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News Ski Republic


Oct 29, 2014


What do you need to look for in your next ski jacket? Irrespective of your budget you should consider all of the following before handing over your hard earned:

What are you using it for?

If you like to cruise the pistes at an easy pace and your skiing is as much about relaxing as hammering it then an insulated jacket is probably your best option; if you’re freeriding, ski touring or just going hard on the pistes then a shell may be better as it will cope more efficiently with the heat generated during high energy skiing.

Shell or insulated – what’s the difference?

A shell jacket will be lightweight and less bulky but it won’t provide much in the way of insulation, so on colder days in particular you’ll need to layer up underneath it.

An insulated jacket will obviously keep you warmer but it will be heavier and bulkier and you may find that on warmer spring days you get too hot.

Keeping the elements at bay

Check out the jacket’s ‘hydrostatic head’. This should be available on the garment’s swing tag or on the manufacture’s website and will be written as ‘mm H2O’. The higher the figure the more waterproof it will be; around 20,000mm H2O is a good figure to look for.

You also need to consider its ‘breathability’, especially important if you’re involved in more high energy skiing such as freeriding or touring. Look for the jacket’s ‘Moisture Vapour Permeability’ rating, which should be around 20,000/m2/24hrs and will again be on the swing tag.


Laser cut and glued seams are best since they don’t involve putting holes into the fabric as with stitching, and they also keep the weight down. They’re even better if they’re taped as this is one more defence against water ingress.

The rest…

Water resistant zips should be standard on most decent ski jackets, whilst an adjustable, well-fitted helmet-compatible hood is also useful; pit zips are great in warmer weather or for more high energy skiing as they help to regulate your body temperature, or failing this some jackets will have large pockets with mesh inners which can acts as ‘vents’ when the zips are unfastened.

Also consider a powder skirt if you’re skiing off-piste (or fall a lot!), how many pockets you want and whether they’re accessible if you plan to wear a pack or harness.

And when you’ve done all that it’s time to think about the colour

See more on choosing a ski jacket here -

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