Buying Guide For Ski Jackets

Types of Jackets

When shopping for a ski jacket you are going 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 people have is, “which one should I buy?” The simple answer to this question is that there is no right answer. The reason for this is that each person has a different body temperature regulation. Some people will get hot very quickly and thus having an insulated jacket would cause them great discomfort. Others, however, are routinely cold and having an insulated jacket only makes sense because a soft shell jacket would leave them even colder. With this being said, the first step to selecting the jacket that is best for you is by determining if you are warmer or colder person by nature. Once this is determined, you can then move forward in the process of selecting your jacket.

Insulated Jackets

The construction characteristics of an insulated jacket include an outer layer that is waterproof and windproof, along with an insulated layer that is built directly into the jacket. The insulating inner layer is likely to be made of fleece, down, or a synthetic fabric such as Primaloft. Also, many insulated jackets will contain an additional insulator piece that can be removed. These types of insulated jackets are some times referred to as system jackets or 3-in-1 jackets.

The insulation that is found in insulated jackets is most commonly measured in grams. The greater the number weight in grams, the warmer the jacket will be. Insulation types can range as low as 30 grams and go as high as 800 grams, which is most commonly found with Down material. For people who are colder by nature, an insulated jacket is the most suitable option.

Soft Shell Jackets

Soft shell jackets are windproof, waterproof jackets that have no internal insulation and are highly breathable. Now, you might wonder why anyone would choose a jacket that contains no internal insulation. The reasons for this are several, one of which has already been identified; being a warmer person by nature. Another reason that one may choose this type of jacket is because they prefer to have added mobility that is not available with an insulated jacket. As soft shell jackets are usually worn over a base layer and a mid layer, soft shell jackets do not have the added bulkiness of an insulated jacket. This means that you can contain the warmth of your body via your base layer and mid layer, but have added range of motion.

A soft shell jacket can be worn on its own on warmer days or layered with base 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, but the final decision is ultimately up to you. For more information on base and mid layers, please review our article on the importance of layering.

Waterproof Rating

Probably the most important characteristic of any ski jacket is the waterproof rating. This rating tells you how quickly your jacket will become saturated and begin allowing water to penetrate to the layers below. Waterproof ratings are measured and indicated in millimeters(mm). The level is determined by placing a tube filled on the fabric and filling it with water. The level at which the water begins to penetrate through the fabric is the waterproof rating. The higher the number, the more waterproof the jacket is and the longer it will withstand snow and rain. For a jacket to be deemed legally waterproof, it must achieve a minimum 1,500mm rating. Jackets can be rated as high as 20,000mm, but the average rating is typically between 5,000 and 10,000mm. Keep in mind that as the rating goes higher, so too will the price.

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

Breathability Rating

Just like the waterproof rating measures how effective a jacket is at keeping water outside, the breathablity rating of a jacket measures how effective a jacket is at transferring moisture from inside to the outside. The same fabric pores that help prevent water from penetrating inside a jacket, allow sweat molecules to escape and ultimately keep your warmer.

Breathability rating is measured and indicated in grams (g). The measurement is determined by finding the Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR). The MVTR determines how many grams of sweat per 1 square meter can escape a jacket in a 24 hour period. The higher the number, the more moisture escapes and the more breathable it is. Entry-level breathable fabrics will have MVTR ratings in the range of 2,000-3000g. Fabrics at the high end of the breathability scale will have an MVTR around 25,000g.

Fabric Durability

Contrary to what many people believe, ski jackets are different than your everyday winter jacket. Yes, you can wear your ski jacket as your everyday jacket, but if you haven’t purchased a jacket specifically for skiing, you’re best not to wear the everyday winter jacket that you bought at the department store to the slopes. The reasons for this are several, but one of the most important ones is that your ski jacket is going to be far more durable.

Ski jackets are made of tightly woven nylon or polyester. Materials which are designed for high performance use in the elements of winter. Extended exposure to high winds and the wet elements of the winter is what makes the construction of a ski jacket different from your everyday winter jacket. This is also why you’ll find that ski jackets will cost more than a jacket you’d buy from the department store.

Seams

Fully Taped

Fully taped seams is exactly what it sounds like. All of the stitched seams have been taped for waterproofing. This is done with a waterproof tape that is glued on the interior and exterior of the seam. Fully taped seams are the best option if you want to be waterproof in these important areas that are prone for moisture. They will, however, cost more than jackets with critically taped seams. As an additional note, higher-end garments will offer Welded Seams, which are even more effective at protecting against moisture penetration at the seams.

Critically Taped

A less expensive option than Welded or Fully taped seams is Critically taped seams. Critically taped seams means that only some of the seams are taped and protected against moisture penetration. On a jacket this is not necessarily a bad thing, so don’t be scared off by the fact that not all seams are covered. As long as you don’t spend long periods of time in wet weather, or spend a lot of time falling in the snow, Critically taped seams will offer the protection you need.

Features

When shopping for ski jackets it is important to know that beyond how waterproof and breathable a jacket is, there are a number of features that you can expect to find available to you. In the following sections, we’ll cover many of these features so you will know what to expect when shopping from one model to the next.

Front Zipper Cover: This feature is sometimes referred to as a storm flap. The purpose of this feature is to cover the front zipper of your jacket to prevent the wind and moisture from penetrating inside. As the zipper can be a highly prone area for moisture, this is considered by many as a must have feature.

Powder Skirt: A powder skirt is an elastic band that is located inside of a jacket at the waist. It provides a snap closure in the front and is intended to keep snow from going up the front or back of your jacket. Additionally, it help retain heat and keep you warmer when you’re out on the slopes. This also means that if you’re starting to feel a bit warm, you can unsnap the skirt for a moment to allow heat to escape and cool you down, then snap it back up to protect against the snow. This features is considered by many as a must-have, and it is highly recommended for maximum comfort when out on the snow.

Hood: While not all jackets offer a hood, those that do will offer a hood in one of several options: attached (non-removable), detachable, or stowaway. Attached hoods are fixed to the jacket and cannot be removed. Detachable hoods offer the luxury of protection on windy or snowy days, while also offering the versatility to be removed on warmer or fair weather ski days. Stowaway hoods offer the same luxuries as a detachable hood with the difference being that stowaway hoods do not need to be removed from the jacket. Instead they will tuck into a designated area of the jacket.

As your hood is intended to protect your head and neck from the elements, you want to make sure that your hood can fit over your helmet. Your hood should have enough room so you can look from side to side, and it should also adjust for your helmet size so it isn’t too large or too small. The bill of your hood should be generous enough in size to shed rain from your goggles and eyes. Hoods, regardless of their style, are highly recommended for protection against the elements.

Wrist Closure: Wrist closures are one of the common adjustability features you can expect to find on jackets. Wrist closures will be present as an elastic, Velcro, snap, or thumbhole adjustment. This purpose of such an adjustment is to help keep cold air and snow from going up your arms. You will want to make sure that the wrist adjustment will work in tandem with your gloves.

Cinch Cord: Another adjustment feature that you can expect to find is a Cinch Cord adjustment. This is located at the bottom of the jacket and can be tightened so your jacket and pants are positioned closely together. This will help keep snow and wind from creeping up inside your jacket.

Pit Zips: Under arm zippers, or Pit Zips, are temperature regulating features that are present on many ski jackets. Pit Zips are zippers located under the arm that can be adjusted on the fly to help retain or release heat that builds up inside a jacket. If you’re cold, or the temperate starts to drop, you can close them up to help keep heat close to the body. On warmer days these can be opened up fully to allow heat to escape while you remain fully protected from the elements everywhere else. While not considered a must-have, they are certainly suggested if you want the luxury of regulating your core temperature easily.

Pockets

Electronics Pocket: Thanks to the influx in portable electronic devices (e.g., cell phones, personal audio players, digital cameras), having a pocket designated specifically for electronics is a must have for many. For others, it’s not a make or break feature. The important thing to understand is that pockets do exist for such items and they are certainly a convenience if you own such items. For those who enjoy listening to music while on the slopes, this pocket is extremely useful because electronics pockets have openings for wires to be run for headphones. This keeps the electronic device protected and the wiring internal so it is not ruined.

Goggle Pocket: Like an electronics pocket, the goggle pocket is designated specifically to house your goggles when you’re not wearing them. This pocket will also typically house a goggle cloth that can be used to wipe your goggles if they get foggy.

Additional Fabric Lining: On many higher-end jackets you are likely to find additional fabric lining the inside of the jacket. This added fabric liner starts at the wrist and extends down over the palms with holes provided to insert your thumbs. This added lining adds extra warmth to the palms and wrists.

Avalanche Rescue System: Built into a select number of jackets an avalanche rescue system can be an invaluable feature if you’re the type of skier who ventures into areas that prone to avalanches. Unlike a separate beacon system, jackets with this feature have a small, weightless transponder that is easily detected by a search rescue team. This feature is not necessarily a must have, but for safety is recommended. If you opt against a jacket with a built-in rescue system, you can always purchase a separate rescue system at a later time.

Hopefully all these guidelines will help you determine the best jacket is right for you.

The Glory of Cheap Sneakers

Sure you can spend a lot of money on sneakers, or shoes, but you’re going to regret it. Why do you suppose you will regret it? Because you really need to think about the greater involvement of the internet world, which is sometimes not thought of by sneaker heads. Sure there are sneaker giants that think eBay is the be all end all of shoe buying, but it’s not really the case. You can get some great Cheap Sneakers by going to online stores outside of the auction format.

Sure, auctions are great and you can win some cheap ones sometimes. However, more often then not you end up fighting other people for a pair of shoes that were purchased at a much lower price. You have to really consider how amazing things can be if you get what you want for a low price. Getting lower priced goods is always a favorable thing, and you should really indulge your wallet sometimes. You should not forget to look online, because if you forget to look, you might fall into the snare of high priced sneaker wars.

Cheap Sneakers are not going to find themselves. People that have found these things are not telling about them. There are even movies about sneakers that you can rent, that focuses on the culture of collecting shoes. They are not online, however, fast forward and the smarter consumers are now buying their shoes at a low cost via online retailers. The modern man can purchase their shoes without fear of getting gauged by random sellers of goods.

Just like comic books, Cheap Sneakers are rare. If you’re looking for good stuff online, you should really look at the sneaker world. Good high quality sneakers are available from all brands and walks of life and you should consider how great things can be if you are able to purchase online goods. That’s right, online goods are superior to brick and mortar stores.

Why is it that people still go to the brick and mortar stores to purchase Cheap Sneakers? It is actually not that cost effective, considering that the stores that have physical locations have high costs that are transferred to the customer. That’s right, if you are buying shoes from a regular retailer you are paying for their rent through their specific mark ups. Plus, if you are waiting in line for sneakers, you might encounter violence. There are violent things going on in the sneaker world if you are not careful. There are plenty of stories out there of people losing their shoes, and getting robbed over a pair of sneakers. If you need to save money, you should really consider getting online and buying your shoes there. Yeah it’s a popular thing to say, but sneaker heads are slow to change and should really be faster to adapt, considering that the sneaker world is getting more and more popular by the day. So if you need to get a few shoes online, you might have money to spend on other things, so go for the glory of sneakers online.

Not Only For the Thin – Designer Skinny Jeans Are Made For Every Body Type

It is official. The 80’s have made a comeback. Several seasons ago, skinny jeans took the world by storm and now, it looks like they’re here to stay. So are they really just for skinny people? Absolutely not. Designer skinny jeans are made for every body and by following a few simple guidelines, this look can be flattering on any body type. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

There are basically 3 types of skinny jeans:

  • Cigarette -This style is very similar to skinny jeans. The only difference is leg opening. The leg opening on skinny jeans gets smaller as it nears the ankle, whereas the leg opening on cigarette jeans stay the same from the knee down all the way to the ankle.
  • Straight leg – This classic cut is the most universally flattering style. There is usually no stretch to a straight leg jean, so it is less form fitting than the skinny and cigarette styles. This cut is slightly different from the cigarette jean. The leg opening on this jean stays the same from the thighs down.
  • Skinny – The 3 constituents that make up this style are form fitting, stretchy and ankle hugging. This style delivers the ultimate sprayed on look.

How To Wear Designer Skinny Jeans If…

  • You have large calves – Consider wearing cigarette jeans instead of skinnies. They are wider through the lower leg, which leaves room for your calves. You can additionally hide thick calves by wearing them tucked into boots.
  • You have a belly bulge – Any 3 of the skinny jean styles will work for anyone with tummy issues. Choose a pair that has a fair amount of stretch and a higher rise so they can really hold in your problem area. Pair this with a loose empire waist top and wear heels to elongate your legs and appear slimmer.
  • You have a big butt – Follow the same advice as for tummy issues. There are 2 things you need to keep in mind. One is to make sure the pockets on your jeans are low. They should end somewhere in the area where your butt and thighs meet to create a smaller looking behind. The other thing is your shirt needs to fall to the middle of your butt or longer.
  • You are tall and slim – Specialty cuts are often made in only one length, so it may be challenging for you to find skinny jeans that are long enough. When choosing the right pair of jeans for your body type, make sure they fall at least to your ankle. If they are too short, you can wear boots over them or wear heels with an ankle strap so that it looks intentional.
  • You are short and petite – Your problem is quite similar to those who are tall, since most jeans only come in one length. The upside is you can always get them hemmed. The downside is you’ll lose some of the skinniness at the ankle of you cut off too much. To avoid this issue, it is best to stick to cigarette jeans.

Designer skinny jeans are not reserved only for the runway and tall, gazelle looking super models. When you find a pair that fits and compliments your figure, you can look just as chic and stylish!