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15 best women’s ski jackets for staying warm and chic on the slopes

On or off piste, these jackets will have you covered this winter and beyond

Sian Lewis
Thursday 12 October 2023 16:08 BST
We looked for full waterproofing and a comfortable fit that worked well over winter layers
We looked for full waterproofing and a comfortable fit that worked well over winter layers (The Independent)
Our Top Picks

Winter is coming – and if you’re planning on heading to cold climes for a snow sports holiday, a jacket designed specifically for skiing and snowboarding is a must. A good ski jacket is designed to be worn paired with ski pants and should be warm, waterproof and comfortable to wear all day.

There’s no avoiding it, good ski jackets are expensive, but they’ll last you for years of ski trips or a few seasons of working in the mountains, so it’s worth splashing the cash – we recommend spending around £200 to £300, to ensure you get a decent one.

Waterproofing is essential for staying dry in snowstorms (or just if you take a tumble on a piste), and ski wear designs showcase similar waterproofing techniques to rain jackets. Look for technology such as Gore-Tex waterproofing or a rating of how impermeable the jacket is – anything above 1,500mm is acceptable, but 10,000mm and above is your best bet for staying totally snow-proof, with the best jackets hitting the 20,000mm mark.

Meanwhile, a well-fitting, adjustable hood, adjustable cuffs and a snow skirt built into the interior of the jacket will help to keep out the elements further.

Some snow sports brands do a better job at getting a female-specific fit than others, so it’s a good idea to try on a few jackets in person. Make sure your new jacket feels slim-fitting but not restrictive, and that it can be adjusted at the hem and cuffs to trap in heat. It should be roomy enough to fit a base layer and a light middle layer underneath on cold days, so you may want to choose a size up from your usual. We favour a longer length of jacket (often chosen by snowboarders) as they offer better warmth around the lower torso.

How we tested

We tested out each jacket in cold weather conditions and looked for a comfortable, female-specific fit that worked well over winter layers, plus full waterproofing that could withstand snowfall and, if applicable, decent warmth from insulation.

A selection of some of the best women’s ski jackets we tested (Sian Lewis)

The best women’s ski jackets for 2023 are:

  • Best women’s ski jacket overal – Helly Hansen powderqueen 3.0 jacket: £410,
  • Best budget women’s ski jacket – Decathlon FR100 jacket: £89.99,
  • Best women’s ski jacket for comfort – TOG24 Eva jacket: £140,
  • Best women’s ski jacket for fit – UYN driftey jacket: £499,
  • Best women’s ski jacket for waterproofing – Rab khroma diffuse Gore-Tex jacket: £460,

Helly Hansen powderqueen 3.0 jacket

Helly Hansen ski jacket
  • Best: Women’s ski jacket overall
  • Colourways: 5
  • Sizes: XS-XL
  • Water resistance: Waterproof
  • Insulation: 60g PrimaLoft black eco
  • Why we love it
    • Waterproof and warm
    • Breathable
    • Recco reflector included

If you spend all day every day out in the elements working as a guide, a liftie or a snow sports athlete (or if you’re just a seasoned skier who wants to invest in a great bit of kit), you’ll need something more heavyweight than your average ski jacket. Enter, Helly Hansen’s powderqueen, which is ready for whatever weather you chuck at it.

This design is impressively waterproof and warm (thanks to plenty of PrimaLoft black eco insulation) but still highly breathable, and lightweight enough for you to wear it all day. All the usual features we look for are present and correct in this smart jacket, plus, there are extras such as a Recco reflector (a passive transponder that makes you searchable by rescue teams), a helmet-compatible hood and a clever pocket that keeps your phone warm to preserve its battery.

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Decathlon FR100 jacket

  • Best: Budget women’s ski jacket
  • Colourways: 2
  • Sizes: 6-22
  • Water resistance: 10,000mm
  • Insulation: 150g
  • Why we love it
    • Affordable
    • 150g of insulation
  • Take note
    • Insulation makes the fit quite bulky

Decathlon is a great one-stop shop for affordable ski wear, and we were really impressed with the FR100, which costs less than £100 but performs as well as some jackets that are twice the price. Aimed at competent skiers who might stray off piste, this design packs in waterproofing of 10,000mm, taped seams and a very generous 150g of insulation (which does make the torso of this jacket feel quite bulky). A good snow skirt and adjustable cuffs further trap in heat, making this a lovely choice for colder conditions.

If you’re an experienced skier but still want a jacket that’s good value for money, try the Decathlon FR500 (£159.99,, which is aimed at freeriders.

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Mountain Warehouse moon II jacket

  • Best: Women’s ski jacket for beginners
  • Colourways: 3
  • Sizes: 6-24
  • Water resistance: Water repellent
  • Insulation: Isotherm
  • Why we love it
    • Affordable
    • Roomy pockets
    • Curve-friendly fit

If you’re a beginner skier or boarder, buying a reliable ski jacket needn’t break the bank. Mountain Warehouse’s options start from just £34.99 – although, we think the brand’s best all-rounder is the moon II, which is snowproof and insulated enough to keep you comfy during your first lessons or ski holiday to the Alps (it’s unlikely to be weatherproof enough for more-extreme ski adventures).

Decent pockets can store a lift pass and phone, while a snow skirt will keep the white stuff at bay if you take a tumble. Generous sizing and a curve-friendly fit means this is a great choice for plus-size women, and we think the moon II looks rather smart for an affordable option, too.

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OOSC yeh man/yeh girl jacket

  • Best: Unisex ski jacket
  • Colourways: 6
  • Sizes: XXS-XXL
  • Water resistance: Waterproof to 20,000mm
  • Insulation: 80g synthetic
  • Why we love it
    • Made with 100% recycled nylon
    • Longer length hem for added warmth
    • Hefty 20,000mm waterproofing

Indie brand OOSC is best known for its bright and beautiful ski onesies in a range of retro patterns – ideal if you like to turn heads at après. But the brand also offers ski separates, and this season’s new yeh man/yeh girl unisex jacket is a treat. We love outdoor kit with good eco credentials, and the yeh man is made with 100 per cent recycled nylon sourced from old fishing nets.

This is a jacket that’s ready for the elements, with a hefty 20,000mm of waterproofing and taped seams, to keep blizzards at bay. Plus, there’s 80g of synthetic insulation. This a unisex design but it fitted our female tester well and felt roomy without being boxy, with a nice longer length hem for added warmth and space to pop a mid-layer underneath.

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TOG24 Eva jacket

  • Best: Women’s ski jacket for comfort
  • Colourways: Navy spot
  • Sizes: 8-16
  • Water resistance: 10,000mm
  • Insulation: Recycled insulation
  • Why we love it
    • Comfortable padded design
    • Comfortable thumb loops
  • Take note
    • Bulky fit
    • Too warm for spring skiing

This jacket is so comfortable, once you’ve popped it on, you may not want to take it off again until spring. The fit really stood out on test – the boxy padded design is as pleasingly puffy as a down jacket.

Lots of recycled synthetic insulation traps in warmth and is ideal for withstanding cold and windy weather but makes it too warm for spring skiing. Keep in mind this is a bulky jacket and not a slim shell you could stash in your rucksack.

When it comes to ski-specific features, there’s a good adjustable snow skirt and hood, 10,000mm of waterproofing and great comfy thumb loops. A good mid-priced all-rounder that would suit beginner and intermediate skiers.

  1. £140 from
Prices may vary
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Picture Organic Clothing Sylva 3L jacket

  • Best: Women’s ski jacket for freeriders
  • Colourways: 3
  • Sizes: XS-XL
  • Water resistance: Waterproof to 20,000mm
  • Insulation: No
  • Why we love it
    • Great waterproofing yet still breathable
    • Lightweight
    • Low carbon footprint
    • Comes with a lifetime repair warranty
  • Take note
    • Limited insulation

Meet Sylva: a jacket designed to be the perfect outer layer for ski tourers. This high-performing shell combines excellent waterproofing with the best breathability on test, so you’ll always be protected but will never overheat, even as you skin or splitboard up a steep mountainside.

While there’s limited insulation, that does make this jacket light and freeing to wear, and the Sylva works well when worn with an insulating mid-layer, such as a down jacket in the coldest temperatures. The Sylva is also one of the best-looking jackets we reviewed – you could even wear it as a raincoat for the commute to work.

We reckon this is well worth the investment for great functionality, great looks and a low carbon footprint. It also comes with a lifetime repair warranty, making it a long-term choice.

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Arc'teryx sentinel insulated jacket

  • Best: Insulated women’s ski jacket
  • Colourways: 3
  • Sizes: XXS-XXL
  • Water resistance: Gore-Tex
  • Insulation: Recycled Coreloft insulation
  • Why we love it
    • Easy to move in
    • Recco reflector
    • Gore-Tex waterproofing

Arc’teryx packs all the tough weatherproofing and breathability of a shell jacket into the sentinel, then adds a very welcome dose of synthetic insulation. Unlike most insulated jackets we’ve tested, the sentinel isn’t bulky or restrictive and doesn’t make you instantly overheat once you start moving. It’s ideal for the coldest winter days when you’re on and off ski lifts or are touring in the back of beyond.

The sentinel is packed with all the features we look for in the very best ski jacket designs – a great hood, a Recco reflector and Gore-Tex waterproofing. There’s a sentinel to suit every kind of snow sports fan, too: it’s available as an all-in-one ski suit, an anorak, shell jacket or an insulated jacket. 

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Trekitt tierra vastra jacket

  • Best: Multi-sport women’s ski jacket
  • Colourways: Blue
  • Sizes: XS-XL
  • Water resistance: Gore-Tex
  • Insulation: No
  • Why we love it
    • Versatile shell designed for climbing, hiking and skiing
    • Proved fully waterproof and windproof on test
    • Gore-Tex membrane
  • Take note
    • Limited breathability

If you love to ski further afield than the pistes but only tend to make it to the slopes once or twice a year, you’ll want to invest in a great shell jacket that works for more than just snow sports. Enter, Trekitt’s vastra, which has been designed to go effortlessly between mountain adventures, from ski trips and climbing to mountaineering and hiking. This versatile shell proved fully waterproof and windproof on test, with a tough Gore-Tex membrane repelling heavy rain and snow.

We didn’t find it super breathable, so you’ll need to swap to a lighter shell in warm conditions. Nevertheless, Trekitt reckons this jacket is ready to take you “from flying down the Swedish ski slopes, to hiking in the Scottish Highlands”, and we would agree.

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The North Face summit Verbier jacket

  • Best: Women’s snowboarding jacket
  • Colourways: 2
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Water resistance: Gore-Tex
  • Insulation: No
  • Why we love it
    • Ample pockets
    • Made with recycled materials

The best snowboarding jacket we tested is the beautifully made, well-fitting Verbier – a shell ski jacket that ticked all our boxes. It will keep you reliably dry, thanks to an impressive waterproof membrane, which is still breathable enough to stop you sweating even when you’re boarding hard in the sunshine. On cold days, this jacket fits perfectly over a mid-layer, and the hood is helmet-compatible and easy to adjust.

There are lots of well-placed pockets to hold your phone, goggles and other kit, and the longline fit means the jacket is warm and flattering and keeps your torso well protected. To top it all off, this high performer is made with recycled materials, too.

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UYN driftey jacket

  • Best: Women’s ski jacket for fit
  • Colourways: Pink
  • Sizes: XS-XL
  • Water resistance: Waterproof to 20,000mm
  • Insulation: Airnest padding
  • Why we love it
    • Easy to move in
  • Take note
    • Shorter length

For a jacket that fits like a second skin, try on UYN’s driftey for size. This insulated jacket is surprisingly stretchy and flattering and moves as you do. Two knitted panels in the shoulders allow the jacket to follow every movement of the arms, without limits or constraints. The only reason we can’t give it top marks for fit is its shorter length, but if you’re not a fan of longer jackets, this may be the ideal choice.

While the jacket has a decent amount of insulation, it’s also surprisingly breathable and waterproof to 20,000mm, meaning this is a great all-rounder if you want just one outerwear item that can tackle the whole winter season.

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Columbia highland summit jacket

  • Best: Women’s ski jacket for temperature regulation
  • Colourways: Navy
  • Sizes : XS-XXL
  • Water resistance: Omni-tech
  • Insulation: Thermal reflective liner
  • Why we love it
    • Gold reflective lining traps body heat
    • Comfortable to move in
  • Take note
    • Slim cut

You’re guaranteed to stay at a cosy temperature in this ski jacket. On the snow, Columbia’s innovative gold reflective lining does a great job of trapping in body heat, which is very welcome when you’re out in bad conditions (or just sitting on a chilly chair lift). Meanwhile, a light layer of insulation further keeps your torso warm but also makes the highland summit breathable enough to be comfy on balmy spring days.

This has all the features we look for in a good jacket, such as a snow skirt, pockets for your lift pass and goggles, and an adjustable hood. It’s also very comfortable to move in, although, we’d go a size up if you aren’t keen on a slim cut (even then, curvy figures may find it doesn’t fit too well).

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66 North Hornstrandir jacket

  • Best: Women’s ski jacket for professionals
  • Colourways: 4
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Water resistance: Gore-Tex
  • Insulation: No
  • Why we love it
    • Gore-Tex waterproofing
    • Flexible panels for comfort

If you spend all day every day out in harsh winter conditions working as a guide, a snow sports professional or exploring the mountains, you won’t find a better jacket to keep up with you than 66 North’s Hornstrandir.

Designed on Iceland’s harsh coastline with feedback from winter athletes, this hard-as-nails jacket has it all – Gore-Tex waterproofing stops snow in its tracks and the fit is great, with flexible panels that mean you’ll barely notice you’re wearing this shell, even if you’re moving at pace.

The hood fits over a helmet and the jacket sits nicely under a harness for mountaineering adventures. The bright orange colourway is ideal for keeping visible in tough conditions, too.

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My Sunday Ski shearling pioneer jacket

  • Best: Fancy women’s ski jacket
  • Colourways: 3
  • Sizes: S-L
  • Water resistance: Water resistant
  • Insulation: Animal down
  • Why we love it
    • Thick filling of animal down
    • Smart look that can be worn when not on the slopes
  • Take note
    • Water-resistant, rather than waterproof

Bring a bit of blingy style to the mountains with this smart and slim-fitting jacket, which combines a metallic water-resistant shell with a sumptuously soft shearling lining. It’s an eye-catching choice but it’s also extremely comfortable, with a thick filling of animal down that traps in warmth, and an oversized fit that sits nicely over base layers, despite the jacket’s form-fitting looks.

Only water-resistant enough to repel light snow, this jacket is best for those crisp, cold sunny days. It’s also a nice choice if you don’t like sporty designs and want a smart coat you can wear in the city when you’re back from the mountains.

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Roxy Chloe Kim technical snow jacket for women

Roxy Chloe Kim ski jacket
  • Best: Women’s ski jacket for style
  • Colourways: 1
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Water resistance: 10,000mm
  • Insulation: Yes
  • Why we love it
    • Flattering longer cut

Bring a little style to the slopes in Roxy’s latest collab with American snowboarder Chloe Kim. This eye-catching cloud print jacket (which is reversible, if you fancy rocking two looks) is rather fetching and was also one of the best coats we tested for fit – it has a flattering longer cut and fits curvier women beautifully.

Waterproofing is middle of the road at 10,000mm but will suit most recreational skiers and boarders, and there’s a decent amount of insulation that makes this jacket warmer than a shell but not too hot to wear on warmer days. There’s a well-designed snow skirt, a soft lining and the cuffs feel far nicer to wear than some plastic-y jackets.

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The verdict: Women’s ski jackets

In our round-up, there’s a jacket to suit every skier and boarder, but we think Helly Hansen’s powderqueen is the cream of the crop. Beginners looking for budget options won’t go far wrong with the Mountain Warehouse moon II or Decathlon FR100, while Picture’s Sylva is a high-performing option for experienced skiers and boarders, as well as being a more sustainable pick.

Stay safe with our round-up of the best ski helmets for snow sports

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