Ski Jackets and Coats Buying Advice for the Ultimate Downhill Adventure
Buying a men's or women's ski jacket twenty years ago often consisted of making one primary choice: Opt for a range of colors in a trendy and tapered ski jacket that looked out of place anywhere except in an exclusive destination resort, or go with the mountaineering profile in a range of basic red, blue and yellow with black contrast accents (and usually those black accents were the exposed zippers).
Thankfully functionality and fashion elements in ski jackets have undergone a convergence of sorts in the last two decades. You can still find trendy fashion designs made by designers like Oakley, Descente and Spyder, and ski mountaineering offerings from Patagonia, Mountain Hard Wear and The North Face, but most of today's outerwear continues to look great and serve a purpose on both sides of the ski resort boundary lines.
Still, with more features and options in ski jacket designs than ever before, men and women skiers sometimes confront a confusing array of jacket features and can potentially waste money buying options that they don't use or need. Considering the wealth of information about ski jackets currently online, it's easy to compare and evaluate the fashion and features offered by retailers. Ask yourself where, when and how will you use your ski jacket this season. Early season skiers generally opt for more weatherproof insulated jackets while spring skiers tend to look for lighter shells or breathable outerwear. If you run with a trendy crowd and venture to expensive winter resorts on other continents, you may want a jacket with finer luxury components and extra details from companies like Spyder, Descente and Oakley. If you hike or climb to remote backcountry bowls, you might want a mountaineering/climbing hybrid jacket from Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear or The North Face.
Evaluate each ski jacket feature and visualize if or how you'll use it. Do you need a detachable and adjustable heavy weather hood with integrated storage pocket if you wear a ski helmet all the time? Is that lined goggle pocket going to help you out if you wear nothing but Oakley or Scott shades in front of your eyes? Do you need a detachable powder skirt if you only rip hardpack snow and groomed runs? Knowing exactly what you do and don't need can help you make smart decisions and save money.
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