Whether you’re going for casual resort runs or exploring the backcountry on skis, outfitting yourself appropriately for the mountain is essential for a comfortable, warm and dry experience. However, gear expenses can add up fast.

You can get basic, all-around jackets and pants on a budget or splurge for top-of-the-line garments with ski-specific features, like powder skirts and internal leg gaiters.

No matter which you go for, the right gear for your body, conditions and level of activity will allow you to embrace fresh powder with confidence and excitement. And just because you go for the more affordable option doesn’t mean you have to skimp on quality.



By shopping smart, your ski gear can serve other purposes and keep you warm on cold-weather hikes or blustery walks around town.


Columbia Whirlibird™ IV Interchange Jacket ($259.99)


This 3-in-1 style Whirlibird™ IV Interchange Jacket by Columbia is a budget-friendly and versatile option, as you can wear the waterproof shell and synthetically insulated layer together for maximum warmth, or as standalone pieces in different configurations in lighter weather and for more relaxed activities. Plus, this 3-in-1 construction allows for easy addition and removal of layers depending on conditions, making it adaptable to a variety of situations, whether that’s running errands on a drizzly day or hiking on a brisk winter morning.

This budget option provides some ski-specific features, like a goggle pocket, ski pass pocket, powder skirt and adjustable cuffs to keep your base and mid layers dry. For occasional skiers who need an inexpensive jacket, this one provides decent warmth and its Omni-Tech waterproof shell and insulated layer are good enough for resort use.


Columbia Bugaboo™ Omni-Heat Insulated Snow Pants ($149.99)


With Omni-Tech breathable waterproofing technology and an Omni-Heat reflective lining, the insulated Bugaboo Pant is designed for optimum heat retention and is ideal for the casual resort skier or snowboarder in cold and dry climates. For those who need extra base layers, these pants are loose-fitting so they can comfortably accommodate that, and the adjustable waist belt allows for a personal fit that will also work to keep snow out. The pants are waterproof and seam-sealed to keep you dry. With 60-gram synthetic fill, they provide decent warmth, which makes these no-frills pants a good budget pick for their comfort and performance.



Often crafted with burly materials like Gore-Tex, nylon or polyester that has been treated with a Durable Water Repellency (DWR) coating, luxury ski jackets and pants are made to withstand harsh conditions season after season. With features like fully taped seams and helmet-compatible hoods, these garments come at a higher price.


Arc’teryx Sentinel AR Jacket ($800)

jdjjdCourtesy of Arc’teryx

The price tag on this one will have you doing a double-take, but Arc’teryx’s Sentinel AR Jacket  (Sabre AR for men) is unbeatable in comfort and craftsmanship and is an all-time favourite among serious snowboarders and skiers of all types. Crafted with 70-denier nylon, this shell is tough and durable for the backcountry, yet flexible enough that it doesn’t compromise freedom of movement. This lightweight jacket is tough against ever-changing winter conditions that range from snowstorms to light drizzles, thanks to its burly, yet breathable three-layer Gore-Tex fabric construction and fully sealed seams. A flannel liner on the inside provides a bit of extra warmth and softness. Skiers will appreciate the jacket’s helmet-compatible hood, pit zips for quick ventilation when skinning uphill or hurdling downhill, and integrated powder skirt to keep your body dry.


Patagonia Stormstride Pants ($499)

jjjjCourtesy of Patagonia

These Stormstride Pants are built with hardcore backcountry skiers and snowboarders in mind, with the ability to handle unpredictable weather conditions on the mountain. Patagonia’s H₂No® technology repels snow and rain, keeping you dry on even the most gnarly runs. And at 15.6 ounces, these shell pants are lightweight, highly breathable and remain comfortable for long hours of wear, as their stretch fabric allows your body to move freely. These pants sport a sleek profile while remaining roomy enough for you to add base or fleece layers underneath depending on condition. As you work up a sweat, the two easy-to-use outer-thigh vents prevent overheating.


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