Skiing and snowboarding are thrilling winter sports that allow you to experience the wonder of snow-capped mountains. However, to make the most of your time on the slopes, you need the right ski apparel to keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Choosing the perfect ski jacket and pants set is crucial for an enjoyable day on the mountain. So, let's figure out how to select the ideal outerwear for your winter adventures.
The top criteria when shopping for ski jackets and pants is water resistant and breathable fabric technology. Quality ski apparel uses membrane fabrics like Gore-Tex®, eVent® or proprietary technologies to provide waterproof protection while allowing sweat vapor to escape. This helps you to stay warm and dry on the outside while allowing inner moisture to vent. Look for jackets and pants specifically designed for snow sports that are rated over 10,000mm for waterproofing. Avoid cheap materials like those in rain ponchos that will soak through in snow. High breathability ratings over 15,000g/m2/24 hrs ensure you don't overheat.
Along with snow boots, ski helmets and long sleeved tops, it's important to get the correct fit for both your jacket and pants to allow full mobility while keeping snow out. Ski snowboard jackets should reach down to your hips for full coverage and feature wrist gaiters and a powder skirt to seal out snow. Pants should be loose enough for layering base and insulation layers underneath. Most ski pants are designed to be worn over boots. Try your gear on together to test the fit. If your jacket rises up when you lift your arms, it's too short. Pants that restrict motion are too tight.
If you'll be skiing in very cold conditions below freezing, look for insulated ski jackets and pants. Synthetic insulation like PrimaLoft provides warmth even when wet. Down insulation offers lightweight warmth but loses insulating ability when wet. The amount of insulation you need depends on how cold it gets and your sensitivity to cold. Look for jackets rated to at least -4°F if you ski in colder climates. Soft shell pants with base layers can suffice in milder temperatures above 25°F .
The best ski jackets and pants have features designed specifically for winter sports. Look for a ski jacket with an attached hood that fits over your helmet, zippered pockets to securely hold essentials, underarm vents for breathability and powder cuffs with thumbholes at the wrists. Snowboard bib pants or ski pants should have reinforced scuff guards at the cuffs, zippered pockets, rash guards and inner ankle gaiters with gripper elastic to seal them over boots. These features will enhance your experience on the slopes.
New skiers and snowboarders can get quality entry-level outerwear that provides good waterproofing and breathability. Intermediate riders may want upgraded features like more vents and pockets. Experts demand the highest technical performance and streamlined designs for aggressive riding. Match the features and price to your skill level so you don't overspend on gear you may outgrow. Focus on fit and waterproof/breathable fabric first before specialized features.
Make sure to try on ski jackets or ski suits with the helmet you'll be wearing to ensure a comfortable fit. Jackets designed specifically for skiing and snowboarding have hoods that are helmet-compatible. The hood opening should have enough room to accommodate your helmet and allow you to move your head freely. Detachable hoods offer the versatility to wear separately. Make sure the jacket collar fits neatly around your neck without exposing skin.
Ski outerwear ranges widely in price from under $100 to over $1,000 for the top brands. In general, you get what you pay for in terms of performance features and durability. On the low end, focus on the right fit and waterproofing over insulation and vents. Mid-range jackets from top brands offer great performance and may be available at a discounted price during seasonal promotions and sale events. High-end gear has the most tech features and streamlined designs preferred by experts. Be sure to set a budget that matches your experience and needs.
Since ski jackets and snowboard pants are designed to layer over base and mid-layers, it's best to try gear on with what you'll wear during skiing. Head to the slopes with your thermals, half zip fleece and down or synthetic insulation layers. Wear ski socks and boots if trying on pants. This ensures you get the right mobility and fit wearing everything together. Size up if too tight with layers. Shop at the end of the day when you're fully dressed to best assess the fit.
Most activewear brands offer ski outerwear in coordinating colors and styles so you can create an integrated look. Matching or complementary jacket and pant colors (like black and gray) give off a polished, professional vibe. Feel free to get creative with bold colors and patterns if you want to stand out. Contrasting jacket and pant colors can work too. Just ensure colors aren't too bright to show dirt. Focus first on function then coordinate colors.
Investing in quality ski wear means taking care of it for seasons to come. Wash jackets and pants according to label instructions after each use. Use proper wash cycles and cleaning products to maintain waterproofing. Avoid overly hot dryer settings that can damage membranes. Touch up any DWR coating to maintain beading water. Watch for tears and repair immediately. Store gear properly during summer to prevent damage. Your gear will reward you with years of performance if cared for correctly.
When it's time to hit the ski slopes this winter, make sure you gear up with high-performance outerwear designed for snow sport adventures. Premium ski jackets and pants from Stio will keep you warm, dry and moving freely all day long out on the trails.
Features like helmet-compatible hoods, fully taped seams, zippered pockets and adjustable cuffs and hems create a dialed-in fit to seal out snow and cold. Venting options prevent overheating so you stay comfortable. Stio's ski-specific designs are loaded with details that optimize your experience out on the trails.
Our premium quality and attention to detail provides long-lasting performance season after season. So, this winter, equip yourself with Stio's specialized ski jackets and pants before you hit the slopes.
For high quality gear under top outdoor brands, expect to spend $250-500 for a jacket and $150-300 for pants. Budget options can be found for under $150 each for those on a tighter budget, but be sure you don't sacrifice price for quality. Technical jackets may come with a higher price tag, but these ski jackets and ski pants will last you for many seasons to come.
Yes, quality ski jackets work very well for snowboarding too. Just look for longer cuts that fully cover your backside and wrist gaiters designed to seal out snow.
Your gear should not restrict motion so avoid overly tight fits. But it also shouldn't be so baggy that snow gets in. Look for articulated designs made for dynamic ski/snowboard movements. Size up if unsure.