The Best Men’s Ski Jackets of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Patagonia’s Powder Town jacket is our top overall pick

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TripSavvy / Amelia Manley

The ski jacket might be your most crucial piece of outerwear while skiing. It’s the front line of defense against the elements, which, let’s be real, can be gnarly. Fortunately, and unfortunately, there are hundreds of options on the market. Many of them are quality, and many are not. We pooled our collective knowledge of ski jackets, conducted internet research, and found 17 jackets worthy of sending to testers around the country.

Those testers spent months taking the jackets to their local mountains, flying with them to resorts in and out of the country, and taking them into the backcountry. We asked them to rate each jacket for its durability, design, comfort, weatherproofing, stretch and fit, warmth, and overall value. At the top of the list is Patagonia’s Insulated Powder Town Jacket, which proved to be a formidable shell and blocker against the elements while also providing excellent breathability and a touch of insulation. But the Powder Town might not be for everyone. Look below at our picks for any type of skier and conditions.

Best Overall

Patagonia Powder Town Insulated Jacket - Men's

Patagonia Insulated Powder Town Jacket


What We Like
  • Excellent range of motion

  • Good warmth and breathability and is still lightweight

  • Lots of pockets for organization

  • Good value

What We Don't Like
  • Some might prefer a shell over an insulated jacket

Patagonia’s Insulated Powder Town Jacket simply checked all the boxes we were looking for in a ski jacket. Weatherproofness? Yep, in the form of Patagonia’s proprietary PFC-free H2No waterproofing. Stretch and range of motion? You bet, thanks to a two-layer post-consumer recycled polyester. Lightweight warmth with a touch of breathability? Absolutely, with 80 grams of post-consumer recycled polyester in the body and 40 grams on the sleeves. And you probably picked up on all that planet-friendly construction from the PFC-free waterproofing to all the post-consumer recycled materials.

It’s not a perfect ski jacket, but it’s pretty close. We also loved all the pockets and how strategically placed they are—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.

Price at time of publication: $239

Sizes: XS to XXL | Materials: 2-Layer 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyester | Insulation: Thermogreen 100 percent recycled polyester (80 grams in body, 40 grams in sleeves) | Waterproofing: H2No | Sustainability: Post-consumer recycled shell, recycled insulation, PFC-free DWR treatment

Best Overall, Runner-Up

Outdoor Research Carbide Jacket

Outdoor Research Men’s Carbide


What We Like
  • Extremely comfortable

  • Easily adjustable hoodie

  • Excellent fit and stretch

What We Don't Like
  • Nothing yet

Versatility is the name of the game for Outdoor Research’s Carbide Jacket. Built for inbounds and backcountry tours, this jacket’s base construction is Pertex’s 3-layer waterproof shield that we found exceptionally comfortable. This shell jacket has loads of features, like an adjustable hood and drawcord hem, adjustable cuffs, and a powder skirt.

We love the amount and placement of pockets—a forearm pass pocket and interior chest pocket were particularly popular among testers. A two-way zipper and armpit zippers rounded out this excellent jacket. All of that, and it’s at an excellent value.

The Carbide jacket is the perfect option for anyone that spends their time both resort and backcountry skiing and prefers a shell to focus on their own layering system.

Price at time of publication: $299

Sizes: S to XXL | Materials: 40-denier nylon with tricot knit backer | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: 3-layer Pertex Shield waterproof/breathable fabric | Sustainability: Some bluesign-approved materials

 Outdoor Research Carbide Jacket

TripSavvy / Duangkaew Randall

Best Budget

WildHorn Men's Dover Ski Jacket



What We Like
  • Good range of movement

  • Plenty of pockets for organization

  • Good warmth with pit-zips to off-load heat

What We Don't Like
  • The material around the zipper uncomfortable around the chin

  • The zipper wasn’t the easiest to use

Wildhorn is one of our favorite budget-friendly brands, and the Dover Men’s Ski Jacket did not disappoint during testing. We took this jacket on the mountain with temperatures in the 20s and were plenty warm, thanks to some strategically-placed insulation. The range of motion was excellent, and the 12K waterproofing rating was good enough while allowing some breathability. Oversized armpit zippers also help offload heat.

We did struggle a bit with the zipper as it didn’t seem the teeth aligned well, making it difficult to zip up and down. And at the top of the zipper, the material didn’t sit totally flush, rubbing up against our face some. But besides those two nitpicks, this is an excellent pick. You get everything expected in a modern ski jacket at a more budget-based price.

Price at time of publication: $150

Sizes: S to XXL | Materials: 100 percent polyester with two-way stretch | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: DuPont Teflon Repel DWR coating | Sustainability: N/A

Best Value

REI Co-op Men's First Chair GTX Jacket

REI Co-op First Chair GTX Jacket


What We Like
  • Good range of motion, moving with your body

  • A high collar lined with fuzzy tricot boosts coziness

  • Excellent performance as a hardshell

What We Don't Like
  • It is a true shell, so have your layering down

In between the Wildhorn Dover jacket and the higher-end jackets on the list from Stio, Outdoor Research, Patagonia, and others is REI Co-op's First Chair GTX Jacket. The extra cost likely comes from the two-layer Gore-Tex waterproof laminate and the use of bluesign-approved and recycled materials, which we like a lot and found gave us an excellent range of motion. We also liked nice touches like the higher-than-normal collar lined with a fuzzy tricot to boost neck warmth and coziness.

The other main difference between this jacket and the Wildhorn Dover is it's a true hardshell, meaning it'll block the water and wind but does not contain insulation. We like a true hardshell over an insulated outerlayer for skiing as you can truly personalize your layering system to how your body operates in the cold. We had no problem fitting multiple layers underneath the First Chair jacket. But if you prefer some insulation, definitely go with the Wildhorn Dover or Patagonia Powder Town above.

Price at time of publication: $299

Sizes: S to XXXL | Materials: Recycled polyester | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: 2-layer GORE-TEX waterproof/breathable laminate | Sustainability: Recycled and bluesign-certified materials

Best for Layering

Stio Men's Environ Jacket

Stio Men's Environ Jacket


What We Like
  • An excellent all-mountain jacket that will perform inbounds and in the backcountry

  • Tricot lining boosts comfort

  • With proper layering, it will be warm enough down to 0 degrees

What We Don't Like
  • The hood toggle is a bit tricky to figure out

Like the Outdoor Research Carbide, Stio’s Environ Jacket is a true all-mountain shell. This is an excellent pick for you if you’re someone who splits their time across the resort, sidecountry, and backcountry. This shell will also handle the storms; with Stio’s PeakProof waterproofing system, this jacket rates at 20K waterproofness with 10K breathability. That rating makes us hesitate to recommend it whole-heartedly as a true backcountry jacket (we’d like to see a higher breathability rating), but it will do for lighter uphill skiing and excels in storms. Although the large armpit zippers will help offload some heat.

We also love the tricot backer, which adds some comfort. And the name “Environ” represents the Jackson Hole-based brand’s recommitment to best environmental practices while making this jacket and other products. Simply put, if you’re looking for an upgrade to your all-mountain shell, this is it. Or, as one of our testers put it: “It’s bad-ass, man!”

Price at time of publication: $395

Sizes: XS to XXXL | Materials: 100 percent Recycled Polyester 150 Denier Face Fabric | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: PeakProof Membrane 20,000mm Waterproofness, 10,000 g/m2/24hrs Breathability, 20 Denier Tricot Backer, 194 g/m2, 80/20 DWR Finish | Sustainability: Recycled materials

Best for Breathability

Trew Capow Jacket



What We Like
  • An incredible breathability rating

  • Excellent pocket placement for organization

  • Good room for layering

What We Don't Like
  • We'd like a microfleece lining at the collar

Trew Gear designed the Capow Jacket with the help of professional skiers, and we’d have to say that input helped them nail a super-quality skiing shell. But what stands out most about this jacket is its insane breathability rating of 45K. You won’t find a rating nearly that high on any other jacket on this list. And that’s while maintaining a solid 20K waterproof rating.

Besides that, we love how excellent this jacket is for layering, allowing plenty of room underneath to truly find your precise layering system. And there is good pocket placement throughout the jacket to store your gear, leading one of our testers to call it one of the best lift-service shells he’s worn. Our one nitpick is we’d like to see some sort of microfleece at the collar, like what the REI Co-op First Chair GTX jacket has. 

Price at time of publication: $167

Sizes: S to XXL | Materials: Dermizax EV Laminate + Lightweight Stretch PU Laminate | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: 20,000mm Waterproofing / 45,000 g/m²/24 hr Breathability | Sustainability: N/A

Trew Gear Capow Jacket

TripSavvy / Carolyn Malcoun

Best Range of Motion

Trew Men's Cosmic PRIMO

Trew Men's Cosmic PRIMO


What We Like
  • Sturdy materials

  • Oversized pockets are excellent for stashing gloves, goggles, and other larger items

  • Excellent range of motion

What We Don't Like
  • Tough to adjust the hood while wearing gloves

Besides the ability to customize you’re layering, an excellent hardshell can serve as an ideal outerlayer while maintaining a large range of motion. (Instead of overly insulated shells that can leave you feeling like the Michelin man, a thin hardshell allows you to maintain more flexibility.) Enter Trew’s Cosmic Jacket PRIMO, which we found incredibly flexible and easy to move in while maintaining its sturdy build and materials. 

Trew’s proprietary three-layer Primo Fabric, with fully recycled nylon, gives that stretch and range of motion. The bluesign-certified materials also feature 20K waterproofing and breathability. Large 16-inch armpit zippers help make this jacket ideal for inbounds lift skiing or the uphill skin track. We also really dig the oversized pockets, which we found convenient for stashing larger items like gloves and goggles. 

Price at time of publication: $479

Sizes: XS to XXL | Materials: PNW 3L Primo Fabric woven with 100 percent recycled nylon | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: 20,000mm Waterproofing | Sustainability: Bluesign-certified materials

Best Hybrid

Flylow Gear Men's Malone Jacket



What We Like
  • Room for baselayers without restricted movement

  • Very versatile

  • Good fit and style

What We Don't Like
  • Nothing yet

Denver-based Flylow calls the Malone Jacket its “do-it-all” ski jacket, and we’d have to agree. Unique to this jacket, it features a recycled three-layer softshell material instead of a traditional hardshell. This helps create an extra-stretchy, breathable jacket that works well on backcountry tours. But the 20K waterproofing and breathability rating also helps this jacket withstand stormy conditions.

We also love that this jacket has an ideal fit to feel tailored without being overly tight. We could still layer as necessary without losing any range of motion, making it an ideal jacket for more physical pursuits like uphill skiing for backcountry turns. This jacket has all the features you’d expect in a top-shelf ski jacket, like five pockets (three outside and two internal), a helmet-compatible hood, a removable powder skirt, and a ski pass-specific pocket.

Price at time of publication: $400

Sizes: S to XXL | Materials: Recycled Tactic 3-layer softshell fabric | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: 20k/20k waterproof/breathable membrane with DWR | Sustainability: Bluesign-certified and recycled materials

Flylow Malone Jacket

TripSavvy / Frank Corona

Best for Sustainability

Picture Organic Track Jacket



What We Like
  • Top planet-friendly practices like biosourced materials and PFC-free waterproofing

  • Perfect fit with plenty of room for a down midlayer on extra cold days

  • Excellent value

What We Don't Like
  • Nothing yet

We’re excited and grateful that most jackets on this list hit sustainability standards and planet-friendly practices, continuing to push a traditionally bad industry for our planet to a more sustainable and thoughtful future. But Picture Organic has focused on sustainability from the get-go, and its Track Jacket is a prime example of that ethos.

The Track Jacket specifically features primarily bio-sourced materials from sugarcane and rounds it out with recycled materials and PFC-free DWR treatment, giving a 20K/20K waterproofing and breathability. While there is no insulation, a moisture-wicking lining does help with temperature regulation, as do the armpit zippers. We were also impressed by this jacket’s bounty of pockets.

We think this jacket is well worth its cost. As one tester put it: “This jacket shows me you can still have it all without compromises, at a reasonable price.”

Price at time of publication: $335

Sizes: S to XXL | Materials: Recycled Tactic 3-layer softshell fabric | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: 20k/20k waterproof/breathable membrane with DWR | Sustainability: Bluesign-certified and recycled materials

Best Resort

Backcountry Men's Cottonwoods GORE-TEX Jacket

Backcountry Men's Cottonwoods GORE-TEX Jacket


What We Like
  • Very rugged and durable jacket

  • Plenty of venting options

  • Good waterproofing

What We Don't Like
  • Not exactly breathable, but that’s less important inbounds

Looking for a rugged jacket for all your resort skiing at a good value? Behold the Backcountry Cottonwoods Gore-Tex Jacket. Backcountry’s house brand calls this its toughest ski jacket to date, and we’d have to agree. We found this jacket very durable and waterproof. Backcountry updated the fit and comfort of this jacket, and besides feeling like the sleeves were a tad short, again, we agree the fit and comfort were spot-on.

The Gore-Tex fabric really helps boost that durability and waterproofness. This jacket also has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a suitable ski jacket, including an adjustable hood and cuffs, a powder skirt, loads of pockets, and a good range of motion. Because of its durability, we see this as the ideal jacket for the skier getting out 50 or more days a year or once that loves skiing tight trees as we think it’ll hold up to clipped branches.

Price at time of publication: $399

Sizes: S to XXL | Materials: 100 percent nylon, 100 percent polyester tricot | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: Gore-Tex (3-layer) with C6 DWR treatment | Sustainability: Bluesign-certified materials

Backcountry Cottonwoods Gore-Tex Jacket

TripSavvy / Danielle Yersin

Best Insulated

Sync Men's Shelter Insulated Ski Parka



What We Like
  • Athletic design and fit

  • Soft interior with tough exterior

  • Incredibly warm

What We Don't Like
  • We'd like to see a ski pass pocket on the sleeve

We recommend a ski parka or insulated jacket for anyone skiing in extra-cold conditions or who gets cold easily. Our favorite in Sync's Shelter Insulated Ski Parka. This jacket is packed with Primaloft Down Blend Insulation, wrapped in a highly abrasion-resistant recycled nylon material with four-way stretch and a 20K DWR treatment. We love how soft the jacket's interior is while the exterior maintains some toughness. 

"The jacket is super comfortable to wear on chilly days, especially on race days when I'm standing on the side of the course for hours," our tester, who is also a ski race coach, said. "I help set up and take down gates for courses, and this jacket has never torn or shown any signs of wear and tear after hauling gates on my shoulder. The jacket is ideal for those who get really cold while skiing because it's designed for sub-zero temps."

Price at time of publication: $599

Sizes: XS to XXL | Materials: Highly Abrasion Resistant Recycled Nylon, 4-way stretch | Insulation: Primaloft Down Blend Insulation | Waterproofing: 20k/20k waterproof breathable, DWR 2 Layer | Sustainability: Recycled materials

Sync Men’s Shelter Insulated Ski Parka

TripSavvy / Anna Popp

Best for the Sidecountry

Strafe Nomad 3L Shell Jacket



What We Like
  • Good breathability and excellent waterproofing

  • Convenient pockets

  • Four-way stretch boosts the range of mobility

What We Don't Like
  • Zippers are a little stiff to pull

Chasing sidecountry powder stashes? We recommend Strafe’s Nomad 3L Shell Jacket. This jacket features four-way stretch nylon face fabric and a three-layer waterproof construction with a DWR finish, making it highly waterproof. But we also found it surprisingly breathable for its maximum weatherproofing. There’s no insulation, but we enjoyed the polyester tricot backer, which improved comfort.

Simply put: This is an excellent all-mountain jacket that will hold up in storms, deep powder, and backcountry turns.

Price at time of publication: $629

Sizes: S to XXL | Materials: eVent DV Flex, 100 percent nylon face, 100 percent polyester tricot backer | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: DWR treatment, 0.1 CFM, 115 g/m2, 40D/40D | Sustainability: Recycled materials

 Strafe Nomad 3L Shell Jacket

TripSavvy / Ellie Storck

Bes Splurge

Arc'teryx Men's Sabre Jacket



What We Like
  • A thoughtfully designed jacket with convenient pockets and features

  • Our tester thought it could withstand hurricane-force winds

  • Excellent durability

What We Don't Like
  • The chest pocket was a tad awkward to reach

Let’s just get this out of the way from the get-go. Yes, this is a $700 jacket. Yes, that’s kind of ridiculous. But if that’s within your budget. Or you’re a very frequent skier that skis deep powder or in gnarly storm conditions (we’re looking at you, Pacific Northwest), this jacket is probably worth the investment. We were blown away by just how rugged and weatherproof this jacket actually is, thanks to some burly Gore-Tex and three-layer construction.

Price at time of publication: $700

Sizes: XS to XXL | Materials: N80p-X Gore-Tex Fabric with 3L lo-loft soft shell construction | Insulation: None | Waterproofing: Gore-Tex | Sustainability: Bluesign-approved materials

Other Jackets We Tested

Helly Hansen Men’s Odin Infinity Insulated Shell Jacket: This jacket scored really well in our testing. But the lack of a powder skirt kept it out of making our top overall list above.

Black Diamond Men’s Dawn Patrol Hybrid Shell: There’s much to like about the Dawn Patrol jacket from Black Diamond. But no exterior pockets or powder skirt kept it from making our top overall list above.

Spyder All-Out Anorak Jacket: We had some issues with the waterproofing on this jacket, which ultimately kept it off our list.

686 Men’s Gore-Tex Core Shell Jacket: There was a lot to like about this jacket. We just didn’t see a fit for it in our overall list. But it scored well across most of our categories.

How We Selected

We selected ski jackets to test based on our own knowledge of ski jackets and brands and internet research. Many editors and writers associated with TripSavvy are frequent skiers and have plenty of experience with ski outerwear. We relied on their knowledge to pick jackets and brands for testing. We also looked at what other prominent sites recently featured and ski jackets with high reviews on sites like REI and Backcountry. Once we had an initial list, we narrowed it to 17 ski jackets to test in consideration for this roundup.

How We Tested

Once we selected the 17 jackets to test, we sent them out to testers across the country. The testers varied in ability level from beginners to experts. And they live in and took the jackets to ski resorts and the backcountry from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest. Dozens of days were skied in each jacket.

Testers rated each jacket on a five-point scale for the following attributes: durability, comfort, design, warmth, weatherproofing, and overall value. We averaged those scores for an overall score on a five-point scale to determine the best jackets.

What to Look for in a Men’s Ski Jacket


A ski jacket is the outerlayer for your upper body while skiing. So it has to have some form of waterproofing since you'll at least likely be touching snow on the ground. There's also always the possibility of skiing in stormy conditions, which is more likely the more frequently you ski. But what sort of waterproofing should you look for? That depends on how often and where you ski.

As Charlie Berg, a senior product manager at Outdoor Research, points out, waterproofing is often described by units in the thousands (20,000) or with a "K" (20K). Generally, for snow sports, the range of waterproofing starts at 5K and goes up to 20K, and sometimes (but rarely) more. 

"So in terms of how much weather protection and water protection someone needs, if they're looking at that scale, 5K if they are someone who skis on fair-weather days, they aren't going out and skiing when it's snowing, they like to ski in the sun," Berg explains. "If you ski in places like Colorado where it's snowy but not that wet, 10K is fine. If you like to ski on super stormy days like powder days, maybe you even like to ski when it's occasionally raining, you want to be in 20K Gore-Tex."

It should be noted that some brands also utilize their own proprietary waterproofing, so even if it's not Gore-Tex, a 20K rating should suffice for most weather, you'll experience.

Stretch and Fit

After ensuring you have a fully weatherproof jacket, you'll also want to consider stretch and fit. While skiing is a leg-focused activity, you do move your upper body some. So stretch is something to consider, especially if you also plan on skiing uphill for backcountry turns. Look for materials that have four-way stretch if you're really looking for stretchiness in a ski jacket.

In terms of fit, Berg says to look for fits that will be generous enough to layer underneath because temperatures and conditions can fluctuate wildly during a day on the mountain. You want enough room to potentially put multiple layers, including an insulated jacket underneath. 

"A ski jacket really is kind of the outer layer of a clothing system, and for many people, it's the one piece of the system that is going to always be there, and then you're gonna change what's underneath it depending on the temperature," Berg explains. "So having that fit for layer-ability is really important. Then in terms of features, you got to have a functional adjustable hood."

Adjustable Hoods, Pockets, and Other Features

You'll also want to consider pockets, adjustable hoods, and other features. "In terms of pockets, you're gonna have all sorts of stuff with you when you're skiing, from your phone to some snacks to your wallet, your keys," Berg says. "You don't want to lose your keys, lose your wallet. So you got to have good pockets to put all your stuff in." Berg says to look for plenty of pockets and different-sized pockets but also clips for your keys, an easily accessible pocket, and a ski pass pocket on the sleeve. 

Other features we appreciate in a ski jacket include adjustable hoods that are helmet-compatible, a powder skirt, adjustable cuffs to keep snow from going up your sleeves, two-way zippers, armpit zippers, and wrist gaiters.


Skiing is expensive. From the cost of lift tickets and season passes to your actual skis, poles, and boots to the outerwear. Even baselayers and socks can be expensive. That said, your jacket is your outer-most layer of protection, and if you’re going to splurge somewhere, we suggest the ski jacket being that area. Most quality ski jackets will from $150 up to $700, but spending between $300 to $400 will likely get you a solid jacket with all the features we listed above and will last for a while. As one of our testers pointed out during our testing, spending up will likely prevent you from buying a cheaper new jacket every season or two.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Can I use a regular winter jacket as a ski jacket or vice versa?

    A ski jacket can also be used as a winter jacket, but we wouldn’t recommend using a normal winter jacket as a ski jacket. Ski jackets have technical materials and features specific to skiing, like waterproofing, breathability, and stretch. You’ll definitely want those in a ski jacket.

  • Should I purchase an insulated or non-insulated jacket?

    This depends on you, your personal comfort, how cold or warm you typically get, and the conditions in which you’ll be skiing. “Not everybody needs insulation, some people like non-insulated jackets where you just depend on your underlayers for insulation,” Outdoor Research’s Charlie Berg says.

    Another way of thinking about it is how much do you want to personalize your underlayers? If a lot, opt for the shell. But if you run cold or ski in very frigid temperatures or don’t want to think as much about your layering, opt for an insulated jacket. Berg says most ski jackets will have insulation from 60 to 100 grams, with 100 grams of insulation being the warmest.

  • How do I wash and care for my ski jacket?

    Always check the instructions on your ski jacket. If your ski jacket does not have any instructions, check the brand’s website. A general rule of thumb is to wash on a gentle cycle using cold water and an outdoors-focused detergent like Nikwax.

Why Trust Tripsavvy

Nathan Allen is TripSavvy’s Outdoor Gear Editor. He grew up in the Midwest but skied at least five days every year until his mid-20s when he moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Nathan skied more than 100 days each winter he lived in Steamboat. He usually skis in jackets from Patagonia, Outdoor Research, and Mountain Hardwear. While researching men's ski jackets, we spoke with Charlie Berg, a senior product manager at Outdoor Research.

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