Best Ski Jackets

It doesn’t matter if you plan on spending a week or a whole season skiing, owning the right equipment should be the highest priority in order to make the most out of this sport. It’s true, skiing gear does not come cheaply, but it’s definitely worth the price, so don’t make any rash decisions when it comes to picking the best gear. Finding the best option for you is a very important step, since you’re probably going to use your ski gear for years, it’s not like you need to renew the equipment once a year.

For those of you who are planning on investing in several bits of kit, a layering system will definitely keep your warm during this season, and it also means you can easily add or take away a few layers, depending on the weather. I’m talking about a thermal base layer, an insulated mid-layer and a completely waterproof outer shell that will stop snow from getting anywhere it shouldn’t.

For those who would rather go for a simpler approach, an all-round more insulated jacket could be the perfect fit, since it can provide almost the same features as an outer and mid-layer combined. The main difference is that this kind of jacket does not offer the same adaptability when the temperature changes.

However, an all-in-one style insulated jacket is an excellent choice for someone who’s new to this sport and doesn’t want to make any big investing mistake.

From all the different types and brands of ski jackets out there, we’ve chosen our top 5 favorites in order to make sure you will find exactly what you’re looking for. Some of those jackets are perfect to wear for other activities as well, not only for skiing.



The Best Ski Jacket

#1: Arc'teryx Macai

Our first pick is the Arc’teryx Macai jacket. Arc’teryx is well known for the high quality products they deliver. It’s worth mentioning that this jacket is also the most expensive on our list. The Arc’teryx Macai jacket is the lightest piece you will ever test and it’s definitely the best choice for anyone who can afford it.

Arc’Teryx is well known for the well-fitting clothes and we can assure you that the Macai jacket does not disappoint its customers. You can easily move around without pulling on the rest of the jacket, and yes, I’m talking in particular about bending over and exposing your back to the cold.

The best feature of this jacket is the ability to keep your warm. Down Composite Mapping uses synthetic insulation in areas prone to moisture and down in areas where you need the most warmth. With fully taped seams, waterproof zippers and a huge storm hood that fits over your helmet, this jacket is the perfect weapon for a stormy weather.

#2: Spyder Leader

Stylishly designed, at first glance, the Spyder Leader seems to be one of the most sophisticated jacket you can wear on a piste and not only, and it surely doesn’t disappoint.

While the down insulation that the Arc’teryx Macai provides and while Arc’teryx is lighter and warmer, and might last much longer, the one advantage of the synthetic insulation that Spyder Leader provides is that this jacket dries out so much faster than down insulation. We consider this a very important feature and it’s definitely a plus.

For those of you who are looking for a one-piece insulated jacket, the Leader is our best pick for someone who rides frequently and hard in wet conditions.

#3: The North Face Carto Triclimate Jacket

Our third option is The North Face Carto Triclimate Jacket. Well, everyone knows you can’t go wrong with The North Face. While usually the general rule is to order one size up, especially when you’re shopping with The North Face, however, I recommend that with this one, keep with your regular size.

This is considered one of the most comfy and best priced good looking jacket on the market right now. You can count on it to keep your warm, the hood fits perfectly to cover the head, making sure to provide the protection you need and keeping your ears from being exposed to the cold wind. It is, of course, waterproof and it has an inner jacket that can be unzipped, if preferred.

The North Face Carto Triclimate Jacket is not only perfect for skiing, but for rain, snow and fall weather as well, as the name itself says.

#4: Columbia Whirlibird Interchange Jacket

The Columbia WhirliBird Interchange is the most affordable option to the occasional skier or snowboarder, or for someone who just gotten into this sport.  Its versatility and affordable price puts this jacket on our top 5. For its price, the Columbia Whirlibird jacket is a hit! It will keep you dry, and most important, warm during this season. It comes in a lot of colors so you will definitely find a model that will fit your style just right.

#5 The North Face Men's Resolve Insulated Jacket

When dealing with cool and wet weather, it’s recommended to find ski clothing that will give you maximum freedom of movement. With its standard cut, this model from North Face will fit all sizes. In order to keep your hands protected from the cold and at the same time offering you a place to store the various accessories you need on the slopes, this model comes with two large pockets.

The DryVent shell ensures that the jacket is waterproof and breathable. In order to ensure enhanced performance, the manufacturer has also thought of equipping this model with a 60g Heatseeker insulation.

How To Choose A Good Ski Jacket?

Everytime we buy something, we trust and hope that the product will be effective and durable. But unfortunately that’s not always the case. Sometimes we end up disappointed with the quality, returning items or investing in the same items over and over again. So, in order to make sure your next purchase will be a good one, there’s a process that needs to be done first. 

We put together this  guide which contains all the criteria you need to consider when looking for the perfect ski jacket for you.


On contact with your warm body, the snow that sticks to your clothes eventually melts. If it seeps into your clothing, you will have an unpleasant feeling of cold mixed with moisture. So the first criteria to consider in any shopping guide for the best ski jackets is make sure the material is waterproof.

To find out if a jacket is waterproof or not, look at the measure of its waterproofness in its description. They usually use the Schmerber as unit.  The higher the value associated with this unit, the better the fabric protects against water. Ideally, this value should be around 10,000 Schmerbers for maximum protection.


Another criteria to include in your list before thinking about where to buy a new ski jacket is ventilation. Remember that skiing is a sport. At some point or another, you will end up getting hot and running out of air. Opening your jacket, however, will create a thermal shock. So before making your purchase, check that the jacket has ventilation zips.

The ventilation zips are usually located under the armpits or on the chest. This way, your skin will be able to breathe easily. It is important to know that this opening has two shapes. Either it is in the form of a net protecting you from the snow, or it opens out completely on the inside. However, these zips might vary depending on the model of the jacket.


Protection against snow infiltration

When you are skiing, you are probably  going to fall at some point and it’s completely normal to do so! It happens even to the best of us. However, this fall can cause snow to get into your clothing. Therefore, you need to make sure that the model you are about to buy has a snow skirt or wrist restraints.

These two elements are meant to block the passage of snow that threatens to affect your comfort. If the snow skirt blocks the entrance between your top and pants, the wrist restraints in the closed position prevent ice from entering through the opening in your hands. This will keep you warm and comfortable.

How To Use A Ski Jacket?

A good ski jacket is a must when you go skiing. It provides warmth and moisture protection in order to make your experience as comfortable and pleasant as possible. But for such a result, you have to know how to handle and maintain it. In case you don’t know exactly how to do this, please read through the instructions we have prepared for you in the paragraphs below.

Carefully read the features of your new ski jacket

There are more than a hundred brands offering ski jackets on the market. Some are more effective than others, but in any case, by the end of this article you probably have already made your choice and bought your jacket. Now it’s time to use it. However, before proceeding to this step, be sure to check the product label. You’ll find all the tips on how to handle your jacket in it. This way, it will be effective over a longer period of time.

Wear it properly

Always make sure to wear a long-sleeved T-shirt and a sweater under your jacket. In order to prevent snow from seeping under your  clothes, tuck everything into your pants. Then put your ski jacket on top.

Clean it the right way

Although the white snow might look bright and clean, the truth is it’s not that clean at all. It contains impurities that end up sticking to your clothes when you fall. So you need to clean your jacket. Ideally, wash it by hand. But if you don’t want to tire yourself out, you can also throw it in the washing machine, but make sure  to choose a gentle wash and a low spin cycle. Avoid adding bleaching or softening products since they might reduce the waterproofness of the jacket.

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