A ski jacket will make or break your day. There are the jackets that’ll have you constantly adjusting, sweating, and cursing the day you decided to slap on your first pair of skis. Then there are the gems – the jackets with perfectly placed pockets and materials the designers chose to perfectly pair with their intended use.
With a whole sea of ski jackets to wade through, we’ll help spare you from diving into the murky waters. We cleared things up by sifting through hundreds of reviews and narrowing your options down to the chosen few.
Here are the best men’s ski jackets for 2021-2022.
How We Choose Our Jackets
We won’t be duped into buying a fresh jacket based on attractive colors and marketing speak. To give you the best recommendations, we carefully examined these 3 categories:
- Fit – Size range, comfort, cut, length, helmet accommodation
- Material – Weather resistance, durability, breathability, type of insulation
- Features – Pockets, vents, zippers, thumbholes
The Best Uninsulated Men’s Ski Jackets
1. Strafe Nomad Jacket
Highlights: Carefully designed, feature-packed, and astonishingly breathable, the Nomad has a cult following for more than a few reasons. Freeskier Editor’s Pick 2020.
Fit: The Nomad achieves what many guys are seeking: a roomy fit that avoids extra bulk and bagginess. Strafe made sure that you have room to layer and move, but you won’t be mistaken for a park-rat or caught schlepping a bunch of unnecessary material on the skin track. A longer hem means that the powder skirt won’t pull up on your midlayers, avoiding awkward bunching and readjusting. Bigger and taller guys have had good luck with this coat, finding that the jacket fits longer than others.
Material: Fans of the Nomad are absolutely stoked about the jacket’s 3 layer eVent material, calling it “astonishingly breathable” and “by far the most breathable and comfortable ski jacket I’ve ever owned.” Many customers find that eVent is more breathable and has better temperature regulation than comparable Gore-Tex technology. Fans also report that eVent fabric is super solid and durable, but some have noticed that it’s easy to scuff. There’s always a trade-off, but for many, this minor aesthetic drawback pales in comparison to all the benefits of eVent.
Features: When designing the Nomad, Strafe kept both resort and backcountry skiers in mind. The Nomad includes a pass pocket on the left side, while also making sure there are massive chest pockets that could fit your skins, beacon, and phone. The left chest pocket has a small mesh pocket for a beacon or phone with a passthrough for headphones. The designers put some serious thought into the design so that we wouldn’t have to, and we appreciate that.
2. Trew Cosmic Jacket
Highlights: Versatile, easy on the eyes, and totally bomber. The Cosmic diehards encourage you to See the Trewth and Get Cosmic. 🪐
Fit: With a modern freeride fit, the Cosmic is a bit longer in the body and sleeves than a traditional alpine shell. While the fit is slimmer and shorter than Trew’s Powfunk, fans say that the Cosmic runs somewhere between true-to-size and a little large. Big guys are especially stoked on this one, saying the sleeves and length suit their size. While sizing can always be a shot in the dark, one thing is for sure — people love Trew’s customer service. One of their team members will gladly help you figure out your size and arrange an exchange if you need to adjust.
Material: The diehards appreciate that this jacket is made to last. One devotee reports wearing his Trew jacket for 7 years, 50+ days per year. As a company based in Portland, the folks over at Trew knows what “wet” really means, and the Cosmic reflects their expertise. With a stout 3 layer fabric, fully taped seams, water-resistant pocket zippers, and a water-repellent front zipper, the Cosmic means business.
Features: Trew is a fan of pockets, and so are we. The Cosmic sports 2 large zip hand pockets, flap-protected chest pockets, 2 internal stretch-mesh drop pockets, and a zip wrist pass/stash pocket. The hand pockets can store all the resort-day essentials, but if you like to pack extra layers or backcountry gear, the high pockets will easily cooperate with your backpack straps. Throw in some pit zips, a snappable powder skirt, and an adjustable hood, and you’ve got yourself a perfect all-around technical shell.
3. Stio Objective Pro Jacket
Highlights: Highly versatile, durable, and breathable, the Stio Objective Pro will keep you trucking on the uphill and covered on the downhill.
Fit: Stio calls this a “medium cut,” meaning it fits true-to-size while comfortably accommodating layers and movement. Fans of Stio’s Environ jacket (another favorite of ours) will find that the Objective Pro fits a bit slimmer than the Environ, particularly in the shoulders and underarms. With a spacious halo hood and brushed-tricot collar, the Objective Pro nails the balance between functionality and comfort.
Material: If you’re the type of guy who’s committed to getting out every weekend, then you’ll love the Stio Objective Pro’s burly construction. Equipped with a super solid Gore-Tex 3 layer Recycled Pro exterior, this jacket will keep out all the elements while making sure you don’t overheat. In this 3 layer construction, the Gore-Tex membrane is bound to both the inner lining and exterior lining, making it extra durable. Add in the “Pro” tech, and you have an especially durable and breathable material compared to typical Gore-Tex.
Features: Fans of the Objective Pro are especially excited about the pockets, which include:
- A pass-through exterior chest pocket for easy access to interior pockets
- Covered, oversized zippered hand pockets set high on the body for pack compatibility
- An interior zippered media pocket and chest pocket
- An interior mesh drop-in pocket for quick access essentials
Vents add to the jacket’s breathability, making it easy to cool down when you’re bootpacking for the goods. When it’s time to drop in, the storm-sealing hem will keep the powder at bay.
4. Rab Khroma Kinetic
Highlights: Soft and flexible enough for high-powdered movement, but burly and weatherproof enough for the harshest storms. The features are especially perfect for the avid backcountry skier, so it’s no surprise that the Khroma Kinetic won Backcountry Magazine 2021 Editor’s Choice Award.
Fit: The Khroma Kinetic is contoured to follow your form but loose enough to fit all the necessary layers. Fans who rave about the slim fit are especially pleased with the neck and hood area, which offers close-fit protection while allowing enough room to freely move your head. Some report that Rab’s slim fit runs small, so you may want to size up if you’re between sizes. Dial your fit by adjusting the hem, cuffs, and hood.
Material: The Khroma Kinetic’s 20D Proflex fabric with DWR coating is exactly what a backcountry skier wants – flexibility, breathability, durability, and waterproofness. The softness allows for maximum comfort when you’re fiddling with boots, ripping skins, and making jump turns. Whether you’re deep in a Cascade storm or getting thrashed by wind in the high Rockies, this jacket will keep you protected.
Features: Here’s where the Khroma Kinetic really delivers for the backcountry skiers out there. As you make moves and realize that you need to grab your chapstick out of your pocket, you don’t have to worry about fiddling with your backpack’s waist strap. The high chest pocket placement makes it easy to grab and go. The oversized chest pockets also double as vents, making them perfect for temperature regulation and skin storage when you’re taking laps. When things really heat up, throw open the large pit zips for extra cooling. Since we love to pack our pockets, we’re stoked to see a designated stash pocket for all those “do not lose” items, like your wallet and keys.
5. Holden 3 Layer Jacket
Highlights: “Technical” doesn’t have to mean boring or ugly, and Holden makes sure of that. This sleek, stylish shell fends off the elements and makes sure you look fresh for après.
Fit: The Holden 3 layer sports a semi-slim yet comfortable fit, pairing a casual look with low-bulk mobility. To find the perfect fit, you can adjust the hood, cuffs, and hem. As with all of their designs, Holden makes sure that these elements are both functional and slick. The hem and hood are equipped with Cohesive, a cord management system that is as stylishly subtle as it is effective at keeping everything right where you want it.
Material: It’s all in the name – the 3 Layer Jacket is equipped with 3 layers packed together to make one super waterproof and breathable shell that provides perfect coverage, rain or shine. The shell is also highly packable, making it easy to throw in the bag for a long weekend away. With fully taped seams and waterproof zippers, the 3 Layer will keep you perfectly dry no matter the conditions.
Features: Holden’s 3 Layer Jacket has the most crucial features. When it’s time to get moving up the hill, stash your goggles in the inside throw pocket, bump some tunes from the phone in your interior media pocket, and throw open the underarm vents. Once you’re at the top, make all the necessary hood, hem, and cuff adjustments, and get ready to send.
The Best Insulated Men’s Jackets
6. Helly Hansen Alpha LifaLoft Jacket
Highlights:Lightweight yet warm with thoughtfully designed features, the Alpha LifaLoft has collected hundreds of 5-star reviews and countless fans.
Fit:Alpha enthusiasts applaud the jacket’s cut, which has a snug fit but ample room for layering and movement. Stretchy material and lightweight insulation make it feel cozier than stiffer alternatives without compromising on weather resistance. Articulated sleeves offer plenty of flexibility, making it easy to sling skis over one shoulder and kids/pups/friends over the other. Sizes extend to XXL.
Material: As many fans will tell you, subzero temps are no match for the LifaLoft. Helly Hansen’s synthetic insulation is impressively warm given its lightweight and waterproof quality. This saves you from a bulky fit, giving you more space to move around while making sure you’re plenty warm. Helly Hansen’s 2 layer shell material holds its own in rain, wind, and snow, making it a solid yet soft competitor to Gore-Tex.
Features: If you’re all about flexible features, the Alpha LifaLoft is calling your name. Headed into a storm? Snap in the powder skirt and cinch down the hood. Headed for a walk around town? No problem, shed the powder skirt and detachable hood. Wrist gaiters with thumbholes add additional comfort for blustery days, while the pit vents will cool you off as you bust out laps.
The designers went all-in on pockets with this one, adding 7 pockets to the mix – 2 chest pockets (goggle wipe included!), 2 hand warming pockets, 1 internal media pocket, 1 internal mesh pocket, and 1 ski pass pocket. Our favorite is the Life Pocket+ with Aerogel Insulation, a NASA technology designed to protect electronics in sub-freezing temps.
7. The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate Jacket
Highlights: Warm, versatile, and conveniently featured 3-in-1 jacket combo at a good value.
Fit: The Thermoball Eco Snow has a roomy, neutral fit with comfortable features that prioritize protection and mobility. A helmet-compatible hood and high collar protect your face and neck on cold days, while giving you plenty of room to move around. Some find that this jacket runs a little long, which many prefer for both style and coverage. If the sleeves feel a little lengthy, no problem – you can use the velcro tabs to easily adjust the shell’s cuffs to fit your preferred length.
Material: While some 3-in-1 jackets might make sacrifices in one department or another, this jacket does no such thing. The North Face’s waterproof DryVent material offers very solid weather resistance, comparable to big names in the weatherproofing world like Gore-Tex. The inner layer’s Thermoball Eco insulation is made from recycled polyester, a warm and lightweight material. The seamless fit between the two layers ensures that you’ll be cozy and dry without having to think twice.
Features: Compatible zippers make the jacket’s layers combine and deconstruct with little effort. If you’re heading out on a blizzardy day, you can quickly zip up the combo to keep out the elements. When it comes time to hide away in the lodge, no need to fumble with multiple layers – you can shed the jacket in one fell swoop. Zippered pockets on the wrist, waist, and chest allow you to pack the essentials and then some, so don’t worry – your ski pass, phone, goggles, breakfast burrito, and beer can each have their own pockets.
8. Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket
Highlights: Intentionally featured and ruggedly built, the Powder Bowl can joust with the snaggliest branches and weather the soggiest storms.
Fit: The Patagonia designers were on point with this one, offering a neutral fit that gives you room to layer without any extra heft or bagginess. Most guys report that the Powder Bowl fits true-to-size, but as many of us know, sizing can sometimes be a toss-up. Thankfully Patagonia has plenty of brick-and-mortar stores and is well stocked across outdoor shops. When in doubt, go try it on for size.
Material: Patagonia walks the walk, making sure your jacket is climate-conscious, fair-trade, and ticks every design box. Built with a 2 layer Gore-Tex fabric made from 100% recycled polyester, the Powder Bowl is undeniably waterproof, windproof, durable, and breathable. We know from experience that Gore-Tex is legit, but when an enthusiastic reviewer says this jacket is “Great for Winter in the Cascades,” you know it’s impressively waterproof. Whether you’re surfing powder or slammed with sideways sleet, the Powder Bowl won’t let you down. Offered in both insulated and uninsulated styles.
Features: The Powder Bowl doesn’t skimp on quality features. Fans especially appreciate the jacket’s straightforward and adaptable details, including a hem with tightening drawcord that exits into handwarmer pockets, a cinchable powder skirt, and a webbing loop that connects to any Patagonia snow pants. The 6 pockets cover all the bases – 2 handwarmers, 1 chest with a secure media pocket and cable routing, 1 ski pass forearm pocket, 1 interior zippered pocket with a key clip, and 1 interior drop-in pocket.
9. Arc’teryx Sabre AR Jacket
Highlights: Strong yet flexible, the Sabre will follow your every dynamic movement.
Fit: The Sabre AR runs large, but even the reviewers who noticed the larger-than-average fit report that this is the most comfortable ski jacket they’ve ever owned. Thanks to Arc’teryx’s smart design elements, like articulated patterning and gusseted underarms, moving around will be so easy that you won’t even notice the jacket. This larger fit also allows for layering, though you may not need to bulk up too much given the brushed-flannel interior lining. No matter the size, expect full comfort and range of motion in the Sabre AR.
Material: With a 3 layer Gore-Tex exterior and brushed-flannel interior lining, the Sabre AR functions like a shell with a touch more comfort and warmth. While the flannel isn’t a full insulation layer, this lining may reduce the amount of bulky layering you’ll need to add to the equation. For many, a base layer and thin mid-layer fleece are all they’ll need on an average day out, and a thin puffy rounds things out for super cold days. Run hot? Have no fear, the lining is one thread thick and highly breathable, so you won’t have to worry about overheating.
Features: The Sabre is stacked with all the features you care about most. Pockets are a must, and the Sabre has plenty – 2 hand pockets, a ski pass sleeve pocket, a zippered internal chest pocket, and an internal mesh dump pocket. We all love a protective hood/collar combo, but some ski jacket hoods are so tight-fit that it feels like you’re stuck in a stiff neck brace. Not so with the Sabre’s StormHood, which cinches down to protect your face without limiting your motion or obscuring your vision. Other vital features include the long pit zips, velcroed cuff adjusters, and a stretchy powder skirt.
10. Norrøna Lofoten Insulated Gore-Tex Jacket
Highlights: Toasty and clean-cut with all the necessary features to keep you moving inbounds and out.
Fit: Lofoten enthusiasts will be the first to tell you about this jacket’s ideal fit. It allows for plenty of layering and pocket stuffing while maintaining a tailored, clean-cut shape. It’s insulated but not puffy, keeping you warm without looking stuffed to the gills. The jacket fits true-to-size, and Norrøna makes it super easy to assess fit and sizing on their website.
Material: Norrøna aspires to deliver “loaded minimalism” – the stuff you want and need, without any extra fluff. With its selectively placed insulation, this jacket does exactly that. You’ll find that the warmer insulation in the torso and shoulders keeps your core warm (which is mission-critical since your core circulates blood to your extremities), while thinner arm insulation eliminates unnecessary bulk. Pack this up in a 2 layer Gore-Tex shell, and you have a solid piece of protection.
Features: While most will cruise the resort in the Lofoten Insulated Jacket, this piece functions well for both backcountry and front country pursuits. It has an arm pass pocket that secures your ski pass, along with large pit zips and front pockets that fit critical backcountry gear like beacons and skins. The jacket’s internal pocket offers roomy storage, easily accommodating the latest generation of iPhone XXXL. The jacket’s subtle design is rounded out by convenient bonus features, including a soft-brushed collar and a leashed goggle wipe.