Clothing Care Guide for a Longer Lifespan
Eco-Friendly Tips | December 05, 2022
October 20, 2022
It’s already time to get ready for the ski season! Fun for some, a headache for others: finding the right jacket is not always simple. However, when it comes to quality, versatility or product innovation, some outdoor clothing brands stand out from the rest of the crowd. To make it easier for you, we have prepared a list of the five best ski jacket brands.
In this article, you will learn more about the five brands to consider for your next ski jacket:
Thanks to its strong Norwegian heritage dating back 145 years, Helly Hansen is well-known by athletes and ski enthusiasts of all levels. Originally, its products were inspired by the sea, which is why the brand bears the name of its founder, Captain Helly Juel Hansen. However, the brand quickly diversified and developed a range of mountaineering apparel, a sport equally popular in Norway.
Ever since, Helly Hansen has pioneered the development of several technologies, which it also tests with professionals who live and work in some of the world’s roughest areas of the planet. Such is the case of the Fifa Infinity™, its most waterproof, breathable and eco-friendly fabric.
Whether you are a casual skier or an off-piste freerider, Helly Hansen is sure to have a range of clothing for you.
For example, the Ullr collection was designed by and for extreme skiers focused on performance, while the Resort collection was created for skiers who prefer to practise the sport in a resort. The latter features the Juniper, a hybrid jacket which works just as well on the slopes as it does in the city.
It’s worth noting that most of Helly Hansen’s jackets are equipped with a Life Pocket™ which protects your cell phone’s battery in cold weather, as well as a hood compatible with ski helmets. These Norwegians really do think of everything!
This outdoor clothing company based in Seattle was born out of a misadventure which happened on Mount Denali in 1980 to its founder, Ron Gregg, and his mountaineering partner. Because of poor quality gaiters, the latter suffered severe frostbite and had to be urgently evacuated. Ron Gregg, a career scientist, promised himself he would create safe, high-quality gear for outdoor enthusiasts.
And so Outdoor Research was created. It now offers a wide range of clothing (including jackets) for winter activities, from resort to off-piste skiing. The brand has also always ensured it offers an inclusive selection of sizes for its most popular styles.
Over the years, Outdoor Research has won the hearts of the public and industry professionals alike. Some of its jackets have become icons, including the Snowcrew, ideal for resort skiing. In addition, several of its products have won awards, such as the Skytour Ascent shell, which protects against the elements and offers exceptional breathability. Or the Carbide jacket, a light and versatile 3-layer jacket that performs just as well in the backcountry as it does at the resort, voted best ski garment of 2021 by Ski magazine.
Did you know that Columbia was originally a hat company, and that it became the flourishing outdoor brand we all know today thanks to the passion and perfectionism of the exceptional Gert Boyle?
The woman, whose mantra used to be “it’s perfect, now let’s do even better,” has successfully developed expertise that is unique, innovative, and inspired by nature within the company, which now equips adventure enthusiasts from the city to the mountains.
Columbia’s jackets are known for their versatility and performance. This is certainly true of the Titanium collection, which features the toughest jackets for winter hiking and alpine skiing.
It is a high-quality ski clothing range at an affordable price, and Columbia makes good use of some amazing innovations, such as the Omni-Heat™ 3D, the brand’s latest thermo-reflective technology which traps body heat and is super soft on your skin.
The North Face needs no introduction: the brand has been a staple of the outdoor sports industry since 1968. Founded in San Francisco to provide quality equipment for Californian mountaineers, the American brand launched its first ski jackets in 1991 as part of its Steep Tech collection.
Since then, the brand has been offering a wide range of winter apparel, from alpine ski jackets to waterproof breathable vests and snowboard jackets, each designed to perform on large ski resort slopes as well as narrow backcountry corridors.
Futurelight, Thermoball, Dryvent or Polartec, these innovative and high-performance technologies have proven themselves over several decades at The North Face. They are used in the brand’s most popular ski jackets. Among our favourites: ThermoBall™ insulation (which retains heat even when wet), the waterproof and breathable DryVent™ (which keeps you dry in wet weather), and the Triclimate® jackets (which combine a breathable waterproof shell with an insulated lining). It’s up to you to pick the one that fits your needs!
If you are slightly lost with all these jacket model names, look for the Summit Series, designed for expert mountaineers and climbing athletes.
Founded in Boulder, Colorado 45 years ago by the Canadian ski champion David Jacobs (originally from Montreal), the Spyder brand specializes in the design of technical apparel. It is the biggest ski brand in the world.
Spyder is known for putting style and performance at the forefront of everything it does, something derived from its competitive alpine skiing roots. The brand has equipped many Olympic athletes, including Canadian mogul skiing champion Jennifer Heil. You can easily recognize Spyder’s jackets, snow pants and winter hats on the slopes thanks to its large logo in the shape of … a spider!
Among the many jacket models offered by the eight-legged brand, our favourites are the Leader and the Copper. They are both made of Exo Shield 360, a stretchy fabric which doesn’t restrict your movements. The Leader model is equipped with the Graphene Heat system, which redirects body heat from the hottest areas to the coldest ones to warm them up more quickly, without overheating.
Of course, all jackets come with a hood that’s compatible with ski safety helmets.
If you are looking for a warm jacket for any other outdoor activity, you may be interested in our guide on the warmest winter jacket brands.