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Ski Jackets

 

Men’s Ski Jackets



Here at Skis.com we know the importance of a good ski jacket. Having a quality jacket can easily make or break a ski trip, so it would be wise to invest some time finding a jacket that will have everything you need and want. We stock an array of styles, brands and types of men’s ski jackets, so you can have your pick of the liter.

 

Types of Men’s Ski Jackets

 

Here we are going to cover the different types of men’s skiing jackets that are offered and the differences you will find between each. There are four main styles of men’s jackets: insulated, shell, 3-in-1 and soft-shell.

 

Insulated Men’s Jackets

 

This is one of the most popular and widely used styles of men’s jackets and for good reason. An insulated ski jacket is just that; a jacket with a layer of insulation to provide extra warmth. Offering an outer shell with an insulated interior makes these men’s skiing jackets great for various types of weather and snow conditions. This style of jacket is also the most commonly used jacket and is what most think of when they envision men’s ski jackets.

 

Shell Men’s Jackets

 

Shell men’s ski jackets are going to be much thinner without the thickness from inner insulation. These shell jackets are still very warm as they typically host a higher end wind proofing and waterproofing. With shell style men’s jackets it is going to be best to wear layers in colder weather and let the shell jacket work as an outer layer to protect against the elements. Shell jackets work well even in a bit warmer weather too as you can easily open the vents and let cool air in and let hot air out. Shell men’s skiing jackets are definitely one of the more popular jackets for their versatility, so if you see varying weather conditions this may be a good choice for you.

 

3-in-1 Men’s Jackets

 

3-in-1 men’s ski jackets bring together the best features of insulated jackets and shell jackets all under one umbrella. With a removable inner liner, these jackets offer the ability to be worn as a shell ski jacket or an insulated ski jacket. As an added bonus, you can zip out the inner liner and wear that separately as a spring and fall jacket. If you are skiing a varying climate and like to have all your bases covered in one easy to use package you will love a 3-in-1 men’s ski jacket.

 

Soft Shell Men’s Jackets

 

Soft shell ski jackets are great for those looking for a lightweight go-anywhere jacket that will still hold up to some time on the mountain. These men’s skiing jackets defy conformity and can easily be worn around the town comfortably without being bulky like some ski jackets.

 

Now you are a men’s ski jacket expert and with this great knowledge you can easily shop jackets confidently knowing you are getting exactly what you are looking for. The best way to narrow down your search while shopping men’s ski jackets is to use the “Type” refinement, which can be found on the left side of the page. Selecting insulated, shell, 3-in1 or softshell here will only show you men’s ski jackets that fit this description and styling.

 

Fit

 

Fit is all about the shape of the jacket: slim, regular or relaxed. The fit you prefer will depend on the style and look you prefer.

 

Slim Fit: Form fitting, tailored at the shoulders, body and waist. These pieces offer a more active fit that sits close to the body.

 

Regular Fit: Standard fitting, tailored at just below the waist. These pieces often offer a flattering fit without being too tight or constricting, and are true to size.

 

Relaxed Fit: A larger fit, little to no tailoring with more room in the shoulders and chest. These pieces offer more room for comfort and layering.

 

Length

 

Length refers to the actual length of the jacket. The length of the jacket you prefer is related to the fit and style that you are looking for.

 

Cropped: Hem sits at waist length or higher, accentuating the waist for a flattering fit.

 

Hip Length: Hem sits right at the hip bone or 1 - 2 inches below offering an athletic, tailored fit and style.

 

Thigh Length: Hem sits 3-4 inches below the hip offering full bottom coverage and a tailored fit for additional protection.

 

Knee Length: Hem sits just above the knee or right on the knee offering bottom and thigh coverage, often a more tailored fit for a flattering silhouette.

 

Full Length: Hem sits just below the knee or lower - can be ankle length providing full coverage, often a more tailored fit for a flattering silhouette. This also includes full-body suits such as the Air Blaster Freedom One Piece Ski Suit.

 

Insulation Type

 

There are a few different insulation types designed to keep you warm and comfortable on the mountain. Each has their own advantages.

 

Down: A natural insulation material that has very strong warmth-to-weight ratio. While high fill down jackets may seem bulky, they are the warmest jackets available. Lighter fill down jackets make a fantastic layering piece. The disadvantage to a down jacket is that it may not be very weatherproof.

 

Fleece: Fleece insulation is a great combination of lightweight and warmth. Fleece can either be bonded to the inside or make up the entire jacket.

 

None: Some jackets have no insulation at all. These are typically shells that have the highest amount of weatherproofing and breathability. You should always layer properly underneath a jacket with no insulation either with a wicking layer, insulating layer or both.

 

Synthetic: The most common form of insulation is synthetic insulation. It often has a brand name such as Thinsulate or Primaloft, which are used in many synthetic jackets by highly-regarded brands like The North Face, Spyder and Descente. Regardless of the brand, a synthetic layer provides you with warmth even if the jacket is wet or damp. Jackets with synthetic insulation hold up very well, protects you from the elements and keeps you warm.

 

Warmth Factor

 

When considering the warmth factor of your jacket, one of the most important things that you need to consider is whether you run hot or cold while skiing.

 

Non-Insulated jackets are considered shells and are designed to protect you from the elements while providing you with minimal warmth. Shell jackets provide you with greater mobility and weatherproofing while sacrificing some warmth. If you want a shell jacket, make sure you layer properly with a base layer, mid layer or insulator depending on the temperature.

 

Slightly Warm jackets will be lined or lightly insulated to help keep a little heat inside. While these are great options on warmer ski and snowboard days, layers are suggested on cold or windy days.

 

An insulated jacket is ideal for the normal cold temperatures. If you can handle a normal winter day than a warm jacket should suffice on the mountain. A wicking or base-layer is encouraged to help with moisture management to keep you warm and dry. Layers are urged in extreme cold or recommended if you tend to get cold easily.

 

Warmer jackets tend to have down or synthetic insulation. There may be a little technology in these jackets 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 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 jackets will be ideal for the skier or snowboarder who heads to the mountain regardless of the frigid temperatures and conditions. They tend to laugh in the face of the Polar Vortex.

 

Warmer jackets tend to have down or synthetic insulation. There may be a little technology in these jackets 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.

 

Warmer jackets tend to have down or synthetic insulation. There may be a little technology in these jackets 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.

 

Waterproof Rating

 

The Waterproof Rating of a jacket determines how quickly a jacket will become saturated and allow water to permeate the jacket, or its ability to keep you dry in wet conditions. The higher the rating, the longer the jacket will keep you dry when wet. Waterproof ratings are measured in millimeters (mm). This level is determined by placing a cylinder filled with water and seeing the level at which the water begins to penetrate through the fabric. The higher the number, the more waterproof the jacket will be.

 

There are many different types of waterproof fabrics that are used in ski jackets. Among the more well-known materials that are used are Gore-Tex, Hyvent and Event. What makes these materials so effective is that they have pores that are larger than a molecule of sweat but smaller than a molecule of water meaning that they are not only waterproof but very breathable.

 

Very High Waterproofing (>20,001mm) means that the jacket is the best way to stay warm and dry. By combining the best waterproof fabrics and best water repellant DWR coating, these jackets will stay dry all day in sustained snowfall and moderate rain.

 

Jackets with High Waterproofing (15,001mm-20,000mm) are a great choice for avid riders that need a jacket to withstand any conditions they may encounter. These jackets will keep you dry in heavy, wet snow and rain.

 

Jackets with Moderate Waterproofing (10,001mm-15,000mm) are the most common, and can use a combination of water repellant DWR coating and a waterproof fabric. These jackets will keep you warm and dry in light to moderate snow or rain all day long.

 

Jackets with Mild Waterproofing (5,001mm-10,000mm) can use a waterproof fabric or a more advanced water-repellant coating called DWR. These will keep you dry in average snowfall and light rain.

 

Water Resistant (>5,000mm) jackets are treated with a water repellant coating called DWR. These will keep you dry in light snow but will start to absorb water quickly in the rain.

 

Not Specified jackets mean that the manufacturer’s catalog claims the product is Water Resistant or Waterproof but does not provide an exact measurement.

 

Not Treated means just that. These jackets are not treated with any additional waterproofing and are typically spring/fall jackets or insulators jackets that are meant to go underneath a more waterproof jacket.

 

Breathability Rating

 

Breathability measures how effective a jacket is at transferring water vapor or sweat out of the jacket. The same fabric pores that help prevent water from penetrating inside a jacket will allow sweat molecules to escape in order to keep you drier and warmer.

 

Breathability rating is measured and indicated in grams (g) and is determined by finding the Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR). The MVTR determines how many grams of sweat per 1 square meter can escape a jacket in a 24-hour period. The higher the number the more moisture escapes and the more breathable the jacket is. The more a jacket can breathe the better it will be at keeping you at a consistent, comfortable temperature.

 

Jackets with Very High Breathability (>20,001g) will keep you dry and comfortable in any condition. These jackets breathe so well that they will keep you dry even in a full day of heavy activity.

 

Jackets with High Breathability (15,001-20,000g) are good for skiers and snowboarders who will work up a sweat from time to time. These jackets provide great breathability which keeps you dry throughout the day.

 

Jackets with Moderate Breathability (10,001-15,001g) are the most common since they provide a good balance between function and the cost of technical fabrics. The jackets in the moderate category can keep you dry and comfortable during a full day of moderate activity and will easily handle sustained periods of high activity.

 

Jackets with Mild Breathability (5,001-10,000g) offer an adequate amount of breathability to remain comfortable for a full day of low-to-moderate activity and short periods of high activity. However, without careful layering you will become sweaty with high activity.

 

Jackets with Low Breathability (<5,000g) offer some breathability but will keep sweat against your body under moderate to high activity causing you to become cold and chilly when you stop moving.

 

Jackets which are in the category of Not Specified are made of materials that have not undergone breathability testing or not specified by the manufacturer. This is common among casual and fleece jackets.

 

Jackets that are Not Breathable are specified by the manufacturer as a garment that will not allow water vapor to escape from it.

 

Seams

 

Critically-Taped Seams refers to the fact that only some of the seams, most commonly around the shoulders and neck, are taped and protected against moisture penetration. As long as you do not spend extended periods of time in wet weather or lying in the snow, critically taped seams offer you adequate protection.

 

Fully-Taped Seams have all of the stitched seams taped for additional waterproofing with a waterproof tape that is glued on the interior and exterior of the seam to protect areas that are prone for having moisture seep into the jacket. Fully taped seams are the best options for skiers who will be out in the most extreme elements such as heavy snowfall.

 

Other Features

 

Hood Type: Most ski jackets have some style of hood. They offer you protection from the elements, and most can fit directly over your helmet while not interfering with your peripheral vision.

 

Fixed Hoods: Flex hoods are the most popular style. They are an integral part of the jacket that cannot be removed.

 

Removable Hoods: These hoods be removed by unzipping or unsnapping them from the neck of the jacket.

 

Pit Zips/Venting: An important option in your ski jacket that allow you to easily regulate your temperature. They can be opened on-the-fly to cool you down if you start to overheat. Some jackets may also offer additional forms of zippered venting. If there is an alternative venting position, it is most likely located in the chest.

 

Wrist Gaiters: Built-in hand liners that go over your hands with a hole for your thumb but do not cover your fingers. They are sewn inside the cuff of the jacket to keep snow and cold out of your jacket by creating a seal for you to put your gloves or mittens over. They are incredibly warm and most commonly found on jackets for women and kids.

 

Powder Skirt: Powder skirts are something that every skier should have. They are stitched around the waist of the jacket and zip, button or snap to create a seal around the waist between your jacket and ski pants to keep snow and wind out and the warmth in.

 

For video reviews of this year’s best men’s ski jackets and more, visit our YouTube page.

 

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