You’re gliding down the mountain with your crew, dicing through soft powder and weaving between snow-capped trees. The sun is shining, and it seems like nothing could possibly ruin the fun. Unfortunately, when it comes to ski gear, there’s a lot that can go wrong. In fact, if you aren’t kitted out with one of the best ski jackets in the business, you risk getting too hot, too cold, too wet, or losing flexibility.
While there’s nothing better than a day on the mountain, there’s nothing worse than a day ruined by being too hot or soaking wet. This is why you’ve gotta set yourself up with the right gear for the type of riding you expect to do. For instance, bracing yourself against a wild snowstorm on a slow ski lift mid-winter might warrant a different kind of jacket to spring resort skiing.
The perfect ski jacket also depends on your personal preference. Many people prefer a simple shell layered with undergarments depending on the weather, and others prefer a heavy-duty insulated jacket for all occasions. Budget skiers might seek a more versatile jacket suitable for various conditions.
Skiing or snowboarding with the wrong equipment can quickly turn a well-planned ski trip into an unpleasant experience. But how do you choose between the seemingly endless options of ski jackets on the market? To make your life a bit easier, we’ve picked out the best ski jackets for a bunch of different skiers, from budget jackets to insulated jackets to eco-friendly jackets.
Quick Answers – What Is The Best Ski Jacket?
In a hurry? Check out the top eight ski jackets on the market for a variety of skiers and occasions:
- #1 Best Overall Ski Jacket – Arc’teryx Sabre AR
- #2 Best Insulated Jacket for Resort Skiing – Patagonia Insulated Snowshot
- #3 Best 3-in-1 Ski Jacket – The North Face ThermoBall Eco-Snow Triclimate
- #4 Best Budget Ski Jacket – REI Co-op Powderbound
- #5 Best Versatile Ski Jacket (*also suitable for general use) – Northface Chakal
- #6 Best Eco-Friendly Ski Jacket – Patagonia Powslayer
- #7 Best Heated Jacket For Skiing – Graphene Gamma Heated Jacket
- #8 Best One-Piece For Skiing – Arc’teryx Incendia
How To Choose The Best Ski Jacket For Your Trip
No one likes to be unprepared, and skiing is, unfortunately, one of those sports that requires a lot of preparation. From your ski length to your bunding setup to the way your ski goggles fit over your helmet or how much you can fit inside your ski backpack, there’s a lot to know and a lot to go wrong.
When picking out the best ski jacket for your ski or snowboarding trip, there are three main things you need to consider:
Firstly, what time of year will you be visiting. Will temperatures average below freezing, or are you visiting during balmy spring months? Depending on the temperature in the particular ski resort at that time of year, you might choose to go for a windbreaker shell over an insulated, heated jacket.
Secondly, how hard will you be skiing? Tourist resort skiers usually don’t require such intense gear, as they’ll always be only a short ski away from a change of clothes. On the other hand, hard backcountry riders need to prepare for everything when they get dressed in the morning. This also means they need to be kitted out with safety equipment for potential avalanches.
Third, how much time will you be spending on the slopes? If you’re going for the first and last chair, you’ll want a jacket with plenty of pockets, insulation for cold lift rides, and breathability for when you get warm.
Generally speaking, all jackets should be wind (and preferably water) proof. This makes a massive difference in wet or powder conditions. The best jackets need to offer the perfect blend between warmth, breathability, practicality, and style. After all, what’s the point of skiing if you don’t look good doing it?
Arc’teryx Sabre AR
- > $$$
- > Helmet-compatible hood
- > Comes in a range of colors
Patagonia Insulated Snowshot
- > $$
- > Waterproof, windproof, and breathability
- > Helmet-compatible hood
The North Face ThermoBall Eco-Snow Triclimate
- > $$
- > Removable insulated puffer inner
- > Bunch of practical pockets
REI Co-op Powderbound
- > $
- > Made using double-layer Peak waterproof material
- > Adjustable hood
The North Face Chakal
- > $$
- > DryVent 2L material
- > PrimaLoft Heatseeker Eco insulation
- > $$$
- > Built using super-lightweight materials
- > Watertight zippers, a powder skirt, and underarm vents
Graphene Gamma Heated Jacket
- > $$$
- > Includes customizable built-in heating panels
- > Antimicrobial and anti-odor powdered layer
- > $$$$$
- > Offering ultimate flexibility and movement
- > Provides shelter from wind and water
The Best Ski Jackets That Money Can Buy
Wherever and whenever you choose to wear yours, we’ve put together eight of the best ski jackets on the market in 2022.
We’ve included the best insulated ski jackets, shells and full one-piece suits as well as things like the best resort ski jacket for those wanting to look slick for some apres ski!
REI members SAVE 20% on a full-price item + an 20% extra on their outlet: and that’s a double discount, baby!
This is the time for that sexy gear upgrade you’ve been thinking about — don’t sleep on it.View on REI
#1 Best Overall Ski Jacket – Arc’teryx Sabre AR
Arc’teryx Sabre AR is our top pick for the best overall ski jacket
- Material – Gore-Tex waterproofing, flannel lining
- Weight – 700g / 1 lb 8.7 oz
- Temperature Rating – 4/5
- Price in USD – $675
The Arc’teryx Sabre AR jacket is a high-performance jacket with a price tag to match, but with good reason. The jacket is made from Gore-Tex material, which offers the best of both water and wind resistance as well as flexibility and movement. The flannel lining is super breathable, allowing moisture to escape while regulating the temperature inside the jacket.
The Sabre AR is designed to handle advanced big-mountain skiing and is built for backcountry adventures. It is equipped with specific snowsports features for both skiers and snowboarders, including WaterTight underarm zips for ventilation, a secure powder skirt, and a bunch of accessible and practical pockets. It even has a helmet-compatible hood, which allows you to protect your neck from getting wet in snowy conditions.
Not to mention, it’s super stylishly designed with a contemporary fit and comes in a range of colours (black, blue, green, yellow, and rust).
Our testers particularly liked the longer cut on the jacket, they felt it didn’t get in the way of their skiing but instead just provided them with extra protection and coverage in those areas where snow and cold often do creep in when you’re on the ski lift or bending down to adjust your boots.
Editors Note – Arc’teryx is one of the best outdoor jacket brands we have ever come across and their gear is usually worth the extra money.
#2 Best Insulated Jacket for Resort Skiing – Patagonia Insulated Snowshot
Patagonia Insulated Snowshot is one of the best insulated jacket for resort skiing
- Material – Thermogreen recycled polyester, taffeta lining
- Weight – 921g / 32.5 oz
- Temperature Rating – 4/5
- Price in USD – $329
Patagonia is known for creating high-quality products using sustainable practices and materials, and the Insulated Snowshot Patagonia Jacket is no exception. As one of the best ski jackets for resort activities, this jacket is moderately priced for its versatility.
Using an H2No Performance Standard 2-Layer shell, this jacket hits the mark on both waterproof, windproof, and breathability which is why we’ve rated is as the best insulated ski jacket. Patagonia has designed this jacket for mobility, offering a specialised fit for ultimate flexibility and comfort. This makes it a top option for resort riders moving between groomers and park runs.
Additional features include a helmet-compatible hood for the snow days, with an extended visor for added visibility in white-out conditions. The powder skirt connects well to Patagonia snow pants, and underarm zips are incorporated for quick heat releases or if you just need a bit more movement in your arms.
The jacket has practical pockets for headphones as well as lined handwarmer pockets for a bit of extra warmth on a cold lift ride. Of course, the jacket is made using fair trade and recycled materials, so you can rest assured you aren’t harming the environment when wearing this garment.
Our team rated this as their best Patagonia ski jacket for many reasons, but mostly it was the great balance between warmth and ventilation built in. They found the insulation worked well when they were in super cold conditions waiting around for the lift or for their run. But once they got going the excellent ventilation features were able to keep them cool and dry.
Looking for something similar? Check out the best Patagonia winter jackets and see which suit your needs.
#3 Best 3-in-1 Ski Jacket – The North Face ThermoBall Eco-Snow Triclimate
For best 3-in-1 ski jacket, checkout The North Face ThermoBall Eco-Snow Triclimate
- Material – DryVent 2L Nylon with water repellent finish
- Weight – 1000g / 2 lbs 3.27 oz
- Temperature Rating – 4/5
- Price in USD – $360
The North Face has outdone itself with this versatile ski jacket, there’s a reason why they’re one of the best outdoor brands. With a removable insulated puffer inner, it’s basically three jackets in one. Remove the inner for everyday use; use just the shell for spring skiing conditions; or zip the two together for the ultimate all-weather ski jacket. Together, the ThermoBall is waterproofed and windproofed with DryVent 2L technology as well as super-insulated with ThermoBall Eco Insulation.
Perfect for wet days, the zips are waterproofed, the powder skirt has a grippy elastic, and the jacket has a helmet-compatible hood. That being said, the breathable DryVent technology and cooling underarm vents make it equally as great for warmer spring days.
As the best ski jacket for three-in-one use, the ThermoBall also comes with a bunch of practical pockets to stash your goggles (with a useful goggle wipe), phone, and ski pass.
Our team felt this was a great all-around jacket that was practical for many different conditions, and not only on the slopes either. The fact the jacket combines 3 different coats in one was a real bonus for them, they felt it meant more value for money because the jacket was wearable not only in various different conditions on the slopes but when they got home too. They felt the mechanisms for changing between each layer were super easy too.
#4 Best Budget Ski Jacket – REI Co-op Powderbound
Meet the best budget ski jacket: REI Co-op Powderbound
- Material – Waterproof nylon, synthetic insulation
- Weight – 1 lb. 13 oz
- Temperature Rating – 5/5
- Price in USD – $199
If you’re after an affordable jacket with all the bells and whistles, the REI Co-op Powderbound has your back. Designed to withstand the elements while keeping you super cosy, the jacket is made using double-layer Peak waterproof material, which is breathable enough to keep your body temperature stable.
60g synthetic insulation in the sleeves allows for extra flexibility without adding too much weight. The jacket has an adjustable hood that fits over both beanies and helmets, complemented by a high collar to protect your neck from snow spray as you ride.
Not to mention, the jacket is also compatible with most gloves and mittens, with an adjustable strap to seal out the cold and a loop attachment to make sure you don’t end up losing a mitten below a lift. There’s also plenty of pocket space to stash your goodies, including a wrist lift pass pocket, a key clip, and a goggle pocket.
Our team felt this was the best ski jacket for the money given the number of impressive features built in. They felt it was flexible, light and comfortable to wear whilst offering great warmth and protection from the elements. They also loved the fact that for a budget jacket it still included a ski pass pocket, internal pockets and a helmet-friendly hood.
All in all, this is an epic buy for such a reasonable price, so grab yourself an REI membership for the best prices.
Do You Want to Travel FOREVER??
Pop your email in below to get a FREE copy of ‘How to Travel the World on $10 a Day!’.
#5 Best Versatile Ski Jacket (*also suitable for general use) – The North Face Chakal
Our top pick for the best versatile ski jacket (*also suitable for general use) is The North Face Chakal
- Material – Waterproof DryVent 2L, lined with PrimaLoft
- Weight – 1050g / 2 lbs 5 oz
- Temperature Rating – 4/5
- Price in USD – $300
A considerable portion of the skiers on the mountain at any given time aren’t locals and travel from far and wide to get some laps in. If you don’t live on a mountain or ski every second weekend, you’re probably best off purchasing one versatile jacket for a range of ski conditions and occasions.
The North Face Chakal Jacket is the best ski jacket for the job. While it’s designed for skiing and snowboarding, it’s also trendy enough to wear on the streets. This winter jacket features DryVent 2L material, which is both super waterproof and windproof as well as breathable.
To give you a bit of extra warmth, it’s lined with PrimaLoft Heatseeker Eco insulation which is designed to offer extra comfort, warmth and protect against the harsh elements.
Of course, The North Face hasn’t forgotten any details on this versatile garment. Stretch-knit wrist gaiters prevent snow or cold air from entering around your hands, while a snug powder skirt does the same for your waist. The Chakal also has a fully adjustable and removable hood, which can be worn over a helmet.
Our testers rated this as the most versatile jacket on this list partially due to how stylish they felt it was. They felt it didn’t just scream “ski jacket” but instead was a good-looking jacket that wouldn’t look out of place heading to work or wandering around Paris just as much as on the slopes of Chamonix. They also loved the number of pockets on this jacket which makes it both useful for skiing but also for mountaineering, hiking and even day to day use in the winter.
#6 Best Eco-Friendly Ski Jacket – Patagonia PowSlayer
For best eco-friendly ski jacket, checkout Patagonia PowSlayer
- Material – Gore-Tex pro fabric, recycled nylon face fabric
- Weight – 547g / 19.3 oz
- Temperature Rating – 4/5
- Price in USD – $699
Patagonia’s unique selling point is its commitment to the environment. The company uses recycled fabrics, fair trade factories, and non-toxic materials. With such a rigorous environmental impact, it’s no wonder the Patagonia PowSlayer is one of the top eco-friendly ski jackets on the market.
While this jacket might hurt your bank account a bit, it’s not without good reason. Aside from its environmental benefits, the PowSlayer is a top-quality product designed to withstand the harshest conditions. It’s built using super-lightweight materials, making it ideal for backcountry touring.
Gore-Tex fabric combined with recycled nylon material creates the perfect balance between waterproof, warmth, and durability. In fact, the Gore-Tex shell has three layers, offering what we believe to be the highest level of waterproofing on the market. On top of this, the jacket has watertight zippers, a powder skirt, and underarm vents. It’s basically like a wetsuit for skiers.
Here at TBB we put a massive amount of value on products that do their part to help protect our world and our environment. Our team just loved the fact this jacket was made from recycled materials and they felt that this in no way affected the performance of the jacket. They loved how lightweight, flexible and practical this jacket felt too with plenty of internal and external pockets.
#7 Best Heated Jacket For Skiing – Graphene Gamma Heated Jacket
Meet the best heated jacket for skiing: Graphene Gamma Heated Jacket
- Material – 100% anti-microbial and anti-odor graphene layer
- Weight – 596g / 21 oz
- Temperature Rating – 5/5
- Price in USD – $500
Have you ever been so cold that you’d actually rather call it quits than spend any more time on the mountain? Well, you’ll never have to worry about the cold again with the Graphene Gamma Heated Jacket.
If you aren’t familiar with graphene, it’s basically a material compound of tiny carbon atoms, all layered together in a hexagonal lattice. This process is used in some of the best ski jackets on the market to provide ultimate durability, waterproofing, and windproofing.
The Gamma jacket is 100% infused with graphene and includes customisable built-in heating panels to keep you warm in even the coldest conditions. Simply switch the heating ‘on’ and enjoy the benefits of uniform heat distribution across your upper body.
Not only will this jacket keep you toasty warm, but it’s also designed using lightweight moisture-wicking material with an antimicrobial and anti-odour powdered layer. The jacket comes in a regular or a relaxed fit and is designed for males and females.
Our team felt this jacket was a real revelation and they loved the ability to switch up how warm it kept them depending on where they were at the time. Many of our team remarked how they would get particularly cold when they were on the ski lift or waiting around at the top of the runs but get warm once they began their run. This jacket meant they could switch the heat on and off when needed for a quick boost.
Want to know more? Check out our dedicated Graphene Gamma Heated Jacket review.
Looking specifically for a women’s jacket? Check out the best heated jackets for women and see if you find the right one.
#8 Best One-Piece For Skiing – Arc’teryx Incendia
Arc’teryx Incendia is our top pick for the best one-piece for skiing
- Material – Water and windproof Gore-Tex material
- Weight – 887.3g / 1 lb 15.3 oz
- Temperature Rating – 5/5
- Price in USD – $999
One-piece ski suits are ideal for the skier who doesn’t want to risk being cold. They allow for greater heat circulation around your entire body, leaving no space for any cold air or snow to enter around your waist. The Arc’teryx Incendia is designed ‘by women, for women’ and is the best of the best when it comes to one-pieces.
Designed for both skiers and snowboarders, this garment is built to protect you from the elements while offering ultimate flexibility and movement. Gore-Tex material provides shelter from wind and water while helping regulate your body temperature at the same time.
Although it’s priced pretty high, you can expect nothing but the best quality across this product, from the seam details to the material to the practical pockets and features. You also won’t have to worry about looking like The Michelin Man and can use the tightening straps and bands to make the one-piece fit your body snug (or keep it loose).
There are a few members of our team that fall into that “always cold” category, so the idea of this all in one was ideal for them… but did it make a difference?! Well, from their feedback we can say that it was a resounding yes! But beyond that, it was the practicalities of wearing the all-in-one we all wondered about. One of the features they did love was that the upper section could be unzipped and pulled down just like a traditional jacket making taking it on and off or just getting some fresh air super easy.
Now, you could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.
So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card! REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉Buy on REI!
|Name||Material||Temp Rating||Weight||Price (USD)|
|Arc’teryx Sabre AR||Gore-Tex waterproofing, flannel lining||4/5||700g / 1 lb 8.7 oz||675|
|Patagonia Insulated Snowshot||Thermogreen recycled polyester, taffeta lining||4/5||921g / 32.5 oz||329|
|The North Face ThermoBall Eco-Snow Triclimate||DryVent 2L Nylon with water repellent finish||4/5||1000g / 2 lbs 3.27 oz||360|
|REI Co-op Powderbound||Waterproof nylon, synthetic insulation||5/5||1 lb. 13 oz||199|
|The North Face Chakal||Waterproof DryVent 2L, lined with PrimaLoft||4/5||1050g / 2 lbs 5 oz||300|
|Patagonia PowSlayer||Gore-Tex pro fabric, recycled nylon face fabric||4/5||547g / 19.3 oz||699|
|Graphene Gamma Heated Jacket||100% anti-microbial and anti-odor graphene layer||5/5||596g / 21 oz||500|
|Arc’teryx Incendia||Water and windproof Gore-Tex material||5/5||887.3g / 1 lb 15.3 oz||999|
Our GREATEST Travel Secrets…
Pop your email here & get the original Broke Backpacker Bible for FREE.
How and Where We Tested To Find The Best Ski Jackets
In order to compare the top ski jackets we got our hands on each one of them and passed them around to different members of our team to get out there and give them a proper go. Of course, being ski jackets we didn’t take them to the tropics, but we were sure to see how they performed on the slopes and in snowy conditions.
In terms of what we were looking for while testing the best ski jackets, well we paid attention to the various, following metrics;
Fit and Comfort
You really do get a feel for a jacket the very second you put it on. When it comes to testing and comparing there’s no substitute for feeling how it fits your body personally. When it comes specifically to the best ski jackets, we also awarded points for how flexible the material was and how well the jacket allowed movement.
Of course, when it comes to ski jackets, one of the most important factors is how well it protects against the elements, specifically snow and wind. Flying down a mountain provides plenty of opportunities to get cold and wet, so this was one of the most important factors in our testing.
Another key factor for a ski jacket is ventilation. These jackets need to breathe and allow the wearer to keep at the optimum temperature. Skiing is pretty strenuous at times so as much as you want to keep the snow out, it’s pointless if the inside of the jacket gets wet from sweat!
To test this one we simply asked ourselves how sweaty we felt when we wore it and how comfortable we felt whilst skiing.
There is a school of thought that subscribes to the idea that travel and outdoor gear doesn’t need to look good, as long as it performs. Well, there is also a school of thought that subscribes to the idea that the earth is flat and that Ed Sheeran makes acceptable music.
I mean, we all want to look cool whilst hitting the slopes and even more so once we get to some apres ski and we’ve got fellow skiers to impress! Let’s be honest, skiing is a pretty slick pastime so you want to look the part doing it!
As proud BROKE backpackers, the price point of travel gear is massively important to us. For example, we have tried heaps of really well-made, high-performing pieces of gear that are nevertheless overpriced when it comes down to it.
When it came to picking the best ski jacket for 2022, we really felt we wanted to strike a balance between affordability and performance. We really feel we’ve pulled out all the stops here to find the best jackets for the money.
Final Thoughts On Choosing The Right Ski Jacket
Every year, new and better products are released onto the market, and old ones are modified and improved. It can be hard to pick out the best ski jacket for your ski holiday, and the decision really depends on your budget, how often you ski, and the time of year you plan to be on the mountain.
If you live near a mountain and spend a great deal of time skiing, you might want to invest in various jackets for different conditions throughout the year. However, most of us don’t have that privilege and need to purchase one all-rounder jacket to get the job done for the few weeks of skiing we can fit in each year.
From versatile jackets suitable for a host of ski conditions and terrains to specific backcountry jackets built for durability and warmth, there are endless products for you to browse through. However, shopping can be overwhelming, and we hope this list of the eight best ski jackets in 2022 has helped you find the perfect jacket for your ski holiday needs.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!