Best Ski Jackets For 2021

From technical ski touring jackets to stylish park and piste wear, we've got you covered here with our essential guide to the best ski jackets for this winter

The Best Ski Jackets For 2021

When it comes to rounding up the best ski jackets that money can buy, we have to keep in mind that the right jacket will vary massively from skier to skier. For example, what might seem like an overly expensive, overly technical, option for the freestyle skiers and park rats amongst you could tick all the necessary boxes for ski tourers and backcountry explorers. Different strokes for different folks.

Those skiers who spend the majority of their time on the mountains going off-piste, skiing lines outside of the resort boundaries, should consider a ski jacket with higher breathability and waterproof ratings. These skiers, due to the fact they’ll often find themselves well away from shelter, will put a much greater emphasis on how well the jacket will protect them from the elements.

Highly adjustable, helmet-compatible, hoods might seem like overkill for some but they’ll be worth their weight in gold for ski mountaineering types who really need to optimise that fit. Likewise, pockets with waterproof seals that double up as cooling vents might be a bit over the top for fair weather piste carvers, who only ever take the chairlift up, but if you do earn your turns they’ll be a welcome addition.

In this list below, you’ll find at least one ski jacket to meet your needs. From breathable, super tough, shells to affordable 3-in-1 jackets, there’s a product here to suit all manner of budget and taste. Some of you will put practicality above else while many of you will, let’s be honest, care less about that stuff so long as it makes you look cool. Whatever you’re after on the ski jacket front, we’ve got you covered.

Armada Baxter Insulated Jacket

Price: £160

Back in 2002, Armada came into being. Cooked up by ski / snowboard photographer Chris O’Connell and a team of owner-riders consisting of Tanner Hall, JP Auclair, JF Cusson, Julien Regnier and Boyd Easley, they’re a brand that’s gone from strength to strength in recent years. They were bought by the Finnish winter sports conglomerate Amer Sports for $4.1 million in 2017.

The Armada Baxter Insulated Jacket scores 10k / 10k on the waterproofing and breathability front, ratings that make it perfectly suited to your piste and park sessions. It’s 100% seam sealed, has a microfleece chin guard for comfort and warmth, and a helmet compatible hood for the lid-wearers among you.

Costing a very reasonable, for a ski jacket, £160 the Baxter has 80g 90% recycled PolyFill in the body and 60g 90% recycled polyester fill in the hood sleeves. It looks cool, it’s doing cool things for the environment, and it doesn’t have a bankrupting RRP. We like this product.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Armada Baxter Insulated Jacket review

Armada Bergs Insulated Jacket

Price: 200€


Just like the Armada Baxter Insulated Jacket, the Armada Bergs Insulated Jacket has a 90% recycled PolyFill and a 10k / 10k waterproof / breathability rating. The perfect levels for piste and park laps but not quite the numbers needed for a full-on always-off-piste piece of ski outerwear. It’s priced fairly with that in mind so don’t feel like you’re getting conned here.

This is a functional, stylish, and almost 100% sustainably-insulated ski jacket from the cool cats over at Armada. It’s available in three different colourways: ‘Solar’, ‘Desert’, and ‘Camo’. Good jacket, this.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Armada Bergs Insulated Jacket review

Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie

Price: £240

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A great midlayer that’s sustainable, warm, and looks the part off the slopes. What’s not to love about the Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie? Team it up with a quality waterproof jacket, maybe The North Face Brigandine, and a Mons Royale merino base layer and you’ve got yourself a layering system that will take on almost all of the horrible weather the mountains throw at you this winter.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Fjallraven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie review

FW Catalyst 2L Jacket

Price: £320

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FW are all about looking to the future and making progressive, smart, decisions that not only take into account tomorrow, but also the day after tomorrow, the day after the day after tomorrow, the day after the day after the day after tomorrow and, well, you get the idea.

The Catalyst 2L Jacket is a fine example of the vision FW brings to the hills. It’s a technical-freestyle fusion, and a real masterclass when it comes to combining the best of different worlds.

The fabric used here is WPS-2L Ottoman Recycled Yarn (15k waterproof / 10k breathability). Despite being cotton-like in appearance, this two-layer fabric is actually highly technical. It’s incredibly soft to the touch and super durable to boot. Lap after lap after lap, you’ll still be comfortable in this

With PFC free DWR, and 100% post-consumer waste recycled nylon yarn, this jacket will certainly tick boxes for the environmentally conscientious amongst you. On that note, the PrimaLoft Black Eco Insulation 60G / M2 here is made from 80% post-consumer recycled content.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our FW Catalyst 2L Jacket review

FW Root 3L Jacket

Price: £320


With its classic yet contemporary design, the FW Root 3L has alpine lifestyle written all over it. Part of the FW Root collection, a product family that mixes old school designs from the past with modern detailing and fabrics, this is one of those ski jackets that you can’t help but like.

It’s 10k waterproof rating and 10k breathability rating, combined with its 100% seam sealed construction and Aquaguard zippers means it’s more than practical enough to hold its own when you’re skiing about inside the resort boundaries. It’s not appropriate for scaling couloirs and charging powder bowls in but, that’s alright, it’s not made for that. There are more technical, more expensive, jackets if that’s your thing.

Whether you’re looping the hills on the chairlifts or popping out from the self-catered chalet to pick up some pain au chocolats from the local Carrefour, this extremely cool ski jacket has got your back. Fair play to FW as well for donating 1% of their sales to NGOs acting against climate change. We love to see it.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our FW Root 3L Jacket review 

Haglofs V Series Mimic Hood

Price: £270


Haglöfs, it’s fair to say, know a thing or two about creating technical ski clothing. Founded in 1914 by Wiktor Haglöf, Wiktor soon realised that he needed to be producing his own specialist clothing to cope with the brutal weather that’s often whipped up in northern Sweden. In doing so, he quickly became the go-to guy for creating some of the finest outdoor clothing around.

Warm, eco-friendly, and versatile; you’ll have bagged yourself an exceptionally good midlayer option with the Haglöfs V Series Mimic Hoody. When paired with a waterproof shell jacket like the Mountain Hardware Viv Jacket, you’ll have a combo that’ll comfortably bat away all but the worst storms imaginable.

Never again will you have to pass up on that final powder lap of the day.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Haglofs V Series Mimic Hood review

Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Infinity Shell Jacket

Price: £600


Designed to thrive in the world’s toughest conditions, the Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Infinity Shell might just be one of the most bombproof jackets around. £600 might sound like a lot to pay out on a ski jacket but this thing’s so waterproof, and generally weatherproof, we think the level of protection it provides is actually well worth it – especially if you’re all about serious ski touring missions.

The Lifa yarns found on the jacket are actually based on the same fibres used in Helly’s legendary base layers. These fibres are naturally hydrophobic, and able to push moisture out into the atmosphere. What’s more, they’ve been so tightly woven together here that water should effectively bounce straight off.

These tightly-knit fibres means there’s no need for eco-hazardous PFCs to be present within the fabric (these are usually required to give the jacket its water repellence). In fact, there isn’t actually a water repellent treatment at all – something you very rarely see with three-layer waterproof products.

Want a jacket that can comfortably handle some of the worst mountain conditions imaginable? Want a jacket that’s free of nasty chemicals? Look no further than the Odin Mountain Infinity.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Helly Hansen Odin Mountain Infinity Shell Jacket review

Mountain Hardwear The Viv Jacket

Price: $725


Named after Vivian Bruchez, one of the most experienced steep skiers around, this jacket by Mountain Hardwear is a dream come true for ski mountaineering types. It couldn’t be more Chamonix if it tried.

Featuring Gore-Tex’s all-new waterproof fabric material, Gore-Tex Pro Most Breathable, the Viv Jacket strikes that perfect balance between breathability and waterproof protection. The RECCO reflector, internal powder skirt, and helmet-compatible hood underline the fact that this jacket is built for deep days in the mountain. Shoutout, on that note, to the large internal pockets for keeping your skins warm and the tab for clipping your lanyard to your chest when you’re travelling in avalanche terrain.

Featuring a RECCO reflector, internal powder skirt and a helmet compatible hood, the Viv jacket is built for deep days in the mountains. There’s also large pockets on the inside of the jacket for keeping your skins warm, and a tab to clip your lanyard to your chest for when you’re travelling in avalanche terrain.

Served up at a hefty price of $725, this jacket certainly isn’t for the one-run-and-done skier. The technical materials though, combined with the packed out set of useful features, mean that the jacket will thrive in the most demanding terrain around.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Mountain Hardwear The Viv Jacket review

O’Neill Aplite Jacket

Price: £140


When you’re buying a new ski jacket, it’s very easy to get carried away and spend far more money than is necessary. If you’re a skier who’s all about spending days on end out in the backcountry, then you should, by all means, consider treating yourself to a highly technical £600 ski jacket – you’ll need something to really protect you from the elements after all.

If, however, you’re primarily about the après ski and piste-cruising lifestyle then forking out that much money makes next to no sense. That’s where the very functional, very affordable £140 O’Neill Aplite Jacket can come in. Its 10k / 10k waterproofing and breathability ratings will sort you out within the resort boundaries. It’s not going to blow your mind but it’ll do a good job for you on your week-long corduroy shred in the Alps.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our O’Neill Aplite Jacket review

O’Neill Original Anorak Snow Jacket

With its barreling wave logo, Jack O’Neill origin story, and surfing roots, O’Neill will, for many, always bring to mind salty sea before snowy summit. That’s understandable but, rather unfairly, it means that their ski wear doesn’t always get the credit it deserves.

O’Neill have got a legitimate and authentic snow sports heritage. Take the O’Riginals Anorak Snow Jacket (yes, that’s really what it’s called), for example. It’s an updated version of a jacket that was designed for the first ever Snowboard World Cup.

This anorak rates 10k / 10k on the waterproofing and breathability, making it perfectly well-suited to fun times round the resort, in the park, and at the après. It’s not really one for the backcountry but that’s alright, it’s priced accordingly.

The O’Riginals Anorak is made from O’Neill’s Blue Repreve recycled fabric. What this means, in a nutshell, is that old plastic bottles have been put good to use here; becoming a fundamental part of the product’s shell fabric. We can all agree that’s a much better alternative to plastic bottles ending up in landfills and oceans.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our O’Neill Original Anorak Snow Jacket review

Patagonia PowSlayer Jacket

Price: £600


The Patagonia PowSlayer doesn’t literally have ‘backcountry freeride’ stamped all over it but, quite frankly, it might as well have. Stay on the piste for too long and this very good lightweight ski jacket will whisper things in your ear, whisper things that sound an awful lot like “Get away from here. Go find the untouched powder already.”

On the material front, you’re looking at Gore-Tex Pro Shell 3-Layer, 4-oz 40-denier 100% recycled nylon ripstop with DWR (durable water repellent finish). In layman’s terms, this means the PowSlayer is incredibly waterproof, breathable, and tough. Ideal, in other words, for ski tourers who like to push themselves in challenging conditions and terrain.

You might have noticed there that we said “100% recycled nylon.” Patagonia, no stranger to producing environmentally-friendly products, are the first brand in the industry to make all 62 of their shells with recycled materials – sewing all of them in Fair Trade Certified factories. Nice one, Patagonia.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Patagonia PowSlayer Jacket review

Patagonia Upstride Jacket

Price: £260


Made from 100% recycled polyester, and super breathable, this is ideal for active ski tourers who know what the weather’s got in store for them. If you enjoy the ascents as much as the descents, you’ll love this.  It’s made to be super breathable, made for rapid uphill movement, made for high-output, predictable conditions, missions in the backcountry.

Pair this jacket up with the Patagonia Upstride Pants.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Patagonia Upstride Jacket review

Planks Happy Days Anorak

Price: £170


Everyone’s favourite British ski brand have delivered again with the Happy Days Anorak. It’s affordable, properly stylish, and is tailor-made for slushy springtime laps in the park followed by sun-soaked après ski sessions. Despite the global pandemic of 2020 intruding on those dreams somewhat, we have to believe the good times will come again; that the Happy Days will return.

Founded by Jim Adlington, a Brit who fell in love with skiing on dry slopes near Stoke-on-Trent before travelling the world with the likes of Candide Thovex and Tanner Hall as a pro skier, Planks are now well established as one of the coolest winter clothing brands around. Take a quick look around you next time you’re in a lift queue at a French ski resort, and you’ll see exactly what we mean.

Team this one up with the Planks Easy Rider Pant.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Planks Happy Days Anorak review

Planks X Woodsy ‘Yeah Baby’ Jacket

Price: £200


A real wear it on the hill, wear it round the resort, wear it round the city number, the ‘Yeah Baby’ is part of Planks ongoing collaboration with James ‘Woodsy’ Woods. If you’re not familiar with Mr Woodsy, he’s essentially the coolest freestyle skier Britain has ever produced. His signature switch triple cork 1440 octograb has been known to make grown adult men swoon, and he went agonisingly close to winning an Olympic medal at the best slopestyle competition in history. He’s a big deal.

Boasting 10k waterproof and 10k breathability levels, which is good enough for fun times around the park and piste, the ‘Yeah Baby’ has an environmentally friendly and user protecting solvent-free DWR coating. The jacket is made from 54% recycled polyester, not a groundbreaking number in and of itself but it is good that Planks are over half way with this stuff.

Available in ‘Burnt Orange’, ‘Black’, and ‘Army Green’, this is one seriously nice looking ski jacket. Pair it up with the Planks X Woodsy ‘Yeah Baby’ Pant to complete the look.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Planks X Woodsy ‘Yeah Baby’ Jacket review

The North Face A-Cad FutureLight Jacket

Price: £490


For those big mountain powder days, look no further than the excellent A-Cad. It’s stylish, functional, protective, made from 100% recycled polyester and crafted with FutureLight 3L fabric.

The nano spinning process used in the creation of FutureLight means it’s able to be incredibly waterproof, breathable, and windproof all at the same time. It’s superb for for those long, interchangeable weather, days in the hills when you’re getting active from sunrise to sunset.

With this jacket’s RRP teetering just under the £500 mark, you’ll no doubt want it to deliver on the features front. Obviously the FutureLight fabric is part of the cost justification, but to paint this jacket as a one trick pony would be deeply unfair. This thing is packed to the rafters with clever design touches, and nicely-implemented additions. You’ll love it.

Combine this with The North Face A-Cad FutureLight Bib Trousers, and get outside the resort boundaries. From an outerwear point of view, you’ll have the perfect set-up for it.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our The North Face A-Cad FutureLight Jacket review

The North Face Brigandine FutureLight Jacket

Price: £690


The North Face Brigandine FutureLight Jacket is an excellent piece of snow sports outerwear. The go-to jacket for none other than freeride legend Sam Anthamatten, one that utilises revolutionary FutureLight technology in its construction, this is a genuinely high quality product.

Last year, we tested FutureLight in the high alpine with Anthamatten himself. We were blown away by what it brought to the table. Earlier this year, we reviewed the technology’s shift into the shoe world when we tested The North Face Activist FutureLight Mid Boot. Once again, to the surprise of no one, we were very impressed.

With its RRP of £690, you’ll be glad to know that the Brigandine FutureLight doesn’t skimp on the build quality. The FuseForm construction, for example, minimises seams. This, in turn, results in a lighter, less bulky, stronger and generally much more durable product.

Throw into the mix the fact this Steep Series jacket has a hyper articulated fit purpose-made for skiing and riding, and you really are getting into masterpiece territory with this intelligently designed item.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our The North Face Brigandine FutureLight Jacket review

Yuki Threads Northbound Jacket

Price: $349


Hailing from the ‘Land Down Under’, Yuki Threads are as Australian as they come. They were founded back in 2010, when co-founders Mitch and Lani were in the middle of doing back to back seasons between the Mount Buller ski resort, in eastern Victoria, and Japan.

Wanting to bridge the sometimes massive gap between mountain and street, Mitch and Lani set about creating an Australian snow apparel company that cared about its customers and the world as a whole. One whole decade on, the pair’s vision lives on. Check out the Northbound Jacket, for example.

Not only does it bring style, practicality, and all-mountain functionality to the table, it’s also made from 100% recycled materials. When you combine eco-friendly stats like this with the fact the Yuki Threads Northbound Jacket has a waterproof and breathability rating of 15k / 15k, it’s clear you’re onto a real winner.

Team it up with the Yuki Threads Northbound Bib and Brace.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our Yuki Threads Northbound Jacket review

686 GLCR Gore-Tex Weapon 3-In-1 Smarty Jacket

Price: $600


It’s functional, it’s friendly to the environment, it’s got an excellent HydraStash feature and comes with a ‘free’ mid layer included. It can only be the 686 GLCR Gore-Tex Weapon 3-In1 Smarty Jacket. Made for mountain adventures, this deeply practical ski jacket is a versatile, technical, and cleverly designed all-rounder.

We like that the 80g insulation in the removable mid layer is made from 93% recycled plastic bottles. We like that the CLO Eco Vivo Insulation is “up to 30% more breathable than the competition.” We like that the Hydrastash powder skirt with elastic micro-tube guides is another death blow for single use plastic bottles. We like the jacket’s Air-Flo underarm vents. We like the ‘2-Layer Bluesign Approved Gore-Tex Nylon Stretch Fabric with DWR’ and fully taped Gore-Tex seams. We like it all.

To complete the ensemble, stick the 686 GLCR Gore-Tex Smarty Pant on your legs.

This product was selected for our Ski 100.

Read our 686 GLCR Gore-Tex Weapon 3-In-1 Smarty Jacket review

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