We Tested the Best Men's Ski Jackets That Provide Long-Lasting Warmth

Our picks for optimum performance and warmth on- and off-piste

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Ski jackets provide the first line of defense between you and winter weather on the slopes. Depending on where you ski and how you ski, your jacket preferences may vary substantially.

Backcountry skiers and warm-weather shredders will value breathability the most, while a Northeastern ski racer may prioritize insulation and weatherproofing over anything else. Quality ski jackets don’t come cheap, but we’ve presented our picks in a range of styles and for a range of different budgets to make sure you can find a jacket that fits you.

Here are the best men's ski jackets of the 2021-2022 season.

Best Overall: Trew Cosmic Jacket

Trew Cosmic Jacket


What We Like
  • Balanced waterproofing and breathability

  • Relaxed fit

What We Don't Like
  • Requires layering on cold days

Backcountry- and ski-first brand Trew made the Cosmic Jacket to hold up in the Pacific Northwest’s famously wet conditions and still breathe, whether riding the lifts or sweating it out in the backcountry. Their proprietary PNW 3L membrane is paired with a durable nylon face fabric that blocks wind without feeling too stiff. It provides enough breathability for the occasional sidecountry hike or climb up the skin track. Simply put: This is not some lightweight touring shell that sacrifices durability and waterproofing for breathability.

Trew reports a lab-tested 20K/20K waterproof/breathability rating for their PNW 3L, but these aren’t numbers in a vacuum. Their team developed (with a Japanese textile company) and then tested fabric and membrane combos in the field for a decade before landing on the mix found in the Cosmic. The nylon face fabric used is meant to be so tightly woven that it still retains water-shedding abilities after use and abuse destroys the DWR coating. You can read more about their development process here.

Material: 3L PNW | Insulation: None | Fit: Relaxed

Tested by TripSavvy

I should note upfront that I’m biased toward a more relaxed, freeride fit, so I immediately loved the roomier body and longer cut of the Cosmic which was comparable to some of my other favorite jackets such as Burton’s Swash AK Jacket which has a more traditional snowboarding fit and allows more freedom of movement. Still, the Cosmic isn’t too steezy and the body stays fairly fitted down to its hip length so it provides freedom where you want it without looking sloppy.

It’s a serious technical shell first and foremost. On an early-season rain and sleet day inside the resort, I had zero worries about feeling the precipitation (besides when I had to wipe it off my goggles). The rest of the offerings outside of the weather protection are tried and true features of the genre such as hand pockets, chest pockets, a wrist pass pocket, large pit zips, and sealed seams. My only gripe is with the elastic in the wrist cuffs. I prefer a wide-mouth sleeve that easily slides over gloves and clamps down with Velcro only. — Justin Park, Product Tester

Best Value: Stoic Anorak Pullover Ski Jacket

Stoic Shell Anorak - Men's


What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Comfortable & stylish

What We Don't Like
  • Lower-end waterproofing and breathability

There’s nothing worse than a budget-conscious ski jacket that looks like what it is. This Anorak from Stoic (retailer Backcountry’s budget-conscious in-house line) actually looks cool and provides decent waterproofing and breathability for the price point. It’s also supremely comfortable and has a relaxed fit which permits the necessary layering when temperatures drop.

It has the standard features such as a wrist pass pocket and helmet-ready hood but offers some nice surprises like half-zips on the sides to pair with pit zips and a neck half-zip for warm days. It’s also supremely comfortable as the flexible outer fabric is paired with a silky inner liner, keeping it from bunching. It also feels good even in short sleeves or a thin base layer.

Material: 2-layer polyester | Insulation: None | Fit: Relaxed

Best High-End: Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Jacket

NorronaLofoten GORE-TEX Pro Jacket


What We Like
  • Durable

  • Top-end waterproofing and breathability

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

This technical shell from Norwegian outerwear company Norrona laughs at weather thanks to Gore-Tex Pro, the recently reimagined membrane from Gore-Tex. The latest Gore-Tex Pro is still a breathable membrane sandwiched between two fabrics that maximize durability. But it also incorporates more flexible materials to offer increased stretch compared to older versions which were often rigid and uncomfortable. 

The Lofoten shell isn’t loaded with lots of features for the sake of features, though it does offer a tethered goggle wipe and a dedicated phone pocket. What really jumps out as unique here are the angled cuffs at the wrist and the oversized pit zips plus a large chest vent that nearly runs the length of the jacket. This helps make the shell work in the backcountry where overheating is a real concern. It’s also notable that there are no traditional front waist pockets, only chest pockets. Note that if you’re used to North American ski jacket sizing, you may want to size up as these are more European size standards.

Material: 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro | Insulation: None | Fit: Slim, European sizing

Best 3-in-1: Marmot KT Component 3-in-1 Ski Jacket

Marmot KT Component 3-in-1 Ski Jacket


What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Incredibly warm

What We Don't Like
  • Perhaps too warm for backcountry skiing

Layering is the savvy strategy for anyone skiing in a variety of temperatures and seasons because you can add or remove layers as needed to get the right mix. A 3-in-1 jacket such as Marmot’s KT Component offers the benefits of layering in a single garment rather than a system you have to assemble yourself. You can wear the outer and inner jackets on their own or combine them for the third option, hence “3-in-1." It also has the benefit of being designed to fit together and the KT Component clips at the wrists and zippers for a secure union.

Material: Gore-Tex 2L | Insulation: 80g Marmot Thermal R | Fit: Regular, maybe size up

Tested by TripSavvy

For less than the cost of most higher-end shells, Marmot gives you two jackets and I found the KT Component to be a versatile, all-around ski jacket option. The inner jacket is a non-hooded, lightweight puffy-style quilted jacket that provides 80 grams of Marmot’s proprietary synthetic Thermal R insulation. That rests inside a Pertex Quantum face fabric that’s silky to the touch but blocks wind if worn without the shell. I’d be unlikely to wear the inner jacket on its own skiing, but it makes a nice around-town layer for shoulder seasons.

The shell is Gore-Tex 2L so it’s softer and more flexible than most 3L technical shells but doesn’t feel flimsy. Even on its own, the shell is a bit warm for the exertion of backcountry touring, except on the coldest days. Combined, the jacket combo is really warm for those frigid midwinter days and I actually found it to be way too warm for my early season testing days in 40+ degree F temps. Eighty grams of insulation is a lot, but luckily it can be removed when you don’t need it. I’m six-foot and 205 pounds and often fall between large and extra-large and found the XL fit perfectly, so you may want to size up. — Justin Park, Product Tester

Best for Backcountry Skiing: Trew Capow Jacket

Trew Capow Jacket


What We Like
  • Maximum breathability for a shell

What We Don't Like
  • None

Trew's Pacific Northwest roots has made waterproofing paramount. They’ve paired that with a backcountry-first ethos epitomized in their backcountry-first jacket, the Capow. The Capow looks much like any other 3L technical shell, but the ludicrously breathable material sets it apart.

Trew reports a lab-tested 45gr/m2 breathability rating that is top-of-the-class and a 20K waterproof rating, which is plenty for skiing. The shoulders, sleeves, hem, and hood all use a fabric based on Toray’s Dermizax EV membrane while the body fabric is more flexible with a comparable membrane. At around 20 ounces, it’s not the lightest touring shell you can buy, but it’s the lightest one I’d feel comfortable wearing year-round.

Material: Dermizax EV | Insulation: None | Fit: Loose, long

Tested by TripSavvy

I was able to test the Capow jacket (I’ve used the equally impressive Capow bibs for the past year) for early-season resort and touring days with daytime temps ranging from the 20s to high 40s degrees F. The Capow is one of the few touring shells I’ve worn that still feels rugged and protective enough to wear on howling subzero days (with layers underneath, of course). If temps were low enough and conditions savage enough, I might still reach for a less-breathable, more protective resort shell, but the point is that with the Capow, Trew hasn’t sacrificed weatherproofing at the altar of breathability. If all I cared about was breathability, I’d wear cheesecloth.

The fit is described as loose, but I found the sleeves slim and thankfully longish. The little below the hip length might be considered “freeride” but is certainly a slimmer, more fitted cut than many snowboarding jackets. Luckily, the fabric is still very flexible, especially for a 3L jacket, so my movement never felt restricted. My only caution here would be that if you ski more resort than backcountry and want one jacket for both, consider going with the Cosmic Jacket, our Best Overall pick, which sacrifices a little breathability but offers a more substantial jacket that’s still light and breathable enough for most winter touring days. — Justin Park, Product Tester

Best for Warm Weather: Voormi An/Fo Jacket

Voormi An/Fo Jacket


What We Like
  • Breathable fabric

  • Unique look

What We Don't Like
  • Missing some ski-specific features such as Velcro cuffs

If you’re lucky enough to still be skiing when spring rolls around, prepare for a wardrobe change. The higher sun angle and longer days in spring heat up the slopes quickly and you rarely want to be wearing the same insulated layers you were rocking in January. High-tech wool outerwear company Voormi delivers a one-of-a-kind breathable technical shell-style jacket that’s warm enough and weatherproof enough to block wind and keep you warm early in the morning, but isn’t insulated and breathes well. 

The Surface-Hardened Woven Wool blends fine wool fibers with nylon and a DWR coating for a weather-shucking fabric that’s not your father’s wool outerwear. If you’re not keen on buying a jacket just for spring skiing, you’re in luck. The An/Fo is rugged enough to double as an outdoor work jacket and stylish enough to wear around town.

Material: Surface-Hardened Woven Wool | Insulation: None | Fit: Fitted, waist length

Best Eco-Friendly: The North Face Dragline Jacket

The North Face Dragline Jacket


What We Like
  • Eco-friendly materials

  • Unique waxed canvas look

What We Don't Like
  • A bit heavy for backcountry use

While some outerwear companies such as Patagonia and Picture have built an identity around fair trade practices and eco-friendly manufacturing, it’s great to see industry giant The North Face making strides in that direction as well. Their new 2022 Dragline Jacket uses castor oil to replace some of the petroleum-based synthetics commonly used in the membrane as part of their proprietary BioBase 3L Membrane, which lies in the middle of a waterproof-yet-breathable and durable shell. The face fabric is 100 percent recycled polyester and the finished product has a unique waxed canvas look and feel that’s finished with a PFC-free DWR coating.

The jacket is also refreshingly rugged, using 75D and 160D face fabrics that are stiffer than the current trend toward more flexible, soft fabrics. I wouldn’t recommend trying, but it feels like you could air through a thicket of pine branches in the Dragline and it’d come out no worse for wear. TNF lists this as a “standard fit” but I found it roomy without feeling oversized, a quality I value in ski jackets.

Material: DryVent BioBase 3L with recycled polyester | Insulation: None | Fit: Roomy, hip length

Best Insulated: Dakine Men's Reach Insulated 20K Jacket

Dakine Reach 20K Jacket


What We Like
  • Eco-friendly materials

  • Insulated but breathable

What We Don't Like
  • Too warm for hot days or touring

Layering under a shell is a great strategy for maximum flexibility for all-season skiing and riding, but layers never wear as well as a ski jacket with built-in insulation like the Dakine Reach. The Reach packs in a very reasonable 60 grams of Thermogreen insulation made from recycled plastic water bottles, so it retains an impressive 20,000-gram breathability rating, which is a feat for an insulated jacket. It’s also on the high end of waterproofing thanks to a 20,000 millimeter-rated membrane and DWR coated polyester face fabric.

Material: 2L polyester twill face fabric | Insulation: 60g Thermore ECODOWN-FE 60 HL | Fit: Regular, hip length

Tested by TripSavvy

The jacket is soft and comfortable on the inside and not too stiff on the outside for an experience that’s closer to slipping on a sweatshirt, with its relaxed but not baggy fit. Serious three-layer shells may be effective, but they usually prioritize performance over comfort, while the Dakine Reach manages both. I tested the Reach on warm, early-season days with a single base layer underneath and definitely needed to make use of the pit zips when I got my body temperature up. 

While I never felt like I was overheating, this isn’t a jacket I’d ever wear backcountry and I think it’d be too much for really warm late spring days. That said, if you mostly ski cold, midwinter conditions at the resort, I doubt you’ll overheat too often in the Reach. If you have the luxury of more than one ski jacket, I could see pairing the reach with a lighter, uninsulated layer for the warmest days of the year. Aside from Norrøna’s lyngen which is basically a plush-down jacket, this was the most comfortable jacket I tested. — Justin Park, Product Tester

Most Weatherproof: Backcountry Cardiac Gore-Tex Pro Jacket

Backcountry Cardiac Gore-Tex Pro Jacket


What We Like
  • Eco-friendly materials

  • Insulated but breathable

What We Don't Like
  • Too warm for hot days or touring

When you buy house-brand tomato sauce at the grocery store, it’s usually the cheap stuff. The Cardiac jacket is part of outdoor mega-retailer Backcountry’s in-house line and it actually uses the top-end Gore-Tex Pro 3L, though the price tag is thankfully a little lower than most jackets in this category. This is a classic 3L shell meant to be layered under as-needed and while it’s stiff, it uses a mix of the newly reissued Gore-Tex Pro fabrics to provide stretch in key areas.

I spoke with Christy Haywood, applications engineer with L.W. Gore, maker of Gore-Tex, who explained that Gore-Tex Pro, “is our most durable Gore-Tex fabric—very abrasion resistant face fabrics that withstand many uses of wear in ski conditions, abrasion resistance to packs and carrying skis. Many of the fabrics in Gore-Tex Pro are designed for very wet and snowy conditions.” She also said the DWR treatments and fabrics used ensure that snow sluffs off the jacket rather than sticks to it, especially on powder days.

Material: Gore-Tex Pro, Gore-Tex Pro Stretch | Insulation: None | Fit: Slim, hip length

Tested by TripSavvy

I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the Cardiac felt to the touch. The exterior face fabric is stiffer than less serious jackets, but it’s fairly soft and flexible compared to previous generations of jackets made with Gore-Tex Pro. That's especially true in the body and forearms where they used the Stretch version of Gore-Tex Pro paired with a ripstop nylon face fabric. The jacket feels built to withstand the alpine and the neck area has is reinforced where the zipper comes to your chin. It took me a few runs to get used to it but it seems designed to stay stiff against strong winds and has partial zippers aside the main zipper that open to vent your breath and avoid fogging your goggles.

I found the fit regular to slim and while there’s plenty of room for layers underneath, it’s fairly fitted in the body. I tested a large and while it fit well by street clothes standards, I’d probably recommend sizing up if you’re between sizes. I personally prefer a looser fit overall for ski jackets so my movement isn’t restricted and the sleeves of the Cardiac felt short if I moved my arms around which often pulled the jacket’s Velcro cuffs off my gloves. — Justin Park, Product Tester

Best for Casual Wear: Helly Hansen Bardu Bomber Jacket

Helly Hansen Bardu Bomber Jacket


What We Like
  • Very warm

  • Can be worn off-piste

What We Don't Like
  • No ski specific features

If you hate the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on a ski jacket that you’ll only wear a few days a year, Helly Hansen offers the Dubliner Parka that still has Helly Tech waterproof and breathable protection, but has a cut and style that doesn’t look too sporty for city streets. With 100 grams of PrimaLoft synthetic down insulation and a removable faux fur-lined hood, you’re at no risk of getting cold on the slopes or around town.

While it’s a bomber, it’s closer to hip length and features an elastic waist and cuffs which is good for keeping cold and snow out while skiing in lieu of a Velcro cuff and a powder skirt. The colors are fairly muted earth tones as well unless you go for the mustard yellow, and so makes the Bardu Bomber feel less like a ski jacket than the bright, high contrast colors in many ski jackets this year.

Material: Polyamide face fabric | Insulation: 100g Primaloft | Fit: Hip length

Best for Extreme Cold: Spyder Jackson Insulated Ski Jacket

Spyder Jackson Insulated Jacket
Spyder Jackson Insulated Jacket.
What We Like
  • Extremely warm

What We Don't Like
  • Too toasty for full exertion on normal to warm days

Boulder-based Spyder is one of the few companies that delivers a skiable puffy with serious warmth built-in. The removable hood Jackson jacket has a race-style fit and packs an extreme 200 grams of PrimaLoft Black RISE insulation in behind a 2L Gore-Tex outer layer that helps it stand apart from flimsy, light puffy down jackets not built to withstand brushes with trees or race gates.

Material: Gore-Tex Infinium | Insulation: 200g PrimaLoft Black RISE | Fit: Regular, waist length

Tested by TripSavvy

I waited for the coldest day I could expect in early winter to test this jacket because wearing it while exerting yourself is an absolute inferno of warmth. This is a jacket that dedicated skiers want to keep on hand for the days they consider staying home because it’s gotten below zero and there’s high wind, to boot. If you’re a racer, coach, or work on a mountain, it’s also a great layer to throw on when you find yourself standing around and don’t have the exertions of skiing to pump your circulation and heat you up.

The Gore-Tex Infinium is a less waterproof membrane than some of the other Gore-Tex options, but this is a smart swap because it trades some comfort for that drop in weatherproofing and, let’s face it, if it’s cold enough to need this jacket, the snow that’s falling on you isn’t going to be wet. If you’re worried about only using it on the coldest days, I found the jacket’s style plenty appropriate for staying warm while walking the streets of a mountain town. — Justin Park, Product Tester

Final Verdict

For most skiers, the Trew Cosmic (view at Trew) is going to be a great all-around shell that’s built to last for seasons of heavy use. If you ski in especially frigid conditions or prefer not to buy separate layers to go under a shell, the Dakine Reach (view at Dakine) is a great all-around insulated jacket that is still plenty breathable for warmer days and can be layered underneath. If you’re shaking your head at the cost of all these options, look at the Stoic Anorak (view at Backcountry) for a reasonably priced jacket that still delivers weather-proofing and is roomy enough to layer under when needed.

What to Look for in a Men’s Ski Jacket


Weatherproofing is probably the number one factor contributing to the high cost of your ski jacket. The technical fabric used to keep water and wind out while letting your body heat and vapor escape isn’t cheap to produce and is essential to creating a jacket you’ll actually want to wear skiing.

Moisture exacerbates the cold and can be deadly in the wrong situation, so you need to keep moisture away from your body and your baselayers by keeping outside moisture where it belongs. But you also want to make sure your body’s moisture can escape so it doesn’t dampen your inner layers.

Ski jackets usually achieve these effects in a few different ways. First, the face fabric is usually treated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent) which is what causes water to bead up and roll off. Then a high-tech membrane such as Gore-Tex is employed on the backside of the face fabric and it allows mostly one-way traffic of moisture out but not in.

Christy Haywood, an applications engineer at L.W. Gore, cautions that not all membranes are created equal. “Some membranes are only waterproof to low pressures and will leak when you put some weight on them like sitting on a cold or wet ski lift or kneeling in the snow after a fall. Wet clothing will cause you to lose 20 times more heat than dry clothing, so it is important to keep all of your layers dry,” she explains.

Gore-Tex is the most well-known brand name in the space but plenty of jacket manufacturers create their own proprietary technologies. And there are now many other companies creating the technical fabrics used in ski jackets. While waterproofing and breathability ratings aren’t the last word on a garment’s performance, they can be a useful marker of how effective they are. Look for ratings of at least 10,000, or 10K, for both waterproofing and breathability as a starting point for a solid ski jacket.


I personally prefer a more relaxed fit in my ski jackets because I don’t like my outerwear restricting my movement while I’m skiing. Slimmer fitting jackets with sleeves that are at all short drive me especially crazy, since movement can often pull the wrist cuffs away from your gloves, letting cold air and snow in around the wrist. (This is less of an issue if you wear gauntlet-style gloves.)

Still, some skiers prefer a slimmer, more fitted garment and are okay relying on the flex of the fabric to permit movement. One advantage of a slimmer fit is less wind resistance. You’re also less likely to snag on chairlifts, trees, or your own poles.

I recommend a hip-length jacket as the “just right” length for skiing. A waist-length jacket is too short and can let snow and cold air in if it rides up even just a little above your pants’ waist. The hip-length provides some overlap on your waist without being so long it gets in your way. A jacket longer than hip-length can bind you as you squat down in an athletic ski position. This is less of an issue for snowboarders, so while I have owned many snowboard jackets over the years and worn them for skiing, be careful when looking at a snowboard-first brand and ensure the length doesn’t go much past your hip joint.

The best thing you can do to ensure a good fit is to visit your local ski shop and try on as many brands and models as you can. Even if you ultimately buy online, you can save yourself a lot of hassle by trying on jackets. Much like ski boots and clothing, everyone’s body is shaped differently and some jackets will just fit you better than others.


If you haven’t noticed, ski gear is expensive and jackets are no exception. Decent, waterproof jackets tend to start at around $200, though you can almost always get something for less. Higher quality technical jackets are going to retail closer to $400 and often much more though, again, jackets frequently come down from their list price.

If you’re struggling with the idea of coughing up that kind of dough, ask yourself how many jackets you need. Part of what you get with the high-dollar jackets is waterproofing and materials that last (and often are warrantied for life as well). If you don’t intend to drive your jacket into the ground, you can probably buy a lower-tier option and still get the lifespan you need out of it. 

Also, consider the amount of skiing you plan on doing and the weather you can expect for that skiing. If you’re a 50-day skier on the West Coast and are likely to ski in some rain or very wet snow, your jacket should be a much more serious level of waterproofing and breathability for which you’ll usually pay a premium. If you ski a few mostly cold midwinter days at high elevation in Colorado, your jacket just needs to be warm as you probably won’t encounter mixed precipitation and you can buy a cheaper jacket and still get many years of effective use out of it.

If you’re not confident you’ll get your money’s worth out of an expensive ski jacket, consider a crossover option. Something that you’d be able to wear as a winter coat in your everyday life, but that still is weatherproof and breathable enough to wear skiing. If your ski plans don’t materialize the way you thought they might, you still come away with a winter jacket.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What’s the difference between 2L and 3L?

    You’ll see many jackets' names include either 2L or 3L (2.5L exists but is less common in ski jackets). These labels refer to how the waterproof membrane is incorporated into the jacket and the difference is not very intuitive. 3L jackets are usually thinner and stiffer than 2L jackets which are generally softer and employed in insulated jackets.

    Haywood from Gore-Tex explains how she thinks about the two types of construction. “In my personal experience, I have found that 2L jackets are for skiers and riders who are very often cold and want a soft and thick jacket. 3L jackets are best for skiers that want to be able to adjust their clothing system depending on the temperature throughout the day, taking off or adding layers for warmth.”

    Since it can be hard to evaluate what a jacket is like from a product description, the 2L and 3L labels can be useful in determining the style of the jacket. In general, 3L jackets will be more durable, technical shells while 2L jackets are usually less expensive, softer, and frequently are paired with a liner or some insulation.

  • Insulated or not?

    Novice skiers often make the mistake of buying too much jacket. They think winter and snow, and remember that one time their feet were really cold skiing and then buy an expedition parka which they promptly fill with sweat on their first day skiing.

    The reality of skiing is much more complicated. At a resort, you may start off cold, especially on that first chairlift ride, but by the time you’ve finished your second run, you may be sweltering, especially if you’re wearing a heavily insulated, minimally breathable jacket. 

    Your experience level can also dictate your insulation levels. The struggles of the beginner can actually generate the most heat, as falling and getting up as a beginner demands much more effort than an expert smoothly navigating down. 

    Skiing style matters, too. Are you an aggressive skier that is panting in the lift line after every run? Or are you more casual, enjoying the experience of being in nature and getting down at a comfortable pace? Intermediates who ski a casual cadence are probably the best candidates for a more insulated jacket as they’re less likely to experience the wide temperatures swings of a beginner or aggressive expert. Be honest with yourself about your skiing style and you’ll be more likely to choose an appropriate jacket.

Why Trust Tripsavvy

Author Justin Park is a lifelong skier based in Breckenridge, Colorado. He’s worn nearly every major ski jacket brand at some point and currently prefers the Trew Capow for all but the coldest days. He likes the Spyder Jackson for the resort days where you feel like you can never get warm. For this article, he tested over a dozen ski jackets hands-on in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains to make his picks.

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