Mens Ski Jackets
Looking for a new ski jacket? Then you have come to the right place. At Trekwear we stock a range of mens ski jackets offering a range of technologies and features to suit all types of skiers and budgets. We have ski jackets from trusted winter sports brands such as Dare 2B, Head, Oakley and Trespass at fantastic prices.
Buying Advice for mens ski jackets
Performance & Price
Because skiwear is technology and performance driven, the price of ski jackets will often reflect relative performance levels – the cheaper the ski jacket, the less advanced its features and technologies will be – and the more expensive a ski jacket the more feature packed and cutting-edge performance you can expect. So it is worth considering the type of skier you are, and how you intend on skiing when you look to buy a ski jacket.
Buy according to your needs: you probably do not need top-end performance if you are learning to ski and will be mostly on nursery slopes and well groomed blue and red ski runs. Conversely you might want to consider high-performance skiwear if you plan on skiing harder routes (off-piste/backcountry, mogul fields etc) where you will sweat and genuinely need decent breathability or be in powder and need day-long waterproofing.
So please review the technologies and features offered with each garment as ski jackets vary considerably and you probably want to weigh up cost and performance to ensure value for money. At Trekwear we try and bring you the best prices we can, but high-performance is not cheap and you do tend to get what you pay for so budget accordingly. Below we outline some performance characteristics you may want to ponder:-
Unfortunately the term waterproof in outdoor clothing is not a binary condition (i.e. it is waterproof or it is not) but rather it is a linear scale with increasing levels of protection – so you can have an item that is waterproof but suitable only for light showers through to an item that is also waterproof that you could wade in a river all day and be impervious to water ingress. Thankfully the skiwear industry has a common test applied to measure how permeable their garments are (static column water resistance test). This measures the height in millimetres of a column of water that is 1-inch in diameter that can be poured onto the garment safely before water will intrude. So the higher the millimetre rating of waterproofing a garment has, the better performance you can expect. Here is a quick breakdown on the kinds of levels of performance you can expect:-
- 0mm – no waterproofing at all – think dishcloths, sieves, colanders
- 0mm – 1500mm –resistant to light showers – think stretch softshells and other garments using water resistant coatings that you would only consider if there was a limited chance of light rain
- 1500mm- 5000mm – rainproof, but not waterproof if under pressure – applied pressure on a wet or melting surface (such as sitting or kneeling on snow) will lead to water ingress/dampness. Basic/entry level skiwear of this calibre would only be suitable for groomed/maintain piste and decent conditions (i.e. you might get soggy if it is a white day with persistent snowfall). However, ski jackets with less than 5000mm of waterproofing will be much cheaper.
- 5000mm – 15000mm – totally rainproof and good waterproof performance under pressure – you can sit on snow for quite a while before there is any chance of getting wet. Perfect of intermediate skiers who want to try a bit of off-piste and backcountry skiing where deeper powder will be in contact with your body more often.
- 15000mm – 30000mm – waterproof even under pressure – Gore-Tex and eVent and other PU laminates and PTFE membranes. This will likely keep you dry (even in low pressure water submersion) so you could stand in a downpour all day and remain dry. This level of waterproof performance is ideal for off piste/backcountry ski enthusiasts who dream of deep powder and gnarly exploits!
- 30000mm plus – totally waterproof – theoretically you could go for a swim in this stuff and stay dry. However, although you may dream of being a submersible vessel, this level of performance is beyond ample as you are unlikely to need to ski underwater! If any garment is rated over 30k in waterproofing, then make sure you check its breathability because high waterproofing and low breathability are a recipe to stew in your own sweat.
There is no accepted industry standard testing procedure for gauging breathability, so every manufacturer test differently to one another. This makes comparing like-for-like ratings problematic; the best gauge of performance is within a brand’s own range where you know the testing regime is the same. Breathability is usually expressed by the formula g/m²/24h which translates as the grams of water passed through a square meter of fabric in 24 hours. This is also often called MVP (moisture vapour perspiration) instead of g/m²/24h, but the formula is the same, so it represents the same notion. Here a quick guide to the levels of performance you can expect and suitability:-
- 0 g/m²/24h not breathable at all
- 0 g/m²/24h – 2000 g/m²/24h – moderate breathability, suitable for limited activity where you are not likely to sweat much
- 2000 g/m²/24h – 5000 g/m²/24h – decent breathability, suitable for gentle activities where mild perspiration might be expected – think gentle exertion such as carving on blue and green groomed ski runs
- 5000 g/m²/24h – 15000 g/m²/24h – good breathability, suitable for moderate activity where sweating is moderate – think fast on-piste skiing on reds and blacks where your legs are pumping and working hard
- 15000 g/m²/24h – 30000 g/m²/24h – excellent breathability, suitable for very strenuous activities where you are definitely going to sweat bullets – think off-piste, deep powder and mogul fields where you are working your legs, core and upper body, often for prolonged periods
- 30000 g/m²/24h plus – this is top end performance and is suitable for winter athletes and the serious skiers operating at the limits where sweating heavily is the norm and re-hydration is part of your routine – this level of performance does not come cheap so expect to pay premium prices for ski jackets of this ilk.
As well as fabric breathability also look at jacket construction and any venting features. Common venting features are underarm zip-vents, waist pocket venting, chest pocket venting, fore-sleeve venting and storm flap venting. This makes cooling down a breeze (sorry) as you can simply adjust the apertures to let airflow deal with heat and moisture and then zip them back up again when things get chilly.
Ergonomics & Features
Skiing is all about body position, stance, angles and applied pressure or weight. Therefore it makes sense that freedom of movement and ergonomics play a vital role in how you ski. 2-way and 4-way stretch fabrics give skiers less restricted movement, allowing you ski more freely and concentrate on your technique rather than fight your clothing. On steeper slopes and off-piste skiing where planting your ski pole and pivoting your body’s core are so important, stretch fabric ski jackets make a considerable difference to the smoothness and ease with which you move.
As well as stretch fabrics other ergonomic consideration regarding functional design need thinking about too. Does the hood detach? Will the hood accommodate my ski helmet? Will the hood hold its shape as speed? Can I easily hook my ski gloves to the jacket when not using them? Is there a convenient pocket for my ski lift pass? The product specification data will let you know what features and functions you can expect from our ski jackets.
This is taken as read in all traditional “ski jackets” but might not necessarily be the case with softshells – so check any softshell you are looking at is designed for skiing and has a suitable windproof level.
Some ski areas are colder than others, and certain times of year will also be colder too. So early to mid season skiing in Scandinavia or North America will tend to be generally colder than late season skiing in the Alps. If you know you will be skiing in very cold conditions think about thicker, more insulated ski jackets, or if you prefer lighter shells, then do pack extra base layers and mid layers to ensure more pockets of warm air that will keep you insulated.