The 10 Best Women's Ski Jackets of 2021

Stay warm and comfortable on the slopes with these top picks

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Womens Ski Jackets

Tripsavvy / Chloe Jeong

The Rundown

Best Overall: Picture Seen at Backcountry

"This jacket has everything a skier needs."

Best Budget: Outdoor Research Snowcrew at Outdoor Research

"The quilted lining is cozy, and the longer cut keeps the snow and the cold out. "

Best for Layering: Montane Fireball Jacket at Montane

"The synthetic insulation kept me warm even if I got a little sweaty inside."

Best for Extreme Cold: Stio Shot 7 Down Jacket at Stio

"A zip-off pow skirt lets you add or subtract weather protection as the day progresses."

Best Splurge: Ortovox 3L Deep Shell Jacket at Ortovox

"Made for free-riders, and a single jacket suited for backcountry, frontcountry, and sidecountry, the 3L Deep Shell has a contoured fit that’s not binding."

Best Style: Spyder Women’s Falline GTX Infinium at Amazon

"Spyder’s designers had fun with this furry-hooded, 650-fill goose down and Gore-Tex jacket."

Best Active: Rab Khroma Cirque Jacket at Rab Equipment

"When you need full weather protection at the lightest possible weight, this is the jacket you want in your pack and on your back. "

Best Plus-Sized: Obermeyer Tuscany II at Backcountry

"Built from soft and supple fabrics, eco-conscious warm-when wet insulation."

Best for Backcountry: Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid at Backcountry

"Both hardshell and softshell are four-way stretch and double weave made to move and made to breathe."

Best Puffy: Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Parka at Backcountry

"This jacket has pockets of down insulation sewn into the stretch fabric."

Snowy adventures require the right gear. A great ski jacket will keep you warm and dry without making you sweaty. And it’ll keep the essentials like a pass, snacks, a phone, hand warmers, or extra gloves with you. 

Fit is as important as features when it comes to choosing a ski jacket. Buy one that leaves room for layers, moves with your body, and has the right warmth for the conditions where you ski.

“I like a ski jacket that’s longer cut because it’s no fun getting snow up your backside on a deep powder day,” says Louise Lintilhac, former Freeski World Tour participant. For Lintilhac, pocket placement is also key. Pockets should be accessible without taking your pack off so you can grab snacks or stash hand warmers or a dry neck gaiter. 

Jackson, Wyoming-based professional big mountain skier Caite Zeliff, who is best known for her back-to-back wins of the King and Queens of Corbet's competition and Warren Miller and Teton Gravity Research's film appearances says, “For me a jacket being waterproof and also breathable with freedom of movement is key. You want to be protected from the elements but not feel like you are in a spacesuit. For those backcountry days or sidecountry laps, having ventilation is nice.”

Zeliff also prefers a cut that covers her bum on storm days when the chairlifts are wet but the skiing is too good to stop to warm up or dry off. 

“Big pockets and clever pocket placement is also something I look for,” Zeliff says. “It’s nice to have space to put things like food, a phone, a goggle bag that doesn't overlap with where my beacon rests on my chest or my backpack straps come together.”

Lyndsay Strange, Olympic alpine ski coach and co-founder of Party Beach Ski Camps agrees pocket design is key. “Pockets need to be ergonomic so I can slip my hand in easily to access what I need,” Strange explains. “If a pocket is too big when you bend down to buckle boots, to ski, to sit on the lift, it's bulky and sticking into your stomach in an uncomfortable way.” Strange says jackets that are too form-fitting won’t be as warm, because there’s no space for layering. She’s also an advocate of glove-friendly zippers, and angled cuffs that lay shorter by the palm and longer on top.  “You can grip your ski poles better if the jacket isn't covering up your whole hand,” Strange points out.

Read on for our picks of the best women's ski jackets available.

Best Overall: Picture Seen

Picture Seen

Courtesy of Evo

What We Like
  • Commitment to minimizing impact

  • Steeze-factor

What We Don't Like
  • Limited sizing

  • Powder skirt doesn’t zip out

  • Chest pockets could be larger and placed lower

This jacket has everything a skier needs. It’s warm and weatherproof with just enough stretch. It’s comfortably cut and has some weight to it without being heavy. And it has all the right pockets to store phones, snacks, a pass, and other essentials. The cut is perfect—not too slim, not too freeride—and the longer back kept the snow out, my butt warm, and gave the jacket some attitude.

Honeycomb mesh panels along the back and at the waist wicked sweat. Combined with light body-mapped insulation, I never had cold spots. Fully-taped seams and waterproof zippers kept the weather out in a blizzard, and wrist gaiters sealed out snow and cold all the time. The sleeves mate perfectly with short cuff gloves. Fuzzy lining in the handwarmer pockets felt good and didn’t scratch sunglasses when I stored them. Combine all that with Picture’s fundamental commitment to reducing their impact and the highly competitive price makes it a package that is hard to beat.

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproofing: 20K/20K membrane | Insulation: light, body-mapped insulation | Fit: Straight | Climate Consciousness: This jacket is made from sugar, and just might be the biggest step forward we’ve seen in technical, sustainable outerwear, PFC-free DWR

Best Budget: Outdoor Research Snowcrew

Outdoor Research Snowcrew

Courtesy of Outdoor Research

What We Like
  • Wide range of sizes

  • Fuzzy handwarmer pockets

  • Sleeves that keep snow out

What We Don't Like
  • Plus sizes aren’t available until Fall/Winter 2022

  • Jacket pouches in the stomach 

Made for bell-to-bell resort laps, this insulated, resort-focused jacket uses super breathable and warm insulation that won’t pack out combined with stretchy waterproof fabric that’s buttery soft. Pit zips and a powder skirt make it ready for any weather. The powder skirt zips to the hem when it’s not in use. Knit cuffs keep warmth in and snow out. And on chilly days, the quilted lining was cozy. And the longer cut kept the snow and cold out. It’s a jacket that’s relaxed, not baggy, so if you hate binding clothing, this one’s for you.

Sizes: XS-XXXL | Waterproofing: Not listed | Insulation: 100 grams Vertical X Eco insulation | Fit: Relaxed | Climate Consciousness: fabric and insulation both use recycled content

Best for Layering: Montane Fireball Jacket

Montane Fireball Jacket

Courtesy of Montane

What We Like
  • Trim

  • Long cut

  • Extreme warmth

  • Locking zipper

What We Don't Like
  • No reinforcing in high wear areas

  • No internal pockets

On the East Coast, it can get so cold that I need a super warm or even a second mid-layer. The super breathable, highly warm synthetic Fireball is the one I reach for. Clo insulation combined with stretchy, tear-resistant nylon regulated my body heat, and the DWR-treated outer fabric repelled water when I got caught in a spring shower. The fabric is slippery without being shiny, so it was easy to slide under a shell.

The synthetic insulation kept me warm even with a little sweat. The hood is insulated too—perfect for blustery days. And the jacket is made for movement with articulated arms, and a locking YKK zipper. But the Fireball isn’t just a one-trick pony. I also wore this jacket in spring and fall for hiking, hanging around the campfire, mushroom hunting, and more. It performed well in all pursuits.

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproofing: N/A | Insulation: Clo Vivo Extreme Eco | Fit: Close-fitting | Climate Consciousness: 55% recycled insulation

Best for Extreme Cold: Stio Shot 7 Down Jacket

Stio Shot 7 Down Jacket

Courtesy of Sarah Niklas

What We Like
  • Playful print on the inside

  • Mesh covered pit zips kept out snow

What We Don't Like
  • Runs small

The coldest days are often the most beautiful. As good-looking as it is warm and dry, Stio’s Shot 7 helped me enjoy frigid days by wrapping me in light and lofty, responsibly sourced, water-repelling down under a Gore-Tex shell. The goose-down insulated hood slides over a helmet keeping out wind and cold. Underarm stretch-mesh venting and a zip-off pow skirt let you add or subtract weather protection as the day progresses. As did Velcro on the long-cut sleeves which paired seamlessly with the gauntlet and short-cut gloves.

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproofing: Gore-Tex 2L | Insulation: 800-fill Responsible Down Standard certified HyperDRY down | Fit: Medium Cut, but runs slightly small | Climate Consciousness: Stio became Climate Neutral certified in 2021 by offsetting carbon emissions 

Best Splurge: Ortovox 3L Deep Shell Jacket

Ortovox 3L Deep Shell Jacket

Courtesy of Backbone Media

What We Like
  • Merino lining

  • Phone pocket in the chest pocket

  • Ski pass pocket

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • No skin stuff pocket

Made for free-riders, and suited for backcountry, frontcountry, and sidecountry, the 3L Deep Shell has a contoured fit that’s not binding. The high collar and two-way adjustable storm hood kept the weather out riding lifts and ripping groomers, and in warmer weather and packed powder the snow skirt zips out. What’s most unique about this jacket is the wind and waterproof outer membrane is merino wool lined, which made this jacket cozy but not so warm I overheated. Two front pockets—one with a batter-preserving merino mesh integrated cell phone pocket—held snacks and other essentials. A two-way front zipper and pit zips let me vent when the day warmed up.

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproofing: Toray DERMIZAX EV high-performance membrane  | Insulation: Chin and chest merino wool inserts; merino backing on selected torso zones | Fit: Regular | Climate Consciousness: PFC-Free and Climate Neutral

Best Style: Spyder Women’s Falline GTX Infinium

Spyder Womens Falline GTX Infinium Down Jacket

Courtesy of Moosejaw

What We Like
  • Fun design details

  • Detachable fur and hood

What We Don't Like
  • Cut short

Spyder’s designers had fun with this furry-hooded, 650-fill goose down and GORE-Tex jacket. The full-length zippers down the sleeves aren’t just for show. They vent the jacket, give access to a pass pocket, and open up the cuffs to slip over gloves. Four-way stretch fabrics inside and out were ready for dynamic descents and apres-ski dance parties. Internal pockets held everything I needed. And while the fur was functional—it cut the wind when it was cold and blustery—it and the hood zip off. This short-cut jacket is best paired with bibs and bling.

Sizes: 2-14 | Waterproofing: Gore-Tex POW-POW | Insulation: 650-fill goose down, Gore Infinium | Fit: Fitted | Climate Consciousness: None

Best Active: Rab Khroma Cirque Jacket

Rab Khroma Cirque Jacket

Courtesy of Rab

What We Like
  • Packs to the size of a liter bottle

  • Year-round usable

  • Long pit zips

What We Don't Like
  • No skin pockets

  • Not as warm as other shells

When you need full weather protection at the lightest possible weight, this is the jacket you want in your pack and on your back. Gore Active is ultra-breathable and fully waterproof, and ready to handle the most athletic ski days on and off-piste. The fast and light jacket has two fully waterproof chest pockets for electronics and anything else that needs to stay dry, as well as an internal stretch pocket. The three-way adjustable hood has a wire brim that helped keep wind and snow off my face. It’s the best shell for spring skiing. I kept it stored in my pack at all times for emergencies and also used it as a raincoat in warmer temps.

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproofing: Gore Active | Insulation: N/A | Fit: Regular | Climate Consciousness: None

Best Plus-Sized: Obermeyer Tuscany II

Obermeyer Tuscany II

Courtesy of Obermeyer

What We Like
  • Comes in 15 colors

  • Available in sizes 0-22

  • Competitively priced

What We Don't Like
  • Cut short

  • No phone pocket

  • Pocket alligator scratched goggles

A jacket made to fit everyone, Obermeyer’s Tuscany II is built from soft and supple fabrics and eco-conscious warm-when-wet insulation. It boasts cold day comfort details like knit cuffs and fleece-lined pockets, and a microfiber-lined collar that were all as comfortable on the lift as on the slopes. The jacket is available in as many sizes as colors, but what made it the best plus-size jacket was that even as size went up, jacket proportions were spot on.

I wished there were a few more pockets—when I put my goggles in one, the alligator clip holding the goggle wipe scratched them, so I removed it. And I kept my phone in the handwarmer pockets because it didn’t have a dedicated spot. When it wasn’t windy, I detached the fur collar, and in packed powder, I snapped the power skirt out of the way or took it out.

Sizes: 0-22 in regular and petite | Waterproofing: N/A | Insulation: Repreve synthetic down | Fit: Regular | Climate Consciousness: Made with recycled plastic Repreve

Best for Backcountry: Black DIamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid

Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid Jacket
Black Diamond Dawn Patrol Hybrid Jacket. Black Diamond image.
What We Like
  • Highly breathable

  • Skin-compatible chest pockets

What We Don't Like
  • No self-stuffing pocket to keep the jacket compact when stored

Not every mission requires a fully waterproof shell. Get sweaty on the ascent and that sweat turns to ice when you stop moving. Black Diamond’s Dawn Patrol Hybrid gave me weather protection where I needed it, with a highly breathable softshell where I didn’t. Both hardshell and softshell are four-way stretch and double weave made to move and breathe. The chest, shoulders, and helmet-compatible hood use Black Diamond’s own waterproof and breathable membrane. The back and underarms are both softshell.

Hardshell and softshell are treated with Empel PFC-Free finish—an environmentally friendly DWR that won’t wear off. Pit zips provide further venting. So does the front dual zipper that has a mesh panel for airflow on the climb. The two chest pockets are harness-compatible and they also held my skins. My oversized phone tucked inside the front mesh pocket. Velcro cuffs sealed out whether. And for those who want it, there’s a wrist gaiter, too. 

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproofing: Empel PFC-Free finish | Insulation: N/A | Fit: Regular | Climate Consciousness: Water-free permanent DWR

Best Puffy: Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Parka

Mountain Hardwear Stretchdown Parka

Courtesy of Broudy/Donohue Photography

What We Like
  • Long cut

  • Warm

  • Two-way zippers

What We Don't Like
  • No waterproofing

  • No internal pockets

  • Down isn’t water repelling

If you’re in the market for a long and warm puffy jacket that you can also ski in, Mountain Hardwear’s Stretchdown Parka fits the bill. Instead of traditional horizontal baffles, this jacket has pockets of down insulation sewn into the stretch fabric that moved with me. RDS-certified down inside won’t poke through the tough outer fabric. And that fabric can take the rigors of skiing, resisting sharp edges when I rested the skis on my shoulder to carry them and surviving a lot of laps on rough chair lifts. The long-cut parka is made for everyday wear, but it’s not water-repelling, so I saved it for cold days when I wouldn’t have to deal with snowmelt or weather. If you’re a casual skier and you don’t want to buy a new jacket for just a few days on the slope, it’s an excellent choice. 

Sizes: XS-XL | Waterproofing: N/A | Insulation: 700-fill responsible down standard certified down | Fit: True to size | Climate Consciousness: 700-fill responsible down standard certified down

Final Verdict

Picture Organic's Seen Insulated Jacket (view at Backcountry) simply has everything a skier needs. Warm and weatherproof? Check. Just enough stretch? You bet. All the right pockets to carry your ski day essentials? Duh. All this and you know it's one of the most environmentally-friendly options on the market as Picture has sustainability baked into its DNA.

What to Look for in Women's Ski Jackets

Price

If you’re a habitual skier—as in, you might go weekly or even more during the winter—it’s worth spending a bit more on a jacket that will last you for several seasons to come. Plus, you might want to wear it out and about in town. Conversely, if you’re trying skiing for the first time, you probably want to look for a more budget-friendly coat that, while not perfect, will keep you warm and comfortable. 

Style

Whether you like a minimalist aesthetic, something more traditionally color-blocked, or something sporty, there’s a jacket out there for everyone. While aesthetics should arguably come below fit and price when it comes to your ultimate decision, you might also be wearing the jacket off the slope—so find one you’re going to love. 

Fit

Ski jackets are designed to move with the body—not constrict it. But that doesn’t mean they’re all loose and bulky. Many hug the body close to help streamline your form as you fly down the runs. It’s worth trying a couple on (either in-store or ordered online) to figure out what makes for the best fit for you.

FAQs

How much should I spend on a ski jacket?

Ski jackets can be shockingly expensive, and there’s a reason for that. These jackets are made to keep you comfortably warm and dry when you’re literally sitting out in the weather all day. There’s a lot of engineering that goes into ski jacket fabrics and insulations. Branded fabrics and insulation like Gore-Tex, Pertex, and RDS-Certified water-resistant down all cost more than waterproof fabrics a company develops itself. If you only ski once a year and you’re comfortable with renting, many ski resorts partner with rental companies that offer outerwear as well as skis, boots, helmets, and more. If you have a great jacket that’s waterproof and breathable—even if it’s not ski-specific—wear that instead of getting something that might be cheap or cute but lacks technical properties. 

Are ski jackets waterproof?

The vast majority of ski jackets, including both insulated and hardshell ski jackets, are waterproof. It’s a case where the quality of the fabric goes hand-in-hand with a more expensive price tag. So if you’re a frequent skier, consider investing in a ski jacket made from top-tier materials. Look for phrases like “Gore-Tex Pro” and “DWR” (Durable Water Repellant) coating in the online product copy for the jacket or on the tag or labels.

Should you wear layers under your ski jacket? 

Layers are always a good idea when it comes to hitting the slopes—that way you can shed or add clothing as the temperatures rise or fall during the day. If you’re planning on layering, try to combine a moisture-wicking base layer with a warm mid-layer, then top it off with a hardshell waterproof jacket for the occasional spill in the snow. 

How should you wash your ski jacket? 

Definitely don’t just chuck it in with your everyday clothes without taking a look at how to wash your particular coat first. The best way to be sure? Check your garment tags—and then follow those steps precisely (especially the part about whether you can throw it in the dryer or not). The good news is that unlike old-fashioned down jackets, most ski jackets these days are designed to be able to be washed at home.

Methodology

We tested ski jackets all winter and spring on the slopes of Stowe, Sugarbush, Telluride, Vail, Aspen, and other ski resorts, as well as in the Vermont backcountry, in Colorado’s San Juans, New Hampshire’s Tuckerman’s Ravine, and more.

Why Trust TripSavvy

Berne Broudy has reviewed ski gear for more than a dozen endemic and non-endemic publications. Broudy is based in Vermont where she puts in as many days frontcountry as backcountry. She regularly travels to Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska, and other destinations to test gear and to cover ski destinations.

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