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Choosing the Right Ski Jacket

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A huge range of ski jackets is available to suit a wide range of shapes and personal styles. From lightweight shells for the backcountry to comfy anoraks for spring days, there will be a jacket out there to suit anyone.

To help find the right one for you, we have put together this guide that explains everything you need to know.

What Are the Different Types of Ski Jacket?

The two basic types of ski jackets are; an insulated jacket and an un-insulated shell jacket. Which one is right for you?

Womens Shell Ski Jacket

Shell: A shell is made by bonding a durable outer fabric to a waterproof/breathable membrane. Shells have no added insulation to minimise their weight and maximise their breathability and packability. Shells are popular with skiers looking for a technical, lightweight, versatile outer layer that works in various weather conditions. Shells are also suitable for skiers that want to add or remove layers according to the temperature.

Womens Insulated Ski Jacket

Insulated: An insulated jacket has the same durable outer fabric and waterproof/breathable membrane as a shell combined with an insulation layer and lining. This type of jacket is suitable for skiers or snowboarders who want to wear fewer layers and have the convenience of a warm and waterproof jacket. An insulated provides instant warmth and cosy comfort in cold and wintery conditions.

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How To Choose Your Size and Fit?

As with any piece of clothing, it's essential that your jacket fits as well as it performs. No matter how you want your jacket to fit, you should layer up ahead of trying on a jacket to ensure you get the right fit. Your ski jacket should be comfortable, give you enough room for your arms to move, and not be too tight around your waist. The bottom hemline and powder skirt should also sit comfortably around your bum, and you should allow for enough space for your pants. Check our SIZING GUIDE to ensure you get the perfect women’s ski jacket for your body type.

Womens Slim Fit Ski Jacket

Slim Fit

Slim-fit jackets are tapered at the waist, representing a classic feminine ski look and a modern, fashion-forward style. A slim fit is streamlined, follows the body's curves and is made with comfortable, stretchy fabric. With a slim-fitting jacket, you may have less room for layering on colder days.

Womens Regular Fit Ski Jacket

Regular Fit

The regular fit jacket is not too tight and not too baggy. It fits many body shapes and provides good all round motion and enough room for layering.

Womens Loose Fit Ski Jacket

Loose Fit

Designed to deliver maximum coverage and freedom to move, with more than enough room for layering. The baggy look of a loose fitting jacket is practical for women with regular and larger body types, and a stylish alternative to the classic slimline ski look.

Insulation & Linings

Womens Ski Jacket Insulation

Two main types of insulation are used in ski jackets; down and synthetic. Down refers to duck feathers and is often the warmest of the three. Down offers the best warmth to weight ratio, making it ideal for extremely cold climates. The only con to down insulation is that it is most susceptible to moisture, and if it gets wet, it can get heavy and stop retaining heat. In very cold and wet environments, synthetic insulation is the better option for insulation. Synthetic insulation is usually made from lofts of polyester to mimic down and still retains heat when wet.

Warm Flight Technology

When it comes to synthetic insulation, Roxy’s Warmflight x1, x2 and x3 insulation deliver almost the same warmth-to-weight thermal efficiency as natural down, while maintaining its insulating properties when wet.

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Waterproofness & Breathability


Ski jackets are made with a semi-porous membrane inside the face fabric that prevents water from coming in while letting moisture out. Shoppers can tell how well a jacket does this via its waterproof/breathable rating: the higher the rating, the better it performs. Generally speaking, a rating of 5k/5k provides entry-level performance for general skiing. A rating of 20k or higher is better for very wet conditions and intense activities like backcountry ski touring.

Ski Jacket Essential Features

Other than fit, ski jackets have various ski-specific features that make all the difference on the mountain. Here are the essential features to look for when choosing a ski jacket.

  • Vents are great for cooling your body down quickly and removing moisture build-up. Vents are typically located under the armpits and are easy to open and close with gloves on.
  • A Snow skirt/gaiter is an elasticated waistband that keeps snow from getting into your pants and up inside your ski outfit. It’s an essential feature for any ski jacket and a must on powder days. Look out for jacket-pant interface systems that create a total snow seal.
  • Well-designed pockets and zips are essential for keeping snow out and holding onto important things like your phone or chocolate. Look for waterproof zippers, fleece-lined pockets and generously sized, glove-friendly sleeve openings.
  • A good hood can be a lifesaver when you’re stuck on a chairlift in a blizzard. Look for drawstring adjustability, helmet-compatible design and a high collar with a soft, skin-friendly lining to protect your lips and chin from chapping.

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