Welcome to a special Buyer’s Guide feature from FREESKIER. Here’s a close-up look at the best ski outerwear of the year. Click here to explore the entire 2021 FREESKIER Buyer’s Guide.
Norrøna lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Anorak & lofoten Gore-Tex Pro Pant
The all-new Gore-Tex Pro Anorak is the latest addition to Norrøna’s acclaimed lofoten lineup and the first piece in our list of the best ski outerwear this year. Answering the plea from its ambassadors to design a multi-use, extremely weather-resistant outerwear piece, the Anorak offers a relaxed, freeride silhouette with technical detailing that’ll stand up to the most severe weather at high-altitude. It’s made with 100-percent recycled Nylon face fabric along with Gore-Tex Pro technology but its various features are the real talking points here. The asymmetrical, long fit of this pullover extends over the crotch and provides great venting with two side zippers that extend from the pit to the waistline. When both sides are unzipped, you’ll be able to quickly cool your core temperature without sacrificing protection from the elements—a trademark of this jacket. A kangaroo-pouch allows you to store larger gear, like skins or extra goggles; the easy-to-use hood cinch adjusts its fit while maximizing protection from the elements; and every zipper is water-proofed.
The updated lofoten Gore-Tex Pro pant has been in the Norrøna collection since the mid-2000s and, this year, the designers have added some updated features to make it more functional than ever. Constructed with ultra-durable cuff reinforcements and accepting three different zip-on bib attachments (sold separately), the regular-fit pant—not too skinny, not too baggy—offers a comfortable feel when touring as well as resort skiing. Three pockets make it easy to store essentials and three-quarter length zips along the leg help dump heat quickly when needed. The tough, 200-denier Gore-Tex face fabric is made of recycled materials and contributes to a build that’ll last you year after year… and then some.
Strafe Lucky Jacket & Wildcat Pant
This two-layer, insulated kit is constructed with Strafe’s proprietary Recon Stretch 2L fabric, rates at 20K/20K and comes with a DWR finish to round out the resort-friendly package. A plush feel greets your extremities as you slide into both the jacket and pant, which are sure to keep you warm on those chilly, mid-winter days. A quilted lining inside the jacket hides 100 grams of Primaloft Eco insulation in the body and 60 grams in the arms while the pant boasts a moderate 40 grams throughout. And, should things warm up, you can easily shed heat with zippered, mesh-lined vents on each piece. All the while, Polartec Power Dry cuffs on the jacket ensure no unwanted moisture gets through your sleeves and Cordura-reinforced cuffs on the pant provide resistance against scrapes and scratches.
Strafe Nomad Jacket & Nomad Bib
The Nomad jacket and bib are tried-and-true favorites among FREESKIER staffers who’ve tested both pieces numerous times. This kit is constructed using eVent three-layer construction and is fully seam-sealed for the highest level of protection from Old Man Winter. Polartec Power Dry cuffs and YKK zippers add to the technical prowess of the kit which has a relaxed fit and large pockets on both shells to accommodate your skins, cell phone, snacks and anything else you might need as you tackle high-alpine missions or cruise around the resort. Add to that an adjustable and removable powder skirt, mesh-lined venting and Cordura reinforcements and there’s hardly anything else that this durable, stylish kit could offer.
Flylow Lucy Jacket & Moxie Bib
The relaxed-fit Lucy jacket from Flylow offers technical weather protection with a casual look. It brings the reliability of a hardshell with fully taped seams and a DWR coating, but its three-way stretch Stormshell Intuitive fabric is so comfortable it feels like you’re rocking your favorite sweatshirt on the hill. Weighing in at just 552 grams, the Lucy is a one-piece wonder that matches the stylish silhouette freeriders covet while providing ample pockets for all your necessities. The Moxie bib is the perfect complement: it says “so long” to the tight-fitting style of many women’s pants, instead offering a relaxed fit with a bombproof build. The drop-seat makes bathroom breaks a breeze, thigh vents quickly dump heat and all the details you’d want for demanding days are thoughtfully included.
Flylow Malone Jacket & Tannen Bib
The first thing you’ll notice about the Malone jacket is how the stretchy the Stormshell Intuitive fabric feels, naturally complementing your body’s movements. This new piece from Flylow, one of the best ski outerwear kits on the market, is warm enough for resort riding yet still breathable and lightweight for backcountry travel. Minimalist cuffs, pit zips and a helmet-compatible hood are just a couple other noteworthy inclusions. The Tannen Bib is also new this year from the Tahoe-based brand and sits somewhere in between a pant and a true bib, with comfortable suspenders making sure it stays in place. The three-layer pant is also stretchy and rugged, with oversized vents on either side of the leg. A variety of pockets, including one with an avalanche beacon attachment on the thigh, provide ample room for stowing smaller items.
Columbia Powder Chute Shell & Powder Chute Bib
Columbia’s Powder Chute kit for men is an all-new, storm-proof combo that can handle full-season resort and backcountry travel thanks to the inclusion of Omni-Tech, the brand’s proprietary waterproof/breathable membrane. A Nylon/Cordura-blended, four-way stretch fabric complements the high-quality build, promoting ease of motion whether striding uphill or navigating through a mogul field, and a slew of pockets on the jacket and the pant provide storage for essentials, like a lift pass, goggles and a couple granola bars. Thicker, reinforced fabric on the elbows, shoulders and knees prevent wear-and-tear, and articulated stitching matches the active stance of riding for a more comfortable fit. Overall, this kit is nearly bombproof and is specifically designed to match the needs of active riders.
Columbia Peak Pursuit Shell & Peak Pursuit Bib
Simply said, this kit is for resort skiers who want a warm jacket-pant combo with minimal insulation and a slew of features—it’s easily some of the best ski outerwear out there. Waterproof and breathable Omni-Tech fabric is the baseline here, offering all day weatherproofing and enough air permeability to let the heat out when layering. Up top, the finer details reveal a jacket that can handle storm riding with ease. The hood is helmet compatible and an easy cinch adjusts its size; a high, soft-brushed collar is comfortable against the chin and effectively protects against wind; and a “drop tail” design, with a longer rear hem, helps protect your backside. Dedicated goggle and lift pass pockets also ensure everything has a place when you’re cruising around the ski area. The Peak Pursuit Bib sits high above the waist with s stretchy mesh gusset and suspenders that ensure a comfortable, weatherproofed fit. When nature calls, a vertical side zipper makes it easy to “take five.”
Picture Stone Jacket & Object Pants
Picture has been a sustainable brand since long before it was in vogue and this kit from its Expedition line is a prime example of how far the company has progressed. The jacket features proprietary Bio Source fabric, made from sugarcane waste and recycled polyester, as well as a 20K/15K membrane that’s also made of 100-percent recycled materials. Fully taped seams, an environmentally friendly, PFC-free DWR coating and YKK waterproof zippers round out the important features. The pant is constructed with a slightly different recycled polyester and paired with Picture’s 20K/15L Dryplay Recyclable membrane. One of the many notable features is an elastic high-waist that’s sure to keep the snow out on even the stormiest days, while 26 grams of insulation preserves warmth. For environmentally conscious skiers who want to wear some of the best ski outerwear and don’t want to skimp on style or technology, this kit from Picture certainly fits the bill.
Scott Vertix DRX 3L Jacket & Vertic GTX 3L Stretch Pants
Scott’s Vertic collection for men includes three tiers of outerwear for varying tastes and budgets and includes some of the best ski outerwear available this winter. The Vertic DRX 3L jacket falls squarely in the middle of that lineup, providing great performance without breaking the bank. On the technical front, a Dermizax EV membrane boasts 20K/20K waterproofing and breathability and is backed with fully taped seams. Articulated sleeves and underarm venting keep fit and comfort at the forefront while YKK AquaGuard zippers and a powder skirt with jacket-pant interlock keep the elements at bay. The Vertic GTX 3L Stretch pant is at the top of the Vertic food chain and features a stretchy, three-layer Gore-Tex performance membrane paired with an elastic face fabric. Up top, you’ll find a comfortable bib which can be zipped off and, down low, you’ll find articulated knees for comfort and mobility as well as Cordura-reinforced cuffs for durability.
Rossignol Ride Free Anorak & Atelier Ride Free Pant
Among the freeride crowd, Rossignol hasn’t been known to produce stylish, technical outerwear, but that’s about to change thanks to its new Ride Free series which is aimed squarely at the FREESKIER audience. The sporty Ride Free anorak offers more than just a flashy print: It comes standard with a 20K/20K membrane, DWR finish, fully taped seams and Thinsulate insulation to create a piece that’s as technical as it is warm. The three-layer pant is made in France and also sports a 20K/20K rating, fully taped seams and a relaxed fit for easy movement around the resort or backcountry. Both pieces are part of a larger collection that includes everything from top of the line technical wear to streetwear, which will surely put Rossignol on the apparel map this season.
Stellar Equipment Free Shell Jacket
Stellar EQ is a Swedish apparel brand that’s been producing quality outerwear since 2015 and the Stellar Equipment Free Shell Jacket was built with backcountry freeskiers in mind making it one of the best ski outerwear pieces on the market this season. The jacket’s loose, relaxed fit (with a longer rear hem) matches the aesthetic that many skiers are looking for today. The shell is also jam-packed with technical detailing. Japanese-made, stretchy Dermizax NX three-layer fabric is the main component of the jacket, providing great breathability without sacrificing water and wind-proofing. This practically bombproof jacket—weighing just 755 grams in size large—ensures you’re more focused on the big-mountain line below your ski tips and less on the potential of it soaking through and chilling you to the bone. Beyond its core construction, the Stellar Equipment Free Shell Jacket offers nearly every feature possible: two well-placed, oversized chest pockets that are accessible while wearing a pack and large enough to store skins, a helmet-compatible hood with one-pull cinch strap to adjust fit, a jacket-to-pant attachment that works with all of Stellar’s snow pants and long pit zips under each arm that provide ample ventilation when you’re working hard on the uphill.