The following items were all rated Skier's Choice in our 2018 Apparel Guide, meaning not only are they on sale right now, but they've been tested and vetted as the best jackets and pants on the market.
Flylow Billie Coat
The Billie Coat checks all the boxes for function in a ski jacket designed for inbounds shredding. It is made with a three-layer polyester Intuitive fabric that has a 20k/20k waterproof-breathability rating. Fully taped seams, DWR treatment, a roomy hood that is helmet-compatible, and a removable powder skirt round out the features.
Patagonia Descensionist jacket
The Descensionist jacket and pant feel soft like pajamas, but they actually have a new three-layer fabric engineered by Patagonia that has a ridiculous breathability and featherweight.
Its features are the minimum essentials–two chest pockets large enough for a pair of skins; a helmet-compatible hood; inside, a pouch to stash a pair of goggles and a zippered pocket for your iPhone. One thing Patagonia intentionally left out–a fleece-type fabric on the collar, which is a nest for germs, often gets pilled by scratchy facial hair and ice and is unnecessary because you’re probably wearing a buff.
Helly Hansen Kvitegga shell
Made with a proprietary three-layer fabric, the Kvitegga jacket is Helly Hansen’s lighter weight shell that doubles down in the function category for both the resort and the backcountry.
One of the more unique details from Helly Hansen this season, featured in the Kvitegga, is their life pocket, which is designed to keep technology, like an iPhone, insulated so the cold doesn’t zap the power out of the battery.
Eider Shaper 3L jacket
Last winter Eider revealed a futuristic bending zipper that allows their Shaper Jacket to actually wrap around the chin and lower face, eliminating the nasty rubbing-you-raw sensation skiers are all too familiar with. This year, Eider brought the same technology to their women’s Shaper Jacket. Built for resort charging, the 20K/20K jacket is easy to layer underneath and provides a cocoon-like shelter from the elements.
Arc’teryx Shashka jacket
The Shashka is made with Gore-Tex Pro, which Arc’teryx trusts as the most water repellent, lightweight, breathable, durable material on the planet. And they did the research, going so far as to rub scratchy velcro on the material to test how long it will last against abrasion.
Dakine Silcox Insulated jacket
Fitted without being restricting, the long cut is ideal for taller women, plus the extra material keeps your butt warm on the chair. A two-way zipper also allows for a custom fit from the bottom up, which the POSSE loved because no two skiers are the same shape.
A two-layer Gore-Tex outer lined with a brushed tricot insulation makes the Silcox plenty warm and breathable for inbounds skiing, whether it’s snowing or dry–just don’t take this out for a hike or a tour and expect it to breathe or regulate temperature at that level.
Patagonia Descenionist pant
If a hard shell and a soft shell got married and had a baby, their love child would be the Descensionist, which is made with a new three-layer fabric engineered by Patagonia to hit the sweet spot between breathability and waterproofing.
The Descensionist pant is lightweight, soft, quiet, and flexible. It’s not as waterproof as the Gore-Tex PowSlayer, and it’s not as breathable as a soft shell or midlayer, but it’s just right if you want both.
Flylow Donna pant
Just like jeans, Flylow knows that ski pants benefit greatly from a little bit of stretch in them. They chose three-layer Stormshell Intuitive fabric with Cordura reinforcements on the cuff to give a little oomph in the durability department. Articulation in the knees, fitted hips and adjustable tabs at the waist mean you can lunge as high as any boot pack demands, without worrying about exposing the small of your back.
Helly Hansen Kvitegga bib
Like the jacket, the Kvitegga Bibs from Helly Hansen are a great solution for skiers who want one pair of pants to wear in the ski resort and the backcountry. Made with three-layer fabric, the bibs are adjustable in the suspenders, belt loops, and at the waist. There are two cargo pockets, one big enough for a beacon. A full zip on one side makes it easy to pee in the woods.
The North Face Purist pant
The North Face designed their Purist Pant for athletes. That’s not to say you need to be a sponsored pro to benefit from the very durable Gore-Tex pants. Made to withstand extreme wear and tear–think scrambling over rocks during a blizzard in Alaska’s high alpine–the Purist Pant is about performance yet manages to simultaneously offer a slim, flattering fit for a curvy shape without inhibiting movement while hiking or touring, which is where these pants are at home.
Arc’teryx Shashka pant
The Arc’teryx Shashka Pants are a piece of minimalist design and superior function for backcountry skiing. The proof is in the tailoring. Articulation in the knees and the seat allow the wearer to bend down and buckle their boots without the hem of the pants lifting or the waist gapping at the small of the back.
Made with Gore-Tex C-Knit, the Shashka Pants are a lightweight, fully waterproof shell with removable suspenders, so you can wear them as low-hitting bibs or as pants.