Ski Jacket Reviews:
Buying a ski jacket or parka is very similar to purchasing ski pants. There are 2 major types, the traditional insulated ski jacket or the popular shell, or non-insulated jacket. An insulated ski jacket is best for conditions that are harsher with rain, snow, sleet or wind while the shell jackets function better in mild or warmer temperatures on the ski slopes. Much like ski pants, you need a jacket that will keep you warm, dry and away from the elements like wind or snow. Many snow jackets are treated with chemicals so they can remain waterproof even under the toughest conditions. You want a ski parka that is durable since it will be put to the test eventually (not all ski days are sunny and warm). With wind speeds reaching 30 or 40 MPH up on snow runs, you'll need a jacket that cuts through the wind without dragging you down. Eventhough shells are much more breathable, you should be able to find a ski jacket that not only keeps out moisture, but lets your natural perspiration escape. If you wear lots of layers when skiing, go with a shell jacket that is more like a windbreaker and doesn't have a lot of insulation (since you won't need it).
Insulated jackets will be done with either polyester or down materials and should keep you very warm. In terms of features on a jacket, you'll want zippered pockets that have big pulls so you can easily open or close them even with gloves on. Some people prefer wearing a hood on their jacket, so check for that. Sealed seams mean that no water should be able to enter the jacket. Some newer jacket designs are really 2 coats in one. The inner liner can be zipped in our taken out depending on the weather conditions and temperature. I own one of these and they come in handy when the mornings are cold but the afternoon get hot. Just unzip the liner after lunch and off you go with just a jacket shell. There are several brands of ski jacket where the ski pants and jacket match, women tend to prefer them more than men. The top brands for ski jackets are North Face, Spyder, Arc'teryx, Oakley, Mountain Hardwear, Salomon, Marmot
, Patagonia, Columbia, Obermeyer, Market, Burton and Cloudveil. Ski jackets are not cheap and many are well over $400, although you can find some priced around $200. We read consumer reviews online at Backcountry.com, Altrec.com, and Amazon.com. We also looked through online ski equipment forums to hear what the experts have to say about the latest ski jackets and parkas. Below we have listed the "top finds" in several categories. RECOMMENDED
- We suggest browsing the top selling mens ski parkas
and womens ski jackets
online to see what is available.
Best Mens Ski Jacket:
We chatted online with a sales representative at Backcountry.com to see which ski jackets rate the best and are the most popular up on the slopes. The Arcteryx Sidewinder SV
($450) is considered one of the best shells for skiing. It offers 2 types of waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex fabric for superior wind and water protection. The Sidewinder ski jacket consistently gets 5 out of 5 stars in user reviews with owners praising it for it's "quality and detail". Many reviewers said they have owned North Face jackets and the Arc'teryx and there is simply no comparison. The Sidewinder wins hands down. The only drawback to this ski jacket could be the price, although we repeatedly read from consumers that it's well worth the extra money. The Cloudveil Down Patrol Jacket
($300) is the perfect insulated ski jacket on the market. Several owners say the DP jacket can handle temps well below zero and it provides "down comfort, functional design, and top rate quality". It's a relaxed fit coat that has a hood large enough to fit over a helmet. The Cloudveil ski jacket comes equipped with a powder skirt that will keep the snow out of your pants. Unique and durable are 2 words that consistently arose in reviews from consumers on this jacket. RECOMMENDED
- Our favorite is the Columbia Sportswear Men's Titanium Blade Run Parka
available in a variety of colors and sizes on Amazon. The Omni-Tech waterproof, breathable shells keep you warm and dry under the parka while skiing or just hanging out in the snow. The goggle pocket is convenient for skiers and snowboarders. Owners say the fleece liner is "awesome" and also comment that the jacket works fine in "15 degree weather". See the entire line of Columbia Sportswear ski parkas here
Budget/Value Mens Ski Jacket:
The Mountain Hardwear Men's Exposure II Parka
($140 to $185) is an excellent "value" say many owners. The fabric is breathable and waterproof, the sleeves are articulated, there's an interior water bottle pocket, and a fitted hood. The fleece-lined pockets keep hands warm in all weather and consumers say the jacket is great for skiing, hiking, or just being out in the cold. We read more reviews that talked about the versatility of this jacket, so we chose it as the "best value" ourselves.
Best Womens Ski Jacket:
Women are a lot pickier than men when it comes to ski jackets. They not only want superior quality and function, but the parka needs to be fashionable and stylish on the slopes. The Arc'teryx Women's Alpha SL Jacket
($250) is lightweight (8 ounces), sleek looking, and above all has the quality we have all come to expect from Arc'teryx ski jackets and clothing. This shell is watertight, windproof, and very breathable with 2-ply Gore-tex fabric. Women love the "slim cut" to this jacket and can't say enough about the overall quality. We thought the best description for ski jacket was that it offered "minimalist essentials and backcountry functionality". Looking for a great discounted womens snow jacket, check out the The North Face Inlux Insulated Jacket
($150). Firstly, the ladies love this jacket because it comes in pink. Eventhough it's lightweight, women say it's surprisingly warm and durable. You can even accessorize with the removable, adjustable hood and the multiple pockets provide ample space for all your stuff. RECOMMENDED
- One of the top selling jackets on Amazon is the Columbia Sportswear Women's Bugaboo Parka
- it comes in colors like Intense Red, Black, Bark, and blue yonder. Columbia Sportswear ski jackets are very popular and the Bugaboo is stylish, fits well, and keeps you warm on the slopes. The hood is removable, the Omni-Tech lining is waterproof, and it's very breathable.
Best Kids/Youth Ski Jacket:
These days, many young kids and teenagers are choosing to snowboard versus ski. Snowboarding is definitely more stylish at times than skiing and the kids that are doing it want to look different and stand out. Burton has an excellent reputation in the snowboard industry and their youth ski/snowboard jackets rate well too. Both the boys Burton Modem Jacket
and the Burton Apollo Jacket
cost about $120 and perform all the duties any parent could want from a ski jacket. They will keep your child warm and dry during their hours on the slopes and at a very fair price. If you have the money, consider the Spyder Leader Jacket
($175). The Spyder kids ski jacket has 140 grams of ThermaWeb insulation that will keep any child warm and cozy on cold winter days. The water-resistant jacket features a powder skirt, goggle pocket, and a removable hood. Definitely a top of the line product that will not disappoint.