November 27th, 2013

In a world filled with too many options and difficult choices we have scoured the shop shelves to bring you the best women’ ski jackets this season.  While there is no one best womens ski jacket that sits at the top of the proverbial mountain so to speak, we have found some very versatile options that will help you fight the cold and focus on enjoying each and every ski day.  And to make our job more difficult, it seems that each outdoor enthusiast is looking for something different, whether it be technical features to goose down.  So in an attempt to help you narrow your search, we have broken our top picks out into three categories: 1) All-around ski shells that can be worn with or without layers, 2) Down for extreme warmth and 3) Insulated parkas to keep it simple.  Happy skiing!

Looking for the latest?  Check out our new 2015 Women’s best ski jacket reviews.


Section One: Ski shells to battle the wind cold and rain


#1) Norrona – Lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Shell Jacket

norrona best womens ski jacketRecommendation: Perfect for backcountry babes, this jacket keeps you feeling warm while looking hot.


What People Say: This might easily be one of the best products not only Norrona’s, but on the entire gear market. Fits great, colors are very noticeable in the backcountry, which is not only pretty, but safe as well. Material is bombproof, yet light, by far my favorite jacket!!! I am 5’11” 155 lbs and got it in XL and have plenty of room for layering, as they run a little large, which is the case for most Norrona gear. I cannot say enough great things about it. Another happy customer says: “This is a wicked ski jacket!! There is enough room to move in it, it is breathable and keeps you dry, awesome colours (can’t go wrong with Norrona), and the chin zip is just the right size with or without the hood (I usually don’t use the hood unless it’s storming). I returned the insulated version because I found it too warm – the shell is perfect because I can layer a fleece underneath if I need it. zippers are in the front – nicely accessible when skiing with a pack on in the backcountry. The powder skirt easily zips on and off. I have also used this in a pinch for rainy weather – with the beautiful blue colour, you can’t go wrong and get tonnes of compliments!!”



#2) Kjus – Formula Women’s Jacket

kjus warm ski jacketRecommendation: Feminine yet functional. Expensive, but if can afford $1000, it´s well worth the price.  This jacket comes with a RECCO avalanche reflector built into it. Although, by no means,  a substitute for an avalanche beacon, it might provide a little bit of added protection.


What People Say: “When Kjus first came out you mostly saw it worn by women (has anyone seen a woman who didnt look amazing in a Kjus outfit?) and status seekers… but this past season I saw more real skiers wearing the brand than ever before…The biggest praise is that you dont even notice you are wearing a ski jacket when you are skiing in a Kjus piece… you have total flexibility and range of motion… hard to believe how far superior the line is until you try it yourself… “I’m another big fan of the Formula jacket and its by far the warmest, most wind-resistant, most comfortable and lightest jacket I have in a collection of good Spyder, Descente and Salomon pieces… its been amazing to me how this light, slim jacket without any bulk at all is almost like armor against wind and cold… it is the only upper end skiwear I have tried that is worth paying full price for.”




#3) Arc’teryx – Sentinel Jacket

warmest womens ski jacketRecommendation: On the other hand, it’s not really made for sub-zero temperatures, and at $350, you might want to consider a warmer alternative.


What People Say: Some skiers praised its powder skirt, helmet friendly hood and wide cuffs, which fit perfectly over the bulkiest pair of ski gloves. Others waxed poetic about the sensuality of its “soft, soft, soft”  Gortex fabric.  Hip length avoids wet butt syndrome on the lifts. Waterproof, breathable and not too bulky, so no, this jacket will not make your butt look big.




#4) Patagonia – Powder Bowl Jacket

top womens ski jacketRecommendation: Well, let´s see. A 2-layer construction pairs a comfortable, moisture-wicking mesh lining with a sturdy Gore-Tex® performance shell to ensure you stay dry in heavy storms. Removable, 2-way adjustable hood big enough to fit a helmet and tall enough to protect your neck and face, even when hood is down. Coated zippers and wrist cuffs that fit over big bulky gloves, it´s hard to miss with Patagonia. Since it has been around for awhile, some stores are selling it for well under $300. You can´t beat that!


What People Say: This lightweight jacket provides warmth and water resistance. Loved the fit, which offered plenty of room for base layering.  The soft, large fleece-lined collar is a comfortable, itch-free alternative to other types of face covering. Strategically placed pockets, including padded one for phone/electronic devices. Loved the stylish color options, and overall attention to detail.  Just add a warm sweater for those sub-zero days.



#5) Mammut – Robella Shell Ski Jacket

purple ski jacketRecommendation: Reasonably priced, stylish and functional make this an attractive product. The hood issue could cause problems if you ski in very cold environments. Solve the problem by removing the detachable hood, and wearing a helmet liner. not ride up when you lift your arms. That in itself is a good thing.


What People Say: “I got the deep purple color and it is beautiful,”  exclaims one reviewer. “Everything about this jacket is awesome. It’s so comfortable, fits great, long enough to fall under the belt line, zips up with chin padding so it doesn’t rub on the chin and it’s high enough so you can dip into the neck warmer if it’s cold, the hood seems to be non helmet compatible but it fits over the head really nicely, nice large pockets for hands which are warm (Mammut does a great job with this, they put extra padding on the outside so that when you slide your hands into the pockets they are actually warm), inside zip pocket large enough to fit stuff but not a skin pocket, it has the super soft comfy wrist/thumb guards.” Another viewer notes: “The only complaint I have about this jacket is that although the hood fits over my ski helmet, it just barely does so and restricts my movement too much to leave it there while I’m skiing.”




#6) North Face – Bansko Jackets

waterproof ski jacketRecommendation: North Face is always synonymous with high quality, but in this case, quality comes at a price. At $350, it might not be your choice for an all-winter ski jacket, but it will provide a fashionable apres ski and spring skiing jacket.


What People Say: Skiers sang the praises of the soft, high quality feel of the fabric, and the overall fit and appearance of the Bansko North Face jacket. They loved the big, detachable hood,  effective waterproofing and the fleece-lined neck.   The plastic pulls on the zipper pockets are easy to open, even with ski gloves. A powder skirt, along with an adequate length met enthusiastic approval. There were a few complaints about the user-friendliness of the main zipper, but nothing was a deal breaker.  As for overall warmth, this jacket is only a shell, so it might not suit those who ski in extremely cold climates.




#7) Mountain Hardware – Snowtastic 3L Jacket


windproof ski jacketRecommendation: An option for those who do not wear helmets but we agree that at $450, it should be perfect, including in its hood size. On the other hand, if you find it at a good price, it is  a well-made ski jacket.  Just wear a helmet liner to keep your head warm.


What People Say: “In almost all regards, this is a fantastic jacket. This jacket had everything I was looking for: chamois cuffs to keep snow off my wrists; a zip out powder skirt so that it would be comfy on and off mountain; a welded soft shell so no annoying mesh liners or weird stiff fabric; and pit zips and plenty of room for movement (I telemark, so I prefer a little more room in the pits). But this does not have a ski helmet compatible hood, despite assurances from the rep that I spoke with and MH reps in the store that I visited. MH’s description conspicuously omits compatibility from its description, even though you see it on other jackets. At $450 — and because it’s supposedly snowtastic — this thing should have a compatible hood.  At full price, it falls short.”   Others were more enthusiastic: “This has been my jacket for the past two years. I cannot say enough good things about the DryQ Elite waterproof technology. When hiking in the mountains I’ve noticed that I am the only one out of my friends that can hike and keep this crucial layer on while doing so because it breaths so well. I layer this shell with the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket. When I’m in the mountains for a long day of touring it’s super important for me to keep my down layer dry and warm. I stuff the puffy in my pack and hike with my shell keeping my first layers protected as well. I almost never use the pit zips because of the breathability too…I am yet to find another technology that performs as well as DryQ Elite and it’s been super fun to share DryQ Elite with friends because it works and has changed my world in the mountains! I love the simplicity of this jacket as well.”




#8) Patagonia – Piolet Jacket

top ski jacket reviewRecommendation: An all-purpose shell from Patagonia will go a long way to staying comfortable and warm (they’ve thought of everything) but this isn’t the most stylish jacket on the market.  It fits well with helmets which is a big plus as a number of the other shells have failed this test.


What People Say: Versatile is the word most commonly used to describe the Patagonia Piolet Women´s Jacket. Although waterproof and windproof, the inside mesh layer provides breathability,  thereby avoiding the apres ski smelly pit syndrome.  Nice, long armpit zippers help with ventilation.  And yay, the hood fits over the helmet! Recommendation: Goretex and Patagonia offers a classic win-win scenario. Wear a sweater underneath for extreme cold, but lose the sweater for spring skiing or use it for hiking. Did we mention, it’s backpack-compatible design? Comes with a choice of three pretty colors – blue butterfly, jeweled berry or tidal teal. Perfect for the female athlete who is not afraid to show her inner girly girl.





Section Two: Down for extreme warmth


#1) North Face – Heavenly Down Jacket

puffy womens ski jacketRecommendation: Boasting a favorable warmth to weight ratio, this jacket is heaven for skiers who want to stay warm, dry and fashionable.  A powder skirt protects the girly parts from freezing up on deep snow days. Priced for value at about $265.


What People Say: “I bought this coat for the tough Utah winter that is coming up. It keeps me warm and I like the white color I bought. The fabric is such that the white doesn’t get dirty very easy.” “I usually hate wearing down jackets because they make me look like the Michelin Tire Man. The diagonal baffles and the fitted waist on the North Face Heavenly Down Jacket flatter the figure. And yeah, it’s a very warm jacket.




#2) Marmot – Mountain Down Jacket

best down womens ski jacketRecommendation: With its patented Angel Wing Movement Sleeves, this is a jacket that will not ride up and make you look like a gaper when you lift your arms. Goose down for warmth, a zip-off powder skirt, the quality that characterizes all Marmut products, and priced well under $300, we definitely give this one the green light.


What People Say: “Very warm, no longer afraid of the winter chill! Design is very intimate! I will recommend to my friends!” We are assuming she means form fitting and stylish. It´s nice to see that she is no longer afraid of winter.  Another happy customer writes “I was looking for something that I can use when visiting my in-laws that live 100 miles North of the Arctic Circle, but I didn’t have to carry a bulky heavy jacket on the 20 hour series of planes, trains and automobiles. I also wanted to use this same coat for backpacking so it needed to smash down into a 65ltr backpack along with my other gear. I’m 6’1″ and wanted it to reach past my cold bum, which is a tough thing when you think about the fact that I’m only 150lbs and a GIRL so I wanted it to be somewhat flattering (I know, I ask too much….but I GOT IT!)”




#3) Canada Goose – Burnett Parka

canada goose womens ski jacketRecommendation: Cool feature alert: This jacket has shoulder straps that let you carry it like a backpack, once you are out of the element. The slim fit and military style might be more suitable  for women with more androgynous body types, and those who prefer a less girly-girl look. Expensive at $650, but, as its name implies, made in Canada, where people understand the true meaning of the word “cold.”


What People Say: “It’s called a parka here on Amazon but any other parka that I’ve ever owned tended to be bulky and big. The Canada Goose website calls this a jacket. It’s slim fitting and not “puffy” as you’d expect downfill to be but still very warm. It’s filled with 625 fill power of duck down. For me, it’s perfect for those chilly late autumn and winter days. I purchased it for wearing during cross-country skiing in the arctic. I have a feeling it may be too warm of a coat for that! The removable hood is nice, as are all the pockets – there’s plenty on the interior. It would have been nice to have a fur ruff on the hood since I intend to use this jacket in snowy areas…or at least have the option for it. Overall, it’s a great jacket.”




#4) Bogner Fire & Ice – Tamy DP Womens Jacket

extreme warmth womens ski jacketRecommendation: A bit too long for a ski jacket, but not quite as ostentatious as many Bogner jackets. At $400, much cheaper, too. It will definitely work for apres ski, but the real raccoon fur trim around the hood might draw some well-deserved raised eyebrows.


What People Say: “I absolutely love this jacket. It is beautiful in look and in style! It is well made, keeps you toasty warm and is not that bulky at all. It actually comes in at the waistline to give it a sexier and edgier look. It is not cumbersome at all. The price was very reasonable as well. I am a size 6 and ordered an 8 and it fits perfect. Please note that the zipper is a little tricky at first and hard to zip up, but once you keep using it the process is much easier. I believe that the teeth of the zipper need some breaking in so don’t let it discourage you.”






Section Three: Insulated for all-around use


#1) Spyder – Aphrodite Women’s Insulated Jacket

insulated womens ski jacketRecommendation: Expensive at $549, but high quality specs make it worth the money.


What People Say: “This All Down jacket is the BOMB. Super warm, super stylish and completely rideable. Meaning if you are in the elements you are going to be toasty and dry!!! Stretch fabric. You need one of these. I love it.” The Skiing Guide for, whose wife is also an avid skier says; “The Spyder’s women’s Aphrodite Jacket has a cool clean look that will be as popular in the apres-ski tour around town as it is on the mountain. You may not know the technical part about the 10k/10k Laminate and Spylon+™ DWR and the 650 Fill Power Goose Down but trust that it’s the combination that with the drawcord adjustable hem, waterproof two-way center front and hand pocket zippers will keep you warm and dry so you won’t hardly know it’s snowing and blowing.”





#2) Spyder – Power Womens Jacket

sexy womens ski jacketRecommendation: Dirt resistant, waterproof, offering warmth without bulk, and even better, price well under $300 the Spyder Power offers great value.


What People Say:  Serious skier chics praised the Power’s Xt.L laminate’s 20,000mm waterproofing/breathability rating and 3M Thinsulate , along with the special electronics pocket. They loved the curvy, female- specific cut, the detachable powder skirt, and of course, the internal mesh goggle pocket, and a chamois lens wipe. All these extras, without extra bulk.








#3) Bogner – Nina D Jacket

classy womens ski jacketRecommendation: Bring the warmth of the tropics to the slopes.  It’s no wonder the most sought after ski jackets of the season with the eye-catching multi-color stripe design and sassy short silhouette. The decorative details from the “Culcha Carribee” ski theme like the sleeve pocket in the shape of a surf board warm the spirit up. The high quality ripstop fabric that is extremely waterproof, breathable and filled with warm down.  If you are planning that week long ski trip to the Alps, Aspen or anywhere in between it may be worth splurging on this warm jacket fit for the cover of Vogue.


What People Say: “The Bogner Nina D Down Ski Jacket screams fun fashion from the moment you step onto the snow.”  “Extremely Waterproof and Windproof.”  “Bogner on a woman says money and class.”




Best Womens Ski Jackets Reviews Buyers Guide 2013 – 2014 was last modified: October 25th, 2014 by Alex Felix

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