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11 best women's ski and snowboard jackets

If you're heading off to colder climes this winter, make sure you invest in a worthy piece of outerwear

Sian Lewis
Friday 04 January 2019 21:36

Winter is coming – and if you’re planning on heading to cold climes for a snowsports holiday, a jacket designed specifically for skiing and snowboarding is a must. Our 11 jackets are the very best on sale for staying warm, dry and stylish on and off the slopes and suitable for all budgets and abilities.

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 – ski jackets are expensive. But they’ll last you years of ski trips or a few seasons of working in the mountains, so it’s worth splashing some cash on a decent one – we recommend spending around the $150 mark. Pick a jacket you’d also be happy to wear for cold weather walks and in the city at home to make it worth the spend.

If you’re off to a dry slope or your first ski trip you can get away with a simple, basic ski jacket. Keen ski tourers and backcountry boarders should pick a reliably waterproof and warm technical jacket. Ski wear has become a bit of a fashion statement in recent years, but whatever style you go for, we’d recommend looking for a model that includes a few key features.

You can trust Patagonia to deliver outdoor-ready outer layers, and the winter-specific insulated Powder Bowl is ready for its namesake off-piste adventures. It marries a simple, smart design with excellent quality materials, good pockets and a nice hip-skimming length. It also features the best high neck and hood combination we tested, keeping your face warm and protected in the worst weather. The silky quilted lining is super comfortable and the Powder Bowl is made of 100% recycled GORE-TEX fabric to boot. One to invest in for years of skiing to come.

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This jacket means business. The big spender on our list is packed with technical prowess and is worth the splurge if you take skiing seriously. If you’re a casual skier, you can go for something cheaper and simpler, but ski tourers and mountaineers will love its total weather protection from a GORE-TEX membrane, its comfortable longer cut, powder skirt and excellent hood. Go a size up if you want to wear thicker layers underneath. One for all weather.

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A great all-rounder with a fun, irreverent look. We love the Apply’s denim-style material and soft fleecy collar, which looks good enough to double-up as your winter coat. It’s not just a style statement, though – the Apply features a longer length for more protection, a snow skirt, lift pass pocket, thumb holes and a well-cut hood. The jacket is water repellent and scores extra points for being made of fully organic and 64 percent recycled materials.

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The handsome, quilted Silvares from Protest feels a bit like wearing a down or bomber jacket, and its lighter, shorter design works well for fall and spring skiing, but is still warm and waterproof to 10,000mm in bitter winter. The thick insulated hood is detachable and the jacket includes good inner pockets, thumb holes and a lift pass pocket. Versatile and smart - and we love the polar bear patterned lining.

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One of our favorite jackets on review, there’s nothing not to love about Burton’s Eyris. It’s seriously comfortable to wear, with a longer cut and a well-fitting hood, snow skirt, fleecy lined pockets and a soft, quilted inner liner. That dusky pink outer material is 40 percent recycled and packs a technical punch with GORE-TEX waterproofing. We found it reliable in a storm and good-looking enough to wear anywhere.

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If you don’t want the hassle of buying a separate jacket and salopettes, you feel the cold on the snow, or you just have a tendency to fall over a lot, a warm and cosy ski suit could be your perfect sporting partner. Our favourite is the Oneskee, which definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously - ‘off-piste in winter, piste-off in summer’ is emblazoned on the cuffs. The new female-specific design features a great hood, wide, comfortable salopette legs and (our favourite bit) a butt zipper.

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O’Neill’s Coral is a slim-fitting, thoughtfully designed jacket that nods to this season’s retro trend. Beneath its bold stripes, it’s waterproof to 10,000mm, insulated in all the right places to keep you cosy and features all the extras you need, including snow skirt, goggle pocket and wrist gaiters. We like the soft, faux fur-lined hood, which is comforting when the temperature plummets. A good hard-working option if you’re working in the mountains this winter.

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On a budget? This season’s offering from Wed’Ze is our top pick. Decathlon’s ski gear is surprisingly high quality for the bargainous prices (beginners can completely kit themselves out for under $150) and the All Mountain, their all-rounder jacket for women, ticks our boxes. It’s waterproof to 8,000mm, has decent pockets and good stretch, and is warm enough to deal with your average week skiing in the Alps. Smart looks and colorways, too.

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Currently on sale for $124.99, down from $249.99, this offering from Mountain Warehouse is an excellent bargain for those who act fast. It looks and feels deceptively simple (and would also work as a hiking jacket in winter conditions), but is waterproof to 10,000mm, comes with all the ski bells and whistles you need and is one of the more breathable jackets we tested, making it work for warmer spring days. It also features RECCO® Reflectors, which bounce back location information in case of an avalanche, a must if you’re heading off-piste.

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Dare2b’s ski jackets are perhaps not the most fashion forward on the market (although we hear whispers of a collaboration with Julien Macdonald for this winter), but if you like classic looks and good performance, they’re a great choice and are built to last. The Contrive is slim cut and smart, with an easily adjustable, foldaway hood, a whopping 20,000mm of waterproofing, good zips and a snow skirt.

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Possibly our favorite jacket on review for appearance alone, we like the ease of this smart parka-style anorak in unisex khaki, which stays true to Nikita’s streetwear creds. They promise it’s like chucking on a hoody and it’s definitely easy to get into, due to a side zipper, and comfortable once on. The Hemlock includes a lift pass pocket, waterproofing to 10,000mm and a soft brushed lining with a bright pop of pattern.

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The Verdict: Best women's ski and snowboard jackets

The Patagonia Powder Bowl is worth the spend for excellent warmth and waterproofing wherever you roam in the mountains. O’Neill’s Coral is a great mid-priced jacket, and Nikita’s Hemlock wins in the style stakes.

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