What does it take for a ski jacket to be the best one on the market? If you are a ski enthusiast, you might have a couple of opinions about this matter. While looking good is also essential to any skier (how about those Instagram posts, huh?), comfort, value, and reliability are the top three things that you need to look for when purchasing a ski jacket. The Obermeyer ski jacket may be a favorite for skiers, but do you know what makes a ski jacket unique and reliable?
Waterproofing and Breathability
All ski jackets are waterproof and breathable to some extent. Some, of course, is more effective than others. The performance of each ski jacket is dependent on the fabrics used in them.
The waterproofing ability is rated by numbers, wherein 5,000 mm has low waterproofing, 10,000 has average, 20,000 has high waterproofed fabric, and 28,000 has an extremely-high waterproofing capability. On the other hand, breathability is measured by grams, wherein 5,000 g is low and 20,000 g and up is very breathable. A ski jacket needs to be waterproof to stop the snow from seeping through the fabric. But it needs to be breathable, too, to allow the heat and moisture generated by the activity from your body to escape.
There are two types of insulation being used in ski jackets: natural down insulation and synthetic padding. Natural down insulation is less bulky, but it gets heavy when wet. It also loses its thermal properties. Synthetic insulation, on the other hand, is bulkier but works better when wet. If you are traveling, natural down insulation is easier to compress into your luggage.
In recent years, producing down has also become responsible. Live plucking of birds is not the practice anymore. Some manufacturers even choose to bring down and synthetic padding together to reap the benefits of both materials. They use natural down where warmth is needed the most and synthetic in places that are likely to get wet.
Most jackets are stitched together, but the truly durable ones that put the comfort of the wearer above all factors have their jackets taped on the seams. This practice makes the jackets more waterproof. Others only seal the vulnerable areas such as the shoulder pads to keep the weight of the jacket down.
The weight of a ski jacket matters for wearers because heavier jackets tend to be more stressful for users. The outer face fabric is made from two to three layers of thick material so that the ski jacket is tougher and more long-wearing. However, this also means that the jacket is heavier and doesn’t drape on the body too well.
Slim fit jackets are for those who’ll cruise smooth slopes and do not require much moving. Big and baggy suits are perfect for those who need to use big movements to navigate the slopes. Hikers and mountaineers also love bulky jackets because they give them more space to move their arms.
While many considerations have to be made when purchasing a ski jacket, the important thing to remember is to take time to fit the jacket. Your comfort matters when it comes to the ski gear you are going to wear. That and durability, of course, since you don’t want to waste your money on jackets made out of cheap materials.