GETTING the right ski jacket can make or break your ski trip.
Get something that’s too lightweight and you’ll find yourself shivering on a chair lift (before you bite the bullet and spend a small fortune on thermals at the resort), but something overly padded will have you sweating as the weather gets warmer.
To avoid these issues, and help you find a jacket you really love, we’ve gone out and tested some of the best ski jackets you can buy right now.
Bear in mind: the best ski jacket for you will depend on where and when you’re going, whether you’re snowboarding or skiing and the snow conditions when you get there.
If you’re headed to Canada in November, you’re going to want something a little warmer than a trip to France in March, but if you’re skiing in spring, you’re more likely to face slushy snow and slushy skies which makes extra waterproofing a must.
And if you’re off-pisting and planning on facing some deep powder, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got a snow skirt, thumb loops and probably some braces for good measure; no one wants a crotch full of melting snow.
Luckily, high street brands are stepping up their game so you can get all of that and more without paying a fortune. (Top tip if you’re after a bit of bargain hunting: shop around from January to April, and you can usually find last year’s kit on sale.)
We’ve rounded up the best ski jackets for men below, taking both style, substance and price into consideration when testing them out on the slopes.
Protest Concorde Jacket
- Concorde Ski Jacket, now £103.99 – was £129.99 – from Protest – buy here
Protest’s Concorde jacket comes in a bit cheaper than some of the high-end jackets, but it’ll match most of them in terms of performance.
The 10,000mm water resistance kept us dry in moderate snow and sleet (and through a couple of hefty tumbles into deep powder, if we’re honest).
It was warm too; you can get away with wearing a single layer underneath up to minus 15 – providing it’s not too windy – and the Concorde also has vents in case you overheat.
Sewn-in thumb loops meant we never ended up with an unwanted jet of snow up the sleeve and it had plenty of easily accessible zip pockets, which was great for phones, wallets, lift passes and maps.
Helly Hansen Fernie 2.0 Jacket
- Fernie 2.0 Jacket, £168 Helly Hansen – buy here
Helly Hansen’s Fernie Jacket is a rugged, do-it-all jacket that’s a fantastic all-rounder for skiing and snowboarding.
It’s fully insulated and waterproof, meaning you’ll be able to keep thermals to a minimum – plus, it’s got under arm vents if you need to cool off after blasting down a black run.
On top of the usual water resistant features (sealed seams with a waterproof coating) the Fernie 2.0 has a number of other touches that helps it to stand out.
The hood will comfortably fit a helmet, it’s got an integrated goggle shammy, hand warming pockets and a good number of internal pockets for your gadgets.
- Wildside Jacket, £90 from Columbia – buy here
In Colombia’s current range of ski gear, the outdoor brand has included its Omni-Heat technology; that’s a reflective internal layer of insulation to you and me.
The insulation means the jacket is properly warm along with being highly waterproof, and its elasticated design made it a joy to wear.
Adjustable underarm venting was a huge plus when we got too hot, and adjustable sleeve cuffs and draw cord hem meant snow stayed where it should: outside the jacket.
The North Face
- Steep Series Spectre Hybrid Jacket, £266 from The North Face – buy here
This offering from The North Face is a next-level jacket. It’s got incredible wind and waterproofing and is made from extremely tough material that’s designed to handle everything a mountain can throw at you.
All of its additional features are well thought out: the clips that attach it to your sallies are so useful and should be included in all ski jackets, the goggle-sized internal pocket is great and I’m surprised the adjustable hood that can be tightened and loosened for you head/helmet size isn’t more common.
The longline body means it works well for skiing and snowboarding alike and ensures you don’t end up with snow in your waistband.
The drawback of this jacket is the price (obviously) and that you’ll need to underpin it with thermals on colder days, as it has minimal padding.
It’ll keep the wind and rain off you like no one’s business though, and we enjoyed wearing it on the slopes (once we knew to layer up).
Mountain Warehouse Saturn Jacket
- Saturn Mens Ski Jacket, £69.99 from Mountain Warehouse – buy here
One of the warmest jackets we tested was the Saturn from Mountain Warehouse.
Its microfiber lining remained toasty throughout a mix of snow, sleet, rain down to minus 15, and it did a great job of keeping the water out.
The only criticism we had of the jacket was that a lack of vents meant it could get a little too warm if you were messing around on the lower slopes in bright sunshine.
But if you need something to take to the very top of the mountain, the Saturn will keep the elements at bay.
- CMP Seb Ski Jacket, £189 from Captains Cabin – buy here
The Seb jacket from CMP ticked all the boxes we looked for: spacious pockets, flexible but durable fabrication, ski pass pocket and a snow skirt.
Ultra waterproof but breathable, it performed well in heavy snow during testing, even in temperatures down to minus 12.
With its sleek black shell, quilted panels, contrasting piping and neon accents, this number is a little more refined than some of the more garish options out there.
With this jacket, you’re paying for the look – so if you want to look stylish on the slopes, it could be the one for you.
- Regression Ski Jacket, £107.95 from Dare2B – buy here
By contrast, Dare2B makes some of the more playful and striking ski-wear you can buy.
We were big fans of this Regression jacket; it held up well when the temperatures dropped and looked great while doing it.
It’s got some fairly fancy tech to make sure you stay warm and dry, with its waterproof and breathable stretch fabric.
The included lens wipe was a handy feature, and we liked the huge range of pockets we got for storage.
If you’re looking for ideas on places to go, why not check out our experience of the Italian Dolomites?
Or if it’s France you’re looking for, the little known resort of Oz-en-Osians might also work.
Don’t forget to check out our guide to some of the best resorts around Europe as well.
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