) 19.5”
Neck: 16″
Torso Length (collarbone to pant line) 23”
Shoulder Width 19” wide
: Smith Vantage

The 2016 Homeschool Universe III Jacket Review

Size Tried: Large
James’ Specs:
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 195 lbs
Chest: 44”
Neck: 16″
Torso Length (collar bone to pant line) 23”
Shoulder Width (widest point of shoulders) 22”
Arm Length (pit to wrist) 19.5”

Helmet: Smith Vantage

Goggles: Smith IO7

The 2015 Homeschool Universe II Jacket Review

Size Tried: Large
James’ Specs
Height: 5’10”,
Weight: 195 lbs,
Upper Body-:44” Chest, Torso Length 23” (collar bone to pant button), Shoulder Width Approx 22”, Arm Length 19.5” (pit to wrist)
Lower Body: 33” Waist, 42” Hips, 30” Inseam, 24.5” Thigh
Turn On’s: Size L Jackets that fit well around my chest, size M pants that fit well around my thighs so I can get in and out of my pockets, open roads, Surfy Powder Turns, Riding with Friends, new gear and especially my super-hot super smart super funny wife.
Turn Off’s: Size L Jackets that don’t fit well around my chest, super tight Size M Pants that I can’t get up over my thighs, traffic and people who can’t park inside the lines.

The Homeschool Universe Jacket stands out as a different and unique jacket in the world of technical shells. Most companies are going for lighter, thinner and stretchier while the Universe Jacket is thick durable and solid. Some might not like it but many will like this thicker feel like we do. There are a couple of changes from the Universe Jacket that make it different from the Anvil Jacket.

1. 2 upper pockets instead of one which is good.

2. An extension of the cuffs that goes over the glove. I’m not too sure about this improvement but you can fold it into the cuff and it bonds with Velcro so it can disappear without problems.

The rest of the jacket is just like the older Anvil jacket and that isn’t a bad thing. I own the Fog jacket and was worried it would be too white. In person it actually has a bit of a grey tint that makes it more wearable than you would think. With most Homeschool jackets the color in person looks a little better than the pics. Also the jacket feels pretty thick and stiff like a shirt that came from the dry cleaner with double extra starch. Over time it gets softer. Some will like this (like me) but others might prefer a thinner feeling jacket.

Waterproofing: So the Homeschool Universe Jacket has 3.5 layers where most don’t go past 3 layers. In some of the spots where that are the most exposed have 4 layers and the rest has 3. That is outstanding and makes 20k waterproofing feel like more than 20k. One of our favorite parts about this jacket is the Wind Hater tech. This is a little extension of the collar to cover the cheeks when you are riding in rougher weather. I personally love this because one of the problems with many articulating hoods is the sides of your cheeks remain exposed even with the hood up. If you run warm like I do or like extra protection around your face then you will find the Homeschool Universe Jacket one of the best you can buy.

Breathability: There is way more breathability going on with this jacket than you think. Gore-Tex doesn’t really rate their product but a lot of independent tests rate most Gore-Tex products at about 20k and their higher end inserts are usually a little more. I’m not 100% on this but I believe the higher end stuff is about 25k. So for a 3.5 layer to have 25k breathability that is pretty impressive. Most non Gore-Tex jackets have more waterproofing than breathability so it’s cool to see this. If you have a complete home school system the breathability is exceptional. When I layer up underneath with all Homeschool I could dress warmer than I normally do without overheating. I run hot so after a long run I can feel the moisture building up but when I have this shit on the sweat is gone by the time I get back to the top of the lift.

Fit: The Homeschool Universe Jacket has a normal feel that borders on baggy which is very layer up friendly. Outerwear these days have been get tighter. Let’s face it we aren’t going to walk down a runway. We are going snowboarding out in the elements. This is the kind of jacket that still looks good but it has room for layering and to us that is important. I think our only complaint albeit a minor one is the inside of the jacket feels a little rough. Usually you have layers on but it would be nice to soften it up a bit like many 3 layer shells that don’t have a liner have.

Backcountry to Park Functionality: This is all personal preference but I felt this is one of the better mountain riders shells out there. It provides a little more warmth than most shells because it’s soo thick even though it’s a shell. That makes it an excellent mountain jacket for those that ride a lot or those that see lot’s of wet weather and wind. It doesn’t pack light and small but it’s breathability and layering ability makes it a great to borderline excellent backcountry jacket. For park it’s not that ideal unless your park is on the top of the mountain and you see a shit ton of weather. I am mostly a resort rider and love shells. I will be wearing this a lot.

So over all if you are looking for a light easy to pack shell this isn’t it but if you are looking for something that has a strong durable feel to it that shields you as well as it allows you to breathe then the Homeschool Universe Jacket is your call.



Homeschool Universe Jacket Images

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