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Help! Need recommendations for women's jacket

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to purchase a ski jacket to use about once yearly in CO (from Texas). Want something nice so that I basically never feel the need to replace it, but don't want to break the bank. Have been putting up with a pretty cruddy Columbia for about 10 years, which has sufficed. I've looked and looked for reviews on specific brands/styles and haven't found much helpful. Looking at patagoina snowbelle or similar. I don't even know if I should get a shell and get good mid-layers or if I should get something insulated or a zip-out liner. I tried on a snowbelle 3-in-1 and found the snow skirt very awkward when the liner is zipped in. I also need pants, too!  I currently have a nanopuff, but many say not very breathable, so pit vents are worthless if you're wearing it as a mid-layer. Thoughts? Thanks for the input!

post #2 of 9
I have a 3 in 1 OR jacket with zip out down sweater that I really like.
Colorado's pretty dry, I think garments from LL Bean, Columbia or Sahalie would probably suffice for most days.
post #3 of 9

Insulated vs. non-insulated can very much depend on how cold you get and also where you will be skiing. Since CO gets pretty darned cold, I'd lean toward insulated. Can you not remove the powder skirt on the Snowbelle?

 

I am also a HUGE fan of Outdoor Research products. I own two of their jackets--the Axcess and the Igneo, and I love them both. They are just insulated enough to provide extra warmth without being bulky, and I can layer underneath as needed. They have all the pockets in the right places and well-placed pit zips. My husband also has an Axcess jacket and two pair of Axcess pants. They do run quite large so if you are between sizes, order down.  Hint: You can find them on Sierra Trading Post and with today's 55% off coupon, they are very reasonable. They are also having a sale through tonight on the Outdoor Research website.

 

If you don't get the Sierra Trading Post coupons, sign up for their emails or like them on FB. They have plenty of options right now in various brands that should work for you, and their return policy is great.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by JZapalac View Post
 

I'm looking to purchase a ski jacket to use about once yearly in CO (from Texas). Want something nice so that I basically never feel the need to replace it, but don't want to break the bank. Have been putting up with a pretty cruddy Columbia for about 10 years, which has sufficed. I've looked and looked for reviews on specific brands/styles and haven't found much helpful. Looking at patagoina snowbelle or similar. I don't even know if I should get a shell and get good mid-layers or if I should get something insulated or a zip-out liner. I tried on a snowbelle 3-in-1 and found the snow skirt very awkward when the liner is zipped in. I also need pants, too!  I currently have a nanopuff, but many say not very breathable, so pit vents are worthless if you're wearing it as a mid-layer. Thoughts? Thanks for the input!


What region are you planning to ski in the most?  I like an insulated jacket in the northeast, but tend to use a shell out west.  I wear a nano puff as a mid-layer under the shell.  All the jackets with zip-out liners I've tried on feel too bulky and stiff with the liner in.

post #5 of 9

We primarily ski Co but I'd agree, can you give an idea of your tolerance for cold? I have a co worker from El Paso who runs her space heater a lot at work, my spouse hates being cold and layers up with a 3 in 1 Salomon as well as a daughter (Salomon) but she runs warm all the time, even hot and unzips. I've always looked for them for coats with pits, of course girls don't sweat so they're really not needed :) but have found use, even if end of day cool down. Eldest has a Columbia 3 in one with the foil dots for added warmth, she loves it and seldom wears a shell and can say she's in between the two with Salomon.

 

I'd agree that Sierra Trading has some great deals given coupon's and if not sure size, I literally once ordered 3 coats for myself (as well as a second style) which I wouldn't of but their on-line customer service folk insisted, said no big deal, order the 3, pick the one you like and then use the return tag for the others. It cost me $6 or $7 bucks to return it (deducted from the return refund) but worked great. Didn't care to do it for odd guilt reasons but was nice to have the option given I was between sizes. But we've bought many other places so I'm not "pushing" Sierra other than a nice option given your in Tx, most stores direct offer cheap or free returns.

 

Understand your scouting out opinion, if you narrow style to softshell or traditional would narrow choices.  The girls mostly have 3 in 1's as they like the option to lose a thick layer for an added base. The powder skirts are liked but not missed on the softshell jackets, liked even if only to reduce any wind ..

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the help! I will definitely check out Sierra Trading Post for those lines - I've browsed some and had difficulty with sizing (I'm pretty average - 5'8" 130) and colors, but nice to know they have an awesome return policy!

 

I am pretty cold-natured in general (have a space-heater at work in San Antonio, haha), but ski pretty hard on blues and blacks, so I get hot sometimes. Freeze on lifts though. Would like to have a powder skirt. If I fall, its usually going fast or down something steep, haha. We usually ski Steamboat, WP and would like to try out places like Vail, Telluride, etc. We like mountains big enough to have lots of options, but hated crowds at Breck, for instance. Long-term, we will probably branch out, but for now that's the forecast.

post #7 of 9
I'm also an Outdoor Research fan. Not otherwise being familiar with the brand I bought a jacket (Igneo, I think) on 1/2 price sale two years ago. I had layered under a shell since forever, but thought I'd try a lightly insulated jacket. It now is my go to jacket on almost all but the warmest days. Being a slightly generous fit, it is easy to layer underneath, but never looks bulky. The hood fits well over a helmet; I always check for that before buying, it accommodates active movement well, is Skier functional and is good looking to boot.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmoliu View Post

I'm also an Outdoor Research fan. Not otherwise being familiar with the brand I bought a jacket (Igneo, I think) on 1/2 price sale two years ago. I had layered under a shell since forever, but thought I'd try a lightly insulated jacket. It now is my go to jacket on almost all but the warmest days. Being a slightly generous fit, it is easy to layer underneath, but never looks bulky. The hood fits well over a helmet; I always check for that before buying, it accommodates active movement well, is Skier functional and is good looking to boot.


Yes, the fit is the same for women. It is generous enough but not at all boxy. In fact, two of my ski girlfriends went out and bought an OR jacket after they saw my 2 because they really liked how they looked and fit. Bonus is they really ARE functional for their intended use, which yes does include the hood fitting over a helmet! They also come with a lifetime warranty. My husband also wears his on all but the warmest days. The pit zips are so generous you can really vent it.

 

@JZapalac, based on your stats and what you like to ski, you'd like the OR and you'd probably do well in a medium. I'd say small but not sure at your height the sleeves and jacket itself wouldn't be a tad short (the sleeves do, however, run quite long, which I like.) Now's a good time to buy no matter what you decide because the sales are on :D

post #9 of 9

Can't add much other than since you're cold running, insulated or 3 in 1 is way to go. As noted, my wife sounds more like you, likes to be warm and is fine on the move but the chairs are the killers. She's liked her jacket and swears its very warm.  Her and my kids (and my) criteria on a coat besides warmth factor falls into the details others noted and simply coming up with a list .. of course, looks are a given which is the hard thing with online buying, my spouse isn't "short" (well, she's 5' 5 1/2') but some coats just bunched up if with a long back making the fine lass look frumpy ... ; )

 

In looking, for technical stuff we look for and try to get higher breathability, removable helmet capable hood, pit zips, powder skirt, thumb holes for sleeves (for gloving up), and then pockets ... a mixed bag for us for which and where we like em .. but a pass pocket on the sleeve is always nice.  Lots of the "nicer" coats have the Recco equipt which if back country skier nice but we just do groomers/inbound. 

 

have fun shopping!

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