My favorite time of year has arrived! This time of year brings some of the best skiing and snowboarding conditions. What better way to start celebrating the slopes than getting an amazing jacket! There are two main types of ski jackets that are available – the insulated jacket and the shell jacket. Each can be worn skiing and/or snowboarding.
Insulated jackets help to provide warmth when it’s cold outside – without having to wear too many layers. They use a synthetic fabric on the outside, which is usually treated to be water and wind resistant. They come in two different insulation types: Down and synthetic. Each have different rating systems to gauge warmth, so be cautious of this.
Shell jackets are constructed from durable synthetic fabric to protect you from the elements. Shell ski jackets are to some degree windproof and waterproof. With a shell jacket, you only need proper layering in order to stay comfortable through a variety of temperatures. Shell jackets tend to be suited for the more technical skier, and are recommended for warm spring conditions.
There is good news for the indecisive guy. Manufacturers are now offering system jackets, otherwise known as 3-in-1 jackets. These jackets are more adaptable to temperatures. Essentially, they combine the shell jacket and an insulator piece (typically a fleece) that zip together to form one jacket. You can wear either piece, the insulator piece or the shell, on warmer ski days. The shell can be worn when it is damp or raining as a way to provide more protection from the elements. Another amazing feature about these jackets is that you can zip the two pieces together to create an insulated jacket. A lot of jackets are now offered with a powder skirt, which hold the lining snug to your waist. These are helpful in keeping the snow out of your ski jacket in those all too popular, ski accident “yard sales.” For those of you who want more out of their jacket or are “avid” skiers, this one is for you.
Whichever jacket you choose, make sure you love how it looks. There is no point in buying anything if you won’t wear it or don’t love it. Jackets generally come in simple, solid colors but there is the option for bolder patterns. The jacket examples I have provided are Spyder jackets. Spyder jackets are among my favorites because they are the company that my sister and I were outfitted in when we giant slalom ski raced. I, personally, think very highly of the brand and its durability in all ski conditions. With this in mind, you are now prepared to look great during some phenomenal spring skiing! Have fun out on the slopes no matter which jacket you choose! How could you not?