Updated on June 10, 2024

The best ski jacket is an essential piece of gear when heading into the mountains for a day (or weekend) filled with skiing. Aside from keeping you warm, most jackets offer windproof and waterproof protection to keep you drier and warmer. Not to mention, there are a lot of style choices to choose from!

That’s why we’ve chosen the best ski jackets that money can buy, so you can stop surfing the web and start shredding the slopes! Rather than just a basic jacket to get you on the slopes for a single day, these are best thought of as long term investments as they include many features. One such feature that you’ll find on all of the jackets we’ve listed is a powder skirt, which can be tucked into your ski pants to create a layering effect to keep snow out in the event of a fall.

Check out the list below!

For more of our top ski gear recommendations, check out the Best Women’s Ski Jackets.


Quick Answer - The Best Ski Jackets

  1. REI Co-op Powderhound
  2. Outdoor Research Skyward II
  3. Helly Hansen Alpha 3.0
  4. The North Face ThermoBall TriClimate
  5. Patagonia Snowshot
  6. Columbia Cushman Crest
  7. Patagonia PowSlayer
  8. Arc’teryx Rush
  9. Columbia Wild Card Interchange


Comparison Table - Best Ski Jacket

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NameWeightHoodTypeRecco Rescue DetectorPriceRatingReview
REI Co-op Powderhound1 lb. 13 oz.YesInsulatedNo$4.8Read Review
Outdoor Research Skyward II1 lb. 9.8 oz.YesHybridNo$$4.6Read Review
Helly Hansen Alpha 3.02 lbs. 12.7 oz.Yes, detachableHybridEmbedded RECCO® reflector$$$4.5Read Review
The North Face ThermoBall TriClimate2 lbs. 3.27 oz.Yes3-in-1No$$4.8Read Review
Patagonia Snowshot2 lbs. 15 oz.Yes, Detachable3-in-1Yes$$5.0Read Review
Columbia Cushman Crest3 lbs.Yes, DetachableInsulatedNo$4.8Read Review
Patagonia PowSlayer1 lbs. 3 oz.YesShellYes$$4.7Read Review
Arc’teryx Rush1 lbs. 5.5 oz.YesShellYes$$4.7Read Review
Columbia Wild Card Interchange2 lbs. 8 oz.Yes, Detachable3-in-1No$4.6Read Review
NameWeightHoodTypeRecco Rescue DetectorPriceRatingReview
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Jacket for Skiing

REI Co-op Powderhound

  • Type: Insulated
  • Weight: 1 lb. 13 oz.
  • Hood: Yes
  • Recco Rescue Detector: No
  • bluesign®-approved nylon is abrasion resistant, waterproof, windproof and critically seam sealed
  • 80g synthetic insulation keeps your core warm while 60g synthetic insulation in the sleeves gives a little more movement, a little less bulk
  • Helmet-friendly hood
REI Co-op Powderhound


If you’re looking for a high-quality insulated jacket but you don’t have a ton to spend, consider the $200 Powderhound.

REI continues to dominate the budget outdoor gear market with its well-made performance pieces — and the Powderhound is no exception. This two-layer jacket is crafted from blue sign approved nylon that resists water, wind, and abrasion. There’s 8p grams of insulation to keep your core warm and 60 grams spread throughout the extremities, which allows for a greater range of motion while reducing bulk. The helmet-compatible hood can be adjusted in both the front and the rear.

What I like most about this jacket — other than the affordable price — is that it’s insulated, making for a great choice for wearing in cold temperatures.

Outdoor Research Skyward II

View Women's Version
  • Type: Hybrid
  • Weight: 1 lb. 9.8 oz.
  • Hood: Yes
  • Recco Rescue Detector: No
  • Waterproof, breathable, and wind-resistant AscentShell 3L membrane
  • Elbow articulation and stretch fabric allow unrestricted motion
  • Extensive side vents for customized temperature regulation
  • High hand pockets allow for easy access with a harness or pack
Outdoor Research Skyward II


This hybrid hard and soft shell offers the best of both worlds of breathability and range of motion as protection from the elements.

Outdoor Research designed the Skyward II with the AscentShell 3L waterproof breathable membrane, which although it might not feel quite on par with bombproof GORE-TEX alternatives, held up its own in heavy winds and snow. What makes it such an ideal backcountry choice is how the fabric stretches like a soft-shell and combined with elbow articulation allows for completely unrestricted range of motion. Massive side vents allow you to shed heat when things start to warm up and there are plenty of pockets for carrying everything you need into the backcountry.

What I like most about the Skyward II is how affordable it is for a performance piece at $350.

Helly Hansen Alpha 3.0

  • Type: Hybrid
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 12.7 oz.
  • Hood: Yes, detachable
  • Recco Rescue Detector: Embedded RECCO® reflector
  • Embedded RECCO® reflector
  • 4-way full stretch fabric with articulated arms and elbows offer unrestricted mobility
  • Snap-away stretch powder skirt prevents snow from getting where it shouldn't


If you’re looking for the best combination of warmth and range of movement on the market, look no further.

Hello Hansen designed the Alpha 3.0 with PrimaLoft Black insulation throughout the body and the sleeves. It’s warm enough for the most frigid chairlift rides on winter’s coldest days. One of the Alpha’s most stand-out features is how clean it’s styled to look and the variety of colors it’s available in.

What I like most about the Alpha 3.0 is that it was built with four-way stretch fabric all the way around — rather than simply integrated into key places — which results in this jacket being offering the most comfortable, stretchy fit.

The North Face ThermoBall TriClimate

View Women's Version
  • Type: 3-in-1
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 3.27 oz.
  • Hood: Yes
  • Recco Rescue Detector: No
  • 2-layer DryVent™ shell with sealed seams and waterproof zippers provides waterproof/breathable protection to keep you dry and comfortable
  • Durable water repellent (DWR) coating provides the first layer of defense against moisture
  • Helmet-compatible hood adds coverage
The North Face ThermoBall TriClimate


Many skiers like 3-in-1 jackets because you get an insulated mid layer and hardshell outer layer in the same purchase — and if you’re looking for the highest quality 3-in-1 style jacket out there — you need to consider The North Face’s ThermoBall TriClimate.

This jacket offers plenty of exterior storage for stashing essentials, pit zips to allow for venting in toastier conditions, or when you’re lodge-bound, and water resistant zippers than contribute to the outer shell’s ability to keep out the elements. The seams are fully taped the hood is helmet compatible, which makes for a pretty versatile piece — and all in one package, at that.

What I like most about the ThermoBall is that it’s insulated with North Face’s quality proprietary insulation.

Patagonia Snowshot

  • Type: 3-in-1
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 15 oz.
  • Hood: Yes, Detachable
  • Recco Rescue Detector: Yes
  • Offered In 7 Different Color Schemes
  • Features Armpit Zips To Vent Off Excess Heat
  • Includes Several Interior Pockets For Holding Phones, Wallets, And Other Items


Patagonia has a storied tradition of crafting quality products that are meant to stand the test of time. All of their apparel can be repaired by you or them should it break down with use. They also ensure that everything they sell is made in an environmentally sustainable way and is a product of fair labor practices. 

The Snowshot 3-in-1 Jacket is an extremely versatile piece of gear that can cover a broad range of conditions. On extremely cold days, it has the insulation to keep you extra warm and able to shred down slopes with less breaks to warm up by the fire. On warmer days, the interior insulated jacket can be removed and you can just wear the shell as a waterproof layer. 

If the skies are sunny and there isn’t a need for the waterproof layer, you can shed the waterproof shell in favor of the interior jacket. This is a great option when it is moderately cold. 

The 3-in-1 also comes with a built-in Recco Detector, giving you peace of mind that you’ll be rescued in the unlikely event of an avalanche.

Columbia Cushman Crest

  • Type: Insulated
  • Weight: 3 lbs.
  • Hood: Yes, Detachable
  • Recco Rescue Detector: No
  • Offered In 5 Different Colors
  • Sleek Design Is Stylish And Timeless
  • Zippered Pockets Keep Gear Secure


If you’ve already dropped a significant amount of coin on your boots, bindings, skis, and poles, but still desire a high quality jacket, then the Columbia Cushman Crest Insulated Jacket may just be a match made in heaven. 

This synthetic insulated jacket will not only keep you warm, but is backed by the quality craftsmanship that Columbia is known for. The inside features a heat-reflecting thermal lining that uses your own body heat to not only get warm but to stay warm. Many jackets will warm up as you get moving but also cool down as you take breaks. This jacket will get warm and stay warm until you decide to take it off or vent some of the excess heat through the pit zips. 

The Cushman Crest Jacket also has adjustable wrist cuffs to dial in the proper fit and a drawcord in the hem to keep warmth trapped.

Patagonia PowSlayer

  • Type: Shell
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 3 oz.
  • Hood: Yes
  • Recco Rescue Detector: Yes
  • Offered In 2 Different Colors
  • Built-In Hand Warmers In The Exterior Pockets
  • Adjustable Powder Skirt Keeps Snow And Slush Out


If you’re a Pacific Northwest skier where it tends to be wetter and warmer, then you don’t need a heavy and bulky insulated jacket. The Patagonia PowSlayer Jacket is a perfect way to keep you dry, light, and moving unencumbered. 

Featuring Gore-Tex windproof, waterproof, and breathable fabric, this jacket will give you peace of mind if the weather turns bad. On extra cold days, use the built-in hand warmers in the pockets for added comfort. The built-in hood is also helmet compatible and synches down for a custom fit. 

For skiers in the rockies needing some windproofing, the PowSlayer can be used as a shell and thrown over a traditional down jacket.

Arc’teryx Rush

  • Type: Shell
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 5.5 oz.
  • Hood: Yes
  • Recco Rescue Detector: Yes
  • Offered In 2 Different Color Schemes
  • Full Range Of Motion Offers Superior Performance
  • Passive Recco Detector Makes You Easier To Find In An Avalanche


Say goodbye to bulky and uncomfortable ski jackets. The Arc’teryx Rush Jacket takes design to the next level to maximize your comfort both on and off the mountain. 

Waterproof, windproof, and breathable, the Rush Jacket focuses on high quality materials to keep you warm and dry. It relies on a triple layer of Gore-Tex fabric for maximum waterproofing that won’t break down and let leaks in like other imitation fabrics. 

The underarms feature a “no-lift” design that allows you free range of motion while hitting your best runs and the chin guard has brushed fabric to keep your face warm and soft when fully zipped. 

This jacket is also incredibly stylish and can be worn at the lodge or when hitting the town. No need to bring a second jacket for swapping out!

Columbia Wild Card Interchange

  • Type: 3-in-1
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Hood: Yes, Detachable
  • Recco Rescue Detector: No
  • Offered In 3 Different Colors
  • Inner Jacket Is Stylish And Can Be Worn When Not Skiing
  • Down Insulation Is As Warm As A 20° Degree Sleeping Bag


A 3-in-1 jacket with down insulation for under $300? Yes please! The Columbia Wild Card Interchange 3-in-1 Jacket is a true rarity and the best possible bang for your buck. 

Now you don’t have to sacrifice quality or versatility when choosing a lesser expensive jacket. Columbia’s 3-in-1 is a game changer that provides all the upside of more expensive jackets without the high price tag. 

Featuring a fully waterproof and windproof shell, you can strip down the inside and wear just the exterior for warmer days or stay dry and keep it all together on cold, wet days. The insulated inner jacket is not only great on it’s own when hitting the mountain, but also stylish enough to wear around town. Perhaps they mislabeled it, because in my book this jacket is actually a 4-in-1!





Ski jackets generally fall into 3 major categories that can help you narrow down your search.


Insulated jackets are a great way to stay warm on exceptionally chilly days. They can feature either synthetic or duck down insulation. Synthetic insulation is typically much heavier but is also waterproof. Down is much lighter, but performance is greatly affected when wet.


A shell jacket is a great lightweight option for warmer days, or as an added waterproof layer over a warm jacket.


Relatively new to snowsports, 3-in-1 jackets offer a great amount of versatility. The inner layer is insulated and can be completely removed on warm days, offering the best of both worlds from shell and insulated jackets. The outer layer is usually waterproof with a wind breaking midlayer built into either the shell or inner jacket.



Recco Reflectors are an option found on many pieces of winter gear including snow pants, jackets, and helmets that can help ski patrol and emergency rescuers find you in the event of an avalanche. It is a passive system that works automatically, but is not to be confused with an avalanche transceiver that backcountry skiers need to carry for safety.





A proprietary waterproof fabric that was the first of its kind. Many companies have attempted to replicate Gore-Tex in their own way.



For more of our top skiing gear recommendations, check out these popular buyer's guides:

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Ski Bindings

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Ski Pants

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Ski Goggles

Ski Helmets