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post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I'm afraid I know bugger all about clothing and need some advice from some experienced skiers regarding what to buy.

Can anyone explain what kind of features to look for and any good suggestions for decent jackets under $200?

post #2 of 8
Well, in a nutshell - the two most important factors you should be looking for are the waterproof rating and breathability rating of the shell fabric. They are expressed most usually as '000s eg. a waterproof rating of 10000 and breathability of 8000. Any decent jacket (or pant for that matter) worth its salt is going to be at least 5-8000 in each regard, but can go all the way up to around 20 000 for top range stuff.

Insulation is also a big part - some jackets consist of simply the bare outer shell with no insulation save a mesh lining, whereas others will pack insulation in between the shell and the liner. Less insulation is more versatile, as you have the option of layering up underneath to control your body temperature.

In terms of features, again a decent jacket will have a powder guard (an inner section designed to keep snow from getting in your jacket); ventilation zips, a detachable hood, fleece lined pockets and a few well placed pockets for assorted essentials. Other than that, it really depends on fit and the style/design/graphic of each jacket. Buying something with quality outer fabric really is the most important part.

I bought a pair of new pants in California a few months ago for a great price - $109 with a 20 000mm waterproof rating. Other than that, I can't really help you out with prices. Check some of the online stores like rei.com for prices.

post #3 of 8
I just noticed you're in Australia, whoops. Disregard my comments as to California and rei.com.

If you're in Brisbane, come in to Snowbiz - Albert st in the City and we will help you out no problems. Our top jackets are around the $700 mark and pants around $400, and for $200 you are not going to be able to get a a decent quality waterproof/breathable jacket IMO. Stretch it to $300 and you will be able to get something decent. Prices are quite similiar in other shops Australia-wide as far as I can tell.
post #4 of 8
Try Ebay,

I got a mint condition (better condition than the one I bought at full retail in a store for $600) ski suit for $32.50 plus shipping.
post #5 of 8
found a great Marmot shell on line at Northern Mountain Supply for $99.00 US
Hood, fleece collar , pit zips ,waterproof / breathable / Denali III
post #6 of 8

Fashion/performance/price are the variables.

A starting point is whether you really need the expense of full proper waterproofing, but could manage with the more common and cheaper 'snowproof' specification. Will you ski when it could be raining (low altitudes and margins of the season etc)?

One of the problems with the market today is the abundance of different 'performance' fabrics all claiming to achieve the technical specs outlined earlier above. Many are merely coatings on the fabric which wear off on creasings etc although on day one they may meet that spec. Fashion garments often have unnecessary seams.The cloth may be ok but if the seams aren't sealed, the coat wont be waterproof.

There are loads of fashion labels getting in on the act and many of these are ok up to a point, but if you really want value for money and endurance, try looking at products from some of the better known outdoor labels whose reputation isn't fashion but technical performance. If however you see yourself changing clothing to follow fashion, you may find the technical route too expensive, but beware of the shortcommings of the fashionable stuff.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys!
post #8 of 8
If you are in Sydney, checkout First Tracks in Crows Nest, i just bought a jacket for $160. waterproof rating 10,000. They have heaps of clothes, but few are on sale.
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