We’ve been getting some questions about the cutest (and most functional) ski or snowboard gear, so here’s what I’ve been wearing for years, as well as some new (and very exciting) pieces that I recently tried (a few of these were recently tested on the slopes as well!).
I tried to include notes on the varying lengths of snowpants (I found a HUGE range of lengths – some are perfect for tall mamas), as well as which particular jacket will be the warmest in really cold weather conditions. The brands reviewed include my tried-and-true (Spyder, Sweaty Betty), classics (Burton, The North Face) and a really exciting, women-owned newcomer (Halfdays).
Watch the video to get my full thoughts on each of these pieces (and it’s always good to see them in motion), but here are few notes below.
My Go-To Set: Spyder Jacket + Sweaty Betty Bibs
This is the set I’ve been wearing for YEARS. While my bibs are still available (they tend to come back in stock every year), Spyder tends to update their ski jackets each season. I typically go for the warmest one available, in black.
Waterproofing: The bibs have a waterproof rating of 10K, which means that I stay warm & dry in all but complete downpours. The jacket’s waterproof rating is even higher.
Insulation: Spyder always makes at least one jacket with pretty epic insulation – that’s the one I go for, whenever I need an upgrade. And these bibs are the warmest I’ve found – while they’re not necessarily “insulated” per se, they are thicker than most bibs, and have some sort of lining, keeping my bum toastier than other snowpants.
Notes from the slopes: Most people are good with a 10K waterproof rating. Pax, however, is literally rolling around in the snow all day long, sliding on his butt, etc. I recently upped his kit to 20K…and it still wasn’t enough. I’m going to have to go fully waterproof with his stuff, and the only way to do that? GoreTEX….
Burton Avalon Bibs in Gore-TEX (So…Waterproof)
These bibs are AMAZING. However, they run VERY LONG. They actually don’t look that bad in the photo, but rest assured, these were ridiculously long on my 5’2″ self. That said, they are also impossibly light, and the most comfortable bibs I’ve ever put on my body.
NOTE: I just happened to talk to the guys at a local snowboard shop about these bibs – they actually have a ripcord in the pants so you can cinch them shorter.
Waterproof: The bibs are GoreTEX, and 100% completely waterproof. The jacket is the same.
Insulation: If you are a cold baby, Burton’s jacket is the warmest jacket I’ve ever found. The longer length will keep you toasty (and dry) in any weather, and the insulation on this one is seriously impressive. The pants, however, are chilly. I did give these guys are run on the slopes, and my bum was freezing. They are just one thin little layer. Totally and completely waterproof and super comfortable, but verrrry cold on the lifts.
The North Face Dragline Bib & Jacket
Man…this set is cuuuute. I’m totally digging the stormtrooper vibes. That said, while this set is definitely rugged and waterproof, it is JUST a liner. So it’s not comfortable to wear by itself – you’d need not just baselayers, but a REALLY warm midlayer, too.
Waterproof: 100% completely waterproof, both pieces
Insulation: None, nada, zip.
Halfdays Bibs, Puffer, AND Lawrence Jacket
I’m a HUGE fan of Halfdays. I bought their olive set last year (my full Halfdays review here), and my biggest complaint was that they didn’t have bib overalls. So I was obviously thrilled to see that overalls were included in Halfday’s latest line!
They’ve also expanded their gorgeous color selection (two of my favs are below), as well as adding a new style – a puffer jacket.
Waterproof: 10K rating, which is just…OK. The olive set, when worn during a wet, Spring skiing day, showed dark patches where water soaked through. Not great.
Insulation: The bibs aren’t insulated, but they are thicker than the Burton or North Face bibs – similar to the Sweaty Betty (but not *quite* as warm). The Lawrence Jacket is decently warm (not my first choice for below zero skiing), but the Puffer jacket IS much warmer.
Notes from the slopes: I’ve now skied in both of their jackets – as expected, the puffer is much warmer than their classic (Lawrence) jacket, but I still like the Lawrence jacket better. I find it more comfortable to wear, and has all of the pockets I need while skiing. This entire set is so freaking cute, but because of the waterproofing issues, better saved for cold, dry conditions.
Cheers to winter adventures!!