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The Right Way to Shop for Your Ski Jacket

The why…

I’ve had the same winter gear for five years now. My ski pants are in pitiful condition (aka the bottoms are ripped up) and I can no longer deny that my winter jacket is just not right for me. I get cold a lot, even when I dress well with all the right layers. 

Since our family likes to downhill ski, this year I decided to update my gear so I’m comfortable when we are out enjoying what winter has to offer.

After some online research, I was confused by all the choices (choice is great for us consumers!). To be honest, I didn’t really know where to start. I wanted to make the right choice.

I figured I couldn’t be the only one with these questions. It’s a big investment and you don’t want to make the wrong choice. 

Three steps to take BEFORE buying a jacket 

I had a chance to speak with Christian Quirion, an expert from Sports Experts (ah!) and I also went into the store to try some jackets on. I am a quasi-expert in the field now (hahaha) and took away three things to think about BEFORE buying a new jacket.

  1. Assess your needs

Is this a jacket you’ll be wearing every day or just for sports or outdoor activities? 

Do you run hot or cold? 

Did you know that not all ski jackets are insulated the same? And that there are different kinds of fill, like synthetic or down? If you get cold easily, a jacket with good down fill (like feathers) would be best.

Ski jacket standards state that a jacket has to have at least 100 grams of fill in the body and 60 grams in the arms. Sometimes you can find this information on the jackets themselves; otherwise you can ask a salesperson.

For those who get hot easily or for milder days, check if your jacket can be ventilated easily (zippers that open to let air pass through).

Example of a jacket recommended for people who get cold easily*:

 

Example of a jacket for people who get hot:

 

*In addition to the jacket, it’s important to wear the right layers underneath.

 

 

Will you be skiing in the snow or rain?

If you will, you need to think about waterproofing. A few things to check: the seams, whether the jacket has been treated with water repellent, and how breathable the jacket is. This information is usually found on the jacket label.

  1. Check all your ski gear

Yes, a jacket and ski pants are two important elements, but if you aren’t dressed properly underneath you won’t be comfortable, whatever ensemble you choose. Ideally, you should wear three layers: a thermal base layer, a second layer according to whether we run hot or cold, and your jacket.

Also, see if the jacket has a snow skirt—they are recommended, because they help retain heat, especially on cold days.

If you’re going to shop for a jacket, you might as well make sure you have all the clothing you need.

  1. Try it on in the store

It’s SO important to try jackets on in the store. When I went to Sports Experts, the salesperson was so knowledgeable. I had two jackets in mind and after trying them on, I realized that neither were right for me. 

By trying on different models and combinations, I could see and, most importantly, felt what was best for me. 

A TIP: Try on the entire ensemble, including pants, thermals—and the right layers so that you can get the full picture. If you’re wearing jeans under your ski pants, it will be hard to get a clear idea.

Taking your time is essential. Go shopping when you have a good hour or two available. Yes, it’s a time investment, but you won’t regret it. Above all, be open to the salesperson’s comments and suggestions. 

A few favourites…

While I was shopping, I fell for a few jackets that were just GORGEOUS … here are those I found at Sports Experts

My final choice

Drum roll please … here was my final choice. I picked a jacket with punch—just for fun. Why not!?

I hope this information will help you while you’re shopping for your winter jacket. If this is the year you need to update your jacket or ski pants, now is the best time to do it. Everything is in stock, you’ll have a great selection to choose from.

Written and originaly published by Jaime Damak from Je suis une maman [fr]. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.