Picking the right ski jacket is a vital decision when it comes to staying warm, dry and looking cool on the slopes!
However, picking something that will simply keep you warm and dry is just half the battle – if you want to find the ultimate ski jacket here’s a guide as to what you should look for...
It’s no secret that if you’re skiing in the snow, it’s going to be cold! IF you have layered up your thermal underwear and you are wearing enough layers to keep you warm and not sweaty out on the slopes, you may not need a jacket with any insulation; if you get a jacket with a high insulation weight on top of lots of layers, you may end up sweating and this can make you cooler quicker.
If you are wearing lots of layers, a shell jacket which is thin but waterproof is ideal for keeping you dry without restricting your movement or making you too hot. However, if you aren’t wearing lots of layers, you may want to consider a thickly insulated ski jacket.
If it’s snowing or you take a fall, you are going to get wet! Ski jackets are measured according to a waterproofing rating, and depending on the types of conditions you will be skiing in, this will affect the type of waterproofing you will need.
A standard waterproofing rate is 10 thousand. Generally, you are more likely to fall on the bottom half of your body so high waterproofing is better suited for ski trousers. However, as an extra precaution (in case you do end up rolling around in the snow after you’ve fallen) a high waterproof rate is the best option.
Try on ski jackets before you buy – even if you are just getting an idea of sizing. Tighter jackets can keep you warmer but restrict movement whereas looser jackets are easier to move in yet can be draughty - try and choose something in the middle!
Waterproof materials which don’t need any extra maintenance (i.e. extra coats of spray-on waterproofing) are great for jackets. Gore-Tex, Windstopper or Teflon products are known to be great weatherproof materials. Choose one that allows your skin to breathe, but also keeps you dry. Just be aware that if you want these high end fabrics, you are going to have to pay more for the quality.
Taping on Seams
When it comes to waterproofing, the seams can sometimes let you down – these are, after all, tiny gaps in the garment. With taping, you can prevent wind or water seeping in and making you cold. Part-taped seams tend to cover some of the main seams on the jacket whereas fully taped seamed jackets cover all hems.
Full taped seams are the best for guaranteeing a warm and dry day of skiing.
Colour and Style
These are totally down to you – coordinate your colours if you like, just make sure dryness and warmth are your priorities!