Waterproof Ski Jackets

When buying a waterproof jacket for the slopes there a few important things to keep in mind. In order to purchase the right type of jacket to suit your needs you should look at every feature each jacket has to offer and evaluate those features according to your specific needs.

How Important is Style to you?

While a longer styled jacket might offer greater protection for big powder days, it won’t work for other activities such as hitting the terrain park or half-pipe. Shorter styles will work better for these activities and provide less restriction of movement. Figure out what activities you’ll be participating in the most and buy your jacket accordingly. If you’re planning on alternating between activities it might be wise to purchase two jackets instead of making do with just one.

Don’t Forget the Hood

If you don’t try out the hood, you won’t be able to tell if you’re jacket actually fits you correctly. You should try to find a jacket with a hood that keeps the rain out while maintaining an appropriate field of vision. An adjustable hood is the best choice; one with draw cords and a cord lock to ensure that wind and rain don’t find their way to your hair and neck. The hood should also allow you to effortless move and turn your head. Also, it’s very important to make sure that when the draw cord is tightened that the ends do not flop back and forth otherwise you could be hit in the eye or mouth by flapping cords in high winds.

Storm Flaps are a Sign of Quality

Higher end jackets often feature extra flaps that cover the zipper. They come in handy in high winds and heavy rain by preventing water or moisture from entering through the gaps in the zipper.

Zippers are Important

Zippers can add helpful features to waterproof jackets. Two way zippers allow for increased ventilation while additional zippers allow for the attachment of fleece inserts and more. The best zippers are treated with water repellant as an extra measure of added protection against leaks.

Pockets Can Be Handy

Pockets can be quite useful as hand warmers or for additional storage. Some jackets feature pockets placed higher up for easy access when climbing and some jackets have multiple pockets for various items to allow for more freedom when carrying smaller crucial items. Exterior pockets are usually not guaranteed to be waterproof though and items that could suffer water damage should never be carried inside them without additional protection.

 

Inspect Seams & Taping for Quality

You should always check to ensure that your jacket seams are sealed and have quality stitching. If the seams are poorly secured no amount of waterproofing will keep you dry in heavy rain.

Sleeves, Cuffs, & Draw Cords

Your jacket sleeves should fit comfortably and not restrict your movement. If you’re unable to move your arms freely you should select a different size or style of jacket.

Cuffs are designed to provide a seal protecting your wrists and arms from the weather but there should also be Velcro or buttons providing for adjustment in case ventilation is needed. Cuffs should never be too tight or cut off circulation in your arms.

Draw cords are usually manufactured from elastic bungee cord, allowing for many years of use. Although they should give a little when pulled, they shouldn’t feel loose or hang. If the elastic feels too loose you shouldn’t buy the jacket because it won’t offer much protection against the elements.

Never Neglect Ventilation

Ventilation is probably the single most important feature. If a jacket protects you from all outside elements but cause you to sweat or become overheated it won’t do much good. Make sure your jacket offers ventilation in hot spots. Pit vents are a must in addition to core vents and ventilation pockets. If you choose a jacket without these items you will be miserable.

Buying a waterproof jacket can be a huge investment. Don’t waste your money by shopping according to price alone. Invest in a good fitting jacket with all the features you need and it will keep you warm and dry for many years to come.