The skiing season is finally here! if you’re an avid skier, it’s time to amp up your skiing gear. And if you’re new to skiing, then there’s nothing more thrilling than picking out your new gear! Of them all, skiing jackets perhaps warrant the most attention, given the parts of the body that they cover. When it comes to buying men’s waterproof ski jackets, the number of choices is enough to make your head spin inside a detachable hood! Whether you’re a budget skier or want to invest in a high-end option, there is a gamut of choices that are waiting for you. Just like buying other skiing gear, there’s a lot of thought that goes into buying a skiing jacket.
The most basic question is – are you a resort or a backcountry skier? If your skiing is limited to the confines of the resort, then warmth, lots of pockets, and insulation is a priority. On the other hand, if you’re doing boot packing, skinning, or touring, then you’ll want something with more technical features like clips for safety equipment, packability, pit zips, etc. Nevertheless, regardless of the kind of skiing you do, technical shells are often the best way to go. If all this is making your head spin, then fret not. Here are the 13 best men’s waterproof ski jackets for you.
How To Choose The Best Men’s Waterproof Ski Jacket?
Obviously, the first thing to look for in a waterproof skiing jacket is its waterproofing abilities. Standard waterproofing expressions measures the amount of liquid (sleet, rain, snow, or water) in millimeters (mm) that can be suspended in a one-inch square tube prior to the liquid beginning to seep into the fabric. The higher the measure, the more water-resistant is the fabric. It might be abstract, but it gives you a good idea of how the jacket will protect you from the harsh elements. Waterproofing measures are broken down as such:
- More than 20,000mm – The highest levels of waterproofing perfect for extreme conditions.
- 10,000-15,000mm – Great protection in drier snowy climates like at Best Ski Resorts In Utah or Colorado.
- 5,000 mm – Minimal protection in inclement weather.
Types of jackets
Basically, jackets are of four types – hardshells, softshells, insulated, and 3-in-1 jackets. Hardshells are hardcore wind-resistant and waterproof both and stand up against just about anything. While they aren’t insulated or really breathable, they allow you to layer as per your preferences. Softshells are versatile jackets that can be worn as either an outer layer or a mid-layer. They have a DWR (durable water repellent) coating but aren’t exactly waterproof. Insulated ones are perfect if you’re a casual skier since they have both an outer waterproof shell and an insulation layer beneath. Finally, 3-in-1 jackets blend the best of everything for a relatively reasonable price.
Since you’re looking for waterproof ski jackets for men, insulation is important since water also makes you feel cold. Insulation depends on a slew of factors, including how warm you run, how you ski, and where you ski. Many skiers, both beginners and experts ski only in insulated jackets since they don’t like layers, never hike, and ride in chairlifts. For the avid backcountry and touring skiers, shell jackets are more versatile. So, what you need to do is check the ‘loft’ which is the amount of insulation in the jacket. If you’re on the fence about a shell or insulated one, go for a lightly insulated jacket.
Besides the above, ski jackets have a host of features. To begin with, most ski jackets have large hoods that keep your head and neck warm. Also, many of them are removable too. Secondly, there are wist gaiters that stop snow from entering the sleeves. Likewise, many jackets have powder skirts too, which stop snow from sliding into your clothes in case of a tumble or when you’re in deep powder. Finally, there are vents on the chest and underarms Vents are usually around the underarms and chest of the jacket, which stop snow as well as keep the airflow up.
Black Diamond Mission Jacket
There’s no better men’s waterproof ski jacket than the Black Diamond Mission Jacket. The standout feature on the jacket is the high-end 3-layered Gore-Tex shell, which is not only constructed from 70D nylon but also has a DWR finish. So, it keeps water completely away from the jacket and doesn’t let even a little bit of moisture seep in, irrespective of whether you’re skiing in the rain or snow. Moreover, it doesn’t skimp on breathability or comfort levels either. The hardshell jacket is available in four sizes and an array of solid colors like black, red, light blue, and even a deep forest color.
What helps further with the waterproofing is that the jacket comes with fully taped seams that keep water and moisture completely at bay. What’s more, the in-built powder skirt stops snow from slipping into your clothes, and the two underarm pit zips help with ventilation. Simply put, the Black Diamond Mission jacket is an excellent overall buy.
- The Gore-Tex shell is completely waterproof with an additional DWR finish.
- Relaxed and comfortable fit.
- Slightly heavy.
Outdoor Research Hemispheres
Outdoor Research Hemispheres features on almost all best ski jacket lists of 2020, and it’s easy to see why. The jacket boasts a lightweight Gore-Tex shell with a DWR coating that’s perfect for venturing outside the confines of the resort too. So, it’s primed for weather and water resistance, thanks to the waterproof zippers and seam-sealed build. It’s no wonder that it’s counted amongst the Best Waterproof Ski Jackets too. Moreover, the Hemispheres jacket is extremely comfy owing to the stretchy fabric panels and an excellent fit. It’s also one of the lightest ski shells on this list, which is ideal if you don’t prefer bulky jackets.
There’s so much more to the jacket, such as the large, adjustable hood which covers the head even above the ski helmet. There are also velcro closures on the sleeve cuffs, which keep out the cold effectively. At the same time, the jacket provides excellent ventilation and breathability too. Rounding up the feature set is the two-tone color panels, which help the Hemispheres stand out from the crowd.
- Excellent weather and water resistance.
- A little light on features.
Arc’teryx Alpha SV Men’s Jacket
The Arc’teryx Alpha SV Men’s Jacket might just be the beast of backcountry men’s waterproof ski jackets. One of the more expensive backcountry options, it has the ability to hold up against the worst weather. The jacket boasts a hardshell design that’s designed for extensive and longer use in the nastiest of alpine conditions and weather. Available in five unique shades, this jacket is not just lightweight, but also windproof and amazingly waterproof as well. The 100-D Gore-Tex Pro fabric has a DWR coating which is what makes it exceptionally waterproof to consistently bead water.
While the helmet-compatible hood might feel slightly baggy sans the helmet, tightening the rear drawcords makes it snug right up. Rounding up the many features are watertight zippers and zip vents, making it the choice jacket for skiers in harsh conditions.
- Easy-to-use watertight zippers.
- Excellent and high-quality hood.
- Superior protection from weather and water.
- Extremely durable.
- Very expensive.
- Some users found it bulky and heavy.
Topo Designs Mountain Jacket
If you’re an eco-conscious skier, then go for the Topo Designs Mountain Jacket. The jacket is designed for as cold as alpine environments, but features a synthetic, eco-friendly fill made from 100% recycled plastic bottles! In fact, every coat from the brand saves about 27 bottles from going into landfills! It boasts a waterproof nylon shell with a waterproof rating of 10,000 with critical seams stitched up. The fabric is cut into a relaxed fit, while the snap-button pockets on the waist and chest lend a distinctive look to the jacket. Moreover, the adjustable cuffs help shut the cold out completely.
There’s a lot more to like about the jacket. For instance, it has a soft nylon lining on the inside that ensures a more comfortable fit. The jacket has a fun additional feature – a pocket at the back that allows you to pack the jacket up and use it as a camping pillow! Plus, it’s available in seven different shades, so you can definitely find something that suits your fancy.
- Lots of excellently-placed pockets.
- Excellent and flattering tailored fit.
- Extremely waterproof and ridiculously warm.
- Some taller people found the jacket a little short.
The lightweight and yet burly Arc’teryx Rush is one of the best men’s waterproof ski jackets out there. The jacket features a solid Gore-Tex shell that makes it pretty much bombproof and keeps out everything from the rain, snow, and wind out with absolute ease. Moreover, you’ll find burly velcro closures to seal over the gloves, a powder skirt, a high collar to protect the chin and entirely waterproof zippers. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll even find a drawcord around the hem of the jacket, which is adjustable in not one but two places. So, you’ll not find one single weak point in the weather and water resistance of this jacket.
However, that’s not all. The jacket has a decent number of pockets where you can stash useful stuff and accessories, as well as an adjustable hood. Plus, it features a fabulously contoured cut which allows for plenty of movement at the same time sans feeling loose. If you’re looking for a strong backcountry skiing jacket, then this is it.
- A very comfortable fit.
- Extremely weather and waterproof.
Columbia Whirlibird IV Interchange
The Columbia Whirlibird IV Interchange is a strong contender for the best budget ski jacket out there. After all, who wouldn’t love a good ski jacket worth $199? Plus, the brand has always been associated with value. So, if you’re an occasional snowboarder or skier, then the Whirlibird is an affordable and versatile jacket indeed. This modular 3-in-1 jacket is extremely waterproof thanks to the burly outer shell jacket with a hanging mesh lining and Columbia’s Omni-Tech waterproof membrane. Plus, it boasts a synthetically insulated “Omni-Heat” thermal reflective inner sweater layer that adds to the warmth.
What’s more, the Whirlibird IV boasts a fixed but large hood that can be cinched down around the face to keep water and wind off the face. Plus, there’s even a powder skirt that keeps the snow from getting into the jacket on days when there’s extra deep powder. All-in-all, it’s an excellent 3-in-1 jacket for the price.
- Warm and waterproof.
The Obermeyer Foundation Jacket is one of the most unique men’s waterproof ski jackets. The brand is very popular because it actually understands what the average skier wants, and also what they don’t. Coming to the Foundation, it’s the brand’s most popular men’s model and even has taller versions of its own sizes. So, you’ll find sizes M through 3XL, as well as tall versions of sizes M through XXL. It also boasts a 15,000 waterproof level rating, thanks to the HydroBlock Pro shell that keeps water away. The two-way stretch fabric keeps things comfortable and also doesn’t limit movement.
The jacket also has a whole lot of pockets, including a zippered pocket for important stuff such as electronics. Despite being wind and waterproof, the jacket is still breathable and features solid ventilation, an adjustable cuff, and even a snap-away powder skirt. A bonus feature is the fleece chin protector that adds warmth and comfort.
- Waterproof rating of 15,000 plus HydroBlock Pro shell.
- Lots of extra features.
- Available in sizes XS to 3XL, as well as tall versions of sizes M to XXL.
- Practically none.
It might cost a small fortune, but the top-of-the-line Arc’teryx Macai keeps you comfortable, dry, and warm. It’s wonderfully built to last and offers excellent levels of water protection thanks to the Gore-Tex shell. It’s also thicker than hardshell materials, and thus helps keep the wind at bay too. Moreover, the jacket has a great DWR coating, which prevents water from soaking the outer fabric and keeps it running off the jacket. With all zippers waterproof and all seams sealed, there’s no doubt that this is one solid waterproof jacket.
The Arc’teryx Macai does very well on other feature fronts too. For instance, it has a high collar that proves to be a blessing for cold chairlift rides. The well-fitting hood easily covers the head and keeps it warm, while the powder skirt keeps snow from riding up into your clothes.
- Excellent weather and water protection.
- Very warm.
- Clean design.
- Impeccable quality.
- Super expensive.
Outdoor Research Skyward II
The Outdoor Research Skyward II is the best bargain you’ll get for a men’s waterproof ski jacket. The jacket does everything you’d expect a good shell to do, and then some. It not only keeps you comfortable and ventilated but also is lightweight and protects you from all kinds of weather. Plus, it does all this at a much cheaper price as compared to other similar high-performance shells. The jacket boasts a highly breathable 3-layered AscentShell fabric, which makes the jacket completely waterproof. In fact, it certainly gives its Gore-Tex peers a run for their money.
While it doesn’t have a powder skirt, you’ll find elastic cinches on the jacket’s hem that won’t allow snow or water in at any cost. Plus, there’s a helmet-compatible hood as well as adjustable velcro wrist cuffs too. However, the jacket’s weather resistance score is the standout, and it’s what makes it such an excellent buy as compared to other shell jackets on this very list.
- Great weather resistance.
- Good pocket layout.
- Massive vents.
- No powder skirt.
Picture Men’s Zephir Jacket
French clothier Picture takes eco-friendly manufacturing practices to the next level with the organic Picture Zephir Jacket. It uses recycled fabrics and sugarcane waste in 100 percent of the materials, which falls in line with the brand’s sustainability focus and socially and environmentally responsible business practices. What makes the jacket so waterproof as well as breathable is its high-performing 20,000/20,000 Dryplay membrane/fabric combination. What’s more, the fabric is quiet and comfortable to wear and possesses tactile softness and stretchability as well.
The jacket is not only available in multiple sizes, but also in multiple bright colors such as yellow and purple. The branded YKK waterproof double sided zippers only add to its waterproofing abilities. It even has wrist gaiters, adjustable cuffs, and even fully taped seams. Rounding up the jacket’s features are powder skirt, pit zips, and even a hood, albeit a fixed one.
- Excellent freeride looks.
- Great quality for a lower price.
- On the heavier side.
The North Face ThermoBall Eco Triclimate Jacket
Another excellent men’s waterproof ski jacket that features across almost all lists is The North Face ThermoBall Eco Triclimate Jacket. Actually, it’s not one but two jackets integrated into one, which gives you tons of layering options. So, you can wear the jacket in three different weather conditions and three different ways. The standout feature, though, is the robust weatherproof ThermoBall Eco shell which is made from 100 percent recycled polyester-synthetic down. So, it stays warm and cozy even when the outer is wet and doesn’t let the water seep in either. Additionally, it’s also fully windproof and even works well as a standalone jacket in spring or summer.
The ThermoBall Triclimate also features an adjustable hood, which is large enough to fit over a ski helmet. Plus, its adjustment cords are easy to operate even with gloved hands. Also, the hem and sleeves are long enough to keep every inch of the body covered. The Velcro tab closures on the sleeves and the elastic cord on the hem make it easy to cinch the jacket around the body. Rounding up the weather-resistant features is the attached powder skirt.
- Warm and waterproof at the same time.
- Highly versatile.
- Excellent value.
- Quite heavy.
Helly Hansen Men’s Alpha Lifaloft Ski Jacket
The versatile Helly Hansen Alpha Lifaloft Ski Jacket takes is an excellent resort ski jacket that nails all performance aspects. The jacket takes the brand’s bestselling Alpha shell and adds to it about 80 grams of insulation. So, that means you don’t really have to layer beneath and still will feel warm enough on the slopes. meaning you don’t have to layer as heavily underneath. What’s more, the jacket has a stupendous 20,000 mm waterproof and breathability rating, both of which are the highest that the brand produces. The waterproof zippers and fully sealed seams keep the water out even further. Plus, the synthetic insulation keeps the jacket waterproof even when it’s wet.
There’s a lot more to like about the jacket, starting with the ones that stop the snow from getting in from everywhere. First, there are the skintight and stretchy gaiters and Velcro straps at the wrist openings to prevent both snow and wind from getting in. Plus, the fully adjustable hood has excellent coverage and the powder skirt prevents snow from getting into the torso even in deep powder. Finally, the gel-insulated phone pocket and lift ticket pocket keep both your important belongings safe on the slopes.
- Excellent levels of waterproofing.
- Lots of extra features.
- Some might not prefer the snug fit.
Arc’teryx Men’s Sabre AR Jacket
Topping the list of the best men’s waterproof ski jackets is the incredible Arc’teryx Sabre AR Jacket, which is the lightest jacket that the brand manufactures. To begin with, the jacket is outfitted with Gore-Tex Pro 2.0 weatherproofing shell which is not just waterproof but also durable and breathable. At the same time, the brand actually works directly with Gore-Tex, rather than buying the technology from them. Despite having a Gore-Tex C-Knit inner liner, the jacket is feather-light. Plus, the jacket reinforces fabric in high-traction areas, which shows that they value performance over going ultralight.
You’ll also like the Sabre’s well-designed hood that completely covers your head, even when you’re wearing a wool hat or helmet. In addition, the collar closes right below the nose, which means that when it’s zipped up, it covers most of the face. Finally, it even comes with a nice powder skirt that prevents snow from seeping into the torso even when you’re in deep powder.
- Good ventilation.
- Completely weather resistant.
- On the heavier side.