Nothing would ruin your skiing holiday more than days spent shivering because you haven't brought the right clothes with you. Indeed, anyone hitting the slopes will need items that will protect against the wind as well as the snow, so a good jacket is going to prove a wise investment.
How that jacket looks is only part of the equation. While it's important for a jacket to be stylish so that you look and feel good, practicality is the most crucial factor. You will want your jacket to be waterproof by at least 10,000 millimetres, protecting you if you stay on the piste. If you think you'll be going hiking, too, then go higher – a waterproof rating of at least 20,000mm will grant you exceptional storm protection.
Consider, also, the time of the year you'll be going. When the days are warmer, then a hardshell jacket will suffice but on those colder days, you'll be looking for insulation. The former will give you flexibility while the latter will ensure you're always snug. The best jackets will also draw moisture away from the skin by using breathable material.
If you want the best of both worlds, some jackets will let you zip an insulating layer into a hardshell. Meanwhile there are some that comes with snowskirts so that snow doesn't get into every nook and cranny if you take a tumble. Comfort is of top importance, after all, and there are lots of options to suit your needs.
We love the crisp design of this waterproof ski jacket as much as its protective qualities. It offers 80-gram synthetic insulation, keeping the wearer warm and cosy. It also makes use of technology that ensures moisture from rain, ice and snow stays out, while allowing any sweat vapour to escape easily.
Importantly, the zips are water repellent so they prevent any seepage and there are many pockets both inside and out that will ensure your phone and other electrics are both protected and kept away from the crisp cold of the slopes. A ski-pass pocket is added for convenience and we like that the jacket is machine washable.
Made from polyester and coming in a variety of colours, the Wantdo ski jacket ticks the right boxes: it's waterproof and windproof and protects against the cold. We also like that it has elastic cuffs so that gusts don't whip up your arm and were pleased to see that it comes with five pockets that protect your hands, equipment and your passes.
Sure, the jacket's design may not be to everyone's taste, but some thought has definitely gone into what it can do for you: the hood is detachable, the jacket closes with both a zip and a sticking band, and there's also an headphone line. For a coat that is affordably priced, and with those things in mind, we'd say it's one to consider.
Mountain Warehouse has been developing outdoor gear since 1997, and this women's ski jacket certainly caught our eye thanks to its very vivid coloured pattern. As always when a design goes out on a limb like this, you'll either love or hate it but, on a practical level, it is water repellant and therefore snowproof. It has also been thermal tested to -30 degrees Celsius.
With a lining of fleece on the inside, it's made for warmth and because it has a snowskirt that is attached to the jacket, the white stuff won't suddenly get inside when you inevitably fall to the ground. What's more, we like the fact the hem, hood and cuffs are adjustable, but we would have liked to see more than three pockets (there's only one internal).
As well as being wind and waterproof, Camel Crown claims this jacket is also scratchproof. The shell of the coat is made from a polymer blending material, said to prevent the wearer being scratched by rocks and branches. It will also keep you cosy, with the fuzzy soft lining and cotton pads trapping body heat.
We love how the sleeves extend down into an adjustable glove-like cuff that you can slip a thumb into for added warmth, although it could get in the way if you're going to wear proper gloves. Even so, there are five pockets and a headphone line fastening too. Some users have reported problems with the double zip, however.
Columbia is a long-established outdoors company that, over the past 80 or so, has built up a strong a reputation for quality. This ski and snowboard-ready jacket looks the part. Not only is it made from a 100 per cent polyester Matte Melange, it uses a thermal reflective technology called Omni-Heat, which is a reflective lining developed for advanced heat retention as well as a soft next-to-skin feel.
By virtue of being seam-sealed (and its use of Omni-Tech), it's 100 percent waterproof, albeit breathable as well. The cuffs are also adjustable and most of the many pockets zip. We like that there is a snow skirt and a removable storm hood. The jacket is available to buy for both and men and women, too.