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What You Need In A Jacket

A good jacket keeps you warm and dry, fits just right, breathes well, and has the features you need. What you need in a jacket depends entirely on use. Powder skiing on a storm day demands more weather protection. Spring hiking calls for versatility and comfort. Although the choices might appear daunting at first, once you get your hands on the right jacket, you'll love it for years.

Activity
Different jackets are built for the rigors of different activities. Although a rain shell would keep you dry while you ski, a technical shell is more durable and designed for heavy, wet snow. Reach for a jacket designed for the activity you prefer and you’ll be much happier at the end of the day. Shop Hiking & Backpacking Jackets Shop Ski & Snowboard Jackets Shop Alpine Climbing Jackets Shop Cycling Jackets
Waterproof Rating
Some activities only call for a jacket that's water-resistant, but if you plan to get outside in nasty, wet weather you want something with highly waterproof fabric (20K+), a breathable membrane, and taped seams. Shop Men's Waterproof Jackets
Related Content Waterproof Technologies & Materials
Insulation
A fully insulated down or synthetic jacket offers all the warmth you need so you can just pull it on over a thin baselayer and go. An uninsulated shell jacket is more versatile because it allows you to pick and choose the type and weight of your insulation you decide to wear beneath. Shop Men's Insulated Jackets
Related Content A Guide to Jacket Insulation

How to Choose an Alpine Ski Boot

The Main Line of Communication Between You and Your Skis

 

In contrast to an alpine touring or telemark boot, an alpine boot is designed almost entirely around resort-based and inbounds skiing. Honestly assess your ability level and your interests before you start shopping for a boot. Ability level and interests dictate where and what you ski, and ultimately, the type of boot you’ll need. When choosing a ski boot, pay attention to fit, flex, and last width. These factors will help you maximize the likelihood of finding a well-fitting boot without stepping foot in a store. Secondary considerations, such as liner, buckle configuration strap, footbed, and boot sole features will come later in the buying process.

Fit:

A boot that fits well will hold your foot firmly and encourage ample control, circulation, and reduce the chance of blister-causing heel slippage. Ski boots come in a variety of lengths, measured in Mondo sizing (insole length in centimeters), forefoot widths (measured in millimeters), and cuff height and width (based on gender or manufacturer).

Flex:

Flex refers to how hard it is to flex the boot forward. Aggressive or heavier skiers will want a stiff boot (120-130+) to handle high speeds and arduous terrain. Beginners or smaller skiers best to start with a softer boot (80-100) and intermediate skiers may prefer a boot with a flex around (100-110).

Interest:

Alpine boots come in three flavors: park and pipe, alpine touring, and alpine. Park boots tend to be a little softer and more forgiving, alpine touring boots are made with lighter materials and offer a walk mode, and alpine boots balance performance and comfort for skiing inbounds at the resort.