The ski jacket has a tough job. We demand that it keeps us warm and cool, dry and breathable, fully featured and lightweight, all while helping us make a statement about our skier style. The best outerwear delivers a microclimate that moves with you while blocking out the weather working against you.
Just like in ski technology, more manufacturers on the ski wear side are rising to the occasion to deliver on all of these ski jacket demands on our checklist. Brands we tested from the likes of The North Face and Helly Hansen to Patagonia and Arc'teryx are attentive to the details with ever more precision. One notable example is a mindfulness around the mouth region, with styles that provide excellent face protection when zipped to the collar without all that cumbersome, suffocating and irritating fabric next to skin/chin.
Of the samples we reviewed, testers noted an overall toned down color array back to the classic solid, with some standout exceptions. Whether subtle and subdued is part of your skier style aesthetic or you're drawn to the vibrant hues that are due and sure to make a comeback soon, you can rest assured that no compromises are being made on the fit and function fronts.
Check out our OnTheSnow reviews for this latest fleet of women's ski jackets for the 2016/2017 ski season now and throughout the season for more on-snow testing.