The Best Lightly Insulated Ski Jackets

Jackets that are designed for skiing but provide only light insulation can include hybrid down jackets with breathable panels or light weight, minimal down or synthetic insulated jackets that are designed to have less bulk in your winter layering system.

These jackets can often be used as an outer layer, depending on what the weather is like or they can be used as a midlayer when a shell or even thicker winter jacket is worn over them on particularly cold days.

Generally, these are fairly versatile jackets and any given model could be made in a few different cuts including jackets (no hood), hooded jackets, vests, or pullovers (with or without a hood).

These jackets are not to be confused with soft shells though as they usually have a separate sort of insulation compartmentalized between two layers. Soft shells usually provide some insulation, but that’s from the thickness of the softshell fabric and possibly a membrane of some sort in the construction.

This category is widely ranged and nuanced and often times these jackets are designed around a very specific use be it skiing, snowboarding, ski mountaineering, alpine skiing, etc. These particularities  are described in detail in our reviews to help you find the jacket that best fits your activity. Scroll through the review grid below paying particular attention to the rating criteria scores and the pros and cons to then click the image for an in-depth review to see how that jacket will best serve you.

Review Year
Best in Class
Overall Rating
Price
Name Overall Rating Ratings The Good The Bad Price
Dynafit Meteorite
90
Durability 8
Weatherproofness 10
Bells & Whistles 9
Function 8
Breathability 5

Warm when wet

Body mapped insulation

Superlight

Kinda crinkly

No vents

MSRP
$450.00
BEST DEAL
Columbia Outdry ex Diamond Down Insulated Jacket
89
Durability 6
Weatherproofness 9
Bells & Whistles 7
Function 9
Breathability 8

Very warm

Absolutely waterproof

Low on Toxic PFCs

Slick Naugahyde feel

More delicate than synthetic insulation

MSRP
$500.00
BEST DEAL
Helly Hansen Sogn Jacket
89
Durability 6
Weatherproofness 8
Bells & Whistles 9
Function 8
Breathability 8

Stretchy

Full featured

Well priced

Pit zips kind of small

MSRP
$350.00
BEST DEAL
Marmot Starcross
84
Durability 6
Weatherproofness 7
Bells & Whistles 7
Function 7
Breathability 7

Inexpensive

Lots of pockets

Stylish

Heavy

Twill looses weatherproofing

MSRP
$300.00
BEST DEAL
686 GLCR Ether Down Thermagraph
79
Durability 5
Weatherproofness 5
Bells & Whistles 8
Function 6
Breathability 5

Well priced

Body mapped insulation

Stylish looks

Smallish pit zips

Face fabric loses weathproofing over time

A bit heavy

MSRP
$300.00
BEST DEAL
N/A