A ski jacket is your first line of defense against Mother Nature and all of her elements. A good ski jacket will keep you warm on bone-chilling winter days, insulate you from rain or heavy snow, and breath on a bluebird day.
Ski jackets have evolved over the years as manufacturers searched for the perfect combination of warmth, waterproofness, breathability and fit. Skiers can choose from shell jackets, insulated jackets and 3-in-1s. Technology and new innovations have made ski jackets better than ever and more tailored to skier’s needs.
If you’re going to invest in the best ski jacket on the market, then make sure to pair it with the best skis in the industry. Renoun is the first ski manufacturer to use HDT™, a non-newtonian polymer which adapts instantly to snow conditions and ski style. Check out Renoun’s line-up of award winning skis.
Now that we have a better understanding of ski jackets and what to look for, let’s take a look at this year’s best ski jackets for men.
Awarded the “Skier’s Choice Award”, the Environ is a workhorse — but we love it for it’s simplicity.
Made with a 3-layer waterproof & breathable layers and carefully placed zip vents, it'll keep you cool for the out of bound hikes or that early morning skin up the ridge. Close everything up, and it becomes a trusty resort jacket with plenty of storage where you need it (and none where you don’t).
Stio uses a material called Dermizax - a polyester based fabric with 3-way stretch that moves incredibly well, yet somehow still keeps the wind and wet out. The Environ has plenty of adjustments around your waist and hood to seal in the heat on those cold days and has all the bells and whistles you’d expect out of a more premium (and pricer) jacket.
Headquartered near the iconic Jackson Hole mountain, Stio is one of the most successful new outdoors brands in recent years. We’ve been a fan of their gear since we stopped by their headwaters in 2014. Inside secret: Stio's fonder once dyed her hair green for a product launch - a bird used it as a perch for an hour.
The 3-Layer Anorak is Holden’s modern take on the easy-entry pullover. Holden brings urban aesthetics to a best-of-breed ski jacket for men. Their designers chose to hide key performance features behind a refined, stylish silhouette.
This jacket provides unparalleled convenience in the form of side-zip entry and a removable powder skirt. Other performance features include an expandable neck gusset, zippered underarm vents and a 2-way adjustable hood. The outer shell uses a Japanese Nylon, 3-Layer construction and provides 20k / 20k waterproofing and breathability.
Holden Outerwear was founded in 2002 by professional snowboarder Mikey LeBlanc and apparel designer Scott Zergebel. They strive to make stylish performance outerwear for unconventional adventure. Holden’s focus is to redefine the natural order of outerwear for life on and beyond the mountains.
The Ascensionist Alpine Jacket is a favorite amongst avid skiers and I have found it very enjoyable to wear. The shell is as light as a feather, coming in at only 13.1 ounces. It does a fantastic job of preventing dampness from seeping into the mid and base layers. This ski jacket creates the perception of weightlessness and invites you to ski aggressively.
Patagonia uses 3-layer GORE-TEX active fabric with C-KNIT Backer Technology to provide soft comfort that is built for moving fast. The hood is helmet-compatible and two-way adjustable to insure good visibility in poor conditions. Other features include handwarmer pockets with watertight zippers, two-way pit zips for ventilation and hook-and-loop cuff closures.
Founded by Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia is known for its environmental and social initiatives. Chouinard co-founded the Fair Labor Association, 1% for the Planet, and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. If you buy the Ascensionist you’ll get a great jacket and fund initiatives that make the world a better place.
The Cosmic Jacket combines classic alpine design with modern materials to deliver a shell that is timeless, functional and tough. The designers drew inspiration from products that embody function and eschew fussiness.
This man’s Jacket is constructed of 3-layer PNW fabric with 20k / 20k waterproofing and breathability. It provides a helmet-compatible hood with an internal elastic. A powder skirt comes with a silicone gripper. Other features include underarm zip vents, two internal drop pockets, zip chest pockets under flaps and zip hand pockets. The Cosmic provides a versatile backcountry resort fit.
Trew Gear is located in Portland, Oregon. The name is the hybrid of the founders, Tripp and the Pew Brother. CEO Chris Pew is a board member of the Mount Hood Institute. He is a passionate backcountry skier and has summited and skied Mount Hood several times.
The Straightline Lifaloft features a long silhouette, copious amounts of pocket space, and double needle embossed stitching. Lifaloft combines Helly Hanson’s unique LIFA technology with Primaloft synthetic insulation for a jacket that retains heat while remaining lightweight and comfortable.
This jacket features 2-ply fabric construction and is fully insulated with 80g Lifaloft technology. It’s waterproof, windproof and breathable. Other features include Durable Water Repellency treatment, underarm ventilation zippers and articulated arms and elbows for a great fit.
Helly Hansen is a Norwegian company that has been a leader in outdoor apparel since 1877. It’s warm, lightweight ski jackets have made it a favorite with the Swedish and Canadian National Ski Teams.
The men's Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate jacket is a versatile, high-performance option for committed skiers. It’s a 3-in-1 jacket so you can use it as a shell, stand alone insulated jacket or a combination of the two.
The Thermoball features 2-layer DryVent material, a helmet-compatible hood, powder skirt with gripper elastic, chest and hand pockets and North Face’s ThermoBall Eco insulation. This ski jacket has you covered for a range of conditions.
Weight and breathability are the top design priorities with this backcountry jacket. It has been awarded Powder Magazine’s Skier’s Choice award and Freeskier’s Editors’ Pick.
With its 3-layer waterproof, air-permeable fabric, this jacket will keep you dry while providing good breathability. The jacket is equipped with underarm vents, an integrated helmet hood and chamois fleece lined front hood and chin guard.
Strafe Outerwear was founded by twin brothers, John and Peter Gaston in Aspen, Colorado. They felt that most performance gear was beyond the budget of most young skiers or lacked the style of the freeskier movement.
With their Utility Jacket, O’Neill has combined urban style with highly functional skiwear. This model employs a 10K-10K waterproofing called O'Neill Hyperdry. And you’ll stay warm on cold days thanks to 80/60 Thinsulate.
O’Neil’s Utility Jacket doesn’t have the highest rating of the models in this article. However, at a list price of just $230, it is a strong contender for the best value.
O’Neill started by making gear for surfers to flow on the world's best waves. Today, O’Neill has a strong presence in the snow adventure space as well.
The Black Forest Shell Jacket uses FN Dry, 15K fabrication and hydrophilic lamination to keep skiers insulated against the elements. It’s a great line of defense against many of the weather patterns that you will face atop the mountain.
Pit zips under the arms allow you to regulate temperature. The Black Forest includes an oversized front pocket so you will have plenty of space for ski accessories.
Oakley was founded in 1975 and is based in Lake Forest, California. Oakley is known for sports eyewear but it has a comprehensive line of ski apparel to boot.
The Quantum Pro is a 3-layer hardshell jacket that was designed to be stormproof for climbing and skiing. It packs small so you can travel easily to your favorite backcountry or resort skiing locations. The Quantum can be combined with other layers to suit any temperature.
Primary features include 3-layer 100% Polyester Oxford fabric, a 20k/20k waterproof breathable membrane and OmniBloq Durable Water Repellent. You’ll also find plentiful pockets, a helmet-compatible hood and a removable powder skirt in a light format (656 grams).
Flylow was created by Greg Steen and Dan Abrams, two Colorado natives who imagined better gear for the mountains. The name of the company was coined by a French girl who saw them telemark skiing and shouted, “You don’t ski fast - you fly low”.
The Sabre AR Jacket is built with freeride touring in mind. It is designed to handle the vertical aspects of big mountain skiing by delivering freedom of motion, breathability and protection from the elements.
The jacket includes comprehensive features such as WaterTight pit zips for ventilation, an integrated power skirt and a helmet-compatible StormHood. You’ll also find Slide’n Loc attachments to the Saber AR Pant to create a snowproof ensemble.
Arc-teryx is a Canadian outerwear clothing and sporting goods company. It was founded in British Columbia by Dave Lane. The name was adopted in 1991 and refers to Archaeopteryx, one of the earliest known birds.
I hope you find our round-up useful in choosing the best men’s ski jacket for your needs.
Ski hard and stay warm!