Planning a Ski Trip: The Complete Guide SEE FULL GUIDE prev next Women's Ski Pants Men's Ski Jackets Snowboard Pants Socks Ski Boots Snowboard Boots Skis Snowboards Ski Poles Helmets Balaclavas Goggles Gloves Boot Bags Top Ski Resorts in North America U.S. Resorts by Region Destinations in the Northwest Destinations in the Southeast Best Family-Friendly Ski Resorts Romantic Ski Getaways Save Money on Ski Wear Budget Tips for Families U.S. Resorts Where Kids Ski Free Best Ski Clothing Brands Women's Ski Jackets Planning a Ski Trip: The Complete Guide close Overview Outdoors Winter Sports The Best Women’s Ski Jackets of 2023, Tested and Reviewed Patagonia’s Powder Town jacket is our top overall pick By Nathan Allen Nathan Allen Outdoor Gear Editor University of Missouri-Columbia Lindenwood University Nathan Allen is the Outdoor Gear Editor for TripSavvy. Nathan loves many outdoor activities but makes it a priority to run or bike on singletrack every day. TripSavvy's editorial guidelines Updated on 02/07/23 Share Pin Email We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission. TripSavvy / Marcus Millan The ski jacket is an essential piece to your outerwear collection. But it also might be the most inundated product category on the market. There are literally hundreds of ski jackets from which to choose. We spent days researching the best available options, narrowing those down to a list of 19. We sent those to testers across the country for weeks of testing, sifted through their insights, and created this list for you based on that feedback. Our editors and writers spent many days and weeks testing these jackets in varying conditions while skiing at resorts and in the backcountry from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest. Topping our list is Patagonia’s Women’s Insulated Powder Town Jacket, which impressed us with its excellent range of motion, breathability, and ventilation while keeping us warm. Read on to learn more about our picks of top women’s ski jackets. The Rundown Best Overall: Patagonia Powder Town Jacket at Backcountry.com Jump to Review Best Overall, Runner-Up: Stio Women's Environ XT Anorak Jacket at Stio.com Jump to Review Best Value: The North Face ThermoBall Eco Snow Triclimate Jacket at Evo.com Jump to Review Best Down: Stio Women's Shot 7 Down Jacket at Stio.com Jump to Review Best Backcountry: Outdoor Research Women's Skytour AscentShell Jacket at Backcountry.com Jump to Review Best Backcountry, Runner-Up: Ortovox Women's 3L Deep Shell Jacket at Backcountry.com Jump to Review Best Pullover: Strafe Women's 3L Lynx Pullover at Strafeouterwear.com Jump to Review Best Insulated: Helly Hansen Alphelia LifaLoft Ski Jacket at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Layering: Black Diamond Women's Recon Stretch Ski Shell Jacket at Amazon Jump to Review Best Stretch: Sync Headwall Stretch Shell Jacket at Syncperformance.com Jump to Review Table of contents Expand Our Picks How We Selected How We Tested Other Ski Jackets We Tested What to Look For FAQ Why Trust TripSavvy Best Overall Patagonia Women's Insulated Powder Town Jacket 4.9 REI View On Backcountry.com View On Patagonia.com View On REI What We Like Lots of pockets for organization Good ventilation with the pit zips Excellent range of motion Good breathability What We Don't Like It's insulated, so not as easy to dial your layering Normally we’d say go with a standard shell instead of an insulated jacket for skiing. But Patagonia’s Insulated Powder Town Jacket impressed us in so many ways we had to make it our top overall women’s ski jacket. We were first impressed by the jacket’s warmth, breathability, and lightness. In addition to skiing, we took this jacket on multiple runs when temperatures dipped into the low 20s and were impressed by its breathability and stretch, giving us a full range of motion while running and skiing. Patagonia uses a 100 percent postconsumer recycled polyester two-layer shell with Thermogreen 100 percent recycled polyester insulation, with 80 grams in the body and 40 grams in the sleeves, helping boost mobility. Patagonia’s proprietary PFC-free H2No DWR tops off the jacket, making it fully waterproof. (We also took this out in a proper rainstorm and found it held up well.) Besides the solid—and environmentally pleasing—construction, we were impressed with Patagonia’s thoughtful features. We particularly liked all of the pockets, which help boost organization. Pockets include two zippered hand-warming pockets, a zippered chest pocket, a pass pocket on the forearm, an internal stash pocket for money, and an internal drop-in pocket for goggles or gloves. This jacket also has the typical ski jacket features like an oversized helmet-compatible hood, pit zips for ventilation, and a powder skirt. Sizes: XXS to XXL | Materials: 2-layer 100 percent postconsumer recycled polyester | Insulation: Thermogreen 100 percent recycled polyester (80 grams in body, 40 grams in sleeves) | Waterproofing: H2No | Sustainability: Postconsumer recycled shell, recycled insulation, PFC-free DWR treatment TripSavvy / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm Best Overall, Runner-Up Stio Women's Environ XT Anorak Jacket 5 Stio View On Stio.com What We Like Perfect lightweight, roomy, and stretchy shell Good pockets and pocket placements Excellent style and colors What We Don't Like Expensive, but worth it Some might not like the anorak style If you’re looking for a typical shell-style ski jacket that you can layer underneath, we strongly recommend Stio’s Environ XT Anorak Jacket. This highly versatile shell is part of the Jackson Hole-based brand’s all-mountain line, making it an ideal layer for both resort and backcountry. Besides the style, which we adore, we were first impressed with the jacket’s lightness. The lightness helped boost our layering, as we could easily fit a baselayer and insulated jacket underneath the shell. That also helped reduce the bulkiness and any potential restrictions to movement. “It’s just a lightweight, roomy ski jacket that’s ready for anything,” one tester said. We also enjoyed the placement and amount of pockets, which includes a chest pocket that held our ski map and credit cards, a left-arm sleeve pocket for a lift ticket and hands-free scanning, and a large pocket in the middle with two zipper access points for a phone and lip balm. We could easily access all pockets. The versatility of this jacket comes from its lightness and massive pit zips. The lightness allows you to hone your resort or backcountry layering system, and the pit zips help dump heat if you decide to take this jacket on the skin track or in warmer spring skiing conditions. Like Patagonia’s jacket, we also appreciate the environmentally friendly way in which Stio built this jacket. Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: PeakProof 3L 100 percent recycled 150 denier polyester | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: PeakProof with DWR | Sustainability: Recycled materials TripSavvy / Erin Johnson Best Value The North Face Women's ThermoBall Eco Snow Triclimate Jacket 4.9 North Face View On Evo.com View On REI What We Like Two layers—insulated jacket and outer shell Versatile Excellent value and earth-friendly materials What We Don't Like Not a lot of stretch Runs small Can’t decide between getting an insulated jacket or a shell? Opt for a 2-in-1 like The North Face’s ThermoBall Eco-Snow Triclimate Jacket, which includes an insulated inner jacket and outer shell. This jacket allows skiers to wear it with an insulated layer underneath the shell or just one or the other, depending on conditions and temperature. Our tester loved the versatility the jacket brought. The North Face’s DryVent 2-layer material is its most versatile, and the brand uses it across multiple product and sports categories. The waterproof material also features a non-PFC DWR treatment, which our testers said helped bead up water and roll it off the jacket. We also love the loads of recycled and earth-friendly materials as The North Face continues its push into a more sustainable production process. Our two gripes are the jacket didn’t have a ton of stretch, and this jacket runs small, even compared to other North Face jackets we’ve tested and owned. But if you’re looking for a new ski jacket combo that combines your insulated and outer layers for a good value, you can’t go wrong with the ThermoBall Eco-Snow Triclimate Jacket. Sizes: XS to XXXL | Materials: 50D x 50D 73 g/m² 100 percent recycled polyester with non-PFC DWR finish | Insulation: 11 g/ft² ThermoBall Eco 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyester | Waterproofing: 75D 116 g/m² DryVent 2L—100 percent recycled polyester with non-PFC durable water-repellent (non-PFC DWR) finish | Sustainability: Recycled materials, PFC-free DWR TripSavvy / Danielle Yersin Best Down Stio Women's Shot 7 Down Jacket 5 Stio View On Stio.com What We Like Very warm jacket Well-places pockets Good temperature regulations What We Don't Like We'd like to see more color options We generally recommend using an outer shell while skiing and personalizing your layering with baselayers and mid-layers, like an insulated jacket. But if you know you tend to run cold or don’t feel like dealing with multiple layers, Stio’s Shot 7 Down Jacket is an excellent outer shell and insulated jacket all in one. Our tester skied this jacket in 0-degree weather in Canada, and was plenty warm with a base layer and wool sweater. She repeatedly unzipped the jacket while skiing to offload heat and then zipped it back up on the lifts. That warmth is thanks to robust 800-fill High-Loft HyperDRY down insulation. “I worked for a season at the McMurdo Station, Antarctica, and all the staff was issued Canada Goose parkas,” our tester said. “This is probably the second-warmest coat I’ve ever worn, and I don’t expect to need arctic-level protection.” We are also impressed by the pocket placement of this jacket, similar to the Environ XT from Stio above. And the Shot 7 Down’s Gore-Tex 2L fabric held up well while skiing and during our splash tests. This jacket employs recycled materials and a PFCEC-free DWR treatment. Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: Recycled Illume Cire, 100 percent recycled nylon, 20 denier, 37 g/m2 with a DWR finish | Insulation: Allied Feather HyperDRY Water Repellent Down, 90/10 White Goose Down, 800 fill | Waterproofing: GORE-TEX 2L, 75 denier dobby, 100 percent polyester, 156g/m2 with a PFCEC-free DWR finish and GORE-TEX 2L lamination | Sustainability: Recycled materials, PFCEC-free DWR Best Backcountry Outdoor Research Women's Skytour AscentShell Jacket 4.9 Outdoor Research View On Backcountry.com View On Dick's View On Outdoorresearch.com What We Like Excellent balance of weatherproofing and breathability Super comfortable Lots of pockets What We Don't Like Nothing yet Like Ortovox, Outdoor Research has thoroughly impressed us across multiple products and categories. From lightweight sun hoodies to down jackets and everything in between, the Seattle-based brand continues to impress. And its AscentShell line impresses with its backcountry-focused chops. You want full weather protection with as much breathability as possible for the backcountry. Outdoor Research’s AscentShell 3L technology does just that. We also found it easy to fit two or three layers underneath the shell, which is also key to backcountry comfort. The other standout feature of this jacket is its comfort. Outdoor Research hyperbolically calls it the most comfortable hardshell ski jacket ever, and, well, we kinda find it hard to disagree. We also love the number of pockets on this jacket—four on the outside and two on the inside. Our theory is in the backcountry; you can never have enough pockets. We highly recommend this one if you’re looking for a backcountry-focused jacket. Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: AscentShell 3L, 93 percent nylon, 7 percent spandex, 40D X 65D stretch plain weave face with 100 percent polyester 50D knit backer | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: AscentShell 3L | Sustainability: N/A TripSavvy / Duangkaew Randall Best Backcountry, Runner-Up Ortovox Women's 3L Deep Shell Jacket 5 Ortovox View On Backcountry.com View On Moosejaw.com View On Ortovox.com What We Like Excellent flex and movement Merino wool in strategic areas for added warmth Very good waterproofing and decent breathability What We Don't Like Was a bit tight across the chest We've grown very fond of Ortovox's gear, especially for venturing into the backcountry. And the 3L Deep Shell Jacket is no different. Designed as a freeride jacket with a backcountry bent, Ortovox built this jacket to hold up in deep powder and the variable conditions you might find in the backcountry. We were impressed with the jacket's flexibility, allowing for an extensive range of movement. The jacket features strategically placed sections of merino wool where skiers tend to get cold. The lightness of the jacket makes it perfect for thoughtful layering, as our tester wore a thermal baselayer, sports turtleneck, and insulated jacket underneath this shell and still had plenty of range of movement thanks to Ortovox's loose and relaxed cut. However, our tester did note that this jacket felt tight across her chest with and without underneath layers. For the backcountry, you want a jacket that will move with you, block out the elements while allowing some breathability, and will allow you to strategically layer underneath so you're not overheating on the uphill. Ortovox's 3L Deep Shell will do all of that and more. Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: 100 percent polyamide, 100 percent polyurethane, 100 percent merino wool | Insulation: Merino wool inserts at the chin and chest | Waterproofing: Toray Dermizax EV | Sustainability: PFC-free, climate neutral product TripSavvy / Julia Sayers Best Pullover Strafe Women's 3L Lynx Pullover 4.9 Strafe View On Strafeouterwear.com What We Like Longer fit for better weather protection Very versatile A bigger cut for plenty of layering potential Front kangaroo-style pocket What We Don't Like Nothing yet Technically the Stio Environ XT Anorak Jacket above is also a pullover, but we wanted to give you at least another option if you prefer the anorak style. Besides the pullover style, there are some unique features we love about this specific jacket from Strafe. First, the longer fit helps with weather protection, especially while storming or skiing deep powder. We also love the kangaroo-style front pocket, which has an interior electronic mesh pocket and media port. With an oversized cut, this jacket also proved versatile, allowing plenty of layering underneath. Our tester easily fit a t-shirt, thermal underwear, and a light insulated jacket underneath the shell. “It fits really nicely and doesn’t feel bulky or cumbersome despite its longer, oversized fit,” our tester said. “This is a really sturdy jacket equipped for harsh weather.” We also like thoughtful touches like the super soft and comfy thumbhole cuffs, microfleece-lined front hood, and chin guard. Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: Recon ELITE 3L 4-way stretch, 100 percent nylon face, 100 percent polyester jersey backer, DWR treatment, 0.02 CFM, 168 g/m2, 63D/63D | Insulation: Some microfleece lining at the chin and hood | Waterproofing: 3L fabric with DWR treatment | Sustainability: N/A TripSavvy / Anna Popp Best Insulated Helly Hansen Alphelia LifaLoft Ski Jacket 5 Amazon View On Amazon View On Evo.com View On Hellyhansen.com What We Like Slim-fit, stylish design Strategically placed insulation A warm cell phone-specific pocket What We Don't Like Jacket was shorter than expected As we’ve stated throughout this review, we generally recommend hardshell jackets for skiing, so you have better control over layering. That said, I’ve definitely skied plenty of days with an insulated jacket as my outer layer. And if that’s what you’re looking for, we highly recommend the Helly Hansen Alphelia LifaLoft Jacket. Packed with Helly Hansen’s proprietary LifaLoft insulation, we found this jacket incredibly lightweight yet warm. Most times, when you think insulated jacket, you probably think it will sacrifice weatherproofing. Not so with this jacket from Helly Hansen, which features the brand’s best materials and membrane for harsh and wet conditions. Besides its overall excellent performance, we liked three unique things about this jacket. First, its slim-fit and stylish look, which is not common with ski jackets when layering is key. Since this jacket has its own built-in insulation, Helly Hansen is able to create a more stylish look while keeping skiers warm. We also enjoyed the strategically placed insulation at places that tend to get cold, like around the collar. Lastly, we’re in love with the unique and innovative Life Pocket with Aerogel Insulation, which Helly Hansen claims to stay three times warmer than the typical pocket and will keep your phone or other electronics warmer, avoiding the dreaded depleted battery, which can happen in frigid conditions. Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: 89 percent polyamide, 11 percent elastane 4-way stretch fabric with DWR treatment | Insulation: LifaLoft (synthetic PrimaLoft)| Waterproofing: HellyTech Professional with DWR treatment | Sustainability: Bluesign-certified materials Best for Layering Black Diamond Women's Recon Stretch Ski Shell Jacket 5 Evo View On Amazon View On Blackdiamondequipment.com View On Evo.com What We Like Backcountry-focused jacket that is excellent for layering Great blend for weatherproofing and breathability Excellent stretch What We Don't Like Nothing yet This backcountry-focused shell from Black Diamond impressed us with its ability to shed moisture while maintaining maximum breathability (for a hardshell). If you’re on the market for a backcountry-focused jacket or just like to personalize your layering, the Recon Stretch Ski Shell Jacket is definitely a solid pick. Black Diamond employs its BD.dry membrane, which features equal parts weatherproofing and breathability. A four-way stretch material boosts the stretch and range of motion. “The removable powder skirt is ideal for deep snow or bad weather, and the armpit vents are easy to open and great for backcountry skiing,” our tester said. “I found the hood helmet-compatible, and the pockets are very useful on the slopes with plenty of storage space.” Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: 3L stretch fabric with jersey backer – 84 percent nylon, 16 percent elastane | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: BD.dry 3L waterproofing 20K/20K | Sustainability: N/A TripSavvy / Duangkaew Randall Best Stretch Sync Women’s Headwall Stretch Shell Jacket 5 Sync View On Syncperformance.com What We Like Sleek and premium materials Super comfortable Excellent stretch What We Don't Like Weatherproofing on the zippers make them a bit more difficult to pull Stretch in a ski jacket might be one of the most underrated qualities. Yes, you definitely want solid weatherproofing. But besides that, stretch is probably the most important feature because of the physicality of the sport. And so, if you prioritize a full range of motion and stretch, we highly recommend the Sync Women’s Headwall Stretch Shell Jacket. The stretch comes from recycled nylon, four-way stretch material similar to what Sync uses for its professional ski racing line, for which the brand is known. We were immediately impressed by this jacket’s fit. “This is the most comfortable ski jacket I’ve put on in a long time because it fits so well,” our tester reported. “The materials are stretchy while still having the right amount of pressure to keep my upper body warm and secure.” This is definitely the pick for you if you’re looking for a sleek, comfy, and well-fitting jacket. Sizes: XS to XL | Materials: Highly abrasion-resistant recycled nylon, four-way stretch | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: 20k/20k waterproof breathable, DWR 3-layer | Sustainability: Recycled materials TripSavvy / Anna Popp Best for Extreme Weather Arc'Teryx Sentinel Jacket 4.9 Evo View On Arcteryx.com View On Evo.com View On REI What We Like Featherlight yet excellent weatherproofing Some extra length for sealing in warm and keeping out weather and deep snow Excellent stretch Lined with thin flannel What We Don't Like Inner chest pocket is a bit too small Arc’teryx has basically become synonymous with weather protection. And the Sentinel Women’s Jacket is no different. Designed for big mountain skiing and freeride touring, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based brand had struck the delicate balance between extreme weather protection and stretch. Let’s start with weatherproofing. Arc’teryx uses Gore-Tex to weatherproof the Sentinel. After a few days of skiing, our tester was so confident in the weatherproofing that she put her AirPods in a pocket and directly ran water from the faucet over it. The AirPods came out dry and unscathed. The regular fit and solid weatherproofing also created a surprisingly warm jacket. We took it out into single-digit temperatures with a baselayer, merino wool sweater, and lightly insulated jacket and were totally fine. If you know Arc’teryx, then you know you’ll likely be paying a hefty price for the product. Our advice: If you’re a frequent skier that often skis in deep conditions, nasty weather, or both, splurge a bit on yourself and get this professional-grade shell. Sizes: XXS to XXL | Materials: N70p 3L GORE-TEX fabric with lo-loft softshell construction | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: Gore-Tex | Sustainability: N/A TripSavvy / Lydia Price How We Selected We selected products based on our own knowledge of products and brands and internet research. TripSavvy has many writers and editors close to the brand that have deep ski and snowboarding knowledge and experience and have tested versions of these jackets and brands. We also conducted internet research, looking at jackets other sites have featured and jackets with excellent reviews on sites like REI and Backcountry. Once we had an initial list, we narrowed it to 19 ski jackets we wanted to test. We picked those based on features, functionality, purpose, and price. We tried to get a variety of styles, prices, and intended uses for the jackets. How We Tested We sent those 19 jackets to editors and writers across the country. Our testers included skiers of different ability levels, from beginner to expert, skiers that primarily ski backcountry and others that stay inbounds, and skiers in different climates and locations. Testers took these jackets skiing—cross country, backcountry, and resort. And they also did activities like running, shoveling snow, and running errands. We asked each tester to rate each jacket on a five-point scale for attributes like durability, comfort, design, warmth, weatherproofing, and overall value. Those scores were averaged to give us an overall rating of each jacket. Other Ski Jackets We Tested Trew Gear Astoria Jacket: Trew’s Astoria jacket is a solid shell but was a bit too restrictive for our tester, who found it tough to get full range of motion in. Trew Gear Stella Jacket PRIMO: Our testers loved a lot about this jacket, and the only reason it didn’t make our list above was others just tested slightly better. Still, this is an excellent jacket worth the cost, as our testers saw it as an exceptional value. Rab Women’s Khroma Latok Gore-Tex Pro Jacket: Like the Stella Jacket directly above, we liked this jacket a lot. Rab is another brand we’ve always found solid and makes some of our favorite outerwear. Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Jacket: You really can’t go wrong with Norrona, especially when it comes to weatherproofing. And this jacket, which uses Gore-Tex for weatherproofing, is no different. Helly Hansen Women’s Aphelia Infinity Ski Jacket: We tested so many excellent jackets, and this was another one. Our tester thought it was one of the best she’s tested. We just liked the other ones listed above a bit better. Obermeyer Tuscany II Insulated Jacket: Weatherproofing kept the Tuscany II from making our list. While all of the jackets above had a 20K waterproofing rating, the Obermeyer has a 10K rating. It could work if you live in drier climates or only ski when the sun’s out. Columbia Whirlibird IV Interchange Jacket: The Whirlibird (love the name) is warm but ultimately failed to live up to our waterproofing standards. What to Look for in Women's Ski Jackets Weatherproofing Weatherproofing is perhaps the most important thing to consider when purchasing a ski jacket. Most ski jackets will give you a waterproof rating. “It will be described like a number and then K, K meaning ‘thousand,’ and so waterproofing for snow sports will generally be described at the low end as 5K; 10K, middle range; 20K, most protective; and then Gore-Tex comes in above 20K,” explains Charlie Berg, who is a senior product manager at Outdoor Research. So how much do you actually need? Berg says if you’re skiing only on fair-weather days, you can get by with 5K. “If you ski in places like Colorado where it’s snowy but not that wet, 10K is fine,” Berg advises. But if you ski on powder days, stormy days, or live in the Western U.S., where the snowpack has higher moisture levels, a 20K is probably necessary. Our recommendation is to prepare for what you’ll potentially be skiing in. Maybe you’re based in the Rockies or ski primarily in the Rockies, but take the occasional trip to California or the Pacific Northwest. In that case, we’d recommend opting for a 20K-rated shell. Stretch and Fit These are two different features that go slightly together. We tackle stretch first. You'll want a shell with at least some stretch. Even though skiing is largely a lower-body-oriented sport, you'll still want to move your arms and torso some. So finding a jacket with some stretch is important. If you primarily backcountry ski, stretch becomes even more important because of the physicality of uphill skiing. If you're mainly a backcountry skier, we recommend looking for jackets with four-way stretch materials or brand themselves as backcountry-oriented jackets. Now, fit. "You've got to have fits that are gonna be generous enough to layer because, on any given ski day, the temperatures could be very different, and so a good versatile ski jacket to work on all of those different days has to be large enough to layer over different amounts of clothing underneath it," Berg advises, noting that the ski jacket is your outermost layer of a clothing system and you should consider what you'll want to layer underneath it. The upshot? Ensure you have enough room to layer a base layer, midweight second layer, and insulated jacket underneath your outer ski jacket shell. Pockets You'll likely have many things with you while skiing, like a phone, keys, wallet, ski pass, and snacks. That means you'll want a ski jacket with plenty of thoughtfully-placed pockets. "It's good to have my clips to clip your keys into; it's good to have secure pockets on the outside of the jacket and the inside for some stuff you want to be able to get to all the time," Berg says. Also, look for pockets with internal pockets if you want to stash valuables like credit cards or your ID safely. Many jackets will also have pockets specific for a ski pass for easier scanning as you go through the line to get on the lift. Other Features Look for other features like a helmet-compatible hood. We strongly encourage everyone skiing—regardless of ability level—to wear a helmet. What’s the point of having a hood if it won’t fit over your helmet? Most ski jackets nowadays have helmet-compatible hoods and will say it on the jacket or website. Also, look for wrist gaiters for blocking out cold and adjustable cuffs to securely wrap around your gloves to help prevent snow from falling down your sleeves. We also recommend looking for powder skirts, two-way zippers, and venting, which usually will be armpit vents that zip open and shut. Frequently Asked Questions Do I need an insulated ski jacket? This is probably one of the best starting point questions when it comes to looking for ski jackets. Our general answer is no, you don’t. Ski jackets are meant to be your outer layer of protection and become a lot more versatile without insulation, allowing you to create your own layering system. Temperatures and weather can fluctuate like crazy while skiing. Having multiple layers helps your body comfortably manage those swings.But, as Outdoor Research’s Charlie Berg points out, some people like an insulated jacket. If that’s you, look for jackets that have at least 60 grams of synthetic insulation. Most ski-oriented jackets will have at least that amount and others will go up to 100 grams of synthetic insulation. Not many ski jackets use down as insulation, but if they do, they’ll be very lightweight and warm. What should I wear underneath my ski jacket? This depends on you, how warm or cold you tend to get, and your ski jacket. But generally, if you go with a shell, it’s good to have a sweat-wicking base layer, some sort of athletic mid-layer, and a packable insulated jacket that you can take on or off depending on the weather. If you tend to run warmer, you can probably get away with just a baselayer of thermal underwear and some other lightweight mid-layer. But if you generally run cold, you’ll want to grab that down or synthetic puffy. How do I wash and care for my ski jacket? Always follow the directions that come on your ski jacket. Most ski jackets can handle gentle cycle on the washer and drier, but confirm that with your ski jacket’s manufacturer before tossing it in the wash. We also recommend getting outdoor gear-specific detergent that you can find from Nikwax. The brand also has wash-in water repellent that can help boost your waterproofing after a season or two of wear. Why Trust TripSavvy Nathan Allen is TripSavvy’s Outdoor Gear Editor. He grew up skiing with his family and then moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado where he regularly logged 100 days of skiing a winter both in the resort and backcountry. Nathan has tested dozens of ski jackets from dozens of brands. He currently prefers jackets from Patagonia, Outdoor Research, and Mountain Hardwear. The 10 Best Women’s Ski Pants of 2023, Tested and Reviewed Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Continue to 5 of 11 below. Continue to 9 of 11 below.