THE BEST MEN’S SKI JACKETS: BUYING GUIDE
How to choose the best men’s ski jacket
Our buying guide will not only show our best men’s ski jacket options, but we’ll provide you with everything you need to make an educated purchase, including types of jackets and features you should look for before you buy.
A winter sport like skiing, has its own set of gear associated with it. Apart from the actual skis, the ski jacket may be the most important component. Finding the right jacket, not just for functionality purposes but also for comfort, style, and safety, is also important. But where do you start? With the vast selections available choosing the right jacket can be a daunting task. But we have simplified the process below, focusing on the types, features, and some of our top picks.
Types of Ski Jackets
While there are numerous styles available, there are five main types of jacket to consider. These are:
- Ski Jacket Shells
- Insulated Ski Jackets
- Technical Shells
- Soft Shell Jackets
- 3-in-1 Ski Jacket
Each type has its own unique set of features, pros, and cons.
Ski Jacket Shells
Sometimes referred to as hard shell jackets, ski jacket shells are intended to keep you dry by moving sweat away from the body. As the name suggests, shells are thicker than some of the other options available. The benefit of this type of jacket is the level of insulation. However, buyers should be aware that the thicker the jacket, the less apt it is to breathe. What makes the shell different from others is that the ski jacket has a definitive and solid form, hence the shell title, whereas other jackets have a form which adapts more to your form. Hard shell jackets tend to be more restrictive to movement. Yet, for durability and weather-blocking, it is a standard choice for skiers.
Insulated Ski Jackets
Insulated Ski Jackets are those which have a layer of cotton or wool lining to provide extra warmth. Insulated jackets can be based on a shell or can be layered with another thinner jacket. The key to picking an insulated jacket is to determine how well the fabric breaths, how the insulation effects the size of the jacket, and how well the insulation keeps out wind and water. Insulated jackets are well suited to skiers who wish to have the warmth of layering up without having to have multiple layers.
Technical Shells are ski jackets which have been “stripped” down to the bare minimum design elements to be as light and as functional as possible. Typically, the technical jacket is best suited for high winds and blinding snowstorms, as well as mountainous backcountry terrain. Most technical shells are designed with abrasion-resistant base fabrics to boost durability. The jackets also have waterproof laminates. Keep in mind that technical jackets are usually slim to medium fit, so pay close attention to fit if you’re planning on layering this jacket.
Soft Shell Jackets
If you are one of those winter sports enthusiasts which have a tendency to sweat a lot, then the soft shell jacket may be the choice for you. Designed out of flexible and light fabric, it allows for increased breathing. Compared to the traditional hard shell jacket, the soft shell also offers more movement. This is due to the stretchy nature of the design as well as the laminates. Soft shells is not intended for extreme conditions but rather for the lighter courses.
3-in-1 Ski Jackets
If during the season you’re likely to see a multitude of different conditions then a 3-in-1 may be the best solution. Technically, the jacket is a combination of two jackets. There is the outer and thicker layer and then the inner thinner jacket. Each can be worn separately, or the two can be combined to form a single jacket. It should be noted that the 3-in-1 ski jacket is not the same as a jacket which has a removable insulation or lining. The 3-in-1 jackets each have pockets, linings, and the features of a jacket and can work independently as such.