- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Weight & Mobility - A lighter and more flexible
jacket is best for maximum mobility and comfortability while
- 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.
Features to consider in pants
the wonder material