The Top scorers are:
The Patagonia Primo Down
After a close evaluation of scores, the Patagonia Primo Down takes the Editors' Choice Award for a snow sports jacket.With an excellent fit, neutral style, and, according to testers, just the perfect amount of pockets, the Primo Down is easy to wear. Insulated with lightweight 700 fill down and protected with a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex exterior, this jacket is incredibly warm while also being lightweight and comfortable. It was the only jacket included in this comparison that uses entirely down insulation, all other models feature synthetic insulation or a combination of both synthetic and down insualtion. Gear review editor Jediah Porter notes that the Primo Down protects from cold, wetness, and wind, making the perfect protection layer when sliding downhill on skis. It is ideal for riding lifts, but due to its low weight, also crosses over into backcountry use easily.
The Arcteryx Modon
The Arcteryx Modon earns a Top Pick award for a lightly insulated jacket. This piece is unique in this comparison review because it is a very lightly insulated shell, whereas the competitors are more thickly insulated winter jackets for skiing. Using synthetic insulation and a waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex shell, this piece keeps the wearer dry and provides a small amount of warmth. Since this jacket is noticeably less warm than others it was compared to, and the insulation is thin and light, editor Jediah Porter concludes that it is most ideally suited to use in warm and wet climates or for people who run hot and sweat easily. The light insulation also makes it useful in circumstances that require lots of movement, such as skinning or bootpacking in the backcountry. This jacket features neutral colors, a classic style, and a comfortable, articulated fit, appealing to the widest variety of snow sports enthusiasts.
The North Face Vortex Triclimate
As a 3-in-1 style jacket, The North Face Vortex Triclimate wins OurdoorGearLab's Best Buy Award for offering the most value. The modular design allows for several different wear options: the wind and water resistant shell can be worn on its own in warm, mild weather, the removable synthetic insulated lining can be worn on its own as a layer for apre-ski or around town occasions, and the two layers can be combined for a day of cold and stormy skiing. According to lead tester Jediah Porter, the multi-use feature of this jacket adds value in and of itself, while the whole piece is on the low-end of the price spectrum. Since the layers can be separated, this type of jacket allows for the most customizable temperature regulation, which can be important to those on a budget. Porter states that this model is comfortable, warm, and conducive to skiing.
The complete review contains a detailed comparison of over twelve different insulated ski jackets, and each individual review elaborates on the features and performance of each model. The accompanying Buying Advice article highlights important factors to consider when purchasing a jacket for skiing. In this article, Porter outlines the difference between types of insulation and discusses how style can play into a consumer's purchasing decision. The result is the most comprehensive resource for customers in the market for warm and protective layers for their favorite winter sport.
OutdoorGearLab, LLC is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The company's mission: create the world’s best outdoor gear reviews. The secret sauce: comparison. The company’s website, www.outdoorgearlab.com, is a free resource for outdoors enthusiasts who participate in activities such as skiing, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, running, backpacking, and camping. The team performs side-by-side tests of gear in different categories and publishes the results in comprehensive reviews. Each product is scored across a range of weighted categories, competing products are then ranked, and awards are given to top performing models.