In places like Tremblant, Vail, or Park City, it can be necessary to get a little dressed up before events like second après, dinner, and the activities that qualify as “nightlife.” Sure, it’s totally fine to stay in your ski kit when you’re sitting around a tailgate while drinking a can of Melvin beer with your ski boots on. But we recommend skiers bring along something just a little nicer on their next ski resort trip to look the part during mountain town soirées.
These are some of the jackets we put through the wringer while running up the company card in the name of “gear testing.” They survived every dance party, spilled drink, and regrettable decision better than the testers.
prAna B-Side Reversible Jacket
This new offering from prAna is at the three-way intersection of a bomber-style Merino jacket, a hood-free puffy with RDS sustainable down, and a perfectly casual-yet-sharp jacket. Wear it with the Merino liner facing out for a neat, updated wool-jacket look with functional magnetic pockets, or wear it nylon-out for the ski-town standard puffy look while enjoying the soft, warm feel of wool on the inside. From chilly baseball games in late September to below-zero nights at the bar in the thick of winter, the prAna B-Side jacket has been my go-to for a few months. [$229, prana.com]
Holden Reversible Down Hoodie
This casual, stylish, down-filled zippered hoody garnered the most unsolicited compliments from friends—ones with good taste, I might add—during testing. The soft jersey-material can be worn facing out, making it look like a super cozy hoodie, or the nylon can be worn on the exterior, showing off the Reversible Down Hoodie’s unique and aesthetically pleasing baffle stitching pattern. Holden worked with ALLIED down for the insulation in this jacket, meaning that the natural down is sustainably sourced, 100 percent trackable, and really warm. [$400, holdenouterwear.com]
Read more: Gear Guide 2019 – Men’s Apparel
Picture Colten Shacket
This wool shirt is a bit too thick to be worn solely as a shirt, but a bit too thin to be considered a jacket, so I’m going to call it a shacket. The casual style is perfect to throw over a base layer or t-shirt before heading out to meet friends, or to put on a touch of class at a family holiday dinner. Not unlike the OR Kalaloch jacket, the Picture Colten shacket can be worn on the hill as a midlayer or on its own during a warm spring ski day to add a bit of flare to your ski hill style. All of Picture’s products are as sustainable as they are functional, and the non-mulesed wool/recycled polyester blend used to make the fabric of the Colten is no different. [$100, pictureroganicclothing.com]
Fisher + Baker Manitou Parka
Perhaps the most heavy-duty jacket on this list, Fisher + Baker’s Manitou Parka is warm, furry, and especially comfortable. The jacket uses both magnets and old-school buttons to keep pockets and flaps pinned down, which looks great but takes a bit of time to manage if you are used to Velcro and zippers. The jacket is well-insulated and waterproof, which made it perfect for spectating ski racing at Beaver Creek’s Birds of Prey. The fur-lined hood might not be for everyone, but I was won over as it’s pretty nice to wear something so soft and comfortable while walking around Vail Village on a cold winter night. My friends were certainly jealous. [$898, fisherandbaker.com]
Outdoor Research Kalaloch Reversible Shacket
The OR Kalaloch shacket isn’t too different than the prAna B-Side jacket, except its print is more stylish and there is significantly less insulation, which makes the Kalaloch jacket slightly more appealing for exhibitionists. For those wanting to maintain a little less flash, you can wear the nylon on the outside to keep it a little more indiscreet. The Kalaloch’s synthetic insulation is warm and thin enough to function as a midlayer while skiing throughout the season, and can be worn on its own for a stylish twist during slushy spring days on the hill. [$169, outdoorrearch.com]