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Winter is upon us, and with the arrival of snow on some of Europe’s mountains set for the not too distant future, many people will start to be thinking about booking their holidays to the slopes for this season. For many of us lucky enough to hit the pistes this winter, the luxury of a new ski jacket will be all too tempting, and if purchasing towards the beginning of the ski season there are often many deals and savings to be had across online outlets.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some recommendations for the best ski jackets on the market at the moment - we’ll also look at some buying recommendations and what to look for if you’re thinking of upgrading your kit.
Best men’s ski jackets at a glance
- Best for all-round performance: Mammut Taiss HS Hooded Jacket
- Best for keeping your whole torso warm: Helly Hansen Straightline LifaLoft 2.0
- Best for comfort: Salomon Highland Ski Jacket
- Best for value for money: Patagonia Snowshot Jacket
- Best for heading off-piste: Arc’teryx Sabre Jacket
- Best for everyday wear: Picture Clothing Organic Object Jacket
- Best for down insulation: Columbia Wild Card II Ski Jacket
- Best for winter sports: The North Face Dragline Ski Jacket
What type of ski jacket is right for me?
A good ski jacket can be a significant outlay, so the kind of jacket you’ll buy somewhat comes down to the budget you have available and the kind of skiing or snowboarding you’ll be doing. Hardshells are popular, and are very waterproof and lightweight, but can sometimes be more expensive than traditional synthetic ski wear or even down options.
Also look for features such as a hood that fits over your helmet, snow cuffs to stop snow getting inside the jacket and a lift pass pocket - imperative if you’re getting on and off lifts within a resort environment. It is also worth investing in a jacket that has good arm and side ventilation, as even in challenging conditions you can get quite warm on the slopes.
Get kitted out for all of your hiking adventures
Here are our recommendations for some of the best ski jackets on the market at the moment for a successful season on the slopes this year.
A great all-rounder, the Taiss HS hooded jacket is designed to cope with a wide range of mountain conditions, from skiing to alpine climbing, touring and hiking.
Its flexibility is echoed in its construction - as a hard shell jacket it is packable, lightweight and robust, also featuring Mammut’s effective DRYTechnology Pro which promises exemplary waterproof and wind-proofing.
The Helly Hansen Straightline jacket has, as you’d imagine, a straight, long profile, enabling more of your body to be covered by its extremely warm LIFALOFT insulation.
A helmet compatible hood, handy pockets and a striking choice on contrasting colours make it a compelling proposition, as well as the fact it’s backed up by the brand’s own celebrated HELLY TECH professional fabric, which performs well under a range of conditions.
Comfort and stretch are the defining factors of the Highland Ski jacket from Salomon - its motion fit construction allows greater movement across a variety of terrain and activities, from skiing to climbing and hiking across undulating environments.
Its low bulk also means its packable, and with a helmet compatible hood and water resistant zips it also has enough technical spec to compete with some more expensive jackets on the market.
With an articulated fit for freedom of movement, this offering from Patagonia is excellent value for money and combines a stylish appearance with Fair Trade Certified fabric, so it’s a great sustainable option too.
We liked the smooth mesh liner inside the jacket itself, which means it’s warm, soft and comfortable and easy to layer over inner and mid layers.
If you’re looking for the best of premium mountain wear, we’d highly recommend looking at this offering from Arc’teryx.
The Sabre jacket is designed to totally block out the wind and rain, and has been developed primarily for performance in the backcountry and for adventurous off-piste skiing and boarding, where conditions are likely to be more demanding.
The fabric has articulated patterning, which aids movement, and Its StormHood™ adjusts to maximise peripheral vision. It also features a RECCO™ reflector, which can help in search situations.
Picture Organic are making a name for themselves developing organic, totally sustainable outerwear and adventure wear that twins excellent quality with a fully transparent, eco-positive and sustainable approach.
Their action to tackle climate change means they use business as a force for good, and this Object Jacket is an easy to wear, comfortable, warm everyday ski jacket that’s just at home on black runs as it is in the bar after a long day on the slopes.
If you’d like to investigate the down jacket route, then this Columbia option comes highly recommended and has an attractive ‘body fit’ that allows for greater movement.
The 550 power down insulation is strong enough to keep you warm but still allows for breathability when doing more strenuous activities. We liked the removable hood option, and the google pocket and chin guard are nice winter sport specific features.
Made specifically for the winter sports season, this bright jacket stands out from the crowd and features 3-layer DryVent technology, which means that as well as being windproof and waterproof, the jacket offers excellent breathability - making life all the easier on those intense off-piste runs.
The media port is a nice touch too, meaning you can loop your headphones through and pass them inside via the right pocket to soundtrack your descent.