If you are heading off on a skiing trip or just want to stay nice and warm when out and about in the cold weather then a purpose built ski jacket is the perfect solution for you. How to chose a ski jacket – there are many different types to choose from and each of which is separated from the next not only by their looks but on the array of features on offer. This article will have a look at some of the key criteria you should look at when choosing a ski jacket to ensure you get the right one for your needs.
Getting the Right Size
This might sound obvious when shopping for clothes but it is worth highlighting when on the hunt for this type of jacket. As you are likely to be wearing it while performing strenuous physical activities such as skiing or snowboarding it is imperative that you get one that fits you correctly. Before heading out to the shops you should do a few quick measurements of your upper body to save you time when browsing items in the shops. By measuring your chest and waist size you should be able to quickly pick out the right sized jackets to try on when in the shops. If you are shopping online make sure you read the sizing guides for each brand as they can differ from one to the next. Remember that just because you are a certain size in one brand doesn’t mean you will be the same in all the rest. If you do shop online for your new ski jacket make sure the site has a good returns policy so you can return anything you do buy that doesn’t quite fit. There is nothing worse than a day’s skiing in a jacket that is too tight and restrictive!
How to choose a ski jacket – Waterproofing
Now we’ve got the sizing aspect covered let’s have a look at some of the features you will probably want in your new jacket. The level of waterproofing you opt for will have an impact on the price of the jacket as the more waterproof it is the more work will have been put into the construction of the jacket. To keep water out, the seams of the jacket must be taped and for the highest level of proofing all of them will need to be taped. This extra work and detail pushes up the price of the jacket. At the bare minimum you should look for taped seams on the shoulders, hood and chest. Really you should go for as high a level of waterproofing as your budget will allow in order to avoid getting wet while out on the slopes.
Down vs. Synthetic Filling
Down filled jackets are insulated using the feathers from ducks. These jackets are ideal for those whose main goal is to keep warm as they do a great job of warming you up very quickly and maintaining that temperature. However, should they get wet the filling absorbs a lot of water and can really weigh you down which can decrease your range of movement and slow you down. As these down filled jackets are expensive and take a long time to dry we don’t recommend them for skiing or snowboarding. The best option when it comes to choosing a filling type is a synthetic one as they are lighter and more cost effective than the down filled jackets. They might not be quite as good at warming you as a down jacket but they allow a greater range of movement and also give a higher level of breathability. As you will be quite active when skiing you will appreciate a good level of breathability to avoid getting overheated and too hot and sweaty. Synthetic filled ski jackets might lose heat quicker but overall they are much more suitable than the down filled versions.
Features to Look for in a Ski Jacket
Once you’ve selected the level of waterproofing and the type of filling it’s a good idea to consider some of the features you can find on modern ski jackets:
- GORE-Tex coating: this type of coating on a jacket will make it very waterproof and breathable. If you can afford it by all means choose a ski jacket where this is present but it will push the cost up.
- Snow Skirt: this feature will prevent your bottom getting wet should you spend a good amount of time sitting down on the snow. If you are just starting out you will appreciate this feature a lot!
- Hood: a hood is pretty much essential if you don’t wear a hat or other head gear besides a helmet. Your head will get cold on the slopes if it is uncovered so look for a hood that will fit over your helmet. Some hoods can be removed or folded away so decide which type you would like before purchasing.
- Deep Zips: these are zips around the jacket in strategic places that allow heat to escape when they are opened. If you suffer from overheating, even while out in the snow then these are a must. Also look for a removable lining so you can remove layers from the jacket before setting out. This is good if you plan to use the jacket in different climates as it makes it suitable for a range of temperatures.
These are some of the most important features to consider when choosing a ski jacket. As these jackets can be quite expensive it is a good idea to make a list of the features you would like before you head out to the shops to avoid you getting distracted and picking up one that doesn’t quite meet your needs.