Ski Snowboard Jacket Features to Concider
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  • Collar - A jacket that comes high up on your face (just below your goggles) when zipped up all the way can really keep the wind and cold out of your jacket for those seemingly long rides up the chair lift
  • Drawstrings - All should be adjustable for maximum comfort.
    • One at the waist will keep out the majority of snow during the unfortunate but inevitable crash.
    • If you have a hood, drawstrings can help keep it from blowing off your head and the rain from dripping on your face.
    • Bungee cord material is preferable for flexibility.
  • Hoods - Some jackets come with fixed hoods, some with removable hoods, and others don't come with a hood at all.
    • Hoods can add extra bulk around your neck and can flap in the breeze while ski and riding, but if you plan to wear your jacket on and off the slopes Fall, Winter, and Spring it can be a great thing to have. Attached hoods are always there ready to use when needed. When looking at attached hoods find one with an extended brim. This will keep the rain off your face.
    • Detachable hoods might be a good compromise for the three season jacket wearer, but as life would have it, you probably won't have it with you, or put it on, when needed.
    • If you're an avid ski and rider with a dedicated wardrobe used only for that purpose you're probably better off without a hood.
  • Length - This is important. Too short will let more snow up under it in a fall, and too long may restrict mobility (we prefer a jacket to cover your bottom but not extend all the way to your knees).
  • Lift Ticket Ring - This is a built-in ring or tab usually located near the waist band which is used to affix your lift ticket. If the jacket doesn't have a special ring for the ticket, it needs another location on the low exterior of the shell to attach a ticket to.
    • A low pocket zipper pull will usually work to attach a ticket to, but is not always a good idea because it can cause a premature zipper pull failure.
    • Generally the main zipper pull is not a good idea because it can fly up into your face, or at the very least be an irritation by flapping in your visual plane.
  • Lining - A high quality fleece zip out lining will make your layering system more comfortable, compact, lightweight, and versatile. Fleece helps pull the moister away from your skin and maintain body temperature while the Gor-Tex (and vents) help evaporate the moister and keep you dry.
  • Material Type - There are many different types of materials jackets are made from and they are not all created equal. The quality of materials and the construction methods used will generally determine the price of a jacket.
    • Is the material truly waterproof like Gor-Tex.
    • Does the material breathe? (i.e. let sweat vapor out, but not water in) like Gor-Tex.
    • Is it made from a strong tightly woven rip-stop fabric like Cordura, or at least have strategically placed patches of this material on the elbows and shoulders(etc.)?
  • Material Texture - A smooth finish will shed water and snow the best, but you may prefer a rough material to help slow down the slide after a fall on steep terrain.
  • Pockets - These can be one of the most used and least considered parts of a jacket purchase. Size, location, accessibility, utilization, and security are just some of the factors to think about when looking at pockets. Don't forget you'll need a place during the day for all those things you bring on the slopes such as chap-stick, wallet, car key, tissues, special wrench for boots or bindings, face mask, phone, camera, snacks, etc.
    • People lose their car keys and or wallets on the slopes all the time. Don't let it happen to you.
  • Powder Skirt - A top quality jacket should have a powder skirt but in absence of this it should at least have a drawstring waist. This keeps the snow and powder from going up your jacket in a fall or in deep powder.
  • Vents - Large underarm zipper vents are great for extra breathability. All vents should be located in an easily accessible location.
  • Weight & Mobility - A lighter and more flexible jacket is best for maximum mobility and comfortability while ski-n-riding.
  • Zippers - Should be of heavy duty construction and have a sealing flap to help shed water and snow which folds over zipper from top to bottom or side to side in the case of the main zipper (we prefer Velcro over snaps to hold down the flaps).
    • If your jacket doesn't have a dedicated ring at the waist to affix your lift ticket, the zipper pulls must have a hole in the end instead.
    • Some main zippers allow for two-way zipping (i.e. top down and bottom up at the same time), this allows the bottom half of your jacket to be open while the top is zipped closed. This is a feature most probably won't use, but some might find it good.
    • Some jacket shells are pullovers. These generally reduce mobility, breathability, and use flexibility.

     

Also See:
Features to consider in pants / bibs
Gor-Tex the wonder material

 

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