How to Choose a Ski Jacket?
When it comes to choosing a ski jacket for your next ski or snowboarding trip, it’s easy to be confounded by the wide range of styles and features on offer. In our continuous mission to endow you with the skills to always pick out the best gear for you, we’ve put together this buying guide that delves deeper into detail about the different styles on offer which will help you to make an informed choice that fits your needs.
Things to think about before buying a ski jacket:
The type of jacket you’ll need depends heavily on the weather conditions you’ll find yourself in on the mountain. While you’ll obviously need defence against the cold, temperature can vary wildly depending on your location. The two main factors to consider are temperature and moisture control.
Insulation Types – The colder the conditions are the more you’ll have to focus on high insulation and as a result you need to pick your insulation material carefully. Most of our ski jacket styles are designed with synthetic polyester insulation. This is a great material that offers a balance of warmth and breathability, making them ideal for long days when you’ll be working up a sweat beneath your layers.
If you’re going to be in extra cold conditions, you can opt for down feather stuffing. The natural down stores heat in air pockets and is fantastic at keeping you warm in the coldest weather conditions. However, down jackets generally won’t have much water protection so when you’re skiing in a down jacket, you need a day with very dry conditions.
Specifications – While it may seem that high waterproofing is essential on the slopes, if it’s not actually snowing, a skilled skier may be able to avoid falls soaking them through. However, if you’re a newbie, you’ll need that extra waterproof protection because the chances are you’ll spend a lot of time in the powder. Another thing to look out for is taped seams. Without taped seams, moisture can leak in between panels through the stitching.
Find out more about taped seams here
Breathability is also an essential ski jacket feature when you’re out on the slopes. You’ll be up there for hours on end and the exertion will likely have you sweating for most of the day. Without a breathable layer, you’ll quickly get hot, damp and uncomfortable. A good ski jacket will allow moisture to escape, allowing you to keep cool, focused and dry at all times.
Ski Jacket – The classic ski jacket style has a durable waterproof outer layer with a padded interior made from synthetic fibres. It will feature several extras to make life on the slopes easier and is the most common style you’ll likely see out on the snow.
Snowboard Jacket – The primary difference that separates a snowboard jacket from a ski jacket is the fit. Snowboarders require a wider range of movement so the jacket is baggier to allow that more easily. They generally also have a longer section at the rear as snowboarders regularly have to sit in the snow to put their boots into their snowboard.
Down – As mentioned previously, down jackets are generally reserved for experienced skiers who aren’t too worried about getting wet. They are best suited to the coldest conditions as their primary role is to provide warmth in the harsh winter cold. We supply both men’s down jackets and women’s down jackets.
Ski Suits – Ski suits are great for kids and cover both their jacket and salopettes either in one piece or as a jacket and pants combo. The jackets in these sets are mostly designed like standard ski jackets but the salopettes often rise to the chest for extra protection across the torso.
Snow Skirts – A snow skirt or snow break is a material panel that secures round the waist and blocks snow from getting in underneath your jacket. This is essential for anyone new to snow sports as getting snow inside your jacket can spell disaster.
Vents – Many ski jackets have extra ventilation built in that you can open with zips in the underarm. While it may not seem like overheating is a problem in the snow, if you’re in the sun and undertaking intense physical activity all day, you’ll find you warm up fast and will be glad for a breath of fresh air.
Pockets – Ski jackets are designed with a range of pockets, both outside and inside. Many feature pockets on the sleeve for your ski pass and there are often goggle pockets inside too. Most of these pockets will have water-resistant covers or zips.
Wrist Gaiters – Wrist gaiters are similar to a snow skirt but they keep snow from entering through the sleeves and allow for a comfortable fit with your ski gloves. These are another great feature for newer skiers and snowboarders who will likely fall at some point.
Detachable Hoods – Many of our ski jackets are fitted with detachable hoods that can be removed with a simple zip. This is handy for anyone who wears a helmet as it keeps the hood out of the way rather than having it hanging behind where it will inevitably be filled with snow as soon as you fall.
RECCO® – This is certainly one for those who like to travel the world to ski. RECCO® is a fantastic system that is used to find skiers who are trapped under a bed of snow in the event of an avalanche. Several of our jackets feature a small RECCO® indicator that will help you be located if you fall victim to an avalanche.
If you’re looking to fill out the rest of your snow sports outfit, you can find guides, tips and hints in our ski advice section for a range of other ski and snowboarding essentials.