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What Do You Love About Your Ski Jacket?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I'm in the market for a new ski jacket. Right now I have a Columbia that I bought after my first ski trip about 4 years ago. It does what I need, but I'd like to get something higher end. Generally I ski glades and diamonds and powder whenever its available.

What makes you love your jacket? What should I get on my jacket?

Powder Skirts? Component Liner? Waterproof Shell? A collar that doesn't strangle, but also doesn't let in cold air and snow? Reinforced elbows?

Thanks for the input.

post #2 of 21
I have a shell and find it more versatile versus an insulated parka. It must be windproof, waterproof, breathable, have lots of pockets, pit zips, zippers that can be used w/gloves on, zippers that don't catch the fabric, and a hood. I currently have a North Face Steep Tech shell. Although it fits most of the criteria listed, I believe there are better products out there for about the same price (or lower).
post #3 of 21
I ski with a Spyder St.Anton jacket and love it. Great material, insulating, wind/water resistant, and a really great fit (tappered upper body/shoulder and formed sleeves). The nicest thing about spyder is there lifetime warranty. I recently had a pair of keystone pants (about 5yrs old) replaced with a new force pant (almost $300 new) because the fabric was pilling.

Do you ride with a pack? If so, you may not want as many pockets/zippers as you'll have a lot hanging off of you. Do your research on the shell material. Gore-tex is good but there are a lot of better (more breathable) fabrics out there. Marmot and North Face make excellent jackets as well.

If you ski in the trees a lot, you'll probably want something slim/tighter fitting than a full insulated jacket. Check out some hard shells by Helly Hansen.
post #4 of 21
You cant go wrong with a high quality shell or soft shell. If I were buying this year I would go with the best soft-shell I could get. They are very comfortable, breathable and some are h20 proof. You can still layer underneath. Arc teryx- JAvelin, Outdoor research, cloudveil, TNF, Mountain Hardwear.
post #5 of 21

I like

-Sleeve pocket on left arm
-Radio pocket on chest
-Zip-off hood with button-down zipper cover when hood off.
-Internal pow skirt with elasticised snap closure support band.
-Reinforced cut-proof shoulder epaulettes
-Fleece-lined collar interior
-Down-zips on all pockets
-Internal waist belt tensioning above pow skirt that is also low enough to clear the mid-layer fleece pitzips
-2 huge, separately zipped Napoleon pockets in addition to the radio one.
-small to tiny low-waist pockets (who can fumble in those on a lift anyway?)
-zipped internal (suit jacket) pocket large enough to fit a passport.

I wish I had:
- sweater cuffs
- more room for layers in the upper arm and just below elbow area
- more durable or reinforced main zipper cover flap.
- a new coat like it.
post #6 of 21
Originally Posted by overkill dan

I'm in the market for a new ski jacket. Right now I have a Columbia that I bought after my first ski trip about 4 years ago. It does what I need, but I'd like to get something higher end. Generally I ski glades and diamonds and powder whenever its available.

What makes you love your jacket? What should I get on my jacket?
Since I wear a helmet, I need a place to store a hat.

I have a jacket with a large pocket in the small of my back that is great to hold stuff like that. Even lunch/snack bars can fit back there....
post #7 of 21

jackets and such

I have a killy jacket which I got on sale during a superbowl event (the store gives women the same % off that the winning team wins by) and I love it, have had it three years, and it has a a big collar (goes over my ears), a hoodie which actually fits and doesn't hang over my eyes like the grim reaper, tapered cuffs so my gloves fit over them and keeps my wrists warm, a powder skirt, and giant pit zips. Fits comfortably when I extend my arms. And its cute ! (but I get tons of $hit from my friends for it, we are more of a duct tape crowd)

I got tired of looking like paul bunyan which I did in a spyder jacket I bought several years ago. I bought the thing at some august sale, and just hated it. In fact, I was nicknamed "the sponge" because the jacket just absorbed every snow flake, even people on the chair comlmented on it. If it was raining or snowing, by the end of the day I was a sodden mess. A whole wet soggy season in that thing, Probably fine in sunny weather. The hand-me-down spyder bibs from an old (much larger) boyfriend were great tho. Not attractive, but warm and comfortable. I have a pair of "betty" snowboarder pants, 1080s, that I really like now.

I also have a marmot shell, which I like mainly in the spring because I can layer a lot under it if I need it, or wear just a tshirt and use it for wind protection. With the killy, I wear my very light snowangel t neck, sometimes a light fleece and the jacket, control the temp with t he pit zips, don't always wear the fleece.
post #8 of 21
what i love about my jacket is that it has been unchanged for free seasons. I have the 03/04 model and the 05/06 model has been unchanged : i have the Volkl Team jacket.
post #9 of 21
I have a Helly Hanson jacket/lightly insulated shell that I bought 6 or 7 years ago. I always buy last year's jackets. They are usually at least 50-60% off. This one is orange which was a color nobody wanted. I'm not too picky about color unless it's hot pink or something. Of course now my orange jacket is "hawt". If you keep something long enough it will eventually be in style (not that it matters).

What does matter is it covers my butt, has pit zips, good pockets and a great hood.

If you want something technical check out Marmot, Patagonia, Helly Hanson and North Face of course.
post #10 of 21
Two year old Karbon jacket here. It's great, but expensive. I like the zip-off sleeves, which can double for vents if it's not that warm out, but I'm hot. The powder skirt sucks, and always rides up twice a run while buckling and unbuckling, but this is true of most jackets. I'm getting bib ski pants to solve this problem. It's got lots of pockets for stuff, elastic at both ends of my arms, a soft collar on the face side of it.

But the best feature I like is the pass window. This comes out of the left chest pocket, and has a magnet in it so that it doesn't flap around. When not in use, it folds back into the pocket and can't be seen. So my $1400 season pass stays with my jacket all season long.
post #11 of 21
Originally Posted by sywsyw
free seasons
heh, my 4 year old says "three" that way too....LOL

kidding!! (he does though)
post #12 of 21
I love the pit vents and the small sleeve pocket. I would like a larger hood that could fit over my helmet. I wear a shell and will never buy an insulated jacket for skiing.
post #13 of 21

Ideal Jacket

Man is this a loaded question. It depends on what kind of skiing you do and what your other layering options are.

There's no doubt that a hard/soft shell jacket is the most practical. But you need to have lots of layering options; vest(s), long sleeve fleece(s), etc.

You CAN'T go wrong with a Patagonia Primo or whatever their latest bomber ski-specific jackets are. They are like the top of the line clothing, so you will pay for it. BUT you can usually get stuff on sale or on Ebay, too.

I have all different types of jackets. Too many, ya want one?? I coach racing so I have Karbon soft shell, Spyder Zermatt, Beyond X jacket, and about a dozen other Patagonia shells, fleeces, vests, etc.

When I go out west or to free ski, I use the shells. They offer the best protection from wind and the elements when used in conjunction with good layering. Necessary features are pit zips or zip off sleeves, velcro wrist closures, several chest pockets inside and outside the jacket, a hood that fits over a helmet and offers excellent coverage; waterproof zippers up the front; a nice high neck; a powder skirt you can either use or not; mesh liner that wicks moisture away from your clothing. Other features would be a sleeve pocket, a place to attach a lift ticket is nice, and extra weather proofing on the shoulders and upper arms.

Patagonia gives you all this; so do companies like Arc Teryx, and Marmot (and others, to be fair). I happen to be a lifetime Patagoniac.

For an insulated SKI jacket (not a shell), the Spyder Legend series are about the best, along with Phenix, VIST, Karbon and more exotic european brands like Kjus.
post #14 of 21
i have a 15 yr old CB anorak and its great 2 side pockets 1 kangaroo pouch pocket a internal waist band"jacket hangs loose on outside...wear it down to about 0 anything lower i have a marker parka that i feel has way to many pockets
post #15 of 21
I like thin shells, and currently have a Patagonia Stretch Element. The Chute to Thrill is the skier-specific version of that shell; the Stretch Element is in their Alpine line.

I like to use separate garments for function: protection comes from the shell, insulation from the mid-layer, wicking (and some additional insulation) from the base layer. This way, I can adjust warmth by adjusting the mid- and base-layers and leaving the outside the same.

Non-insulated, waterproof/breathable, wear resistant. One of my favorite features of the SE with the CSS is its compressibility; I can't believe how small I can fold the jacket and pants!

I'm still learning how to use the pockets, etc., so haven't quite got all that figured out, yet.
post #16 of 21
Karbon. What do I like... it takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'. This will be its 5th season. I will probably upgrade this year or next to a newer model before all of the waterproofing wears out of the coat.
post #17 of 21


Karbon...the only jacket good enuff to replace my old friend my Descente ski instructor jacket. I like the shortie look and all the high tech features built in. Big $$$ tho, beware - but worth every dime. You can find em on ebay at a fair price on occasion if you are patient. I bought mine in my favorite shop and my tech cut me an offseason deal. I love it. The remove the sleeves trick is pretty cool too. It has pretty much ever feature you listed built in.

I can't recommend it enuff

5 starz
post #18 of 21
I have a brand new Rossi Prototype Jacket + Pant (so something like 06/07 Air Pro Jacket). but haven't tried it out yet (got it from a Rossignol National Team Racer very cheap yesterday). I do hope that the new Airvantage systems will meet the praise. (+15 to -20°C with only one functional shirt below and just changing the amount of air insulation)
It has around the new Body Gore-Tex 3 Layer Softshell and on the arms Gore-Tex 3 Layer XCR Bachelor with Psylon (special abrasion resistance).

For sure it has all the other nice things like snowskirt, Possibility to carry it like a backpack without wearing it using the inside straps (for touring). Vents (though probabely not needed with Airvantage technology). Only a temperature sensor for selfadjusting air volume is missing :-)

Nice thing that has disappeared:
Detachable Jacket to pants system with zip. (once used by Salewa produced brands)

Anyone using airvantage here?

I did use the old airvantage system and was quite happy but didn't buy it then. Now as I paid only 300€ for the Rossi Set of Pants and Jacket I couldn't resist. The US Ski Team jacket from Spyder uses Airvantage too this year and the Austrian ÖSV also equipped its riders with Airvantage last year already. Most racers and especially trainers and coursesetters were very happy.
post #19 of 21
Mine has this cool lift ticket holder on the side. I love that thing.
post #20 of 21
Just got an Arcteryx Javelin SV from sierratradingpost.com and am very happy. I've been using a Marmot 3 layer Membrain jacket for the last 3 years, and it's been servicable, except for the hood. A good hood makes or breaks a jacket for me. There are a good number of days a season where there's enough precip falling that I need to put the hood up over a helment to keep from getting wet and freezing, and the hood has to fit without pulling the jacket up over your waist. That's why I bought a new one.

Additionally, I like the watertight zippers - no more flaps with velcro that will eventually wear out. It's really a very simple shell, but well done all the way around. The fit and finish is far superior to anything I've owned - I think I'll have it around for years to come.
post #21 of 21
I love my Descente D310's zip off sleeve, thin yet effective insulation, and both outer and inner chest pockets.

I love my Marker Challenger Series' zip off sleeve, water repellency, and extremely warm insulation.

simple pleasures.
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