There’s no right or wrong answer. The number of jackets you need is a simple math problem: take the number you want and divide it by the amount you can afford. Then consider the conditions under which you want it for. Brutal cold? High winds? Spring skiing?
A lot to think about, huh?
There’s a jacket out there for every situation. The key is to find the one(s) that suit you best. And with all the end of season sales going on now, there’s no better time to go shopping.
Right now I have three ski jackets. Well, five if you throw in the two liners I can wear alone or as layers. And I think I’m covered in every situation.
Let me explain:
First, I have an unlined shell. A Cloudveil RPK. This is a pricey jacket, but I got it at half price at TJ Maxx, so it was a great deal. Nonetheless, even at full price it’s a terrific buy. Why? Basically, because it’s pretty much bombproof. Water resistant, wind proof, great alone for spring skiing, and when the temperature plummets, I can layer it with a down liner and be good to go.
Jacket #2: For above 15 degees or so, I have a Mountain Hardwear Steep Jacket. When I first tried it on, I thought it wasn’t heavy enough to be warm. Well, like about so many things, I was wrong. Even though it’s lightweight, it’s insulated with something Mountain Hardware calls ThermoMicro insulation, which does the job nicely. It also features Conduit laminate (the company’s version of Goretex), pit zips, 20K of water- and wind-resistance, and a zip off hood. I even love the color.
Jacket #3: Another Cloudveil. This is the Down patrol and it is W-A-R-M. I wear this when it’s brutal out there — in the single digits and below — and it’s great. It has 650-fill goose down. windproof, pit zips. I love to ski, but I get cold easily. This does it for me. Again, another sale find.
To round things off, I have two liners that I can wear under any one of these, but which I typically wear under Cloudveil RPK. One is a Northface Thunder Jacket, which is extremely lightweight and WARM, thanks to 800-fill down, and the other is an EMS liner with 120g of Primaloft insulation.
On TheSkiDiva.com, we have a discussion going on called “Are you a jacket slut?” Some people have way more jackets than I do, some have fewer. I’m not sure I’ve reached jacket slut-dom yet, but I can try. After all, who knows what I’ll find on the clearance rack.