When shopping for a ski jacket you are likely to find two different types that are available. One is an insulated jacket and the other is a soft shell jacket. The most common question that folks have is, “which should I buy?” The easy answer to this question is that there is no right answer. The reason behind this is that every person has a different body temperature regulation. Some people are certain to get hot very quickly and therefore having an insulated jacket would cause them great discomfort. Others, han solo jacket however, are routinely frosty and having an insulated jacket only makes sense just because a soft shell jacket would leave them also colder. With this being said, the first step to selecting the jacket that’s best for you is by determining in case you are warmer or colder person by nature. Once this is determined, after that you can move forward along the way of selecting your jacket.

Insulated Jackets

The construction attributes of an insulated jacket include an outer layer that is waterproof and windproof, along with an insulated layer that’s built straight into the jacket. The insulating internal layer may very well be made of fleece, down, or a synthetic fabric such as Primaloft. Also, various insulated jackets will contain yet another insulator piece which can be removed. These types of insulated jackets are some times referred to as method jackets or 3-in-1 jackets.

The insulation that is found in insulated jackets is most commonly measured in grams. The higher the number fat in grams, the warmer the coat will be. Insulation types can range as low as 30 grams and go just as high as 800 grams, which is most commonly found with Down material. For those who are colder naturally, an insulated jacket may be the most suitable option.

Soft Shell Jackets

Soft shell jackets are usually windproof, waterproof jackets which have no internal insulation and are highly breathable. Now, you may wonder why anyone would select a jacket which has no internal insulation. The reasons for this are several, one of which has recently been identified; being a warmer person by nature. Another reason that one may choose this kind of jacket is because they would rather have added mobility that is not available having an insulated jacket. As delicate shell jackets are often worn over a base layer and a mid layer, soft shell jackets do not have the added in bulkiness of an insulated jacket. Which means that you can contain the warmth of one’s body via your base coating and mid layer, but have added range of motion.

A soft shell jacket can be worn on its own on warmer days and nights or layered with basic and mid layers for colder days. However, for extremely cold temperatures and extended periods of time outdoors, a soft shell jacket is probably not the best option, however the final decision is ultimately your decision. For more information on bottom and mid layers, please examine our article on the importance of layering.

Waterproof Rating

Probably the most important characteristic of any ski jacket is the waterproof rating. This rating lets you know how quickly your jacket can be saturated and begin allowing water to penetrate to the layers below. Waterproof rankings are measured and pointed out in millimeters(mm). The level depends upon placing a tube filled on the material and filling it with drinking water. The level of which the water starts to penetrate through the cloth may be the waterproof rating. The higher the quantity, the more waterproof the coat is and the longer it will withstand snow and rainfall. For a coat to be considered legally waterproof, it must accomplish a minimum 1,500mm ranking. Jackets can be rated as high as 20,000mm, but the average rating is typically between 5,000 and 10,000mm. Understand that as the rating goes higher, so also will the price.

There are many different types of waterproof fabrics that are applied to the market today. Among the more well-known materials which are used are Gore-Tex, Hyvent, and Event. Why is materials such as these so effective is that they contain pores which are bigger than a molecule of sweat, but smaller than a molecule of water. Which means that not only is the material waterproof, but additionally very breathable.