or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ski jacket advice....

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
im looking for some jacket advice... im quite cold blooded and will be going to winter park in mid-january... i would prefer to have a jacket that is insulated, but im open to all possibilities... im not an extremely experienced skier, but have been a half dozen times... we do plan on going yearly from here on out now! ive looked at spyder, mountain hardwear, north face... and many others... i would like to have a jacket that will serve as a great ski jacket, but also one that i can wear around town (maybe one with a removable liner???)... any thoughts or opinions will be appreciated!!!
post #2 of 23
I find that insulated jackets don't work as well as a layering system does. That is, they'll keep you warm on top of the mountain, but if you're walking around town, etc., you'll be way too warm.

I like using a shell coupled with one or two fleece sweaters (depending on just how cold it is). Every company out there makes fleece sweaters; every company out there makes fleece sweaters, so you can find them fairly cheaply. I like fleeces that I've gotten from LL Bean. They're cheap and warm.

Fleece sweaters come in varying "weights"; 100, 200 and 300 weights are common, with 300 being the heaviest and warmest.

The North Face makes several fleece / jacket combinations that zip in and out of each other. I don't know if there's any real benefit to the zip in/out method vs. just laying one on top of another.

The purpose of the shell is to simply stop the wind and snow. They don't provide much warmth on their own. All kinds of companies make shells -- Patagonia, Marmot, North Face, Mountain Hardwear, etc. Prices range all over the place. So long as it breathes well, stops the wind, and doesn't let snow in, you'll probably be happy.

It can be initially more expensive to outfit yourself in a layering system, but in the long run, I think you'll find it cheaper, as you'll have an adaptable system that keeps you comfy no matter what Mother Nature is brewing.

One really big key to staying warm -- keep your extremities warm and everything else will be warm(er) as well. Helmets are far warmer then hats. Mittens are far warmer then gloves.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
ok.... so i already have 3 or 4 fleece jackets and pullovers (north face and columbia)... and your saying i would be better off just getting a GOOD shell jacket and wearing a fleece underneath??? a friend told me to go with a acyrtex, north face or descente???
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by soonercrew View Post
ok.... so i already have 3 or 4 fleece jackets and pullovers (north face and columbia)... and your saying i would be better off just getting a GOOD shell jacket and wearing a fleece underneath???
Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soonercrew View Post
a friend told me to go with a acyrtex, north face or descente???
I think Descente jackets are insulated (i.e, they're not shells), but I'm not real familair with that brand. Arcteryx, Marmot, Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Mountain Hardwear, North Face, Cloudveil... They all make shells that are more then adequate for what 99% of us will ever encounter. Just go with whatever fits you best. Features I like:
  • Pit zips / under-arm zippers let you vent some excess heat without opening the main zipper.
  • Powder skirts or some way of tightening the jacket around your hips to prevent heat from escaping out the bottom.
  • I like velcro tabs on the cuffs instead of elastic, but that's personal preference.
  • Pockets. Lots of pockets are good, but I carry bunches of stuff around with me.
post #5 of 23
Yep, I agree, for someone who will only ski on occasion the use the fleece you already have (along with some decent baselayers) and then get a good shell. Some of us have multiple jackets to be used on different types of days but for your situation I wouldn't bother with an insulated jacket because the frequency of your skiing in sub-zero temps is going to be low.
post #6 of 23
You could also look for a 'system' jacket AKA 3-in-1 that has a zip out liner. I like these because the liner is always the right thickness and length for the shell and it moves with the shell too.
post #7 of 23
+1 on the shell with layers or a component style jacket.

Never found a heavy insulated jacket to be very comfortable through out a whole season.
post #8 of 23
I would vote for a shell or better yet a nice soft shell.
post #9 of 23
Shell material matters too. If you're looking to do use the jacket for just one trip...save money, but I really love gore-tex pro shell (used to be XCR) otherwise. It's totally waterproof and breathes really well.

Try to make sure that nothing you're wearing is cotton, all that does is soak up moisture.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by soonercrew View Post
im looking for some jacket advice... im quite cold blooded and will be going to winter park in mid-january... i would prefer to have a jacket that is insulated, but im open to all possibilities... im not an extremely experienced skier, but have been a half dozen times... we do plan on going yearly from here on out now! ive looked at spyder, mountain hardwear, north face... and many others... i would like to have a jacket that will serve as a great ski jacket, but also one that i can wear around town (maybe one with a removable liner???)... any thoughts or opinions will be appreciated!!!
I'm quite cold blooded as well, so I understand! As others have said, I think the best choice would be the "layering approach". It gives you lots of options/variations for comfort in any weather, for skiing or for just walkin' around town!

I'd go with merino wool baselayers and socks (wool is warmest...review the thread on "Wool base layer comments" in the "General Skiing Discussion Forum"), a wool sweater, a down vest, and a waterproof breathable shell (at this point, I wouldn't worry too much about what brand or fabric technology, these days most technical skiwear will be just fine). Go to your ski shops and try on a few...buy the clothing that you like, that is comfortable, and that fits you best. Remember, NO COTTON.
post #11 of 23
Coats…yes…but don’t forget to help yourself deal with temp extremes and consider what is protecting your extremities.

Since your body extremities represent the greatest heat loss as well as provide you ways to quickly hold (or scrub) heat, invest using the best technology available. These body parts can be easily addressed on slope with lightweight and quick changes if necessary to help you moderate the temperature. Keeping the core warm (as well as well aspirated with new coats that have the technology to flush out moist air) is certainly important, but I’ve been surprised at how some folks still have socks or gloves or hats that are years old not surprisingly complaining of cold while wearing the most technically (expensive) coat available.

Outstanding non cotton technology has been launched in the last couple of years incorporated in full head caps (under helmet), gloves (mitten or finger), hand base layers/liner and some whisker thin (if required for your boot fit) and unbelievable wicking & warm socks (not addressing boot warmers such as Hotronic m4 here…but a great way for some to offset the massive foot heat loss and retain that body energy to better heat the core). Also new technology base layers (half or full body) not only keep you comfortable but with some are also providing added muscle movement and full frame support.

What is it? Coats for show, gloves for snow [or something like that]
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
I think Descente jackets are insulated (i.e, they're not shells), but I'm not real familair with that brand. Arcteryx, Marmot, Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Mountain Hardwear, North Face, Cloudveil... They all make shells that are more then adequate for what 99% of us will ever encounter. Just go with whatever fits you best. Features I like:
  • Pit zips / under-arm zippers let you vent some excess heat without opening the main zipper.
  • Powder skirts or some way of tightening the jacket around your hips to prevent heat from escaping out the bottom.
  • I like velcro tabs on the cuffs instead of elastic, but that's personal preference.
  • Pockets. Lots of pockets are good, but I carry bunches of stuff around with me.
Very well put! Although I just posted in another thread about how much I love my big, heavy jacket- for 99% of the time, it is easier and just plain old more comfortable to have a lighter jacket like my Arc'teryx Venta AR and layer underneath- I usually use some under armour heat gear as a base layer and lighter weight mock T fleece as a mid. Keeps you toasty without keeping your moisture in and good for all but the most blustery or wet days.

I think that the most important thing to think about when buying a jacket is features and fit. I find windstopper membranes, powder skirts (around the waist and on your cuffs) are paramount, and pockets without overdoing it are very important. Softshells have come a long way in the past few years for sure- If you get one, you can even stash yourself a hardshell in the car or backpack if you're expecting crazier or uncertain weather- just in case...

Where would I spend my money? Arc'Teryx and Cloudveil are outstanding, or Columbia Titanium is actually a great bargain for what it is. Good luck and may the enabling spirit of these forums encourage you to get the best and be your best!
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by olylady View Post
NO COTTON.
Exactly! I used a t-shirt as a base once, and took it off an hour in. stayed wet, got cold and forced me to go inside- not cool! Base layer should be the best sweat-wicking layer you can find. Staying dry = staying warm!
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
just wanted to say thanks for all the advice!!! i have decided to go with a shell, and just layer up... im leaning towards an oakley mystic jacket... seems like a good jacket, and i like the looks as well... any opinions???
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattL View Post
You could also look for a 'system' jacket AKA 3-in-1 that has a zip out liner. I like these because the liner is always the right thickness and length for the shell and it moves with the shell too.
On the down side of that theory is that the liner moves with the shell. I wouldn't say not to get a system BUT zip up the liner like a base layer then put the shell over it. You want the liner to move with your body to maximize warmth
post #16 of 23
Forget the shell / fleece - heavy, not particularly warm.

Look into an Arcteryx Fission AR - insulated, Gore-Tex XCR, light, warm - but not too hot when it warms up.

I gave away all my 3 in 1 jackets after getting the Fission. Fleece layers are like 1990's. Get into the new millenium.
post #17 of 23
I don't like a lot of layers.

They bunch-up and bind - especially under your armpits.

After base layers (I like thin silk and merino wool), I use a down sweater and a shell.

This combo provides all the warmth anyone needs, without the tightness and binding I always experienced from fleece.
post #18 of 23
My system:
High tech base layer, usually Icebreaker or smartwool
1/2 zip top
Vest(insulation level depends on weather)
Shell

I keep most of my stash (wallet, chap stick cell phone, camera) in my vest pockets.
I've stayed relatively warm in most conditions, even in a fierce wind at A-basin.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
bought my gear last night!!! i ended up going with patagonia... i got the new powder bowl jacket... m's 4 wool shirts and bottoms.... a fleece jacket for a midlayer... i also got some smartwool socks with liners and burton mitton gloves with liners...??? im pretty sure this combination should keep me warm!!! thanks to all for your advice and direction!!!
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by soonercrew View Post
bought my gear last night!!! i ended up going with patagonia... i got the new powder bowl jacket... m's 4 wool shirts and bottoms.... a fleece jacket for a midlayer... i also got some smartwool socks with liners and burton mitton gloves with liners...??? im pretty sure this combination should keep me warm!!! thanks to all for your advice and direction!!!
Great call! The powder bowl looks awesome. I have the Primo Flash jacket from Patagonia and I absolutely love it, breathes awesome and has all the features these other guys have been talking about. I have their R2 fleece and down sweater for wearing under it which makes for great layering options. You can't go wrong with Patagonia!
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by soonercrew View Post
bought my gear last night!!! i ended up going with patagonia... i got the new powder bowl jacket... m's 4 wool shirts and bottoms.... a fleece jacket for a midlayer... i also got some smartwool socks with liners and burton mitton gloves with liners...??? im pretty sure this combination should keep me warm!!! thanks to all for your advice and direction!!!
Ahhhh, another Patagucci convert. Welcome to the cult. I mean the club.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoWork View Post
Base layer should be the best sweat-wicking layer you can find. Staying dry = staying warm!
The base layer should also be skin tight (HellyHanson LIFA, UnderArmour, your choice). Nothing feels worse than when your sweaty base layer separates from your skin.
post #23 of 23
Well, if you want serious warmth, you're looking at a 800 fill down sweater under a Gore Tex/similar shell. That'll take care of anything up to peaks outside the lower 48, let alone skiing. My concern would be overheating; make sure that the shell is breathable, and has pit zips, get a down sweater with a zipper. Brand of each is largely irrelevant; probably a half dozen will be durable and do the job.

One notch cooler will be syn insulated shells. Here the type of syn insulation will make a big difference; you get what you pay for, so pricier than solution a. Advantage is simplicity and less risk of getting cold from sweating and/or water from the outside.

IMO, having tried about all possible combos, underwear, fleece and shells layered are OK for many conditions, obviously have the virtue of adjustability, but not the best for serious cold unless you get so many layers you end up with less mobility than a or b.

Finally, if your head, hands and feet are cold, you're cold. Wear a helmet, get serious waterproof gloves with insulation, and the various Smartwool or merino socks seem to be warmer to me (cold damaged toes) than the synthetics.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion