Outdoor Gear

The 5 Best Women’s Ski Jackets Reviewed For 2018-2019

Whether you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime ski trip or you’re a regular ski bunny, you know (or will soon realize) that a reliable ski jacket is worth its weight in gold.

With a myriad of choices on the market, selecting the right ski jacket can feel overwhelming. Each offers its own benefits from breathability and warmth to fit and style.

Given all the ski jacket options for women out there, we hope to make your choice easier through our reviews of the best women’s ski jackets available.

All of our recommended ski jackets are durable and of top quality. Each will keep you warm and dry while you ski, but there are nuances such as style, fit, price, and features that are worth comparing.

Quick Answer: The 5 Best Ski Jackets For Women

  1. Helly Hansen Women’s Motion Stretch Jacket
  2. Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket – Womens
  3. Burton Women’s Jet Set Jacket
  4. Columbia Women’s Whirlibird Interchange Jacket
  5. Spyder Fraction Jacket

Best Women’s Ski Jackets

 Helly Hansen Motion StretchArc'teryx Beta ARBurton Jet Set
editorschoice
Shell:Polyester 3L GORE-TEXDRYRIDE two-layer fabric
Style:One PieceOne PieceOne Piece
Colors:5 colors7 Colors32 color & patterns
Other:Fully seam sealed, Under-arm ventilationHelmet compatible DropHood, Under-arm ventilationMedia & goggle pocket, Under-arm ventilation

Women’s Ski Jacket Reviews

Read on to learn more about our 5 top rated Women’s ski jackets.

Helly Hansen has established itself among the top outfitters in ski apparel and is our Editors Choice as the best ski jacket for women with good reason. Their Motion Stretch ski jacket comes in a total of 5 colors. They range from neutral white, navy, and black to vibrant purple and teal.

This is a nice-looking jacket. It slim fitting, unlike some of its bulky counterparts on the market; but don’t confuse it’s slimming look with inability to keep you toasty. In spite of the relatively thin, fabric, this Helly Hansen model works hard to keep you warm with its inner lining of insulation.

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We like the white side panels which contribute to its flattering appearance, as do the front pockets that are placed horizontally on the chest. On the subject of pockets, this jacket has plenty which allows you adequate space to tote along essentials like lip balm and sunblock.

This Motion Stretch jacket is roomy enough to allow for a full range of motion. While it fits snuggly, it doesn’t bind anywhere on the body. Its waterproof fabric, combined with a waterproof zipper enclosure and sealed seams, keeps the snow out and on the slopes- where it belongs! In spite of its ability to resist incoming water, it doesn’t seem to accumulate moisture after a long day of wear. Pit zippers promote breathability.

Perhaps most importantly, this ski jacket does a great job at keeping you warm while out in chilly conditions. It handles a range of temperatures beautifully. Perhaps due to its breathability, it doesn’t feel warm when temperatures begin to rise.

When selecting a size in this Helly Hansen model, its safe to order the size you normally wear as it runs true to size. Size options include x-small through x-large.

We believe you can’t go wrong with the Helly Hansen Women’s Motion Stretch Jacket because of its light weight, water-resistance, style, and warmth. We confidently give it a thumbs up.

 

Helly Hansen Women’s Motion Stretch Jacket at a Glance:

  • Waterproof
  • Detachable hood
  • PrimaLoft insulation
  • Wrist gaitors
  • Underarm ventilation system
  • 2-ply fabric construction
  • 5 color options

Arc’teryx is another household name amongst ski enthusiasts. Their Beta AR Jacket is a shell that can proudly claim a place alongside their other quality ski wear.

This jacket will make you look sleek on the slopes. The jacket’s cut is flatteringly thin, yet it doesn’t detract from your ability to move freely. There’s plenty of room for layering.

The Beta AR comes in 7 color choices. Our favorite is the bold red, but Arc’teryx offers white, black and blue for those who prefer a more conservative look.

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Because of this jacket’s streamlined design, stout or extra-curvy women may find it binding around the chest. Sizes range from x-small to x-large, but going up a size to accomodate for a voluptuous shape will mean the jacket doesn’t fit well in other areas like the arms and shoulders.

Arc’teryx’s Beta AR is waterproof, designed to keep you shielded from falling snow or from the moments you fall on the snow! This is thanks to its water-resistant fabric and waterproof zipper enclosures. Its GORE-TEX fabric allows for breathability. The velcro cuff adjusters, hip drawcord, and collar work together to protect you from biting wind.

Another noteworthy thing about this Arc’teryx model is its lightweight quality. Not only does this make it comfortable for ski wear, it also makes it easy to pack. It can be rolled up and takes up little space in your suitcase.

In terms of places to tuck away essentials, the Beta AR has two generously-sized pockets that flank either side of the chest. There’s also an inner pocket that we wish was a tad larger to accommodate a cell phone.

The Arc’teryx Beta AR Women’s Jacket made our list because of its durability, comfort, look, and its ability to protect against the elements.

 

Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket at a Glance:

  • GORE-TEX Pro fabric
  • Waterproof
  • Helmet-compatible hood
  • Velcro cuff adjusters
  • Adjustable hem drawcord
  • Underarm ventilation system
  • 7 color options

Burton Women's Jet Set Jacket

Burton’s Jet Set Jacket for women is unique in that it comes in a large array of colors and fabric patterns. It’s also the most economical ski jacket we reviewed.

This ski jacket is cute. Its feminine design is form-fitting but not binding, and sizing seems accurate. Its light weight is handy for travel. You won’t feel bogged down as if wearing bulky overcoat and it allows for a good range of motion.

The Jet Set Jacket has two closures- an inner lining that snaps shut at the waist and the exterior shell which zips up and is covered by a velcro-fastened flap.

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The collar provides good protection from the icy wind that tends to seep in and chill your neck while skiing. It folds down stylishly for casual wear. It comes with a single layer of lining, so we find it provides less warmth in ultra-chilly temperatures as compared to its competitors. There’s plenty of room for layering if this is of concern.

Importantly, this jacket is waterproof which will ensure you stay nice and dry. There’s a mesh lined vent under the arms which supports breathability- reducing the likelihood of moisture build up. Its hood is non-detachable which might be a hassle for some.

The jacket provides plenty of “storage” in the form of multiple pockets- two exterior and two interior. One of the interior pockets has a clear window, but sadly, the pocket is too small for most modern smartphones.

Overall, the Burton Jet Set Jacket for women offers good quality at an affordable price. It’s warm, but may need additional under-layers if you are braving extreme conditions.

 

Burton Women’s Jet Set Jacket at a Glance:

  • Waterproof
  • Mesh-lined sleeve vents
  • Thermolite insulation
  • Removable waist gaiter
  • Non-detachable hood
  • Underarm ventilation system
  • 32 color and pattern options

The Columbia Women’s Whirlibird Interchange Jacket is a 3-in-1 style jacket which works overtime to keep you warm enough in frigid temperatures and cool enough in milder ones.

It gives you the freedom to wear the liner or outer shell alone, or together, depending on the weather. These interchangeable pieces are easy to attach and separate.

This Columbia model lives up to its waterproof claim. In terms of keeping you dry, it won’t just keep you protected from the elements, it’s breathability keeps you from getting too hot. This jacket has mesh-lined pitzips for increased ventilation.

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This is another ski jacket that offers a ton of colors and a variety patterns. In terms of comfort, it’s provides enough room to move around freely and isn’t bulky. If you plan on layering, consider ordering one size up from your usual. Shorter women may find this jacket a little long for their stature (the hem will reach to the base of your rear end).

Like all of Colombia’s clothing, the quality of the Whirlibird Interchange’s construction gives the impression it will hold up well over time.

We would like to see more and larger pockets in the Whirlibird Interchange. We notice it’s less flattering than the others we reviewed. In spite of these minor downsides, we wholeheartedly recommend this ski jacket as a quality, affordable choice.

 

Columbia Women’s Whirlibird Interchange Jacket at a Glance:

  • 3-in-1 style jacket
  • Thermal reflective liner
  • Waterproof
  • Adjustable cuffs
  • Drawcord adjustable hem
  • Snap back powder skirt
  • Removable, adjustable hood
  • Underarm ventilation system
  • 21 color and pattern options

The Spyder Fraction Jacket is our top pick for look. Its flattering fit and its fabric and zippers in contrasting colors make this a chic choice.

In addition to its appearance, the Spyder Fraction offers a good number of essential features for your comfort and performance. First and foremost, it will keep you toasty warm but at the same time is sufficiently ventilated.

Spyder accomplishes this with the garment’s fabric and underarm ventilation. Its stretchy fabric keeps you warm without unnecessary bulkiness.

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With this ski jacket you have plenty of room to store necessities with interior and generously- sized exterior pockets, including one on the arm which can be used to hold electronic ski tickets.

Music lovers will be glad to know that Spyder included an interior pocket in their Fraction Jacket where you can safely store your smartphone. It includes a headphone port that will keep the pesky cord from your earbuds inside the jacket.

This jacket’s interior cuffs come with thumb holes which keeps them from riding up your arms. The hood is removable but also helmet-compatible. The powder skirt has an adjustable drawcord which keeps snow away from your torso, and the velcro cuffs do the same for your arms.

The slimming Spyder Fraction is shorter than some of the others on the market, which contributes to its stylish look. While this ski jacket fits true to size, considering ordering a size up if you plan to wear sweaters or layer with other bulkier clothing.

Before you decide on one of our top picks, check out our Buying Guide, which outlines different features you should consider, and our list of the essential qualities you should look for in a ski jacket.

 

Spyder Fraction Jacket at a Glance:

  • Velcro-adjustable cuffs with gussets
  • Waterproof
  • Drawcord adjustable hem
  • Removable hood
  • Detachable microfiber inner collar
  • Goggle pockets with lens wipe
  • Underarm ventilation system
  • Removable powder skirt
  • 8 color options

Women’s Ski Jacket Comparison Table

Ski jacket ShellStyleColorsRating
Helly Hansen Women's Motion Stretch JacketPolyester One piece5 colors4.8 / 5.0
Arc'teryx Beta AR Jacket - Womens3L GORE-TEXOne piece7 Colors5.0 / 5.0
Burton Women's Jet Set JacketDRYRIDE two-layer fabricOne piece32 color & patterns4.3 / 5.0
Columbia Women's Whirlibird Interchange JacketNylon3-in-121 color & patterns4.5 / 5.0
Spyder Fraction Women's Ski JacketNylonOne piece8 Colors5.0 / 5.0

How To Choose The Best Women’s Ski Jacket  – Buying Guide

Best Womens Ski Jackets

Skiing exposes you to a variety of conditions. There’s the dampness of snow, which you’re bound to feel thanks to the occasional and inevitable wipeout!

You’ve got the wind to contend with, and sometimes, downright frigid temperatures. Beyond those practical considerations, there’s always the ever-important fashion factor.

Ski Jacket Materials

You need to make sure your ski jacket can hold up against wind, snow, and sometimes, rain. For this reason, the construction of a ski jacket, in particular the material it’s made of, is an important thing to consider. Materials that are wind and waterproof are essential.

Ideally your ski jacket will be breathable, but if you are on a budget and faced with the choice between breathability and water-resistance, we’ll vote for water-resistance every time. Yes, a non-breathable model may feel stuffy, but protection against wind and wet come first!

Those looking for the most comfortable jackets in terms of both breathability and protection from the elements will have to a pay more. Higher-end ski jackets can provide both, thanks to specially engineered fabrics.

Womens ski Jacket shell
Nylon shell of the Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket

Styles of Women’s Ski Jackets

We’ll cover 4 styles of ski jackets so you can compare and contrast before deciding on the one for you.

Modular Jackets

Modular jackets provide three separate layers in one jacket, including a shell and insulation. Typically these layers zip together, so there’s no fiddling with multiple closures. This makes layering for warmth simpler.  

Insulated Shells

Most “budget” ski jackets are designed with an insulated shell, meaning they come with a thick layer of insulation sewn into the jacket.  They tend to be more cumbersome and bulkier than the modular styles.

The insulated shell doesn’t allow for removing layers; thus, you’re more likely to become uncomfortably warm in less extreme temperatures. Those who plan to ski in the Spring should consider avoiding this style for this reason.

Hard Shell Jackets

This style of jacket is good for protecting you against the elements like sleet, wind, and snow.  This option is ideal for the woman who wants the freedom of choosing her own layering strategy. It provides enough room to bundle up underneath the jacket.

Soft Shell Jackets

You can think of the soft shell jacket as a hybrid between the hard shell and insulated shell styles. They don’t provide the same level of water-resistance of a hard shell.

Ski Jacket Venting

Pit zips are zippers located under the armpits which allow for ventilation and enhance a jacket’s breathability. These are one of the key features that help to keep you dry as the temperature starts to creep up or when you’re skiing hard. If conditions are too chilly, keep them closed to keep the wind out.

Ski Jacket Hoods

Ski jacket hoods may be more of a fashion accessory than a necessity, as safe skiers are wearing a helmet while they’re on the slopes. In fact, hoods may be more of a nuisance than anything. If your preferred ski jacket comes with a hood, a removable one is your best bet.

Jacket Cuffs and Powder Skirts

Jacket cuffs and powder skirts keep the snow on the mountain- where it belongs!

By jacket cuffs, we are referring to the the jacket sleeve meets your wrist. Elastic cuffs will be most effective at keeping freezing snow and rain out off your arms. The stretchy elastic allows for flexibility and unhindered movements.

Powder skirts are like jacket cuffs for your waist. They keep your torso protected from the unwanted shock of snow flying up into the bottom of your jacket.

Pockets

Ski jackets come with a variety of pockets, which is important because you’ve got essentials like lip balm, snacks, and cell phone.

Keep your eyes peeled for a ski jacket that has a chest pocket where you can store goggles or lenses. Oftentimes, these pockets include built-in lens cloths that are handy for wiping away condensation.

Before landing on a specific ski jacket, consider what you will need on the slopes and make sure the pockets can accommodate all of the items you’ll be toting.

In wrapping up, below we’ve listed the essential features your ski jacket should have in order to ensure your comfort and optimal performance.

Womens ski Jacket pockets

Essential Qualities in Choosing a Ski Jacket

Warmth

Warmth is probably the most important thing to consider of all features when selecting a ski jacket. You don’t want to get out to the middle of ski country to realize you’re jacket’s not cutting it in the warmth department; and you certainly don’t want to discover this when you’re up high on the mountain.

Discovering your ski jacket isn’t protecting you from the cold will drive you to the closest ski outfitter where you’re bound to pay top dollar for a replacement. Or perhaps you’d choose to suck it up and brave the chill. Then you’re bound to be so distracted by the discomfort, you’re not likely to have much fun!

Water-resistance

Water resistance is arguably the second most important feature to consider. There’s almost nothing more miserable than feeling damp in cold weather. That can cause a discomforting chill to set in.

All the jackets we reviewed are waterproof, but some do a better job than others, so read our review details to make sure the jacket meets your needs. Your need for water-resistance will depend on the conditions you expect to encounter. For example, do you expect to be in powder dry snow or will you be exposed to sleet?  If it’s the latter, you’ll want to look for the maximum level of water resistance.

Breathability

The breathability of a ski jacket ranks high on the list of must-have qualities. In spite of chilly weather, you can work up quite a sweat when skiing or snowboarding; and on those days when the sun is shining brightly, warming things up, you’ll appreciate proper ventilation.

Lightweight

The weight of your ski jacket may or may not be of huge concern to you, but consider this. You certainly don’t want to feel suffocated or like a pack mule carrying the heavy load of a bulky jacket. In terms of packing for travel, you will appreciate a lighter-weight model.

Style

Gone are the days of women having to settle for a smaller version of a man’s ski jacket. Outfitters have heard our cry for feminine styles that have all the features of a jacket made for men but are more flattering for our unique physique.

Fit

More voluptuous women, especially those who have been gifted with a large chest and wider hips should be aware that the slimmer fitting jackets may feel uncomfortable and make it difficult to move around freely. While the streamlined styles may look more attractive, you don’t want to compromise comfort for look.

Price

Skiing is not a poor (wo)man’s sport, considering all the equipment and associated costs. Price may be a pain point for you. There are so many ski jackets available on the market that you’re bound to find one that fits your budget. You’ll need to scrutinize your choice closely, though; because as the adage goes, sometimes you get what you pay for.

We hope you’ve found our review of the best women’s ski jackets both enjoyable and helpful in your quest to find the perfect one for you.

Comfort
Style
Warmth
Value

The Helly Hansen Women's Motion Stretch Jacket is our Editors Choice for the best Women's ski jacket with it's combination of warmth, comfort and style.

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