Mens Best Ski Jackets 2012 – 2013 Review

December 12th, 2012

A selection of the Mens Best Ski Jackets for this year, a combination of technical outerwear, warmth, comfort, style and price:

1. Arc’teryx Rush Jacket – best of the best – technical top quality materials that will withstand the test of time ($$$)

2. Patagonia Primo Jacket – worth every penny – waterproof, burly and elegant, they thought of everything ($$$)

3. The North Face Makahawk Down Insulated Ski Jacket – classic and simple – comfort for all conditions ($$)

4. Mammut Mansfield Jacket – great value for high-tech – bright and durable ($$)

5. Patagonia Rubicon Rider Jacket – extreme warmth at a great price – freeride look ($)

6. FlyLow Gear Higgins Jacket – new to the scene – comfortable, proportional and FLY ($)


Can’t find your jacket match here?  Check out our newer 2014 or 2015 men’s best ski jacket reviews.

1. Arc’teryx Rush Jacket ($$$)

Description: Durability without the tarp effect. You want a high-performance, durable jacket that’ll stand up to years of snow slaying, but you’d also like a jacket that doesn’t feel like a crinkly tarp. The Arc’teryx Men’s Rush Jacket uses two different Gore-Tex Pro Shell 3L fabrics to provide durability in high-abrasion areas and comfort in lower-wear areas.

What People Say: I own a few other Arcteryx hard shells. And out of the ones I own this one is my favorite. “What makes this one better?” you might say. Here are the reasons: 1. Improved fit. While I still really love the other Arc shells, this year’s version has a different fit. It seems more form fitting and less boxy, while still allowing room underneath to add layers. 2.The fabrics and colors are awesome. I bought the sultan’s palace and the color scheme makes the jacket look absolutely great. 3. I really like the feature set as well. It has a great powder skirt, hood, pockets, internal Recco reflector, the whole nine yards. 4. The quality is outstanding. If you’re thinking about buying an Arcteryx shell, look on the inside of the jacket at the seams and the taping. It looks absolutely flawless, and attests to the quality Arcteryx puts into every one of their jackets. If you’re in the market for a new shell this year, consider giving the Rush jacket a try, you’ll love it.

Recommendation: For the technical skiers among us, if you’re looking for a jacket that will provide everything you need, and stand the test of time, this is it. It’s expensive, but that’s because Arcteryx uses the best materials to make their products last for years. This jacket is a combination of years of innovation, and top quality materials. You won’t regret it. Sizes: M-XXL


2. Patagonia Primo Jacket ($$$)

Description: Prime time. The three-layer Gore-Tex construction of the Patagonia Men’s Primo Jacket gives you guaranteed waterproof and breathable protection for the deepest, sickest days of winter. This streamlined shell features clean looks and essential winter features like a two-way adjustable with a laminated visor that ensures you can see your lines in the harshest of conditions.

What People Say: I love the Primo Jacket – burly Gore Tex shell, killer fit, and nice clean styling. The fit might be a bit different than what people are used to from Patagonia in the past. A little looser for sure I’d say, and some people might want to size down. I’m 6′ 170 pounds and love how the large fits. Good length in the body, and nice and roomy for layering, and not too tight anywhere. Not really too concerned if the arms are a little long since you can synch it down at the wrist. 2 thumbs up for sure!

Recommendation: Each year we’ve selected the top jackets on the market, and each year the Patagonia Primo Jacket has ranked at the top.  Patagonia continues to make the some of the finest quality outwear around. This jacket is comfortable, durable, waterproof and warm. It is expensive, but worth every penny. Sizes: S-XL


3. The North Face Makahawk Down Insulated Ski Jacket ($$)

Description: Designed for big turns on the biggest mountains the North Face Makahawk Down Jacket features a clean pared down design that will keep you warm and dry in the coldest conditions. This jacket is made with Gore Windstopper 2L fabric that features fully sealed seams to keep you completely dry and the 700 fill down insulation will keep you toasty warm in the coldest of conditions. If things should get too warm have no fear the Makahawk Down Jacket has core vents that allows you to unzip a little to keep your body temperature regulated. There are plenty of pockets throughout this jacket to keep your belongings stored and secure and a helmet compatible hood makes it work with your helmet for extra weather protection.

What People Say: I love this jacket and have always been a big fan of North Face.  It is a great fit and breathable for comfort in all conditions.  The only issue is that it is not waterproof.  It uses Gore WindStopper which is water resistant—great for snow but has its downfalls in heavy rain.  Just something to keep in mind.

Recommendation: Definitely one of the best jackets on the market today. It’s stylish, warm and durable. The one drawback is that it is not waterproof. Sizes: S-XL


4. Mammut Mansfield Jacket ($$)

Description: Be the man of the hour every day you ride. When the order of the day is fresh powder fields, suit up like a real man in the insulated DRYtech Mammut Mansfield Jacket. The stretchy powder skirt keeps the fluff from chilling your manly six-pack while the Lycra wrist gaiters do the same for your Popeye-esque forearms. The asymmetrical front zip prevents uncomfortable zipper rubbing on your masculine jawline and week-old stubble. Plus, the trendy cut and high-contrast zips of the Mansfield will demonstrate your fashion know-how, further impressing the ladies.

What People Say: I ski east coast primarily and this jacket is excellent in the variable weather conditions.  Great ventilation and all the features to keep me warm and comfortable in the rain, snow and wind.

Recommendation: Whether your skiing under the sun or weathering the storm, this jacket does it all. Mammut’s durable materials and superior design come at a great price point. Highly recommended no matter where you ski and how fast you are. Sizes: S-XXL


5. Patagonia Rubicon Rider Jacket ($)

Description: Ride into the storm with comfortable confidence. While you’re waiting for first chair, the Patagonia Rubicon Rider Jacket’s environmentally friendly insulation helps keep your teeth from chattering, and while you’re blowing down the slopes, the Deluge DWR coating and reinforced panels help keep flurries from soaking in.

What People Say: For cold, sunny days nothing beats this coat. The only problem I have is on reasonable cold days actually overheating if I am side country hiking as I am a burly dude (235lbs) . Great jacket for hitting the town and bar hopping when its freezing. Good storage for anything you might need for the day.

Recommendation: Commonly referred to as the Resort Puffy killer machine, the Rubicon is the best jacket out of Patagonia in the last decade.  It is reasonably priced, warm, stylish.  It has all the basic features one could ask for. Sizes: S-XL


6. FlyLow Gear Higgins Jacket ($)

Description: What can Higgins do for you? Get storm protection, light insulation, and a comfortable fit with FlyLow Gear’s Higgins Jacket. The Higgins blends softshell and hardshell technologies to arrive at technical shell that can handle a day of backcountry steeps just as well as in-bounds charging.

What People Say: Holy moly, this thing is sick. Took it up Rainier and Adams, flawless layer. Beefy outer layer is super wind and water proof, and the pit zips are nice to dump heat. It’s a little big, but it isn’t one of those baggy tall things, it’s just great to stack layers underneath, very proportional. The hood fits over my helmet super easily too. There are two big mesh pockets on the inside that are nice to stick your skins into when you’re making laps. Overall a sick jacket.

Recommendation: This jacket has been a FlyLow staple for years.  Each year the engineers listen to the public and tweak it to be that much better. If you’re looking for a durable, warm and stylish jacket for your weekends up north, this is a great option at nice price. Sizes: S-XXL




Womens Best Ski Jackets 2012 – 2013 Review

December 12th, 2012

A selection of the top Women’s Ski Jackets for this year, a combination of technical outerwear, warmth, comfort, style and price:


1. Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket – the best of the best – lightweight and functional ($$$)
2. Mammut Robella Jacket – stay warm and look good – hooded and insulated shell ($$)
3. Spyder Amp Jacket – elegant – good value for a quality and multi-functional parka ($$)
4. Columbia Snowcalypse Jacket – great value – insulated, waterproof and with heat trapping technology ($)


Looking for the latest women’s jacket style guide?  Check out the 2014 or new 2015 reviews.


1. Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket ($$$)

Description: Wake at 4 a.m., put on Powder Bowl Jacket, go skiing, repeat. Let the Gore-Tex Patagonia Women’s Powder Bowl Jacket comfort you when the alarm goes off long before the sun comes up. This waterproof breathable ski shell gives you full weather protection on early dawn patrols and lift-accessed skiing alike. Patagonia sandwiched a waterproof breathable Gore-Tex layer between a recycled polyester shell and a mesh lining, so you stay dry and comfortable, no matter the conditions or terrain. A variety of pockets hold your ski pass, camera, and goggles. When the sun’s blazin’, zip off the adjustable hood and open up the pit-zips for max air flow. When you’ve beaten the jacket to tatters, send it back to Patagonia’s Common Threads Recycling Program.


What People Say: If you are looking for a light-weight and functional jacket look no further. The Goretex will protect you from getting wet but also won’t suffocate you in sweat! Also the jacket fits smaller (like all things Patagonia) if you like things a little more loose or longer I would suggest going a size up. Storage on this jacket is more than adequate and the cut is not boxy but very feminine.


Recommendation: You can never go wrong with a Patagonia.  Combine fashion with function in this year’s Powder Bowl Jacket.  Guys, a great gift idea for the misses.  She’ll look like she knows what she’s doing on the slopes.


Sizes: XS-XL


ON SALE HERE ($479 or less)


2. Mammut Robella Jacket ($$)

Description: The Robella has the weather by its throat, instead of the other way around. The sharp Mammut Women’s Robella Jacket is a tough-as-nails jacket packed with features that’ll draw plenty of compliments in the lift line. You won’t even have to worry about the wind nipping through when you race down the slopes, thanks to its windproof fabric.


What People Say: I got the deep purple color and it is beautiful! 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, and nice large pockets for hands which are warm. In Boston chilly 30 degree weather with wind all I wore underneath was a tee shirt and I was perfectly happy. The fit is flattering. It’s not too snug anywhere but is fitted enough to make you feel like a chick, not a dude 🙂 I highly recommend this jacket.


Recommendation: This jacket seems to have all the right things going for it.  Ladies, if you want to stay warm but also look good on the slopes this winter, this is your choice.


Sizes: XS-XL


ON SALE HERE ($279 or 20 percent off)


3. Spyder Amp Jacket ($$)

Description: Bring energy and stoke to the mountains. It’s a bluebird day. Pull on the Spyder Women’s Amp Jacket and hoot and holler as you find small powder stashes in the trees. Thanks to the 10K-rated Xt.L laminate, Spylon DWR coating, and low-bulk toasty Thinsulate insulation, you stay warm, dry, and comfortable while you take on action-packed bump runs.


What People Say: I really love the insulation on this jacket.  It is incredibly warm but I can also move easily and do not get overheated when it’s too hot because it has great venting.  I got the black and it is very slimming!


Recommendation: Built for all climates, the amp jacket is a must for women who love the outdoors. With uncompromising quality, comfort and style, this jacket has it all.


Sizes: 4-14


ON SALE HERE ($275 at Outlet)


4. Columbia Snowcalypse Jacket ($)

Description: Bring on the snow. The Columbia Women’s Snowcalypse Jacket uses weather-stopping Omni-Tech and heat-holding Omni-Heat to keep you dry and warm so you can ski big lines in heavy weather without being slowed down by the snow or the cold. Plus, clean styling and high-fashion touches like wrap-around accents keep you looking good.


What People Say: This jacket provides everything I’m looking for this winter.  It’s insulated, waterproof and comfortable.  I ski a handful of times a year so I don’t necessarily need anything too high-tech, like Arcteryx and Patagonia.


Recommendation: One of Columbia’s best jackets in years.  It provides warmth, comfort and style at an affordable price.  Not to mention some great color choices this year.  This is a great idea for those weekend warriors looking to hit the slopes a few times this winter.


Sizes: XS-XL


ON SALE HERE ($129 or 35 percent off)


Didn’t find the perfect jacket here?  Check out our 2013 – 2014 women’s jacket buyers guide.


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