If you spend most of your winter days out in the elements skiing, snowboarding, or just going from one place to another, it’s important to have a heavy-duty jacket to fight that cold rain and snow. There are a lot of options out there, but don’t get tricked into buying a big, bulky brand name jacket without doing a bit of research. Here are some of this season’s top winter ski jackets for both men and women that are warm, reliable, and comfortable.
Top Winter Ski Jackets for Men
Helly Hansen Supreme
This is an affordable ($230) hard shell jacket that will keep you toasty even on the coldest of days. Its sleek design allows for unimpeded movement, making it perfect for skiing or hiking, while at the same time offering some of the best cold-weather technology available. Each layer of this jacket is designed to keep you warm. The Supreme’s waterproof, outer layer provides maximum breathability, and the jacket is insulated by a combination of synthetic and goose down. It’s perfect for nearly any winter condition you’ll encounter.
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer™
Say goodbye to those bulky down jackets. The Men’s Ghost Whisperer Jacket ($320) is one of the lightest, sleekest down jackets on the market today. Considered one of the world’s lightest full-featured down jackets, it weighs in at less than eight ounces, but still provides unmatched warmth. Made with 100 percent nylon and 800-fill down, the Ghost Whisperer uses a quilt patterned design to keep heat in. The jacket can also be stuffed, then zipped inside its own pocket for storage, making it a great option for those trekking in the backcountry with limited storage space.
This three-layered, soft shell jacket is what you’d expect from a company that specializes in designing the most cutting-edge outdoor gear available. The Trickshot ($425) is waterproof, and breathable, making it a great jacket for nearly any type of winter outdoor activity. With its bonded fleece inner layer, it feels much warmer than other light insulation jackets in a similar price range. The Trickshot, although not made with GORE-TEX, will keep you dry in any weather. It also comes with a host of features, including a removable powder skirt, adjustable wire-brimmed hood, in-pocket goggle wipe, and more.
This high-quality, GORE-TEX hard shell offers the very best in performance, and is designed especially for the backcountry. Although it’s a shell, the Stikine ($775) can keep you as warm and dry as many heavy-duty jackets twice its weight. This shell was built with synthetic insulation to be as light as possible, while still providing maximum protection against the cold. It’s treated with DWR coating, so it’s completely waterproof, and comes equipped with an insulated storm hood that provides maximum protection without impeding visibility; the perfect shell for pouring rain, or powdered slopes. Like most high-quality shells, the Stikine comes with a powder skirt to keep snow out, and it’s also designed to be compatible with other Arc’teryx outerwear products.
Top Winter Ski Jackets for Women
Burton AK 2L Embark Jacket
This is a jacket that is built for the slopes, but it still has some serious style. The Embark ($484.95) combines the taste for design and functionality that has made Burton one of the top snow gear companies on the market today. This watertight shell is made with GORE-TEX 2L fabric and lightweight PrimaLoft material which offers a full range of movement without sacrificing comfort or style, and its unique lining is designed to keep heat in without being too restrictive. Although it’s a little baggier than other hard shells (it’s a snowboarding jacket after all), the Embark comes equipped with a pull-cord hood and powder gasket cuffs to keep you warm and dry in any situation.
Mammut Mittellegi Pro
This three-layer GORE-TEX Pro shell is designed to keep you high and dry in knee deep snow, sleet, or rain; whatever winter can throw at you. The Mittellegi Pro ($750) stays close to your body, but is still extremely versatile; it’s perfect for alpine tours, ice climbing, or skiing expeditions. The jacket also comes with an adjustable hood and detachable snow skirt to keep you dry during harsher winter weather. It also has zips in all the right places to allow for maximum breathability when things heat up. For those looking for a shell with a snug fit that’s also able to stretch in all the right places, the Mittellegi Pro is perfect.
For years, Patagonia has been delivering top-notch winter gear at unmatched prices, and the Snowbelle ($209) is no exception. This two-layer shell is weatherproof and water resistant, and is insulated with recycled Thermogreen® polyester to keep you warm without compromising mobility. Although it’s soft to the touch, the layered polyester micro-twill weave on this jacket will still keep you dry and wick away moisture. Like most shells in its price range, it’s equipped with pit zips for breathability, a powder skirt, and a removable helmet-compatible hood for those tough days on the slopes. The Snowbelle’s design is sleek and simple, but the its performance and fit provide protection, and a freedom of movement that make it tough to beat for a shell in its price range.
Outdoor Research Women’s Trickshot
Like the men’s jacket, this new one from Outdoor Research doesn’t hold back. The Women’s Trickshot Jacket ($425) is waterproof and breathable, and its Pertex® Shield+ material provides maximum comfort and movability; this, coupled with it’s ultra-warm fleece lining makes it an ideal jacket for nearly any situation. The Trickshot was built to be breathable, which means that while you’re working up a sweat, its material is also working to wick away any excess moisture, keeping you completely dry. The shell also comes with a ton of features, including a goggle wipe, adjustable wire-brimmed hood, removable powder skirt, draw cord hem, and more. This is the perfect shell to beat up on the slopes while still looking stylish.
Want More Ski Gear Suggestions?
Are you shopping around for ski gear for the winter? Check out our guide to finding the right custom ski equipment, list of 2016’s best ski googles, or tips for layering and what to wear under your shell.