Bergans Down Light Jacket | £170 |
The Down Light Jacket from Bergans is designed to be used under a shell, but the windproof and water-repellent Pertex Quantum outer material as well as the good looks make it a suitable contender for après ski use.
As the name suggests, the Down Light feels light when worn and the slightly loose cut helps with articulation meaning that the jacket never feels overly stifling.
The brushed fleece collar comes up nice and high and adds to the overall feeling of comfort and quality and the 70g of 700 fill power 90/10 down cossets you in an envelope of warmth.
When the going gets tough and things hot up the jacket can be quickly and easily stowed away in one of its two front pockets for easy transportation, either in your luggage or daypack.
Picture Hudson Jacket | £190 |
Heavily detailed with chunky picture buttons, leather patch logos and a soft ‘Magic’ fur hood rim (removable), the Hudson is definitely a coat for those who like logos. That said, we reckon the Hudson manages to carry it off – although perhaps the ‘cork’ pattern hood is a stylistic stretch too far…
Made from 63 percent recycled polyester, with a Dry Play membrane that is waterproof to 10,000mm and breathable to 10,000g/m2/24hrs. Although this compares to 20k/20k waterproofing and breathability on genuinely high-performance outdoor garments, this is perfectly adequate for this jacket’s purposes.
Another compromise to hardcore mountain use comes with the pocket closures, which are all with buttons, not zips. So while the inclusion of a detachable snow skirt and draught-excluding cuffs is commendable, we reckon you’re bound to ship a few pocket loads of the white stuff if you’re going to use the Hudson on the slopes.
Other nice features include a ski-pass sleeve pocket, hand pockets behind the buttoned bottom pockets and two side-accessed chest pockets.
All round, a nicely styled, warm and comfortable coat suitable for a bar hop or two, with moderate mountain performance.
Finisterre Sastruga | £195 |
The Sastruga is a real looker in our eyes, most definitely casual enough to work as a great apres ski jacket but with some stylish touches.
The outer fabric of the Sastruga is made from 100% recycled ripstop which is highly durable and also does a grand job of keeping the wind out. Being an eco-conscious brand Finisterre have treated the shell with a C6 DWR finish which is PFC, PFOA, and FPOS free. The finish gives the jacket a fighting chance in light rain and snow.
The eco-friendly theme is continued inside the jacket with a layer of Primaloft Silver Eco insulation which is made from 70% post-consumer recycled content. Eco-credentials aside, this fill is very effective at keeping you warm and, being synthetic, retains far more warmth when wet compared to a down fill.
The jacket feels light and comfortable to wear and some neat touches elevate it from the ordinary. The hood packs away making it a great option for a ski mid-layer and the whole jacket packs into one of its pockets so you can easily stash it in a backpack or weekend case and pull it out to use as a travel pillow should the need arise! The concealed ribbed cuffs seal in warmth and the hood and hem are both adjustable to suit your tastes as well as warmth requirements.
Sherpa Nangpala Down Jacket | £250 |
The Sherpa Nangpala has two cosy fleece-lined pockets, a breast pocket, two internal mesh pockets – great for drying out gloves with your body heat - and an insulated hood.
The Nangpala is pretty lightweight weighing in at 457g and can pack down into a stuff sack not much bigger than your fist. As a mid-layer it’s extremely cosy although the permanent hood can get in the way. The Nangpala comes into its own as a top layer as suitable for apres ski as it is for more serious mountain duties.
Fill is Primaloft gold 750 which has a mix of 70% superfine water-repellent goose down and 30% hydrophobic synthetic fibres. This mix arguably provides the best of both worlds – Sherpa claims that this mix ‘absorbs water ten times slower than 100% down, dries four times faster than 100% down, and retains 95% of its warmth even when wet’.
The ripstop shell has a water-repellent DWR coating and being ripstop should be durable enough to last many a winter. Although Sherpa claim that the outer has a tight weave, a few rogue feathers made a bid for freedom on test.
Overall, the Nangpala impressed, sure, it costs a lot but we felt that the value is in its versatility and quality.
Helly Hansen Norse Parka | £300 |
The 550 fill power 60/40 down blend of the Norse Parka is sumptuously warm and cosy and the DWR treated Helly Tech outer fabric does a great job of keeping the rain and snow out. The coat feels supremely comfortable if a little heavy to wear and the long cut and classic parka styling are bang on trend.
The Norse Parka is adorned with a variety of handy pockets including two hand warmer pockets and an inner chest pocket. The hood isn’t massively adjustable so peripheral vision isn’t great and the wind easily blows it down but it is functional at a basic level.
The quality of the Norse Parka is fantastic, the price is high but we usually find that with outdoor gear - even the more casual stuff - you get what you pay for.
Odlo Haven Parka | £220 |
The Haven Parka from Odlo is a casual cotton jacket with a few tech tricks up its sleeve to help keep the elements out. Cotton isn’t known for its outdoor performance but the material on the Haven Parka is described by Odlo as a ‘performance cotton with DWR treatment’. On test we found that light rain and snow beaded up on the jacket and ran off, although anything heavier and you start to get a soaking.
The quilted inner gives decent amounts of thermal insulation and the material is windproof enough to keep mild winds out.
There are plenty of pockets both inside and out to stash your bits and pieces in and the hood does a rudimentary job of protecting your head.
Ok, the Haven Parka isn’t the most performance orientated jacket out there but the simple, stylish good looks make it a great option for apres ski.
Vaude Rond Jacket II | £210 |
An interesting development from Vaude, the Rond II at first feels like a cross between a softshell and an insulating layer with a DWR finish but manages to top both of these things by being a fully waterproof and highly breathable insulating layer.
The Rond II has a thin layer of Primaloft Eco which is made from 70% recycled materials. The fill is retained with stitching on the inner two layers of the jacket which means you avoid the ‘puffa jacket’ look loved by some and loathed by others. The insulation works well without any noticeable cold spots and being synthetic will still be highly effective when wet.
The Rond II has two front pockets, one of which you can use to stow the jacket in, an inner chest pocket and armpit vents with waterproof zips.
The adjustable hood is helmet compatible and the drawcord hem is adjustable through the pockets.
The Rond II is a pretty technical jacket designed for serious mountain duties, we wouldn’t necessarily wear the Pistachio version we have on test out to the bar but there are much less zingy colours available in the line-up which would perform admirably well as apres ski jackets.
Black Diamond Hot Forge Hoody | £228 |
The Hot Forge is stuffed with PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Down Blend, which is a mix of 30 percent synthetic Primaloft fibres and 70 percent goose down with a DWR water-repellent treatment to fend off loft-reducing moisture from both inside and outside the hoody.
With even the zippered chest pocket insulated inside and out, the Hot Forge certainly lives up to its name and gives cosy, warm comfort in temperatures well below freezing.
Available in blue, green and black, you also get a clever adjustable, helmet-compatible hood – with adjustment at the sides and back to shrink it to your head, zippered hand pockets, a drawcord hem and stretch gusseted cuffs to keep the wind out and the warmth in.
Comfort is further ensured with a high neck and a deep band of micro-fleece lining around the neck. The Pertex Quantum ripstop shell and lining – both DWR treated – should also mean your jacket remains snag-free and rip-free for quite some time.
Arcteryx Darrah Coat | £220 |
Insulated coats have a reputation for being bulky and shapeless – two attributes most certainly not sought by any woman we know. In a world of technical clothing stylish warmth is more of a wish list than a given – but the Darrah achieves it.
Understated almost to the point of unexciting, this synthetically insulated three-quarter coat is nevertheless packed with the kind of technical detailing and quality of workmanship that we’re becoming accustomed to with Arcteryx.
Behind its soft textiled water-repellent Neilsa polyester and cotton blend outer is a thin but cosy stuffing of Arcteryx’s own Coreloft synthetyic insulation.
Body mapped and held in place by broad baffles, this insulation gives wonderful warmth down to well-below freezing without loosing the coat’s elegant, curve-hugging shape.
A full coverage insulated hood, with a high-closing chin guard, and reflective tab which shows when the hood is dropped on your back, provides extra protection and warmth; two zippered outside pockets hold essentials and warm the hands; and a zippered internal pocket secures important items.
The elasticated cuffs keep drafts out, as does the ingenious addition of an elasticated baffle across the back of the neck, and the lining is silky soft to the touch.
All said, a wonderfully warm and subtly stylish winter coat.
Keela Prosport Adv Jacket | £125 |
Keela are gaining a reputation amongst the Snow team for making no-nonsense, high quality outdoor apparel at great prices.
Unlike the other jackets on test here the Prosport is a shell so no insulation to talk about here!
Coupled with a nice mid-layer, the Prosport should have no problems in protecting you from the elements, in fact we'd be equally as happy wearing this jacket in foul UK hill weather as we would to fend off snow storms on your way to the bar or restaurant of choice in a ski resort.
We tested the womens version of the Prosport which has a tailored fit but is still loose enough to be comfortable as well as for layering up underneath.
The Prosport has two front pockets with stormflaps and an inner chest pocket as well as some more tech-heavy features like armpit vents, articulated sleeves, hood with peak and volume adjuster and adjustable hem and cuffs.
The Prosport is available in black or lime green, which although bright isn't overly offensive - the Prosport makes a great 'around resort' jacket, after all, technical is some peoples casual!