Ski jackets: What to look out for

Newsroom Gear Ski jackets: What to look out for

Ski jackets are essential apparel for anyone hitting the slopes. They’re designed to keep you warm, dry, and protected from the elements while providing freedom of movement for skiing or snowboarding.

What to look for in ski jackets

When thinking about ski jackets, there are several key features to consider to ensure you choose the right one for your needs.


Look for ski jackets made with waterproof or water-resistant materials like Gore-Tex or eVent which are breathable membranes. This keeps moisture from snow and sleet out while allowing sweat to escape. This will keep you dry from snow and rain while allowing sweat to escape, keeping you comfortable during physical activity.


Ski jackets often come with varying levels of insulation, such as down or synthetic materials like Thinsulate. The level of insulation you need depends on the weather conditions and your activity level. Down insulation offers excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, while synthetic insulation like Thinsulate or PrimaLoft retains warmth even when wet.


To prevent overheating during intense activity, many ski jackets have zippered vents under the arms, along the sides or mesh-lined pockets. This allows airflow and helps regulate body temperature and prevent overheating.


A helmet-compatible hood is essential for protection during blustery conditions. Look for hoods with adjustable features to ensure a snug fit. This will provide good protection from wind and snow.

Snow skirt

An integrated snow skirt helps seal out snow and cold air, especially if you take a tumble on the slopes. You’ll be kept warm and dry, especially if you take a fall on the slopes.

Pockets, seems and zippers

Multiple pockets, including a pass pocket, goggle pocket, and hand-warmer pockets, are handy for storing essentials while skiing. Consider the number and placement of pockets for storing essentials such as ski passes, goggles, gloves, and snacks. Opt for jackets with fully taped seams and waterproof zippers to prevent moisture from seeping in through the seams and closures.


Ski jackets should be durable to withstand the rigors of the mountain environment, including abrasion from ski edges, backpack straps and other outdoor elements.


A proper fit is crucial for comfort and performance. Your jacket should allow for a full range of motion without being too bulky or restrictive. Consider your layering system and whether you’ll be wearing additional base layers or mid-layers underneath.

For more information on all gear items, see our “Ski gear guide


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