Which men’s skiing jackets are best?
Whether you’re a professional skier or you’re heading out to the slopes for the first time, a proper ski jacket is a must-have. The right skiing jacket can keep you warm, dry and comfortable while out on the lifts and skiing. Men’s skiing jackets, just like women’s skiing jackets, should be waterproof or water-resistant, well-insulated and breathable. The Patagonia Men’s Powder Bowl Jacket is a great option for pros and casual skiers alike.
What to know before you buy a men’s skiing jacket
If you’re going skiing or snowboarding, you need to dress accordingly. This means more than just layering up; it also means wearing the right types of layers. The skiing jacket serves as the outermost layer, so it needs to be resistant to wind and snow. Some men’s skiing jackets can also work as the mid or insulated layer.
Skiing jackets should have an outer shell that’s designed to offer protection against the elements. It should be durable and keep moisture from getting in. Typically, the outer shell doesn’t insulate the body, so it’s not enough on its own for keeping you warm.
Some men’s skiing jackets offer insulation only. They may not be able to keep you dry on their own, but they can keep you warm by keeping body heat trapped inside. Insulated skiing jackets work as the mid or insulated layer when skiing or snowboarding. Keep in mind that if you choose a skiing jacket that only offers insulation, you’ll still need to get a separate jacket for the outer layer.
Certain high-end brands like Patagonia and Columbia offer men’s skiing jackets with an outer shell and an insulated layer. These are often called “interchange” or “three-in-one” jackets. These jackets have a full zipper that connects the two layers of jacket together. If you’re skiing in warmer conditions or drier snow, you can unzip the layers and wear either the insulated or outer shell only.
Weather and temperature
In wet conditions, you’ll need a waterproof outer shell. At the same time, you’ll want to have a base layer that’s moisture-wicking to keep sweat or other moisture from staying on your skin and creating a chill.
As for temperature, the type of ski jacket you choose depends on how cold or warm it is out on the slopes. Some men’s skiing jackets are insulated with down and are built to keep you warm in temperatures up to -20 degrees. These jackets are best in icy, dry conditions since they don’t keep you warm if they get wet. Alternatively, you can wear a down insulated jacket under a hardshell skiing jacket since the shell will keep you dry.
What to look for in a quality men’s skiing jacket
Hardshell skiing jackets should be waterproof and durable. These jackets are typically made from polyester or nylon. The insulated layer may consist of polyester, down, nylon, fleece or wool. Avoid anything made from cotton since it absorbs moisture and can make you cold.
Size and fit
Men’s skiing jackets come in various fits, including regular fit and slim fit. The right skiing jacket should fit without restraining your movements or leaving a lot of room for wind or snow to get inside.
Most ski jackets follow the standard XS to XL sizing grid, though some manufacturers have their own sizing charts. When looking at the size, you may find that some sizing charts use specific measurements (usually in inches) around the chest, waist and shoulders.
The breathability of a ski jacket is important to consider as well. When you exercise, your natural body heat radiates off your body. If you’re wearing breathable layers, any sweat or excess heat can escape, which helps prevent overheating.
Some ski clothes, including men’s skiing jackets, have a breathability score that’s typically measured in grams. The higher the score, the more breathable the garment. If you want to be extra sure you’re wearing the right type of jacket, check the breathability score of your clothes. For general skiing, the breathability score should be between 5,000 and 10,000 grams. For more intense excursions in the backcountry, you may want something above 20,000 grams.
Remember, even if the skiing jacket has great breathability, the base and mid layers you choose also influence how you fare out on the slopes.
Colors and designs
Men’s skiing jackets come in all different colors and designs. They may come in solid colors like blue, green, yellow or black, or they may have a patterned design. Three-in-ones may have one pattern or color for the outer shell and an entirely different one for the insulating mid layer.
High-quality skiing jackets come with such key features as insulated, zippered pockets and vents in key areas to help you cool down when needed. Many come with a high collar to keep the wind off your neck. Some skiing jackets may also have a long hood that can fit over your helmet while skiing or snowboarding.
How much you can expect to spend on a men’s skiing jacket
On average, expect to spend $150-$300 on a men’s skiing jacket. If it’s less expensive, it may not be as warm, durable or resistant to water.
Men’s skiing jacket FAQ
What’s the best way to clean a ski jacket?
A. This depends on the materials. Check the manufacturer’s tag to see what it suggests. For certain jackets, you may need to wash the jacket on its own in cold water on a gentle cycle. To dry it, use low heat or tumble dry. Other jackets have specific requirements, from the wash cycle to the detergent you should use.
How can I make my skiing jacket more water-resistant?
A. If your skiing jacket is starting to absorb water, consider treating it with a DWR, or durable water repellent. Choose a DWR that’s safe for your jacket.
What’s the best men’s skiing jacket to buy?
Top men’s skiing jacket
What you need to know: This shell jacket is waterproof, breathable and durable enough to keep you skiing for hours in any conditions.
What you’ll love: The jacket uses two layers of Gore-Tex for extra breathability, resistance to the elements and comfort. It has a hood designed to slip under your ski helmet and keep you dry and warm. Plus, it comes with a powder skirt that keeps snow from getting in, and underarm vents to keep you cool.
What you should consider: Since this is just the shell, you’ll need a mid insulating layer to really keep you warm.
Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry
Top men’s skiing jacket for the money
What you need to know: With a three-point interchange system, you can use this jacket as a shell, insulating layer or both.
What you’ll love: This interchange skiing jacket is highly versatile and works great whether you’re in the backcountry or just trying to keep warm on a chilly day. It has a fleece liner and thermal reflective Omni-Heat that reflects your body heat back on you. It’s available in several colors.
What you should consider: Although the Omni-Heat does a great job at keeping you warm, some people may not love the metallic look.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This regular fit, lightweight skiing jacket has 5,000 grams of breathability and is great for casual days on the slopes.
What you’ll love: Created with recycled materials, this waterproof ski jacket offers several features like a removable waist gaiter and specialty pockets. The inner lining is insulating and great at wicking moisture away.
What you should consider: This jacket isn’t warm enough for cold or icy temperatures below 15 degrees.
Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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