How to Choose the Best Ski Jackets

Skiing is a loving sport that can bring the whole family together. While it may take a lot of practice, bruising, and soreness when you first start learning, the payoff you get when gliding down a mountain with skills you have been working on is all the worth it. A large part of skiing is not just how you do it, but what you are planning to wear when you go. Even the best skiers give emphasize to quality wear, especially to ski jackets.

There are a lot of factors that go into what to wear and what not to wear. On one hand, you must be prepared to have enough layers to prevent against the harsh and changing climate, but on the other hand, having too many layers hand hinder your vision and ability, making you more likely to crash and burn on the way down (or crash and freeze rather).

All the information that goes into ski clothing can be overwhelming, so let’s break it up into different categories and we can go from there.

The Art of Layering
Thermal reflection system
Ski Jackets Types
– Hardshell Ski Jackets
– Softshell Ski Jackets
– Other types of Ski Jackets

Four good advises on ski clothing

Cross-Country Skiing

As you can expect, cross country skiing differs from what you may expect traditional downhill skiing to be. As the name would suggest, it combines cross country running and skiing to create a fantastic aerobic experience. It is all about transportation, and not so much the rush of going down a mountain.

Our guide to the Best Cross-Country Skis is here.

Downhill Skiing

Downhill skiing, or alpine skiing as many refer to it as is what many of us imagine when we think of skiing. As the name implies, downhill skiing is much faster and much more dangerous than cross-country skiing.

Top Alpine Skis by SkiProGuru.

The Art of Layering

Layering is one of those things that goes misinterpreted. Often enough to be notable, new skiers think that the best way to stay warm is by buying an expensive parka. One ski jacket, no matter how high priced, cannot do the job of many jackets altogether. This is why layering is of important note. Putting on a lot of small layers will always be more effective than putting on a single bulky layer. There are three types of layer terms that skiers prefer to use:

  • The base layer – Worn against the skin; bottom-most layer; usually, skiers choose to wear wool and silk materials for their base layer. Occasionally, you will find skiers who use cotton as well.
  • Middle layer – The in-between layer; in the coldest of climates, the middle layer tends to guard the most against wind chill
  • Outer layer – The final layer; you are going to want this layer to be the most waterproof, as it is the layer that is making the most contact with the snow.

Something that you are going to what to think about with layering is wicking. Wicking is the term used when describing materials that keep sweat away from the body. Sweating too much can turn any good skiing trip into a bad one, and any material that can remove excessive sweating should be looked into.

The thinner fabric, the more than it wicks sweat away from the body and the faster it dries. In some mild weather, the base layer can be the stand-alone layer, but for the most part, base layer clothing is meant to be advanced upon with other layers.

Midweight base layers are meant to be a mixture of the base layer and the outer layer. While it also wicks sweat away from the body, it must also provide some amount of heat protection and wind chill resistance.

Heavy layers are fairly simple to understand. Because they are so thick, they do not wick very much but are known more for their insulating abilities.

Regardless of whether you are going for a lower bulk or heavier bulk style, you are going to want all of your layers to be tight-fitting, Having loose layers, even one, may result in a lot of sweating and chafing. This can be avoided. Not only this but by wearing tighter layers, you will have better mobility when you are skiing.





Womens Top & Bottom Set

Basic Dual Layer Long Sleeve Base Layer Top

Men's Cool Dry Compression Baselayer Sleeveless

Women's Mid Weight Wicking Thermal Shirt

Constructed with cherry-picked fabric materials for unrivaled comfort and warmth. Elastic.

Thermachoice System: Cold to Very Cold Weather / Low to Medium Activity

Quick and Dry Transport System - Wicks Sweat away from the body, keeping you cooler and drier.

Double-layer thermal for warmth in cold weather






When it comes to picking out what to wear, the materials that you choose for your gear will make a big difference for what you are trying to accomplish. Here are a few types of materials:

  • Synthetic – Mostly forms of polyester and nylon. Synthetics are a classic material for people who are looking for ski clothing that will wick well and do not cost too much money. They fit well and block against abrasions and wrinkling, as well as fitting most people as they are elastic to ensure comfort. The only downside would be that they do not protect much against the cold and wind chills, and they usually hold on to stains and odors that occur from sweating.
  • Wool – More often than not, people find wool to be more for making fashion statements than for having practical uses. This is far from the truth, however. Wool, as you can imagine, is a soft fabric that provides the best comfort when you are skiing. Most modern wool is breathable and allows for a fairly water-resistant material. The material can hold a good amount of water while keeping to its lightweight nature. Wool is better than synthetic material at keeping away odors from sweating, all while remaining elasticity. What may be the biggest difficulty with wool is that it is oftentimes expensive for the average skier, as skiing itself is an expensive hobby and sport, and if not washed will most likely shrink in the washer or dryer.
  • Silk – The most comfortable of any of these materials, silk works well as a base layer because it does not scratch against the skin. It works well against the cold while maintaining its thin nature. It is even more lightweight than wool, however, it is very vulnerable to sunlight, and can very easily be ripped or damaged, making it very nondurable.

Waterproof is the Key

Crashing through the snow is a great way to get way in the cold. To prevent yourself from getting soaked from head to toe, you are going to want to wear as much waterproof gear as you can, especially ski jackets. There are two general types of waterproof ski jackets: Hardshell and Softshell Jackets (see below)

Thermal reflection – A Brand New Technology to keep you warm

Omni-Heat Thermal Reflection by Columbia

New technology was added to most new ski jackets model to increase the warmth of the body. Thermal reflection is a system consisting of a new liner surface added from inside to the ski or winter jackets. The surface is made of tiny, reflective silver dots that reflect the body’s warmth and keeps it inside. The body itself generates the warmth that is kept inside.

Columbia Ski Jacket with Omni-Heat thermal reflection system

Check the price on Amazon

Ski Jackets

Hardshell Ski Jackets

Heavier jackets that are more appropriate in heavy snow and rainfalls. They are usually highly waterproof and breathable, making sure you will not overheat when you are skiing (yes it is true you can overheat while skiing). Keep in mind, not all hardshell ski jackets will have the same level of waterproofing ability’s as this is decided by the seam level. Seam count will determine how much of the jacket is waterproofing.





Mens Waterproof Mountain Jacket

Womens Waterproof Mountain Jacket

Womens High Windproof

Mens Downhill Snow Jackets

Seam-sealed&windproof breathable soft shell Jacket. Relaxed-fit style with quick-dry material. YKK brand front zip jacket featuring detachable&adjustable hood


Seam-sealed&windproof breathable soft shell Jacket. Relaxed-fit style with quick-dry material. YKK brand front zip jacket featuring detachable&adjustable hood


Waterproof: Using high-performance waterproof fabric technology, combines a soft feel and comfort ventilation function, sewing clothes use whole seamless high-temperature adhesive process. Windproof, Anti-Static

Waterproof: Exotex 10K; Insulation: Hybrid Down [400g body] [200g sleeves & hood]; 3-way adjustable hood; Lycra cuff gaiter; Adjustable cuffs





Softshell Ski Jackets

Breathable ski jackets that allow for flexibility during light amounts of snow. Most softshells look and feel like hoodies, but are highly resistant to the snow. Because they are so comfortable, they are great waterproof jackets to wear all year round or at the very least, in milder climates.





Women Paramount Softeshells

Ladies 3-Stripes Full Zip Pullover Jacket

Sports Wear Womens Sleeker Jacket

Mens Crew Full Zip Hoodie

Adjustable cuffs; Water-resistant, windproof and breathable; Comfortable softshell fabric

100% polyester with hydrophilic finish; Zipper closure; 3-Stripes on left sleeve; self mock collar

Shell: 100% nylon Omni-Tech Grey Back Ripstop. Lining: 100% polyester; Vented Hand Pockets; Omni-Tech Waterproof/Breathable Fully Seam Sealed

100% Cotton; Cotton French terry, 320 g/M2; Cotton jersey lining in hood; Two hand pockets with hidden snap closure; YKK metalux front and chest pocket zippers





Other types of Ski Jackets

While these are two general terms, do keep in mind that there are a lot of in-betweens when it comes to dressing for skiing. You are not forced to dress either heavily or lightly, but you are encouraged to be both comfortable and safe. Here are some of the other types of skiing jackets you may want to consider next time you are looking for something new to wear:

Technical Ski Jackets

While these jackets are usually more expensive than others, they are easy to pack and are fairly lightweight. They are very breathable, and what makes these jackets different from the rest is their ability to adapt to different specified colds and climates.

3 in 1 Jackets

Similar to technical jackets, these jackets are fairly simple but have a wide variety of uses. If you are looking for a jacket that can meet a bunch of different climates and weather twelve months out of the year, then consider getting a jacket like this.

Insulated Ski Jackets

These jackets are known for their unbeatable determination in blocking out the cold. Those who ski in exclusively cold climates will want to check these types of jackets out. They are usually made of synthetic material, and we will get into what that means for you later on.


While ski jackets make up a good amount of what you are going to need to choose for your next ski trip, accessories also play an important part in making sure you have the best experience in the mountains. Once you have chosen a good ski jacket for your specified work, choosing the right head and neck accessories will be your next step.

Ski helmet, Ski goggles, neckband or scarf can do a lot of good during skiing season. Ski gloves are another important accessory you should cover deeply to be prepared for harshest weather on the slopes or tracks.





Natural Windburn and Sunburn Protection for Wintertime Sports

Carve Snow Googles

Sun Sport Ski Wind & Cold Protection Comfort Cream

Mojo Snow Googles





Always Keep in Mind

  • When you are going on an extended ski trip, or just going on a day when the weather looks to be a bit uncertain, make sure to bring a fair amount of backup layers. There is no worse feeling than trying to go skiing in weather that is too cold for a number of layers you are wearing. Bring backups is common sense even outside of skiing, but still worthy of note.
  • When you first start skiing, it is normal to feel some level of chill throughout your body. Do not worry about this. You will warm up fairly quickly once you start.
  • A lot of waterproof clothing is not windproof and vice versa, so make sure when picking out your gear that you accommodate for both wind and wet
  • While it may be a snowy day on the mountain, the sun is also something you are going to want to consider many skiers fall victim to sun damage and sunburn when skiing, especially in the summertime. Headbands, hats, and helmets are all great ways to prevent being harmed by the sun (do not worry about looking dorky, no one is going to care how you look going down the mountain.

When it comes down to it, the most important part of choosing any ski wear is a comfort. Do not worry about how well you look, do not worry about color matching, getting the most expensive brands, or keeping your colors in complementing styles. The best style will always be comfort and safety. And above all else, choose ski clothes that will make you happy as you kick up the snow.


Posted in Best Skis, Blog, Reviews and tagged .

Ski Pro Guru

Simon is the leading editor of for almost 3 years. He started skiing in his teens and now he switches from Alpine to Cross-Country Skiing regularly. He tried also snowboard for a few years, but then returned to conventional skiing :) In his free time he follows soccer, tennis and reads a lot of contemporary proses and novels.


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