Kjus ski jacket. A ski jacket is one of the most important pieces of clothing you’ll ever own. It needs to keep you warm in some of the most extreme weather conditions your body has to face. It needs to be practical, sturdy, and make you look great on the slopes.
So where do you start looking for the one that’s right for you?
Right here of course – with ours 7 steps to buying a great ski jacket. Read it along with our guide to the 10 Must-Have Ski Jacket Features, and you’ll be a lot closer to finding the perfect jacket for you. Shown here: Ski Jacket Adoption Image from Ellis Brigham, pink (also available in dark blue, black and raspberry).
After buying their first clamshell jacket, most people are converted. Traditionally, most ski jackets are insulated, which is great in cold conditions but a nightmare when it’s warm or when you’re working out. Shell jackets are essentially a breathable, waterproof, and durable thin layer. A good cover will protect you from wind and rain, and you can use layers underneath to control your temperature. Pictured here: Helly Hansen Odin Mountain 3L Shell Jacket in foggy gray (also available in diving blue and dark).
2. Choose the best brand
It’s easy to be a snob when it comes to ski jackets. However, when it comes to buying a ski jacket, sometimes it costs money. Haglöfs, Arc’teryx, Kjus and Norrona make great ski jackets with the finest materials – but they come at a hefty price. Sweet Protection, Scott, Peak Performance, and Helly Hansen make jackets that are good quality and a bit cheaper. Seen here: Women’s Black Diamond Stretch Ski Case in Spruce (also available in black, evergreen, wine, and ocean).
3. Find the best shape
Let’s face it, even if you want a practical ski jacket, you don’t want to look like a colorful potato sack. Especially since your ski jacket will likely be one of the most expensive pieces in your wardrobe – you’ll want to look good in it. Lucky for you, ski clothing manufacturers take this into consideration. Longer coats that cover your butt are a great option for those situations where snow cannot be avoided, and they will lengthen the body. Pay attention to jackets with a fitted shell to flatter your figure, but the right padded jacket can also flatter the figure. Make sure it works for you too. How can you freely move in it? Are the arms long enough? Can you dip your chin underneath your collar – in those moments when it’s blowing a blizzard and you’re in a booster seat? The only way you can be sure of these things is to go into a specialty store and try on lots of coats – ordering on a website will always be a stroke of luck. Pictured here: Henri Duvillard Women’s Penia Ski Jacket with faux fur collar in dark blue (also in red).
4. Troubleshooting technical information
When buying ski jackets, it can be a bit confusing for manufacturers to describe their jackets. Throwing around words that don’t sound right in the lab, it can be difficult to make an informed decision. I won’t confuse you with what all the technical jargon means, but I will tell you the things to watch out for: waterproof up to 20,000mm (10,000 will do the job but you should aim for it). to the high goal); breathable up to 20,000g; vent zipper; snow skirt; GORE-TEX. You may not tick all the boxes, but there are at least a few of these features that would make for a good ski jacket. Shown here: Women’s Haglöfs Spitz Jacket in Cloudberry / Desert Yellow (also in Hibiscus).
5. Choose a light color
Whether you’re normally someone who likes to stand out – or fade into the background, the color of your ski jacket is pretty important. Not only will you wear it for a season or a decade, it will be the color people will recognize you in. Choosing a bright color will set you apart from the rest. Try and think outside the box and steer clear of the simple blues, reds, and greens that will make you look like you’re trying to pose as a ski coach. Sapphire, burnt orange and pastel pink all look great on the slopes. An added bonus is that the original colors will make it easier to spot if you get lost in the elevator queue. Shown here: ARCTERYX Beta SL Women’s Hybrid Coat in titanite.
6. The more you use it, the longer it will last
When buying a t-shirt, you can spend as little or as much money as you want, but in the end you still only have one t-shirt. Buying a ski jacket is different. You pay for the technology, the durability, the water resistance, the breathability… I could go on. Try not to worry about spending more, because in general, the more you spend, the longer it will last. A good quality ski jacket is an investment and will last you for many years. Having said that, last season’s ski jackets will always be cheaper than current ones, and for the most part, you’ll barely notice the difference (apart from the color). Shown here: Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro jacket in rhubarb (also available in mashed orange, campanula, and winter twig color options).
7. Choose an eco-friendly jacket
An extra consideration these days is whether or not your clothes are eco-friendly. Companies like Picture Organic Clothing and Haglofs lead the way, using recycled materials and eco-friendly water repellents, while Sherpa Adventure Gear collects money from sales to educate Sherpa children in Nepal. See here: Image of Luna Jacket with black floral print.
If money is tight, then you should look to TK Maxx and Decathlon, and see what’s on the shelves, as they sometimes stock the big brands. You won’t find really technical coats there – such as O’Neill rather than Norrona; and colors can sometimes be a bit… odd. But the prices are low, and you’ll sometimes find a Gore-Tex jacket in there. You can also join Mountain Warehouse, a fast-selling and discount site that also has a street store and Amazon. As a general rule, it’s much better to go into a store and try on a few coats before you buy. Pictured here: Mountain Warehouse Powder women’s ski jacket in white (also available in black). This guide may not be suitable for all skiers, but I hope it gets you on the right track! Plus, check out our features 10 Features All your Ski Jackets, Ski Pants need, How to Protect Your Ski Feet and Ski Basement, and our helmet guides best ski, ski goggles and ski gloves.
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