How to choose a ski jacket?

Choosing a ski jacket, regardless of your experience level, is a super important task. Of course you want the jacket to be stylish and reflect your personality, but it also needs to be high-tech, functional and durable to support you through a day of adventure. From the powder to the slopes to the après-ski, your jacket needs to grow with you and keep you dry and warm. But how do you choose a ski jacket? What should you look out for and what will give you the most bang for your buck? So here are some key points to consider when choosing a quality ski jacket for men. Let's go...


What type of skier are you?

The type of skiing you enjoy will be a determining factor; are you a freerider, looking for powder? A snowpark enthusiast who trains on jumps and boxes all day? Or are the slopes of the resort your playground? The answer to these questions will determine how much you should adhere to the factors below; technology and features will be more essential for hardcore riders, while fair weather skiers may be more selective on aesthetics and basic breathability and waterproofing.

Your level of experience

Your experience level is an important factor in choosing your ski jacket. If you are a beginner skier, your list of requirements will be slightly different than that of an aspiring professional skier. For example, as a beginner, you'll need a jacket that keeps you warm, but not too warm (a beginner sweats a lot) and that is waterproof because you'll probably fall a lot. Conversely, more experienced skiers will want excellent breathability and a windproof jacket as they head up the more challenging slopes.

The technical characteristics



Staying warm and comfortable is a basic requirement. Whether you're skiing in the dead of winter or in the spring, especially when you're on the chairlift, you want to be warm. So why not consider an insulated jacket that will keep you warm all day. Insulated jackets can also contain down; there are several types of down, from natural down like feathers to synthetic down. If you prefer to layer, opt for a softshell jacket and play up the warmth with a mid-layer.


Whether it's snowing, raining or sunny, it's imperative to wear a jacket with solid waterproofing. There are different types of waterproof membranes whose
waterproofness is measured on the Schmerber scale. Thus, a jacket would be considered waterproof from 10,000 mm Schmerber.

The features


The Hood

Hoods are surprisingly important; many people choose to remove the hood from their jacket, but it is a remarkably useful feature. The hood helps protect your neck (where much of the heat is released) from wind and snow. Especially in rough conditions, you may want to wear your hood over your helmet to protect yourself and stay warm during runs.

The Snow Skirt

Regardless of your level, a snow skirt prevents snow from getting into your jacket in the event of a fall, which we know happens at all levels. The snow skirt also provides extra insulation, trapping more heat around your body. If you're skiing on a blue sky day, the snow skirt is usually removable and you can take it off for added comfort. This is a great feature for freeriding and powder skiing. 


Pockets are your secret weapon! Not only will you store your ski pass in a pocket, but smart pockets make a day on the slopes so much more convenient. For example, chest pockets with an opening on both the inside and outside where you can place headphones. 

Zippers and ventilation

Seams and zippers are the weakest points in a garment. Look for jackets with taped seams so that water cannot penetrate, even in harsh conditions and deep powder. Zippers can be reinforced with super smart soft fabrics to increase comfort and waterproofing. Strategically placed ventilation zippers are also important. When you get hot, you can simply open these ventilation zips and let the air in to cool you down.


The RECCO System

If you're a more experienced skier or looking to try your hand at freeriding, look for jackets with RECCO technology. RECCO sensors are built into the ski jacket, which improves the searchability of an avalanche. It is not a replacement for the avalanche transceiver and other avalanche
and other avalanche safety equipment, but the integration of RECCO technology is an additional precaution.


So those are the main features to focus on when looking for the best ski jacket for you. The main thing is that you focus on your skiing experience and your jacket certainly shouldn't hold you back. Spending money on a flashy branded jacket doesn't necessarily mean you'll get a better performing jacket. However, it is worth investing in high-quality jackets to help you develop your skiing skills.