Best Overall Women's Ski Jacket
Patagonia Primo Down Jacket - Women's
Useful ski features
Afraid the potential lack of breathability could affect the down insulation
The Patagonia Primo Down Jacket - Women's
takes the award for Editors' Choice for the fourth year running. It is one of the warmest jackets we tested, sleekly stylish, and constructed with high quality materials, including a waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex shell and 800-fill traceable down insulation. It is one of the only jackets to combine a Gore-Tex exterior and all down insulation, (along with the much more expensive Andessa) allowing it to be lightweight AND waterproof. We particularly love its special pockets for iPods, keys, and ski passes, its helmet compatible down-lined hood, and its removable snow skirt. The newest version of the Primo Down has a longer cut, diamond sewn baffles that go all the way to the hem of the jacket, and a softer, suppler feeling Gore-Tex material. Our testers all love the Primo Down!
Best Bang for the Buck
Columbia Whirlibird Interchange - Women's
Inner layer is good for around town
Two layers do not work well together: snow skirt doesn't work with inner layer, no access to interior pockets
Thin hood material
The Columbia Whirlibird Interchange - Women
's is our favorite of the three-in-one styles we tested, and it wins the Best Buy award because it provides the most function and versatility for the least amount of money. We particularly like how the Whirlibird's two layers (a synthetic insulated interior jacket and a wind/water resistant outer shell) perform individually, and enjoyed peeling off the shell and wearing the inner layer around town; but found that they don't work in combination quite as well as we would have hoped. Although we believe it is a less durable and functional option than both the Sentinel and Primo Down, it is a great value for your money, retailing for only $200! For this price you get two separate jackets with three wear options for around town and on the ski hill.
Top Pick for Stylish Resort Jacket
Good ski features
We received so many compliments when wearing the super cute Nina. We loved wearing it to the resort and around town! The Orage Nina
is super comfortable and stylish, making it our no-brainer choice for our Top Pick Award for best looking jacket. Its tri-colored pattern will make you stand out in a crowd, but not feel too flashy. It is a feel-good layer has all the right ski features to keep you functioning well at the resort. We love its comfy wrist gaiters and that it has all the stash pockets you could need, including a mesh goggle pocket, pass pocket, and interior zipper pocket for keys or electronics. The stretchy shell material moves well with the wearer on the slopes and it is insulated enough to keep us warm on most days. If you're looking for a stand alone (not 3-in-1) resort-oriented piece that has it all in a stylish package, the Orage Nina is for you.
Top Pick for Best Ski Specific Shell
Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's
Colors stain easily
Uninsulated ski specific shells were a new addition to our review line-up this year. A shell is a versatile piece to add to your quiver. It allows for you to tailor your insulating layers to the weather, is light and protective enough to work well in the backcountry. Our favorite is the Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's
, which will guard you from the elements in any conditions. It is the lightest jacket in the entire review and would be a great choice to bring when you plan to ski big backcountry lines. We love the Sentinal's cavernous hood that engulfs a ski helmet, and has a great adjustment system that is easy to operate with gloves on. Once on, the hood moves with you when you turn your head. We like the Sentinel's soft, lightweight Gore-Tex material. The Sentinel comes in a variety of bright and appealing colors, and it has a flattering, yet practical cut our testers are fond of.