by Cy Whitling
Tipsy Elves Men’s Powder Blaster Ski Suit
Size Tested: Large
- 100% waterproof fabric: rated at 10,000mm
- Insulated lining and zippered ventilation
- Temperature rated down to 25 °F before additional clothing under the ski suit is recommended
- Double breasted snap pockets
- Hidden retractable waterproof storm hood
- Heavy duty waterproof zippers
- Waterproof elasticized tab cuffs
- Exterior waist adjustment
- Adjustable elastic boot cuff
- Under leg zippered ventilation
- 100% polyester
- 2 Snap Breast Pockets
- 2 Zippered Hand Pockets
- Zip Left Chest Pocket
- One Internal Pocket
Reviewer: 6’, 175 lbs
Days Tested: 5
Test Locations: Teton Village & Grand Targhee, WY
Tipsy Elves makes a full range of apparel and accessories, from fanny packs to ugly sweaters to jumpsuits to onesies, and they serve a full range of holidays, from Gaper Day to Valentine’s Day.
All of their products are…um…loud. They do not shy away from bright colors, flamboyant cuts, and retro patterns.
This winter I’ve spent some time in their Powder Blaster Ski Suit, the “official ski suit of Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley.” Tipsy Elves doesn’t have much more to say about the Powder Blaster other than that it’s “jam-packed with functional features.” But I’ve skied the Powder Blaster in a variety of conditions, from backyard-shed-mountaineering, to inbounds slush snowblading, to one very deep pow day. And through it all, the Powder Blaster has performed above and beyond any expectations, while glowing like some sort of gigantic Sharpie highlighter.
At 6’, 175 lbs, I usually go with a size Large in everything. So I reviewed the Large Powder Blaster, and I found that it generally fit well. There is room to layer underneath, but the arms and legs are a little short for my lanky frame. This isn’t too much of an issue, but I did notice a lot of snow occasionally getting into my exposed wrists and ankles while skiing (and crashing) in fresh snow. The Large does give me a nice, slim fit that I’m told makes my butt look good (judge for yourself), but I’m pretty sure that observation was more flattery than objective appraisal, especially since the yellow is so bright that it’s impossible to look directly at me while wearing it.
Tipsy Elves makes nine different patterned onesies. They are all pretty majestic, especially since they carry names like the “Carvaholic” and “Sunrise Shredder.”
I’m pretty partial to the neon yellow and pink of the Powder Blaster though. It’s impossible to miss, it makes people want to wear sunglasses inside when I’m at the bar, and it hides dirt well. If you don’t want to attract attention, then absolutely none of the Tipsy Elves suits are for you. But the Powder Blaster is definitely the most striking. Be prepared for highlighter jokes, and for your more caring friends to try to kick dirt on you and spill their beers on you in an attempt to mute the glow.
The Powder Blaster has a well-thought-out pocket layout. There are two zip pockets on the hip, each large enough for one tall boy.
There are also two snap-closure chest pockets that fit a regular-sized beer. That brings your total beer capacity to 56 oz.
And there is a zippered inside chest pocket, perfect for a phone and wallet.
The biggest pro of the onesie design of the Powder Blaster, though, is that you’re not actually limited by pocket space. Instead, the entire chest of the onesie becomes one huge pocket. Just cinch down the belt, unzip the neck a little, and you can fit as many beverages (or extra layers, or food) as you’d like, all held tight to your chest and belly. I’ve had great success with beverage cans staying put in the chest cavity, even when snowblading at high speeds.
The Powder Blaster is surprisingly functional. There are ample pit and thigh vents, and I found the zippers easy to operate. There is also a hidden hood in the collar, with drawstrings. The leg cuffs have zippers that allow the cuff to open up to fit over bigger ski boots, but I wish the legs zipped up a little higher so that you could get the onesie on and off without having to take off your boots — thus facilitating BN runs.
As spring finally comes to the mountains, costumed skiers rise from their Gore-Tex clad hibernation and take to the slopes. However, most of these costumes are rather non functional. Every year scantily-clad skiers risk hypothermia when a sunny morning turns into a snowy afternoon. I personally fell victim to this when my skinny pants and shark shirt proved terribly inadequate while waiting to ski the Chinese Downhill at Targhee.
The Powder Blaster is the most practical spring costume I’ve ever used. It’s warm and waterproof enough that I skied a low 20° powder day with just a base layer underneath it with no issue, and when the temperature creeps towards the 40’s and your sun-starved skin screams for tanning rays, it’s easy to unzip and fold back the top half of the Blaster and tie the arms around your waist, soccer-mom-jogging-in-a-subdivision-with-a-sweatshirt style.
The Powder Blaster is pretty heavily insulated and I found myself opening all the vents when skiing hard in mid 20° weather. But the vents do a good job of dumping heat.
And while I haven’t worn it in sustained rain, I’ve been impressed by the waterproofing on the Powder Blaster. It hasn’t soaked through at all, even after sustained and repeated slush crashing.
This functionality is much of the magic of the Powder Blaster. I could conceivably ski it every day inbounds with minimal discomfort. Sure, it’s not as technical as a 3-layer outerwear kit, but how many 3-layer outerwear kits come in this color, with a color-matched belt? It’s much more functional and comfortable in a broader range of conditions than any other ski-costume I’ve seen, with the possible exception of the old “put a dress over your inbounds kit” technique.
Why Not Buy A Vintage Onesie?
This is really the most pertinent question. The Powder Blaster is merely an imitation of the technical outerwear of yesteryear. Why not scour the thrift stores for something your father or grandfather skied in? Well, it’s often actually hard to find good onesies at the thrift store. I’ve been looking for four years, and the majority I’ve found are generally badly colored, too small, and smell like death.
And even if you get lucky and find a vintage onesie for a fair price, they often still carry the scars of too many days skied in the free-wheeling 70’s, and often smell like a weird combination of cigarettes, aftershave, and ancient body odor.
On top of all that, vintage onesies are not usually as warm, waterproof, or colorful as the Powder Blaster. So if you’ve already got a beautiful, bright vintage onesie that smells like daisies, then congrats; I’m jealous of you. For all the rest of you who have been scouring the bargain basements and thrift stores for the last few years, the Powder Blaster is a compelling alternative.
Who’s It For?
First, Who it’s Not For:
- The Powder Blaster is not for people who aren’t comfortable screaming that they’re “THE BEST SKIER ON THE MOUNTAIN!”
- It’s not for people who care more about how many days and feet of vert they’ve skied this year than the number of GNAR points riding the tram with snowblades on their feet would be worth.
- It’s not for people who like to tell their non-skiing friends how many black diamonds they’ve skied.
- It’s not for people who are self-conscious.
- It’s not for people who don’t like attracting attention.
- It’s not for people who turn down chairlift beers.
- It’s not for people who wear their helmet cam every day to film their season edit.
- It’s not for people that never crash.
The Powder Blaster is perfect for the discerning skier who is looking for a practical costume that enables him or her to carry the spirit of Gaper Day throughout the entire season, regardless of weather.
Imagine zipper-lining a mogul run right under the lift, boosting the last bump into a majestic spread eagle. The crowd on the lift goes wild, you flail a little on the landing — maybe you hold it together, maybe you don’t. Either way, what would you rather be wearing? Your color-matched, sensibly-sized, fully-seam-sealed, earth-toned inbounds kit? Or something that looks like what would happen if a highlighter had too many drinks with a prison jumpsuit and their kid accessorized with questionable accents?
If you’re lucky, save some money and grab a vintage onesie from the thrift store. However, if that option isn’t available, the Tipsy Elves Powder Blaster Ski Suit is even more functional and flamboyant. Just bring sunglasses and a mullet, and prepare for excessive excitement.