As with most outdoor equipment, the best ski jackets are not a one size fits all. There are a few factors to consider when choosing which jacket to keep you warm this winter.
To begin, you’ll need to consider the type of setting you're planning on using this jacket. Will you be ski touring in the backcountry? Trying to stay as warm as possible while sitting on vintage ski lifts? Or, is it that you’re looking for a 'do-everything' jacket that provides you necessary coverage as the season progresses from a deep cold winter to a warm spring?
There are key details to watch out for in all jackets:
Waterproof/Breathability - Will I stay dry? There are several types of materials on the market such as GORE-TEX fabrics, DWR surface treatment and several other options. It’s important to know how waterproof/breathable your jacket is so you’ll know how to dress underneath it.
Insulative qualities - How warm is this going to keep me, will I need extra layers? Several types of insulation are available, there’s Down, Fleece, Synthetic and of course no insulation available. Now that our winter ahead is looking a lot different than it did in the past, it’s important to spend more time on the hill and less time needing to warm up inside.
Fit/size range - Let’s be honest, jackets should be available for athletic bodies and skier thighs are real.
We’re going to highlight the gear that values performance just as much as aesthetics, like our Earhart Ski. Prototyped, Designed, Tested by Women for Women was key for us to help break the “shrink it and pink it” gap imposed by companies before us. If you’d like to check out more about our Earhart Ski that features 8 layers of our patented anti-vibration VibeStop technology view it here.
The Sentinel AR was designed for the skier specifically looking to tour this winter in addition to nostalgic resort lap. Whether dropping cliffs or dodging trees in the backcountry this jacket is an elite adventure tool.
With optimal range of motion, breathability and protection from the elements this jacket doesn’t stop working until you are. Featuring N70p 3L GORE-TEX (i.e. the new top-tier new-age fabric from the most trusted source) this jacket gives you a lightweight and soft feeling fabric without wearing out. It’s highly abrasion resistant for its weight and has a soft hand feel alongside a durable woven backer and waterproof finish. We found the flannel liner also gives you a slight upper hand in insulation compared to a normal straight shell jacket. This jacket has a wide color selection whether you’re into neutrals or go for a bold look. Sizes range from XS-XL (around a US size 16). Bonus for tall women: this long cut prevents those cold air gaps. Yes!
These features don't come without a premium however and while the Sentinel weights in light on your shoulders, it's heavy on the wallet at $675
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.
Hands-down the best value if you're looking for durable performance in rough conditions all season long. The Triolet Jacket leverages a three-layer durable, waterproof/breathable and windproof GORE-TEX fabric with a 100% recycled polyester face for much-better-than-average protection.
This jacket is versatile for skiing in any weather conditions. Pair with a puffy jacket or a mid layer fleece for colder days or undo the pit-zips for spring skiing. You can also feel good about your purchases with Patagonia as the Triolet Jacket is Fair Trade certified. With sizing from XXS- XL the Triolet jacket is for everyone. We’ve noticed this jacket has a great curvy fit allowing for layers while not being squished like a marshmallow while skiing.
Bonus item - the Triolet jacket features an elasticized strap at the low back, connects to any Patagonia snow pants to prevent the jacket from riding up (you can use it with others too).
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.
Price: $399 + Lifetime Warranty (some might say this is priceless!)
If you’re a snack extraordinaire this one’s for you: Trew didn’t skimp on the pockets for this one. You’ve got all the room for pocket breakfast sandwiches, beacons, chapstick and your phone.
Whether you’re catching the first chair or skiing in the backcountry, the Stella Jacket is an all around epic jacket. Being based in the Pacific Northwest, Trew has learned a thing or two about staying dry while skiing do they incorporated 3L PNW 20k/20k fabric to give you a great waterproof/breathability ratio. The curved bottom hem is a huge plus for not feeling stuck with your legs tied together, plenty of room to move and groove in this one. Sized XS-XL (around a US 16). A great aspect about Trew, like us, is that they’ll help you find your right size and perfect jacket with an email to their team.
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.
Pursuits of Ski Tours, Resort laps and the occasional Nordic ski adventure are all on the mind of the Raymer Jacket. Being lightweight and fully waterproof your jacket will not slow your adventure down. Our favorite feature about this jacket is the Stretch Entrant 3L shell material, 20,000mm waterproof 13,000g/m2 breathable and a hydrophobic microporous membrane. To translate, it wicks vapor away from the body as you sweat and keeps the mountain conditions out as you’re out on the trail really well. From tram laps on the mountain at Jackson hole to pass laps with buddies, the raymer jacket will do it all. This jacket comes in three contemporary colors in a size range XS-XL (Size 16). Bonus item- High Collar, Pack Compatibility, and Ample Storage for trail snacks.
Stio was founded to inspire a connection with the outdoors through beautiful, functional products infused with mountain soul. Based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming they draw inspiration from the immersion of life at the base of the Tetons.
Wanting a little extra warmth without needing to bring extra layers? Love Scandanavian design? The Lofoten jacket combines a Gore-Tex pro shell with an PrimaLoft insulative layer to offer a fully protective, extremely durable freeride jacket. They’re not playing around when it comes to insulation, they have two thicknesses. One warmer in the torso and in the shoulders and another thinner in your sleeves and on your back. Sized XS-XL (US 12/14). This jacket cuts no corners when it comes to functionality and design. Fun Fact: more than 50% of the synthetic fibers in this product are recycled.
In 1929, Jørgen Jørgensen, a Norwegian outdoor enthusiast, began his search for durable outdoor equipment to perform in Norway´s harsh and rugged land. Today, four generations later, Norrøna is still a family-owned and run company.
Price $499 + 5 year Warranty
Not sure what the weather is going to be like on a long ski trip or don’t like the feeling of forgetting layers? Are you a fan of environmentally sustainable products? This 3-in-1 jacket by the North Face features a waterproof breathable outer layer perfect for snowy conditions and a recycled eco insulation layer to keep you warm on frosty days. The best part about 3-in-1’s is your ability to switch it up throughout the day as the sun beams on the slopes and you get hot, you can easily ditch the middle layer in the lodge or rock the insulative layer alone to/from the car. Safe to say these jackets have you covered in a variety of conditions. There are a variety of colors to choose from and sizing from XS-XL. Bonus item- This jacket's insulation is 100% recycled and synthetic is regarded as being just as warm as Goose down.
The North Face’s fundamental mission has remained unchanged since 1966: Provide the best gear for our athletes and the modern day explorer, support the preservation of the outdoors, and inspire a global movement of exploration.
Skiing on cold days and slow lifts are no match for the Alphelia jacket. With Lifaloft insulation it’s an ultimate on-resort jacket. Lifaloft is 20% lighter than standard insulation. Being able to shed the bulkiness associated with many insulated jackets keeps your feeling more agile and not like an abominable snowman. On top of that it’s 4 way stretch fabric and 2 layer construction is incredibly breathable (say goodbye to back sweat marks)! With sizing from XS-XXL Helly Hansen has cut no corners being size inclusive. While their colorways are more streamlined and traditional, their products stand out for themselves. Bonus item- an insulated phone pocket protects from battery drain from cold temperatures so you can stay connected on hill.
Based in Norway with 140 years of innovation under their belt Helly Hansen, their gear is worn and trusted by professionals on oceans, mountains and worksites. Performance and protection is top of mind when developing their products.
This jacket is loaded with performance technology, packing a punch ready to take on a day skiing on the resort or out in the backcountry. With 20k/20k stretch BD dry fabric and a PFC-free DWR it’s got you covered inside and out. Utilizing 60g Thermolite insulation you’ll stay warm and protected from snow guns to freezing rain. With a 4-way stretch 3 layer fabric it's designed to move with your body with sizing ranging from XS-XL (US 16). Bonus Item- You can even opt for the upgraded version which has body mapped Lavalen Wool to provide you with exceptional thermal regulation using the organic properties of wool. Wool is hygroscopic and can transfer up to 30% of its weight in water, allowing moisture vapor to move off the wearer through the insulation layer.
Founded in 1957 Black Diamond has set a standard in numerous areas. Their focus revolves around two things, climbing and skiing. As a company, they stand for the spirits of the sports we live, their values and goals, past, present and future.
Price- $349 (with Wool $425)
I hope you find our round-up useful in choosing the best men’s ski jacket for your needs.
Ski hard and stay warm!
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