Whether you’re a regular ski bunny or a newbie going on your first-ever ski trip, the one piece of ski gear you can’t do without is a good ski jacket.
But choosing the best one is not easy. What material to buy? How much money to spend? Which is the warmest?
The market is flooded with myriad choices for women traveling on ski trips. Selecting the right ski jacket can feel confusing and overwhelming and because they’re such an investment, you want to make sure you’re getting the right one.
Well, as your trusted travel advisor, I’ve done all the hard work for you. I’ve waded through the choices and selected the best women’s ski jackets out there. In this article I bring you the lowdown on everything from style and fit to features and price. But first, let’s take a look at the why, when, and how.
Women's Ski Jacket FAQs
Because I have so much experience skiing, I get asked a lot of questions about gear, equipment, and outfits. Most women want a ski jacket that look cute on the slopes, keeps them warm, and (ideally) doesn’t break the bank. But along with that, I get a lot of other questions about ski jackets.
Below, I tried to answer most of the common questions I get about women’s skiing jackets and outerwear.
Is a ski jacket necessary?
Ski vacations don’t come cheap even if you’ve managed to find one of those last minute ski deals. You probably don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on ski equipment and snow clothes. But you do want to stay comfortable and look stylish on the slopes. Truth is a ski jacket is one of the travel essentials for women as it’s the outermost layer of clothing you’ll wear. You can layer whatever you want underneath to stay warm, but a good waterproof (or at least water repellent) ski jacket will keep you dry. And a well-insulated ski jacket will keep you toasty warm even in biting cold weather. The last thing you want is to ruin your ski vacation because you’re cold and soaking wet. Of course, your ski jacket is the layer that’s visible to everyone, so it’s also your style statement on the slopes
How to buy a ski jacket?
You don’t want to compromise on style, but there are two main functional features to look for in the best women’s ski jackets – warmth and weather resistance – wherever you might travel around the world. If you’re headed to super-cold conditions, a protective insulated jacket is the best option. For warmer weather, such as skiing in April, a lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and windproof ski jacket will serve you better.
Why buy waterproof women’s ski jackets?
When it comes to the best women’s ski jackets, the holy grail in features is a jacket that keeps the snow out and allows the heat your body generates to keep you warm when you’re skiing or snowboarding. That’s why every social media influencer swears by waterproof ski clothes.
I recommend buying a ski jacket that is waterproof and breathable, at least to some degree. The waterproofing effectiveness varies, and the price often correlates to the jacket’s performance, but we’ll look at that in more detail in the individual reviews below.
What should I look for when buying a ski jacket?
One of the key factors that determines your comfort during adventure travel is your gear. Check the style of the ski jacket – is it a single piece or modular design. Single piece women’s ski jackets have a lightweight lining, insulation, and outer shell all quilted together, so they tend to be bulkier. Modular ski jackets have a removable inner insulating layer, so there’s greater versatility in terms of temperature regulation and wearing options.
You should also check the fit of the jacket, since skiing will require considerable maneuverability. You don’t want a jacket that’s so bulky that it keeps you from moving freely or a collar that is going to rub your face raw. Also check if the hood is ski helmet compatible and if the cuffs will fit the gloves you use.
There are lots of other features to look out for, such as taped seams, zipper quality, hood design, powder skirts, pockets, and cuffs, but more on that later in the detailed reviews of the best women’s ski jackets below.
When is the best time to buy a ski jacket?
If you’re a regular skier, waiting for the end of season sales is a good idea when your chances of grabbing a good deal are the highest. However, if you have an upcoming ski vacation and you need the jacket and ski pants right away, check out the clearance sections on websites and in stores. This is an insider tip from a YouTube influencer. Sometimes you can get some of the best women’s ski jackets at a fraction of their original price only because they are “last season.”
What about color matching in ski jackets?
Even though I’m a travel influencer, I don’t stress too much about colors when it comes to fashion while snow skiing. Your ski wear should be fun and you should buy whatever looks trendy. But remember, something that looks good while you whiz past people on the slopes may look a little over-the-top if you wear it during aprés ski activities or while running winter errands.
Recommended Women's Ski Jackets for 2020
Now that you know some of the things to look for, here are my top picks of the 21 best women’s ski jackets on Amazon. The list includes top brands as well as less expensive ski jackets if you need budget ski gear. These best women’s ski jackets 2020 range in price from about $80 to $750, so there’s something for everyone.
1. Wantdo Women’s Mountain Waterproof Ski Jacket Windproof Rain Jacket
Let’s kick off the review with a women’s ski jacket that offers the most value. At under $100, you get water resistance, wind resistance, and a fuzzy lining to keep you warm. There are enough pockets for the jacket to be functional. There’s a large removable hood and a powder skirt to keep the snow out of your clothes. I think this is the perfect option for the first time traveler and skier who doesn’t know if they’ll be going back. All you have to do is find one of those January ski deals, pick up this Wantdo jacket, and you’re all set for a great time on the slopes.
2. NILS Womens Ester Jacket
I love this brand! I wear generic black pants from NILS Ski for the simple reason that I’m 5 feet 11 and the nils ski pants are long enough. I ordered a relatively basic red and black NILS womens ski jacket, but they do have some jackets in bright colors and different styles. This jacket has nice details (racing stripes down the middle) and the black on the side will make you look slimmer at the waist. The hood is removable but there’s a little gap there that might let the wind in. It’s a good quality, sturdy jacket, and I recommend it if you don’t get too cold.
3. Helly Hansen Womens Alphelia Lifaloftjacket
A lightweight, breathable, waterproof, windproof jacket from a well-known brand that makes some of the best rated womens ski jackets. This one ticks all the boxes. There are lots of useful features, including LIFALOFT insulation, dual hand warming pockets, a ski-pass pocket, goggle shammy, and snap away powder skirt. The hood is detachable and helmet compatible. The air vents on the back yoke are great to let the steam out.
4. Descente Womens Layla Fur Jacket
I’ll go out on a limb and call the descente women’s ski jacket the best women’s ski jacket out there. It’s because this is the ski jacket I use! It’s from my favorite brand for ski clothes. The descent jacket has nice details across the back. I love the hot pink color. A white ski jacket is cool, but a hot pink (or green or any crazy color) jacket makes it easy for your friends to find you on the mountain. Features I love include the thumb-through sleeve, armpit opening, and ski pass pocket. The removable hood can come off for spring skiing. My descent ski jacket has real fur, but you can go for fake fur or no fur. The fur trim comes right off as well. This descent women’s ski jacket is at the expensive end of the price spectrum, but it works for me since I’m a regular skier.
5. Burton Ak Gore Embark Jacket
Definitely the brand to buy for snowboarders. I ordered the women’s snowboarding jacket in a lovely turquoise that is a little more muted than the bright colors skiers tend to choose. This is an oversized jacket with a removable powder skirt, nice pockets, and sleeves that can be Velcro-tightened around your gloves (this is important because snowboarding gloves tend to be bigger). Definitely recommended for hip snowboarders. Is it among the warmest womens ski jackets? I’ll have to wear it and let you know.
6. Gsou Women’s Waterproof Ski Snowboard Jacket Windproof Mountain Rain Coat
I’ve said this before, I love lots of color on the slopes. When it’s a group of women traveling together, my friends can see me on the mountain and I can’t lose my ski jacket. Lots of snowboarders wear this particular brand. I ordered a bright watercolor ski jacket. Something to know… the hood is not removable. But I loved the seamless zipper so you actually can’t see it. There’s also a matching ski pant available if you want to go all out. And if you want to tone it down a bit, match with nils womens ski pants in a solid color. Super fun and great value!
7. The North Face Women’s Arrowood Triclimate Jacket
A ski jacket from a brand that needs no introduction and is popular with people who’re into luxury travel. I purchased this in a light gray/white to show you what a white jacket looks like. Again, it’s a cool color to have, but your friends will have a hard time finding you on the mountain. I love the fact that this North Face jacket has a removable layer. This means for spring skiing in March you can wear just a t-shirt and the jacket shell. Then, during aprés ski when it’s starting to get colder and darker, you can pop in the liner. I recommend this North Face women’s ski jacket only for spring skiing though. It’s not warm enough for skiing in January!
8. Spyder Women’s Entice Jacket
This is a well-known US brand among skiers and Instagram influencers. They have a whole range of ski gear including some of the best womens ski pants. This particular women’s ski jacket has sleeves that close down, a well-placed pocket on the sleeve for your ski pass, and a hood with a fuzzy trim that’s big enough to go over your ski helmet. Is it the best women’s ski jacket? All I can say is if you tend to get cold while skiing, look for a Spyder jacket that’s a little bit thicker and warmer. I’ve worn Spyder jackets for years and this last season I ended up buying a DESCENTE because personally I’m always cold. I ordered a simple Spyder ski jacket in black with gray accents, but there are some beautiful colorful ones available if you want to showcase your personality. This is a well-styled jacket and is a great pick if you want to accentuate your feminine figure.
9. Columbia Women’s Bugaboo II Fleece Interchange Jacket, Waterproof and Breathable
What I loved about this ladies ski jacket from well-known outdoor brand Columbia is that you can tighten the sleeve to prevent wind getting up into your arm. There’s a removable hood on this modular design jacket. So, when you’re spring skiing, you can use just the shell and remove the inside fleece lining. This is a longer jacket so it can work for snowboarding as well as skiing (snowboarding jackets tend to be a little bit more open and wider and bigger and longer). This Columbia jacket is a great option for all-weather skiers and snowboarders.
10. Cloudveil Women’s Koven Jacket
A basic polyester ski jacket with waterproof laminate and water-resistant zippers. This is one of the more inexpensive women’s ski jackets I’ve reviewed. Even though it’s not among the best ski clothes available, I recommend it for newbie spring skiers and leisure travel. Buy it if you don’t want to blow a whole lot of money and are looking for cheap ski gear.
11. MOERDENG Women’s Waterproof Ski Jacket Warm Winter Snow Coat Mountain Windbreaker Hooded Raincoat
If you’re looking for multi-purpose ski wear that’s windproof and waterproof and can double as rainy weather or snow gear, this is a good option. It has a fluff lining for heat retention, a storm hood and soft shell to keep the wind out, and quick dry material with a relaxed fit styling.
12. Obermeyer Tuscany II Insulated Women’s Ski Jacket
The Obermeyer brand based in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains is known for high-quality ski gear. This sturdy ski jacket is sure to hold up after years of use. Go for it if you’re looking for a mid-priced women’s ski jacket that is US designed and made.
13. Roxy Women’s Jet Ski Snow Jacket
A nice ski jacket that comes with patented WarmFlight technology to maintain your body temperature on the coldest of days. If you’re looking for the best clothes for skiing, this one’s nicely styled with faux fur. It features a removable, adjustable hood, hook-and-loop cuffs, mesh-lined pit zips, and inside pocket with a media port so you can listen to your favorite beats on the go. I love the flattering fit and contemporary styling of this sporty women’s ski jacket.
14. Billabong Women’s Sula Snow Jacket
With an allover print in pop colors, this is the best womens ski jacket if you want to turn heads on the mountain. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a mid-weight jacket that allows you to layer. You won’t have to compromise on insulation or waterproofing and the polyester material is machine washable.
15. Acr’teryx Alpha AR Jacket – Women’s
With a Gore-Tex Pro 3-layer face fabric in bright colors, this is one of the best waterproof ski jackets on the market from a well-known ski apparel manufacturer. It will keep you dry on the slopes while allowing you to look stylish with its great fit. The jacket is designed to maximize comfort and movement. Match it with ladies ski pants from the same brand and you’re good to go. I recommend it to serious skiers and snowboarders.
16. SALOMON Women’s Fantasy Jacket W
Stay toasty warm in the harshest of conditions with this womens ski jacket from well-known outdoor brand Salomon. Styled for urban chic, this ski coat can be worn around town without looking out of place. Recommended if you’re looking for an all rounder jacket for a variety of winter activities.
17. The North Face Women’s Gotham Jacket II
Your search for the best women’s ski jackets can end with the North Face brand. Stay protected from the forces of nature in this DWR (durable water repellant) ski outfit. The adjustable hood, the faux fur trim, and the flattering fit will have you looking stylish on the slopes. A great buy if you want a jacket that can cope with whatever the elements might throw at you.
18. Marmot Bella Jacket – Women’s
Down is a popular insulating material in ski clothes, but this Marmot women’s ski jacket is a great option if you’re not a fan of that style. Made from 100 percent synthetic material, it’s durable enough to survive a fall or two. Comes in a lovely methyl blue or simple black.
19. DESCENTE Womens Melina Jacket
Say hello to a stylish women’s ski jacket that will help you fit right in if you’re skiing in Vail in January. It has a fashionable color block styling. If you want to stay warm without the bulkiness of down jackets, the DESCENTE Melina is a great choice. I love the breathable, lightweight, stretch fabric that makes movement easy.
20. Spyder Syncere Jacket
Spyder makes some of the best ladies ski jackets. This one features a fixed hood with adjustable opening. Some nice features are the underarm vents, powder skirt with snaps, and pant attachment tabs. I loved the Velcro adjustable cuffs and internal zippered pockets. Available in a range of bright colors and prints.
21. Mountain Hardwear Women’s Barnsie Insulated Jacket
A simple but flattering women’s ski jacket that is functional and looks graceful as you zip down the slopes. I recommend it if you’re a minimal-fuss, occasional skier and don’t want to spend money on designer ski wear or an overly technical ski jacket.
Whether you ski every week in the winter or you’re trying skiing for the first time and might end up wearing your ski jacket to get groceries, my advice is to always invest in good ski gear. This review of the 21 best women’s ski jackets has something for everyone. If you want the best womens ski coat that will last for several seasons, choose one from a well-known brand’s top-of-the-line range. If you’re looking for a budget women’s ski jacket, pick something that will keep you comfortable, dry, and warm and fits well. Did you find this review helpful? Don’t forget to follow my travel vlog for more useful reviews and information.
What's your favorite brand of women's ski jackets?
Let me know in the comments below!
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