items for the Snow Sport Enthusiast!
Features to Consider
- 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
- Drawstrings - All should be adjustable for
- One at the waist will keep out the majority
of snow during the unfortunate but inevitable
- 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
- 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,
- People lose their car keys and or wallets on
the slopes all the time. Don't let it happen to
- 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
- 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
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