Wind Chill
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Wind Chill

The three best ski jackets a man can buy

  • 15 January 2014

Because every man needs gear, and no man likes comparison shopping, we present That’ll Hunt: a series that reveals the best tools, gadgets or sundries for the job.

Ski jacket jargon is needlessly confusing.

The hell's an eVent? or a Touch Point System™? or a PRIMALOFT®? A guy just wants to know what works, and how well.

So we took three of our favorite brands to Resorts West in Park City, Utah — seriously great skiing, highly recommended — and tested them at 9,000 feet in 23-degree weather with 45 MPH wind gusts. Here’s what we found.

Best All-Around: Coldsmoke Tantalus

Coldsmoke is the name boarders give to snowy mountaintop winds, and this rugged jacket keeps you warmer than your girlfriend’s heart at the end of The Notebook. Thin insulation keeps you toasty on the lifts; the underarm zippers and eVent fabric (i.e., breathable) ventilate on the downhill. Wired for sound with an internal media pocket. Natty for the après, too. Check it out.

For Backcountry: Patagonia’s Powslayer

Patagonia is all about getting way out there, where the conditions are ever-changing and it pays to have layers. Consider the Powslayer your go-to high-performance top-layer. Translation: no insulation. But it does have RECCO, a homing beacon for avalanche rescue, plus good old stiff and tight Gore-Tex. Check it out.

For Frigid Temps: Aether Cloud

The Aether Cloud is as fashionable as it is warm — and when we say warm, we mean that its 170 grams of PimaLoft had us sweating even when the wind was blowing 45 MPH. You don’t need a mid-layer with this fella — unless you’re going out all day in the backcountry. Check it out.

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