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Finding a good cross country jacket

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've successfully found great Alpine ski jackets but it is significantly harder, for me anyway, to find a good cross country ski jacket, since very few are marketed as such. I've been looking at this one:


Does anyone a little know the know than me know if this is suitable or if I'd over heat or be too cold with base layer(s) under?

post #2 of 8

The defining qualities of a good XC jacket are -

windproof or at least highly wind resistant,


I've no idea how hot or cold you run, so I can't say yes or no on that jacket. 

 I would be looking for something that specifically states it is either a wind resistant material or that it has wind panels sewn in.     Winter cycling wear usually works well.

post #3 of 8

I agree with the poster above as to desirable attributes:


1.  Wind resistant/proof

2.  Breathable

3.  Light


The jacket in question is a rather run-of-the-mill soft shell, that in my experience may not offer any of the items on the list.  I often wear a SwiftPro top over a light base layer, then take along a shell in case the wind gets up (lots of variety on shells - GoreTex is usually overkill for XC and as the poster above noted, lots of bike gear will suffice).



post #4 of 8

I'm probably wrong again, because of my understanding of xc skiing and this what most of people here understand as xc skiing :) So I will go from my way of xc skiing (on groomed tracks, similar as xc ski racing is). It depends on your fitness level and xc ski technique and abilities, but as soon as you get to real skiing and not just walking on skis, you will most likely need more then one. With alpine few degrees up or down are not that critical, but with xc ski, and your heart rate high up, there's big difference how you dress at 0c, at +5c or at -10c. And something what might be great at -10c, will be super hot at -2c, and for 0c and warmer, I'm normally just in xc racing suit with some sleeveless jacket on top and t-shirt (Swix of Craft underwear under), while when it gets below zero (in celsius) I'm switching between 2 "warmup" jackets (one thin and one thicker) for top with race suit and long sleeve underwear under it.

As far as what to buy, try to find some for normal people less known companies, which specialize in xc ski gear, like Swix, Craft, One way, Odlo... They have products specially made for xc skiing, and it works better then general stuff.

post #5 of 8

For gear, think about what runners wear in the winter-, fleetfeet, or your local running shop will have a ton of wind/water resistant layers that are definitely geared to the effort and motion of xc (and they will be on sale now as they brig in the summer stuff!). 

I primarily run (down to single-digit temps), and have found that my winter running clothes work very well for xc, at least for treks up to 3ish hours.  The only change I make from my running gear is adding gaiters and usu water-resistant pants/gloves, to handle the random fall.  For a longer ski, I may carry a small pack w another layer in case I stop or the temp changes significantly. 

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

So something along the lines of this would be much better suited:

post #7 of 8

SImilar to others here, I wear what I would wear for a winter's mountain bike ride.  Usually my Perl Izumi wind breaker as outer layer and a few easily removable layers underneath.  I usually carry a small, light backpack so I can shed layers and reapply them if necessary.  On a super cold, windy day I wear one of my alpine skiing shells...the one with good vents.


I also have a TNF vest that has a wind breaking nylon front and a mesh back.  Perfect for working hard on a coldish day.

post #8 of 8

I use a Black Diamond Alpine Start Hoody for hiking , skiing and snowshoeing

It was the lightest softshell I could find

It does run small so order a size up


And I also recommend checking out running wear

I use a running shirt , vest and hat for skiing


Also consider a vest it is cooler than a jacket

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