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Latest Gear - Ski & snowboard jackets for winter 2017/18

A selection of the best jackets for this winter

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Andy Malton | Latest Gear Reviewer | Published: 29 Nov 2017


Latest Gear - Ski & snowboard jackets for winter 2017/18

A​ ​good​ ​shell​ ​is​ ​essential​ ​for​ ​the​ ​adventurous​ ​skier​ ​or​ ​snowboarder.​ ​Something​ ​that​ ​protects against​ ​stormy​ ​chairlift​ ​rides​ ​and​ ​big​ ​winter​ ​storms.​ ​A​ ​jacket​ ​you​ ​can​ ​wear​ ​for​ ​a​ ​day​ ​cruising the​ ​pistes​ ​or​ ​a​ ​big​ ​tour​ ​in​ ​the​ ​backcountry.  

Here​ ​are​ ​a​ ​few​ ​of​ ​my​ ​favourite​ ​high​ ​end​ ​jackets​ ​for​ ​skiing​ ​and​ ​snowboarding​ ​this​ ​winter. These​ ​jackets​ ​aren’t​ ​cheap​ ​but​ ​they​ ​are​ ​all​ ​built​ ​to​ ​last​ ​several​ ​seasons​ ​of​ ​regular​ ​use. Choose​ ​wisely​ ​and​ ​they​ ​should​ ​be​ ​a​ ​good​ ​investment​ ​in​ ​the​ ​long​ ​run.  

Norrona​ ​Lofoten​ ​Gore-tex​ ​Pro​ ​Jacket​ ​Men’s​ ​and​ ​Women’s

Val d'Isere

The​ ​boss​ ​of​ ​high​ ​end​ ​ski​ ​shells,​ ​the​ ​Norrona​ ​Lofoten​ ​Jacket​ ​keeps​ ​rolling​ ​on​ ​season​ ​after season,​ ​maintaining​ ​its​ ​position​ ​as​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​very​ ​best​ ​pieces​ ​of​ ​outerwear​ ​you​ ​can​ ​buy. Although​ ​the​ ​overall​ ​distinctive​ ​look​ ​remains​ ​the​ ​same,​ ​Norrona​ ​usually​ ​tweak​ ​the​ ​Lofoten every​ ​couple​ ​of​ ​years​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​up​ ​with​ ​improvements​ ​in​ ​fabrics​ ​and​ ​construction​ ​methods. 
Available​ ​in​ ​both​ ​a​ ​men’s​ ​and​ ​women’s​ ​specific​ ​fit,​ ​the​ ​Lofoten​ ​is​ ​made​ ​from​ ​Gore-Tex​ ​Pro fabric​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​the​ ​best​ ​protection​ ​along​ ​with​ ​great​ ​durability​ ​too.​ ​Norrona’s​ ​Loaded Minimalism​ ​concept​ ​means​ ​you​ ​get​ ​an​ ​assortment​ ​of​ ​pockets,​ ​a​ ​helmet​ ​compatible​ ​hood​ ​and a​ ​snow​ ​skirt​ ​amongst​ ​many​ ​other​ ​features,​ ​whilst​ ​still​ ​maintaining​ ​a​ ​clean​ ​look​ ​and​ ​low overall​ ​weight.​ ​The​ ​Lofoten​ ​Gore-tex​ ​Pro​ ​jacket​ ​is​ ​available​ ​in​ ​both​ ​men’s​ ​and​ ​women’s specific​ ​fits​ ​and​ ​is​ ​just​ ​as​ ​at​ ​home​ ​shredding​ ​powder​ ​at​ ​the​ ​resort​ ​as​ ​it​ ​is​ ​deep​ ​in​ ​the backcountry.

Arc’teryx​ ​Rush​ ​Jacket

Val d'Isere

The​ ​Rush​ ​jacket​ ​has​ ​been​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Arc’teryx​ ​range​ ​for​ ​a​ ​good​ ​few​ ​years​ ​now​ ​and​ ​is​ ​justifiably popular.​ ​For​ ​winter​ ​2017​ ​/​ ​2018​ ​it’s​ ​had​ ​a​ ​redesign​ ​that’s​ ​brought​ ​about​ ​several improvements.  

The​ ​Rush​ ​is​ ​now​ ​made​ ​of​ ​a​ ​very​ ​durable​ ​80​ ​denier​ ​Gore-Tex​ ​Pro​ ​fabric​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​entire garment,​ ​making​ ​it​ ​tougher​ ​than​ ​ever.​ ​The​ ​fit​ ​has​ ​also​ ​changed​ ​and​ ​is​ ​now​ ​much​ ​roomier​ ​to better​ ​accommodate​ ​layers​ ​and​ ​longer​ ​too​ ​for​ ​added​ ​style​ ​and​ ​protection.​ ​Lastly​ ​the​ ​use​ ​of Cohaesive​ ​cord​ ​locks​ ​make​ ​it​ ​super​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​adjust​ ​the​ ​hood​ ​and​ ​hem​ ​draw​ ​cords.  
The​ ​Arc’teryx​ ​Rush​ ​is​ ​clearly​ ​an​ ​expensive​ ​jacket​ ​but​ ​the​ ​build​ ​quality​ ​and​ ​fabrics​ ​used should​ ​enable​ ​it​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​performing​ ​at​ ​the​ ​highest​ ​level​ ​for​ ​many​ ​years.

The​ ​North​ ​Face​ ​Purist​ ​Triclimate

Val d'Isere

The​ ​Triclimate​ ​range​ ​from​ ​The​ ​North​ ​Face​ ​denotes​ ​the​ ​garments​ ​in​ ​their​ ​range​ ​that​ ​have​ ​a separate​ ​removable​ ​inner​ ​jacket​ ​that​ ​zips​ ​in​ ​and​ ​out​ ​of​ ​the​ ​shell.​ ​The​ ​Purist​ ​Triclimate​ ​has​ ​a light​ ​and​ ​stretchy​ ​liner​ ​vest​ ​with​ ​air​ ​permeable​ ​synthetic​ ​insulation​ ​designed​ ​to​ ​offer​ ​core warmth​ ​and​ ​breathability​ ​in​ ​cold​ ​conditions.​ ​The​ ​vest​ ​packs​ ​into​ ​its​ ​own​ ​pocket​ ​making​ ​it easy​ ​to​ ​carry​ ​when​ ​not​ ​needed​ ​and​ ​has​ ​pockets​ ​that​ ​align​ ​with​ ​the​ ​shell’s​ ​to​ ​provide​ ​easy access​ ​to​ ​stashed​ ​gear. 

The​ ​Purist​ ​Triclimate​ ​has​ ​a​ ​shell​ ​made​ ​from​ ​a​ ​super​ ​hardwearing​ ​70d​ ​3​ ​layer​ ​Gore-Tex fabric​ ​and​ ​an​ ​abundance​ ​of​ ​features​ ​including​ ​a​ ​snow​ ​skirt,​ ​arm​ ​pass​ ​pocket​ ​with​ ​goggle wipe,​ ​pit​ ​zips​ ​and​ ​a​ ​helmet​ ​compatible​ ​hood.

Patagonia​ ​Powder​ ​Bowl​ ​Jacket​ ​Men’s​ ​and​ ​Women’s

Val d'Isere

As​ ​you’d​ ​expect,​ ​Patagonia​ ​have​ ​a​ ​big​ ​range​ ​of​ ​high​ ​end​ ​shells​ ​for​ ​skiing​ ​and​ ​snowboarding. The​ ​Powder​ ​Bowl​ ​is​ ​a​ ​classic​ ​that’s​ ​been​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Patagonia​ ​line​ ​for​ ​years​ ​and​ ​it’s​ ​a​ ​great option​ ​as​ ​an​ ​all​ ​round​ ​shell​ ​for​ ​skiing​ ​and​ ​boarding.  
Made​ ​using​ ​2​ ​layer​ ​Gore-Tex​ ​fabric​ ​with​ ​a​ ​mesh​ ​lining,​ ​the​ ​Powder​ ​Bowl​ ​is​ ​a​ ​little​ ​softer​ ​and more​ ​flexible​ ​than​ ​many​ ​3​ ​layer​ ​shells​ ​making​ ​it​ ​suitable​ ​for​ ​everyday​ ​use​ ​too.​ ​It​ ​still​ ​has​ ​an abundance​ ​of​ ​ski​ ​specific​ ​features​ ​though​ ​such​ ​as​ ​a​ ​concealed​ ​RECCO​ ​reflector,​ ​helmet compatible​ ​hood​ ​and​ ​the​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​connect​ ​it​ ​to​ ​any​ ​Patagonia​ ​snow​ ​pants​ ​via​ ​a​ ​webbing loop​ ​on​ ​the​ ​snow​ ​skirt.

Burton​ ​[ak]​ ​Cyclic​ ​Jacket

Val d'Isere

The [ak] range contains Burton’s most advanced clothing products and the Cyclic is the most popular jacket in the [ak] line. Available in 10 (!) different colourways, the Cyclic is aimed at skiers and snowboarders who ride every day and need a shell that’s functional and durable.

A big hood protects during windy chairlift rides and pit zips dump heat during sweaty hikes. The 2 Layer Gore-Tex fabric is waterproof and breathable and the soft, flexible lining adds a layer of comfort. The Cyclic has a modern, freeride orientated fit that offers total freedom of movement without being too loose or baggy.

Jargon Buster

Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric technology synonymous with high quality outerwear. At the core of all Gore-Tex fabrics is the patented membrane, this this layer feature microscopic pores, smaller than water droplets but larger than water vapour. This keeps rain out while still being breathable, letting perspiration out. There are various configurations of this technology offering different performance:

2-layer GORE-TEX
The membrane is bonded to the outer layer only and features a separate inner liner.

3-layer GORE-TEX
All three layers are bonded together, creating a thinner, lighter and more durable fabric.

Similar to the 3 layer system but with a higher spec for outer fabrics and a special inner layer that further enhances breathability.

Denier count
This is a measure of the linear mass of a filament of fibre, specifically grams per 9000m of fibre. The higher the denier number or a fibre, the thicker, heavier and more durable the fabric woven from it will be.

RECCO reflector
The RECCO reflector is a passive location beacon. It is a small metal strip which bounces back signals from a RECCO detector typically carried by mountain rescue services, helping the wearer get found in the case of an avalanche. This small reflector is found in an increasing array of outdoor equipment, from outerwear to helmets. Having more reflectors on you can increase the success of being detected under the snow. This is NOT a substitute for a transceiver, shovel and probe and avalanche awareness knowledge.

Read more of Andy's reviews on his website.