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Jacket recommendation for March skiing?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi gang,


I haven't been skiing in 30 years.  Kids are finally old enough (6 & 9) and we're going to try skiing for spring break this year instead of a cruise.


I'd like to buy a jacket, but I'm confused about all of the different types.  As we're going to be probably skiing in March, and maybe just every other year or something, do you have any type of jacket to recommend?  I kinda dig the Spyder stuff and wondering if I should just opt for one of their lighter jackets or would a core sweater type be preferable?  Or maybe a soft shell?


Thanks in advance,


Edited by heckofagator - 2/11/13 at 8:18am
post #2 of 14

For spring skiing just run away of any insulated jacket. Go for a shell which will also work if you get to ski in the winter dec/jan/feb. I would get a softshell, something like windstopper, or neoshell some of the mountain hardwear dry.q softshell would be my go to spring jacket I guess.

post #3 of 14

An underlayer or two, a middle fleece insulating layer (something like a Patagonia R1), and my near favorite of all time, an Arcteryx Atom LT jacket or hoody. smile.gif

post #4 of 14

Welcome to EpicSki!  For growing kids, you can find ski outerwear that can grow with them.  There are seams that can be taken out to add another inch or so to sleeves and pant legs.  That way, it's more likely the stuff will last for a couple seasons.


Would help to know where you are likely to ski.  While any place can get cold in March, big difference if you were going to Whistler, Banff, Colorado, or Maine.


A shell is more flexible than an insulated jacket.  The downside for kids is that they have more layers to keep track of at ski school.  For any jacket, it's nice to have pit zips (under the arms) but that's not as easy to find in kids' jackets.

post #5 of 14

This thread is more about jackets for mid-winter cold conditions, but you might get some ideas:



The best way to search is to use something like "insulated jacket: epicski" in Google.

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of the thoughts all.


This year we're trying Beaver Creek.  As to future years, Jackson Hole and some of the other CO slopes are on the list, assuming everyone has a good time this year.


I think I'm definitely sold on a soft shell jacket for now.  Off to do some reading on those....  ;)

post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

An underlayer or two, a middle fleece insulating layer (something like a Patagonia R1), and my near favorite of all time, an Arcteryx Atom LT jacket or hoody. smile.gif

 Oh man, I'm sorry! I didn't read the OP well enough and didn't realize we were talking about kids. redface.gif

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Well, we all need stuff.  :)  So me, my wife, and 2 kids.  


Any recommendations for a non-athletic fit soft shell?  Everyone I seem to find (shopping for me, now) seems to have a very tight/slender cut.  I think I'd prefer something a little more roomy without being huge, of course.

post #9 of 14

If you and the kids are looking for something a little more "unique" check out NWT3K waterproof jackets > 


Custom 3-layer waterproof breathable shells that are made in the USA. 


Skiing Magazines Feb. product pick 


post #10 of 14

March in the Rockies is definitely winter.  A softshell is nice for sunny or borderline days, not so nice if it's snowing hard, unless it's waterproof breathable, in which case it doesn't matter--hardshell or soft is personal preference, although softshells tend to have fewer features like pit zips,lots of pockets, etc. For one jacket I'd go with a waterproof, breathable, lined, not insulated shell. This would be the most flexible option, since you can adjust the base layer and mid layer depending on the weather, and they almost all will have pit zips and drawstrings at the hem and other adjustable ventilation. There are way too many brands to suggest one (except to say that you can afford Arcteryx, or kids, but not both). Buy on sale from a specialty ski shop or a quality retailer like REI (which is having a ski gear sale in about a week).  I would recommend buying live rather than online, fit can vary a lot and I find it hard to buy clothes on-line unless I already know what I want. For the kids a budget-priced insulated coat might be best, since they probably aren't going to be out if it's nasty and they will rarely overheat and you won't have to deal with as many layers.  As far as your wife goes--best leave it to her if you don't want to catch grief.  As far as the slender fit problem--I'd suggest skipping the cruises.

post #11 of 14
For the kids, I've always had great luck with insulated clothes from LL Bean and Lands End. Mine are 9 and 11 and been skiing since they were 3, so we have used all the sizes along the way. Insulated bibs add huge warmth, and powder skirts are invaluable for sealing them up, especially when they are playing après ski. Order a bunch of sizes and return what doesn't work (I like to buy local, but don't have retailers nearby that carry enough kids stuff).

Have fun! Skiing with the kids is the best thing in the world.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the continued responses.  Those custom jackets are pretty neat.


Some of these jackets can be real hard to find.  I saw the Cloudveil RPK jacket was really popular, but I guess they're all gone now?  So I went over to CV's site and saw the Serendipity, but when searching online for this, there's hardly any mention of this jacket anywhere.    I've run into this situation more than a couple times.  It almost reminds me of mattress shopping, where the names are different at each store you go to.

post #13 of 14

Uninsulated shells are great. I wore the same jacket snowshoeing yesterday -- a very aerobic, sweat-producing activity -- in above-freezing weather, as I wore downhill skiing last week in weather that was far below zero F. Yesterday I just wore a light base layer and the Gore-Tex shell. For the deep freeze I added a microfleece T shirt and a Primaloft puffy under the shell. I brought an insulated vest in my pack both days, but never needed it.

I don't spend much on ski clothes because I frequent the clearance racks, don't have any strong brand preferences, and have a large, gear-loving snowboarder son who keeps giving me his like-new castoffs. There's nothing wrong with snowboarding brands, or last year's styles.

post #14 of 14
I'd vote for light insulated jacket. I mean you are playing in snow, so you are going to need some insulation. While multi layering is best performing, it's mostly overkill for day trips. I bought this one end of last year and it feels like a good balance. Then again I'm still using my 8 years old ski pants with many patches on ankle area so I'm probably not the best person to ask on gears lol.

Unless you have other warm weather use for the shell, then go for uninsulated.
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