The 6 Best Women's Ski and Snowboard Jackets

Published on 01/11/2024 · 8 min readReady to hit the slopes in style? Check out our guide on the best women's ski and snowboard jackets, blending warmth, durability, and fashion.
Melissa Stevens, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Melissa Stevens

Photo by Sergey Novikov

As you’re gearing up for some deep days on the slopes, don’t overlook the importance of a high-quality ski or snowboard jacket. The best ski or snowboard jackets offer warmth and insulation, have exceptional waterproofing, and often provide features like a hood, a powder skirt, and zippered pockets.

With so many options out there for ski and snowboard jackets, it can be tricky to find the perfect jacket for you. The good news is, I’m here to help! As an avid skier who has worked in the snow sports industry, I am passionate about helping fellow riders find a jacket they’ll love to wear every day of the ski season. I’ll cover some important considerations when shopping for a ski or snowboard jacket and let you know the best ones available for the 2024 season. Note that the women's jackets covered in this article are resort-specific jackets — for the backcountry, you’ll want some different gear.

Is There a Difference Between a Ski Jacket and a Snowboard Jacket?

Photo by Nikola Spasenoski

There are differences between ski and snowboard coats, although they aren’t always obvious. Usually, a brand will cater toward one activity or the other, but technically either type can work for skiing or snowboarding.

Ski jackets will often allow for more movement in the arms/elbows to accommodate the use of ski poles. Overall, ski jackets tend to have a tighter fit. Snowboard jackets have more of a relaxed fit and accommodate a larger range of motion. Sometimes snowboarding jackets are longer than ski jackets and enforce areas with padding like the lower back since snowboarders tend to spend more time on the ground than skiers.

Both ski and snowboard jackets have similar features and are crafted out of the same materials that prioritize waterproofing and warmth. The main difference is the fit, which at at the end of the day will come down to your riding style and personal preference. A looser fit is ideal for riding in the park and layering, while a tighter fit generally keeps you warmer.

What Should You Look For in a Ski Jacket?

Photo by Svetlana Gajic

When shopping for a ski or snowboard coat, there are a few factors to consider to be comfortable on the slopes on warm or cold days. Here are some of the most important:

  • Material: An exceptional ski or snowboard jacket will have material on the outside that is breathable and water resistant and material on the inside that is highly insulated with low bulk. You will also want to look for materials that stretch, allowing for optimized mobility. Consider the climate you usually ski in as well. You may prioritize breathability in a warmer climate or better insulation in a colder climate.
  • Features: High collars to keep your neck warm, underarm vents, water-resistant zippers, ample pockets (including those that hold ski passes and keep phones warm), an adjustable hood that will fit over a helmet, and powder skirts are the most common features for ski and snowboard jackets.
  • Fit: This one all comes down to personal preference. Typically brands that cater to snowboarders will make jackets with looser fits, while brands catering to skiers have a slightly more snug fit. Consider if you are going to layer up underneath the coat, and remember that a looser fit could mean more room for cold air to enter and warm air to escape.
  • Sustainability: All of the jackets on this list meet blusign standards, meaning that the factories that made the jackets meet stringent standards for pollution control and adhere to strict rules regarding chemicals in textiles. It also helps to look for jackets that are made with recycled materials.

Can I Use a Winter Jacket for Snowboarding?

To determine if you can use your winter snow jacket for snowboarding or skiing, check the material and fit of your outerwear. Most winter jackets prioritize warmth over all else, which may mean down insulation and a tight fit. Snowboarding and skiing jackets for the resort typically aren’t made with down, since that material isn’t the best for heavy snowfall and can get too warm too quickly. You can get hot and dehydrated even while surrounded by snow, so staying at the right temperature is a must.

Top Women’s Ski Jackets

1. Helly Hansen Women's Alphelia Lifaloft 2L Insulated Jacket

This jacket truly covers all the basics when it comes to warmth, mobility, breathability, waterproofing, and features. Large underarm vents allow for ample airflow and breathability, while the durable water repellent (DWR) treatment combined keeps rain and snow from soaking in. The hood is a perfect fit for most helmets, while the high collar provides extra warmth and protection from the elements. Pockets are deep and easily accommodate neck gaiters, phones, and ski passes.

Thanks to Helly Hansen’s continual improvement of this jacket, the 2024 version is now even softer and more lightweight, making it easier to pack for your next out-of-town adventure. It can be difficult to combine both breathability and warmth, but Helly Hansen knocked it out of the park with this one.

2. 686 Women's Hydra Jacket

Designed with the same material as the best-selling men’s GLCR (which stands for “glacier” since historically the GLCR products are technical and built with backcountry inclinations in mind) jacket, the women’s Hydra ski jacket is a top choice for many reasons. It excels in warmth because of its high-quality insulation, has tons of pockets (including an internal tissue pocket!), and has two-layer infiDRY 20K stretch fabric and DWR coating to keep moisture out.

There is just enough room to move around without losing heat, making the jacket an ideal fit for most skiers. 686 may not have the same name brand recognition as others on the market, which explains the reasonable price, but the quality and thought that went into the Hydra is top notch. This jacket also perfectly balances fashion-forward design and functional performance, catering to those seeking a versatile, all-weather winter coat.

3. Norrona Women's Lofoten GORE-TEX Insulated Jacket

The Norrona Women’s Lofoten GORE-TEX 2L is crafted for high performance, durability, and comfort. GORE-TEX is windproof, breathable, and water resistant, making it easy to stay dry even in heavy snow or rain. Even small details on this jacket speak quality, from the water-resistant zippers to the large side ventilation zips. This jacket also features a freeride helmet-compatible hood, a removable powder skirt with silicon grip, and asymmetric cuffs with velcro for adjustment.

PrimaLoft insulation provides exceptional warmth, and there isn’t any added bulk, so it’s easy to move on the mountain and flattering enough for everyday wear around town. It isn’t the best jacket for those on a tight budget, but in this case, you get what you pay for.

Selling fast

Top Women’s Snowboard Jackets

1. 686 Women's GORE-TEX Willow Insulated Jacket

The 686 Willow insulated jacket is a great deal, combining waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX fabric with effective insulation. This price will be hard to beat if you’re looking for a GORE-TEX jacket. Its durable construction and fully taped seams ensure long-lasting protection against snow, wind, and moisture, making it an ideal companion for snowboarding or skiing adventures in varying conditions.

Featuring infiLOFT insulation, it provides excellent warmth while maintaining a lightweight feel. Packed with snow-specific features like a removable powder skirt, adjustable cuffs, and a helmet-compatible hood, this jacket offers versatility and practicality. The two downsides are that it is a bit bulky compared to others that made the list, and there are limited ventilation options. This is a great deal for most riders, but if you usually find yourself in the park on warm days, this jacket won’t be the best fit.

Selling fast

2. Burton Women's Powline GORE-TEX 2L Insulated Jacket

This snowboard coat shines when it comes to superb waterproofing and breathability, and with GORE-TEX fabric, it’s guaranteed to keep you dry. Although not quite as warm as other comparable jackets, this one does have room for layering if needed. The 80g ThermacoreECO insulation makes this jacket super lightweight, so it is easily packed.

Some nice-to-have features include a contoured hood, stretch wrist gaiters, adjustable cuffs, a thermal pocket for your phone, and a zippered pass pocket on the sleeve. Color options are either black or white, making it easy to pair with almost any clothing.

3. DC Women's Cruiser Jacket

The CD women’s cruiser snowboard jacket is stylish and priced below $200. This jacket comes with a DWR coating, allowing it to hold up in wet conditions. Though not exceptionally warm, the synthetic insulation does help to trap in some heat, making it warmer than just a shell. It also offers plenty of room for layers.

Features include ample hand pocket space along with a lift pass pocket, mesh-lined pit zips, lycra cuff gaiters, and a large hood. A bonus to this jacket is that the fabric is made with 100% recycled polyester and 60% recycled taffeta lining.

Selling fast

DC Women's Cruiser Jacket

40% off
  • Free shipping
  • We price match
  • Returnable

Find the Best Ski and Snowboard Jacket for You

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With so many factors to consider when shopping for a ski or snowboard jacket, finding the best fit can be overwhelming. If you have any questions while shopping for your new favorite jacket, don’t hesitate to reach out to me or another Curated Snow Sport Expert here for help!

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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