Which men’s ski jacket is best?
It’s cold enough just standing on a snow-covered mountain. Then you start skiing. Every extra mile an hour you pick up increases the wind chill you experience and you get even colder. You aren’t on that mountain to hit one slope, freeze and spend the next two hours sipping hot chocolate to warm back up. Wear a good ski jacket such as the Columbia Whirlibird IV Interchange Jacket.
What to know before you buy a men’s ski jacket
Men’s ski jacket types
There are three main men’s ski jacket types: insulated, shell and 3-in-1.
- Insulated jackets are warm and soft, though they’re often bulky and have minimal breathability and ventilation as a consequence. They usually have some elements of wind- and water-resistance, though not as much as shells.
- Shell jackets have high degrees of wind- and waterproofing, though they have limited insulation — if they’re insulated at all. They’re typically thin enough to be worn on top of an insulated jacket.
- 3-in-1 jackets include both insulated and shell jackets with design elements that let them be tightly secured to each other or worn comfortably on their own.
Men’s ski jackets have three main fit types: regular, relaxed and slim.
- Regular-fit jackets are the base fit. They are neither too tight nor too loose.
- Relaxed-fit jackets are loose, with extra room around the chest and shoulders. They’re best for larger men or those planning to wear a relaxed-fit jacket as an outer layer.
- Slim-fit jackets are narrow around the torso and chest. They’re best for thinner men.
What to look for in a quality men’s ski jacket
Insulation has two elements: material and weight.
- Material: Most insulation is either animal down or synthetic down. Real down is warmer but pricey and must never get too wet. Synthetic down is lighter and can get wet, but it isn’t as warm.
- Weight: Weight is measured in grams with most jackets having 50-100 grams. Material has the largest impact on warmth, but a heavier weight still increases heat retention.
Sometimes you wear a more insulated jacket than you need. Other times, high activity or changing weather increases your body temperature underneath all that insulation. In these instances, you’ll want a ski jacket with ventilation so you can lower your body temperature without needing to take off any layers. Most ventilation is placed around the armpits.
How much you can expect to spend on a men’s ski jacket
You can find a men’s ski jacket for as little as $50, though these offer minimal warmth and function. The best jackets cost at least $200 but may be overkill unless you ski frequently. Midrange options typically run $100–$200.
Men’s ski jacket FAQ
How do I wash a men’s ski jacket?
A. Most are machine-washable but a few require hand-washing. Those that are machine washable usually need to be cleaned on a delicate cycle. If you machine wash it, make sure to open up all pockets so water doesn’t collect inside. Never run your jacket through the dryer unless the manufacturer specifically states it is safe to do so, even if it’s machine washable. Otherwise, you can damage the insulation.
What do I do if my jacket becomes waterlogged?
A. Most men’s ski jackets need to be air-dried, no matter how soaked through they are or if they’ve just come out of the washing machine. Make sure they’re hung far away from any heat source. Prolonged exposure to heat, whether from an oven or a dryer, can damage the insulation.
How long does the average men’s ski jacket last?
A. Most men’s ski jackets are built to be rugged and durable. Even a fairly average jacket can last for years if properly cared for. Less expensive jackets may not last longer than a year or three. You can prolong the life span of any quality jacket by being gentle with the zippers, preventing the seams from being strained and following all included care instructions.
What’s the best men’s ski jacket to buy?
Top men’s ski jacket
What you need to know: This jacket comes from one of the best clothing brands.
What you’ll love: It uses Columbia’s patented Omni-Heat and Omni-Tech systems for top-of-the-line warmth, breathability and waterproofing. It’s a 3-in-1 design that uses an insulated windbreaker covered by a removable waterproof shell. It’s available in sizes up to 6XL with many sizes offering tall variants. It’s available in 15 designs.
What you should consider: This jacket runs large, so you’ll want to purchase one size down. Some consumers had issues with the zippers breaking in particularly cold weather.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top men’s ski jacket for the money
What you need to know: This is a great budget option for occasional skiers.
What you’ll love: It uses a fur lining to retain heat, including in the hood. It has multiple pockets both inside and out. The exterior is polyester with windproofing and waterproofing. It’s antistatic. It’s available in sizes up to 3XL and in 23 designs.
What you should consider: Some consumers had issues with the jacket tearing after a few uses. Others had problems with the zipper breaking off. A few had difficulty finding a proper fit.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is another great budget pick.
What you’ll love: It’s machine-washable. The hood is detachable and the cuffs are elastic. The zipper and exterior pockets are protected by a snap-secured flap. It’s available in sizes from large big to 8XL big with a few sizes available in big and tall. There’s also a “small big” size.
What you should consider: It runs large so you’ll need to buy a size down. Some consumers had issues with breaking zippers and ripping seams.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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