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Finding the perfect boys' ski jacket can prove to be a surprisingly complex affair. You need the basics, of course: high-tech fabrics that deliver protection against the snow, insulation that deliver warmth where you need it for day-long comfort on the slopes, and a slew of ski-specific features like helmet-friendly detachable hoods, powder skirts, dedicated ski pass pockets and sleeves with secure closures to seal out the elements. But you also have to weigh the ever-subjective element of style — and as any parent will tell you, it’s important to parents that they stay warm, but they all want to look cool. And of course, you want a jacket that’ll last more than one season.
Thankfully, the dominant slope style these days still leans towards the baggy, so you can get a jacket that fits loosely one season, and allows the tyke to grow into it over the coming years. Some jackets even come with sleeves that extend to accommodate growth over multiple seasons. Beyond that, consider your typical day on the slopes and make your selection based on those conditions and how they typically ski.
Hard chargers that tackle all conditions — blizzard-dense snowfall as well as rain or sleet (the bane of most East Coast skiers) — should look for jackets that come with elastic or Velcro cuffs and wind-seal hoods, as well as waterproof zippers and deep, insulated hand-warming pockets. Those that like to chase the virtual badges and track their stats via resort apps, meanwhile, would benefit from jackets with loads of waterproof pockets.
The more casual spring skier, meanwhile, can likely get by with a jacket that doesn’t carry loads of insulation. Some jackets even off the best of both worlds, with interchangeable systems that give you an inner insulated layer integrated into a bomber outer shell, so you can wear them both — or just one — as weather demand.
Still need some helpful pointers when it comes to which one to buy for your child? We've got you covered. Read on to find the best boys' ski jackets to purchase today, so you and your family can zoom down the mountain in style and comfort.
Best Overall: Columbia Snowpocalypitc Jacket
A perfect match of style and performance, the Snowpocalyptic Jacket will keep you dry and warm against all conditions, with a longer hem that drops below the waist for a bit of added protection, a nice feature for long, cold lift rides. The nylon outer layer boasts 100 percent protection from snow, sleet, and rain, with a taffeta-lined wind-sealed hood. Polyester insulation is layered throughout the rest of the garment, while the elastic cuffs allow for quick security, and layer nicely under ski gloves that come with large cuffs.
Zippered hand pockets offer solid storage space without over-doing it, and reflective details add a touch of safety when wandering the parking lots after a long day charging on the slopes. The two colorways — black camo and a wild “super blue Neps print” are sure to be a hit for seasons of use. And thanks to the Outgrow System, the sleeves can be extended to accommodate growth spurts. Simply turn the jacket inside out, pull a string, and the sleeves extend.
Best Value: Obermeyer Catapult Jacket
One of the pioneers in ski apparel, Obermeyer understands that the sport is already expensive enough without having to drop a lot of coin for a child's ski jacket. Available in sizes that range from two to eight, it uses their proprietary Hydroblock DWR technology to block out the elements and keep the wearer forever dry. Insulation comes from high-loft 200-gram polyester tricot that’s folded into the jacket’s engineered quilting to enhance loft and warmth, allowing air to circulate and prevent migration from one area to another.
The integrated hood has 80 grams of insulation as well, along with an interior wind guard with a fleece chin protector, a drop back hem, fitted elastic wrists, reflective zipper pulls, and two zippered hand pockets as well as a chest pocket. As with all Obermeyer kid’s jackets, the Catapult comes with their Authentic I-Grow feature. Simply snip the colored threads and the sleeves extend 1.5 inches. The shiny exterior is sure to turn heads and comes in blue, orange, bright green, and red.
Best for Slope-Side Flair: Marmont Thunder Jacket
Why settle for one color when you can wear a bunch? The Thunder Jacket makes a strong statement, thanks to the use of differently colored panels that take a refreshing turn away from traditional jacket designs. Made of Marmot’s MemBrain fabric and two layers of seam taping, this jacket is 100 percent waterproof and very breathable, with 100 grams of lightweight Thermal R insulation that wicks away sweat to perfectly regulate the optimal internal temperature.
The fixed hood marries with a high-zip brushed Tricot collar that will protect the lower part of the face when braving wind-blasted lift rides, along with two zippered hand pockets, a zippered chest pocket, and a ski pass sleeve pocket to make clearing the turnstiles a breeze.
Velcro-closure adjustable cuffs also accommodate a variety of different glove models, from streamlined to those with big cuffs. But really, it’s all about the style with the Thunder, with colorways that range from golden sun/deep teal to auburn/red to the rad cavern/nightfall, a mix of blues and brown.
Best for Versatility: Columbia Bugaboo Interchange
The Bugaboo Interchange has been in Columbia’s product line for decades — and with good reason. This three-in-one jacket can handle pretty much any weather Mother Nature throws at it. The ultra-warm microfleece liner is lined with Columbia’s breathable Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective technology, which uses tiny silver dots to reflect the body’s natural heat, and can be worn solo. So can the waterproof-breathable shell, which comes with a waterproof/breathable Omni-Tech fabric and critically sealed seams for bomber protection from snow, ice, and rain.
Zip the inner liner into the outer shell, and you get the best of both worlds: pure weather blocking and serious warmth. The removable taffeta-lined storm hood on the shells is fully adjustable to dial the optimal fit, and they layer on other ski-centric features, including adjustable cuff tabs, a media and goggles pocket, an internal pocket for valuables, and twin hand pockets. Columbia’s Outgrow system, which allows you to extend the length of the sleeves, means it’ll last and fit well for several seasons on the slopes.
Best for Spring Skiing: Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket
The glories of spring skiing — corn snow, long days, warm temps, and bluebird skies — means you don’t want a jacket made for sub-zero temperatures or serious dumps of snow. Instead, opt for the Nano Puff Jacket, a lightweight wind- and water-resistant shell that comes with 60 grams of PrimaLoft Gold Insulation, a 100 percent polyfill (55 percent of which originates from post-consumer recycled content). The quilting pattern strikes a bold aesthetic and keeps the insulation in place, while Spandex binding at the sleeve openings and an adjustable drawcord at the hem help the jacket stay secure when moving at full speed. But it’s the little details that most boys will appreciate, from the full-length zipper with an internal wind flap and a zipper garage to its two zippered hand-warmer pockets and the secure chest pocket, which doubles as a stuff sack to help collapse the jacket when the sun really starts to shine.
Best for Variable Climates: The North Face Boundary Triclimate Jacket
This three-in-one jacket is ideal for days that start cold, dark, and dense with snow only to graduate to blue skies and the warming return of the sun. The 150-gram Heatseeker insulated inner layer zips into the weatherproof/breathable recycled poly outer shell, offering shelter for a variety of shifting climates, with a fixed hood to help seal out the elements.
The drop-tail hem adds another layer of protection when going big in the park (or riding a wet chairlift). It boasts so many ski-friendly features that the internal ID label maps them out, including an integrated goggle cloth, powder skirt, secure-zip ski pass pocket on the left sleeve, adjustable drawcords at the hem, Velcro security on the main zipper flap, and an internal Velcro media pocket.
And you also get The North Face aesthetic, a timeless mountain-friendly look with contrasting zippers, pops of color, and that iconic logo.
Best New Release: Under Armour Storm Freshies Jacket
Under Armour’s meteoric rise from sport base layers to all things active has them charging all arenas of outdoor sport. But don’t take their relative newbie status to suggest that their products aren’t top quality. The Storm Freshies demonstrates that they understand what it takes to make stellar boys' ski jacket. There's the expected waterproof/breathable protection that's strengthened to withstand the elements, thanks to fully taped seams and MagZip closures that click and hold the zippers in place.
But unlike most jackets, which typically have the same weight of insulation throughout the garment, this jacket uses a strategic insulation construction, with 100 grams on the body and 80 grams on the sleeves to keep you warm at the core while removing excess bulk.
It also employs their ColdGear infrared tech, which uses a soft, thermo-conductive inner coating that absorbs and retains your body heat. The all-poly jacket also comes with a mesh goggle pocket, a helmet-compatible hood, burly cuffs, and an adjustable powder skirt.
Best for the Hard Charger: Kamik Hunter Solid Jacket
Ideal for boys who love to launch headlong into the snow, the Kamik Hunter Solid Jacket keeps things simple and affordable without sacrificing any performance. The outer layer is made of DriDefense fabric that delivers 8,000-mm waterproof/5,000-gram breathable protection, with critically taped seams and a durable, water-repellent finish to shed rain, sleet, and snow.
The full-zip front closure is reinforced with a hook-and-loop storm flap, with long sleeves that allow for a full range of movement, along with adjustable hook-and-loop tabs and knit cuffs. You can ditch the hood when the added layer feels like overkill, and the snap powder skirt with an elastic gripper will keep the snow from sneaking into the lower part of the jacket when they dive into the really deep stuff.
Best Design: Spyder Ambush Jacket
What initially started as a ski sweater, which the Spyder founder knit together in 1977 for his young sons that were tearing up the ski racing circuit, has since grown to be one of the most recognized brands in the industry, gracing the athletes of the U.S. Ski Team as far back as 1989. And while the Ambush Jacket isn’t one of their iconic skin-tight racing-suits, you get loads of high-end tech alongside that coveted logo, which was screen printed on the upper left chest.
The outer shell is constructed of Hydroweb, a proprietary waterproof laminate that’s hydrophobic, with microporous breathable construction to fend off even the foulest of winter conditions and four-way stretch integrated into the polyester broken herringbone fabric so that the jacket will adjust to accommodate every slalom turn.
Other details reflect Spyder’s high-end pedigree, including a removable hood, a snap-down powder skier, an internal mesh goggle pocket, a chamois lens wipe, and whole mess of other pockets both inside and out.