Choosing a piece of outerwear that will keep you warm is important. Some people tend to stay warm on their own, so they may prefer a jacket or pant that isn't as warm or provides no insulation. Other people tend to be very cold while skiing or snowboarding and should look for as much warmth as possible.
Jackets or Pants with no insulation are considered shells and are ideal to combat precipitation while providing you with minimal warmth. Shell Jackets and Pants tend to provide more mobility while sacrificing warmth. If you wear a shell when skiing or snowboarding in cold conditions, make sure to also wear a base layer and/or mid-layer.
A slightly warm jacket or pant will be lined or lightly insulated to help keep a little heat inside. While these are great options on the warmer ski and snowboarding days, layers are suggested in cold temperatures or if it’s windy.
An Insulated Jacket or Pant is ideal for the normal cold. If you can handle a normal winter day then a warm jacket or pant should suffice when on the mountain. A wicking base-layer is encouraged to help with moisture management to keep you warm and layers are urged in extreme cold or if you have a tendency to get cold easily.
Warmer Jackets and Pants tend to have down or synthetic insulation. There may be a little technology in these jackets or pants to help trap the heat inside so you can remain warm in consistently cold temperatures. Base-layers are encouraged for moisture management but mid-layers, depending on the temperature, may be too stifling.
The warmest Jackets and Pants have insulation plus heat properties. The heat properties will keep the heat trapped inside providing a solid layer of warmth against the extreme cold. Base-layers are recommended for moisture management. The warmest clothes will be ideal for the skier or snowboarder who heads to the mountain regardless of the frigid temperatures and conditions - they laugh in the face of the Polar Vortex.