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.

7 Top Skinny Jeans

Have you heard that saying? Everything old is new again. Whether you are reminded of the saccharine sweetness of Sandra Dee in the 50’s or the rock ‘n’ roll grunge of Johnny Rotten in the 80’s, skinny jeans will take you back in time and bring you forward to today.

Do not freak out! Yes, it’s a skinny jean revolution, but skinny describes the look, not the person. While some skinny jeans are just what you’d expect, only fitting that elite, slim-thighed 11%, there are a lot of options out there. From seriously skinny to almost straight, we’ve pulled 7 top styles that will give you the latest look. Even if you’re body’s not-so-slim and not-so-straight, check out our Skinny Scale, this is a trend you may not have to skip.

Here’s our skinny scale. We’ve ranked these jeans from the skinniest skinny to the straight skinny. You decide which you dare to try.

Miss Sixty Eden Skinny Stretch Jeans, $219: Skinniest Skinny

This is the skinniest of the skinny, sexy tight from top to bottom; don’t go near this jean unless you’re as straight and slim as an arrow. This is a great skinny jean if you have a smaller seat and super slim thighs. Textural pocket details and eye-catching back embroidery bring dimension and interest to the tight sexy fit through the butt. You can rejoice in your thin thighs at last with a jean that was made just for them.

Chip & Pepper Skinny Jeans, $187: Extremely Skinny

Also for the super straight, this Chip & Pepper jean has a slim fit that is not quite as tight as Miss Sixty. A darker wash color and longer leg length make for an extra slim silhouette. Scrunching those extra long legs at the ankle actually has a similar effect to a boot cut, balancing out your shape by adding volume at the bottom.

Siwy Michelle: $182: Seriously Skinny

There’s a little more room for your booty in these skinny jeans. They’ve got super stretch that allows for a close fit and comfortable movement. An upward tilt at the back waist contributes to better seat coverage. Again, a darker wash and a slightly straighter leg works best for curvier women, minimizing hips and thighs for a slim straight look. The extra length that bunches slightly at the shoe is a cool trick that will make anyone’s legs look longer.

Levi’s 503 Skinny, $25: Still Skinny

This is a great skinny alternative that gives a bit more room through the hip and thigh while still maintaining that skinny vibe. If you have more of a seat and an average thigh, these will fit well and look great on you. Due to their skinny leg, they will enhance your hip curve so you have to keep that in mind. The other nice thing about these is the price. You can afford to dabble in the latest trend even if it’s only for a season or two.

J Brand Cigarette Leg, $158: Still Skinny

Clean dark finishes and an absence of embellishment have made J Brand one of the leaders of the skinny jeans trend. This jean has a bit more room through the leg so it doesn’t cling to your every curve. A slightly straighter leg like this is a good choice for those of us with larger thighs or more shape through our hips. The straight look is there without the plastered fit. You still have a perfect base for the longer, fuller tops that are such a big part of this trend.

Citizen’s of Humanity Ava, $146: Sort of Straight

This great fitting jean has a narrow straight leg that will give you a very slim long look without the tight fit. There is room for a butt and some hip curve in these skinny jeans; you can even have a larger thigh. The leg slims down at the knee and then stays straight for that skinny look you love. Leave it to Citizen’s to give you the latest look in a very wearable jean.

Gap Straight Boy Cut Jeans, $58: Straight Skinny

This is not the skin tight skinny jean but this straight style will give you that same slim look. The cut of the Boy Cut jean is very straight, giving your body a long clean line even if you have curves. There is room for a butt and a good amount of coverage at the waist. Gap prices are also very reasonable, making this a fashion trend that you can’t afford to pass up.

Womens Fur Boots – A Touch of Unfussy Class on Its Own

Searching for the appropriate women’s fur boots should not be too much of a problem. From authentic to faux fur boots, they are everywhere lining designer stores and boutique shelves. If you are hankering for both genuine and faux boots, you will find them in any price range meaning that there are abundant options for you to choose from. You can get them expensive or whatever fits your budget.

When it comes to shopping for shoes, women appear to become natural and impulsive experts. Women’s boots are all the rage since they can stand as fashion accessories all on their own. They are lovely to look at which emanates an unfussy but cool vibe, at the same time bringing forth a touch of class and style to any outfit. Whether you are decked in long and short dresses, formal suits, and casual jeans, women’s boots just simply make a statement.

Materials and costs

Women’s boots are available in an assortment of fabrics and materials which includes suede, leather, sheepskin, plastic, nubuck, or any other man-crafted faux materials. The price of the boots depend entirely on the manufacturer or designer, the materials they are created from, and the designs and styles while looking at its durability and functionality. In fact, faux fur boots can be just as pricey as authentic fur boots. A pair of faux boots crafted from patent leather can have the similar price of genuine women’s boots created of plastic materials. Where you buy them also adds up to the pricing range.

In looking at both real and faux boots, you will rifle through piles of colors and styles. Boots made with real fur are limited in color since it is limited to some degree of the fur’s color etched on the boot. However, it should merge with the material’s color for the foremost part of the boot. For instance, black leather boots will enable you to use any fur color accent but red leather boots have color limitations.

Foot considerations

In scoring womens fur boots, ensure that you get the perfect fit for your soles. Proper boot size is important which goes a tad different from your typical shoe size. To guarantee a good match and fit, women should measure the height and width of her tootsies. When in doubt, give customer services a ring and discuss about the sizing. They should be able to return the call within a one day period. If you are in conflict between sizes, check the size and make extra room for thick socks or if your foot is still growing, especially for teens.

Be in style

The very first thing that women are concerned about is selecting fur boots that are in style. Many women’s boots create a fashion impact to the wearer. It just depends on whether the boots complement the wardrobe you are decked in. Wearing fur boots certainly adds appeal to women who are wearing them. They are great outdoors as well since some fur boots are designed to be waterproof. Women’s fur boots have come a long way and it goes to show that they are more of a fashion necessity other than a fading shoe fad.