When shopping for ski jackets you are going to find two different types that are available. One is insulated ski jackets and the other is shell ski jackets. The most common question that people have is, "which one should I buy?" The simple answer to this question is that there is no right answer. The reason for this is that each person has a different body temperature regulation. Some people will get hot very quickly and thus having an insulated jacket would cause them to overheat. Others, however, are routinely cold and having an insulated jacket only makes sense because shell ski jackets would leave them even colder. With this being said, the first step to selecting the ski jacket that is best for you is by determining if you are warmer or colder person by nature. Once this is determined, you can then move forward in the process of selecting your ski jacket.
Insulated ski jackets
Insulated Ski Jackets are designed to provide warmth for a skier without making the skier layer up with a lot of mid to heavy weight layering pieces. Insulated Ski Jackets use a synthetic fabric on the outside which is usually treated to be water resistant or waterproof and wind resistant or windproof. In a traditional insulated jacket the down or synthetic insulation is held into the ski jacket by a lightweight inner lining fabric. Down and synthetic insulation have different rating systems to gage warmth, so be sure to take that into consideration when comparing insulated jackets. Many of the ski jacket manufacturers are now offering system jackets or 3-in-1 jackets. This means that the manufacturer designs a shell jacket and an insulator piece (typically a fleece) that zip together to form one jacket. Three-in-one jackets give you more versatility than traditional insulated ski jackets do. You can wear the insulator piece by itself on warmer ski days or all the time in the spring and fall. The shell can be worn when it's damp or raining outside. The shell part of the 3-in-1 jacket can also be used as a ski jacket on warmer days. When the temperature drops you can zip the two pieces together to create an insulated ski jacket.
Shell ski jackets
Shell ski Jackets are not as popular as a traditional insulated ski jackets because they do not feature any insulation to help keep you warm on the slopes. Shell ski Jackets are constructed from durable synthetic fabric to protect you from the elements. Shell ski jackets are to some degree windproof and waterproof. To compensate for the lack of insulation in a shell ski jacket it is extremely important to layer properly. With a shell jacket and proper layering you can still achieve a warm system of apparel with great versatility based on what you wear under your shell jacket. The draw to a shell jacket is that they are better suited to skiing in warmer conditions. Shell jackets tend to be suited for the more technical skier.
Why you need a ski jacket
Many will ask why they can't just wear their regular everyday jacket out skiing, there are actually many reasons. Ski jackets are specially made to withstand the abuse of skiing and keep the skier warm and dry in the most intense situations. Ski jackets offer taped seams which ensure to moisture is going to get into the ski jacket from the outside because when you ski you are going to expose the jacket to more prolonged exposure to wet snow and bad conditions. Ski jackets are also going to offer more pockets than a standard jacket so you can easily pack away all the things you are going to need for a day out on the slopes including special pockets for your goggles, music device, cell phone and more. Basically a ski jacket is going to cater to exactly what you need when skiing while still being able to be warn as an everyday jacket but your everyday jacket will not cater to the needs you need when on the mountain.