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Buying a New Ski Jacket: What to Look For

Buying the correct ski jacket is not simply a case of buying the warmest looking garment in the store. Skiers are subjected to incredibly low temperatures, yet their bodies create an enormous amount of heat during very rigorous activity. This complex combination of hot and cold temperatures calls for a very specific jacket that protects the wearer from sub-zero temperatures while aiding performance and comfort. There are a few key areas to keep in mind when looking for a new ski jacket... 3O5C5349_copy It is important to differentiate warm jackets with those suitable to go skiing in. There are several large ski brands that market their jackets directly to skiing enthusiasts. Some of these garments are little more than fleece jackets, however, which provide some warmth but offer minimal protection from wet conditions. A good quality skiing shell should provide protection from cold, biting winds as well as the moisture that is so abundant on the slopes. The very best skiing garments will provide the wearer with a balance between protection from the elements and practicality. Skiers want to feel mobile and loose when they're skiing and need to wear jackets that allow the heat from their body to escape. Jackets of the highest quality will usually include innovative venting systems and breathable membranes. The combination of specially designed fabrics and coatings allows sweat from the body to escape without letting the moisture from the piste pass in the opposite direction. 3-9

Scott Ultimate Dryo Jacket  |  Spyder Monterosa Jacket  |  O'Neill Ambush Jacket

There are many traditionalists who prefer to wear jackets made with goose down. Garments made in this way offer great insulation but often retain water. Synthetic insulation is usually a better choice as it offers all of the same insulation properties of down as well as a system of controlling moisture content. Jackets which are designed to be completely water-tight will have sealed seams. The best garments will also feature zips in the armpits and on the chest for the quick release of moisture in those areas. There are several optional features for skiers to choose from that will depend on their personal skiing style. A snow skirt will provide an effective barrier at the bottom of a jacket to stop snow from entering. Some jackets also come with the ability to adjust the insulation levels; great for people who like as much mobility as the temperature allows. Deciding what to wear on the piste is usually a big decision. Fashion plays a large role in ski clothing and this year will be no different. However, there is a growing trend towards the use of lighter materials that deliver a combination of great mobility, vibrant colours, warmth and intelligent water-resistance systems. Durable Water Repelling Coating is a system that several manufacturers are moving towards as a way of preventing water from penetrating fabrics. GORE-Tex jackets are still as popular as ever; combining great style with state-of-the-art water-resistant membranes. GORE-TEX garments are usually very expensive but are always expected to last a very long time. 3-10

Roxy Snowstorm Jacket  |  Salomon Fantasy Jacket  |  Schoffel Glenora Jacket

Another added extra feature that can be good to look for is RECCO. RECCO is comprised of two things – detectors and reflectors. Ski resorts and rescue teams have the detectors and you have the reflector, sewn into your ski clothes. Reflectors are not a substitute for an avalanche rescue beacon. However, when someone needs help RECCO reflectors provide another chance. Rescue teams can then search for you using detectors either on the ground or from a helicopter. All you have to do is buy and jacket with RECCO reflectors on it, and wear it when you hit the slopes. Start your search for the perfect jacket now and check out our latest men's and women's ski jackets.