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A decent jacket that keeps you warm and dry is an essential ski item, we've picked out the best for the season ahead, from fashionable piste items to pure backcountry slayers. 

10 best ski jackets

Arcteryx-Airah-Jacket-W-Rad-F17.jpgSnow 2017 best jacket.jpgArc'teryx Airah | £460 Womens

Waterproof, windproof, durable, breathable and insulated with lofty fleece knit air permeable Polartec Alpha insulation, the women’s Airah is clearly designed for high-output adventures in a cold, demanding mountain environment.

The Gore-Tex single-layer solution will keep you toasty warm in transition and on the descent and is sufficiently breathable that you won’t overheat on the skintrack. Although Arc’teryx claims that the Airah is 30 percent lighter than conventional layering systems, at 615g, the Airah is no ‘fast and light’ jacket. So while it’s likely to provide too much bulk and warmth for a sunny, spring touring day in the Alps, it’s a perfect jacket for wintry freeride adventures in and around resort.

Apart from Arc’teryx’s usual premium build quality, features include a helmet compatible hood, fully-taped seams, two internal pockets, two zipped hand pockets and a powder skirt.

VERDICT - 10/10

We can’t fault it! A versatile, warm and well-made freeride/backcountry jacket for discerning ski tourers.

Full review


Burton Swash.jpgBurton AK 2L Swash | £370 Mens and womens

The Swash is a good-looking 2-layer Gore-Tex jacket with a lightly insulated non-removable vest that provides warmth over the chest and back area.

Designed to provide maximum freedom of movement without compromising the brand’s snowboard heritage and style, the Swash is guaranteed to appeal to both the baggy old skool and the new breed of mountain athletes. It’s also crammed with functional features for mountain adventures.

VERDICT - 8/10

A great all-winter freeride jacket that provides enough warmth, functionality and protection to suit most.

Full review



Eider St Moritz.jpgEider St Moritz | £500 Womens

There’s more to this fashionable jacket than styling alone. The quality of integrated materials and basic construction are high-end and with a 20,000 rating in both waterproof protection and breathability.

The St Moritz also comes with a host of clever ski-specific features, such as the ski pass wrist pocket holder, removable powder skirt and the goggles/sunglasses wipe attached by stretch to the inside pocket. Beware, sizing is a bit small.

VERDICT - 8/10

A quality jacket that will perform at the right level for its intended audience within the resort bounds.

Full review 


Patagonia PowSlayer.jpgPatagonia PowSlayer | £600 Mens and womens

A new recycled nylon face fabric combined with Gore-Tex is the update for this winter’s PowSlayer and it’s a big improvement for this legendary, non-insulated freeride jacket.

Designed for serious mountain missions, you’ll need to understand the concept of layering for the conditions but if you do, this jacket will continue serving you for years. All zips are weatherproof, the hood is helmet compatible and there is lightweight powder skirt.

VERDICT - 9/10

Fully featured, tough and made of recycled materials, this updated classic will last a lifetime of adventure.

Full review 


The North Face Fuseform Brigandine 3L.jpgThe North Face Fuseform Brigandine 3L | £700 Mens and womens

Fully waterproof, breathable and seam-sealed, this is a burly, durable jacket designed for high-end, technical freeride skiers and boarders pushing their personal boundaries.

With top construction, the mega tough exterior integrates midweight nylon with a heavier weight nylon in the hood, shoulders, sides and inner arms to save on bulk – making for an impressively light, durable jacket. The hefty price tag will definitely put most off though!

VERDICT - 9/10

Tough, waterproof and fully featured, the Brigandine is better suited to the steeps and deeps than resorts. 

Full review



PictureStyler.jpgPicture Styler | £200 Mens

The Styler epitomises the best of the brand – style, quality and performance in a good-looking package.

Styler’s Thermal Dry liner combined with a tough 40% recycled polyester outer offers the warmth, comfort and protection you need when it’s cold, dumping and there are rooster tails to be had. It may lack the stretch materials of expensive rivals but the Styler offers enough volume for more than adequate freedom of movement.

VERDICT - 8/10

Well thought out and mountain tested, the Styler has ethical creds and is a great choice for riders in the know.

Full review 


Vaude Backbowl.jpgVaude Backbowl | £370 Mens and womens

We’ve long been fans of Vaude’s Ceplex waterproof membrane and the Pro Ceplex membrane in the Backbowl takes it up a notch.

Highly waterproof and breathable the jacket still manages to feel soft and pliant, almost softshell like with very little of the usual annoying rustle. At 716g, the weight of the Backbowl is decent for a 3 layer jacket, with a good selection of pockets and effective – if rather large – helmet compatible hood.

VERDICT - 9/10

For a jacket at what is now considered to be mid-range in terms of pricing the Backbowl packs a serious punch. 

Full review


Protest Calgary Jacket.jpgProtest Calgary Snow | £170 Womens

Protest has never really been a challenger in the technical department, until now!

Here you get the latest Geotech 20k technical PVRE series with 20,000mm waterproofing, 20,000 grs breathability, insulated lining, quilted collars and pockets, elastane and Velcro cuffs and a stretch waist gaitor all within a cosy regular length slim fit jacket! The slim fit is snug, as is the hood over a helmet but offers good warmth on a cold day. 

VERDICT - 8/10

For value for money, this waterproof, breathable, stylish, fully featured and warm jacket is an absolute steal!

Full review



Salomon Brilliant.jpg

Salomon Brilliant | £320 Mens and womens

Fully featured, insulated and weather proof, the Brilliant delivers enough features to satisfy the majority of resort skiers with a penchant for the odd lift-accessed off piste descent.

It may not be uber technical but it still packs a relative punch when it comes to features. It moves with you as you climb into the snow cat or lift the kids into the chairlift. Features include a powder skirt, water resistant zips and internal goggle pocket for a fine resort jacket.

VERDICT - 8/10

Competent, comfortable, well designed and presented downhill ski jacket to satisfy many wintersports enthusiasts.

Full review


Mammut Stoney HS.jpgSnow 2017 best value jacket.jpgMammut Stoney HS | £380 Mens

Clean lines with a classy delivery, the Stoney HS will appeal to skiers who demand high performance but don’t want to draw attention to themselves.

The winning feature of the Stoney is not the stripped down design, nice cut, or good articulation but the DryTech material. It feels like a soft shell, stretches like a fleece and performs like a hard shell waterproof. The rest of the jacket is also impressive and comes with all the class and design features you associate with Mammut. Chest pockets with water resistant zippers, an internal stash pocket with microfibre lens cloth, side pocket with key clip – it’s all very well thought out and executed in style.

All in all the Stoney is a great jacket for on piste adventures and the odd day touring out of resort. While you probably won’t opt to take it on a spring ski tour as it may be a touch on the warm side, the 2 way pit zips will help keep things cool most of the time.

VERDICT - 9/10

Understated Swiss excellence for on piste adventuring and the occasional sortie out of resort.

Full review

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