Gear Guide 2020: Men's Ski Outerwear

Just because you can't afford new skis this year doesn't mean you can't get a new kit.
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Ready for an upgrade this winter? We've got this winter's best gear to keep the elements out. We've picked our favorite full kits, plus some jackets and pants that will keep you comfortable wherever you ski.

GEAR OF THE YEAR: The North Face A-Cad FutureLight Jacket and Bib

The North Face A-Cad FutureLight Jacket and Bib

The North Face A-Cad FutureLight Jacket and Bib for 2020.

It’s easy to throw around words such as “gamechanger” and “revolutionary,” but in the world of protective yet breathable outerwear, that’s what The North Face’s new FutureLight technology is. Just picture: A shell so breathable you can keep it on through high-output activities, yet also so protective that it will keep you warm and dry on the way down. That was the directive given to TNF’s materials team. The result is FutureLight. Created using a process called nanospinning, where strings of polymer are extruded out through thousands of minuscule nozzles to form porous layers, FutureLight fabric allows for incredible breathability while also deflecting moisture and whatever else the high alpine throws its way. In addition to its technological advantages, the FutureLight material is surprisingly pliable and soft to the touch—a fabric you want to keep wearing all day. 

  • Type: Shell
  • Fit: Freeride
  • A-Cad FutureLight Jacket MSRP: $599 [BUY NOW]
  • A-Cad FutureLight Bib MSRP: $549 [BUY NOW]

Men's Ski Kits

Three sleek options that won’t disappoint.

Men's Kits Gear Guide 2020

From left to right: Orage Corbett's Jacket and Exodus Pant (Purple/Black); Helly Hansen Odin Mountain 3L Shell Jacket and Bib (Green); Scott Vertic GTX 3L Stretch Outfit (Grey/Black).

Orage Corbet’s Jacket and Exodus Pant

The Corbett’s jacket is ideal for variable conditions when comfort and performance are both king. A removable vest insulated with Thermoplume PrimaLoft synthetic ensures a little added warmth at the core, while the shell’s sealed seams, helmet-compatible hood, and stretch powder skirt promises efficiency on the slopes. The Exodus insulated pants have an adjustable waistband and stretchy leg gaiters, making it a great pick for cold days. 

  • Type: Insulated
  • Fit: Freeride
  • Corbett's Jacket MSRP: $750 [BUY NOW]
  • Corbett's Bib MSRP: $300

Helly Hansen Odin Mountain 3L Shell Jacket and Bib

This set-up is designed to protect in any conditions thanks to three-layer Helly Tech Professional face fabric that’s waterproof yet still supple and easy to move in. Expect all the features you want in a backcountry-friendly kit, including Helly’s Life Pocket in the jacket—an Aerogel-lined pocket to keep phones and other tech from the dreaded battery-drain. The pants sport a beacon pocket, drop seat zipper, and removable suspenders. Worn together, the goal of complete protection without sacrificing breathability is in reach. 

  • Type: Shell
  • Fit: Freeride
  • Odin Jacket MSRP: $600 [BUY NOW]
  • Odin Bib MSRP: $475 [BUY NOW]

Scott Vertic GTX 3L Stretch Outfit

Scott’s premium freeride kit employs pliable Gore Stretch panels at the elbows, shoulders, and back of the shell, and the knees and lower back on the pants for true freedom of movement as you shred, hike, or skin. The 3L Gore fabric used in the rest of the kit is water- and windproof, designed for all-mountain adventure with features such as a powder skirt, jacket-to-pant interlock system, and pack-compatible shoulders. A solid set-up for whatever comes your way. 

  • Type: Shell
  • Fit: Athletic
  • Vertic GTX Jacket MSRP: $620
  • Vertic GTX  Pant MSRP: $550

Men's Jackets

Shells, insulation, new technology, and improved fit. It’s in here.

2020 men's jackets

From top to bottom: Dakine Gearhart Gore-Tex 3L Shell (Orange); Outdoor Research Fortress Jacket (Blue); Spyder Hokkaido GTX Jacket (Yellow); 686 Smarty 4-in-1 Complete Jacket (Brown/Black); Jack Wolfskin Exolight Jacket (Dark Blue).

Dakine Gearhart Gore-Tex 3L Shell

Dakine comes out of the gates strong with the Gearhart three-layer shell with Gore C-Knit backer technology. This freeride jacket was conceived with optimal fit in mind, which is why Dakine uses 360-degree wrap-around articulated seams that are backpack compatible and designed to interface with the brand’s 3L bib. The resulting shell is lightweight, streamlined, and made for epic days in the deep. 

  • Type: Shell
  • Fit: Freeride
  • MSRP: $520 [BUY NOW]

Outdoor Research Fortress Jacket

When you need to protect your body from the elements, look to the aptly named Fortress Jacket. Packed with OR’s proprietary insulation, VerticalX is one of the warmest synthetics on the market, akin to a 700-down-fi ll parka. Unlike most down jackets, this mobile furnace is made for the slopes thanks to a Pertex Shield waterproof outer shell. 

  • Type: Insulated
  • Fit: Athletic
  • MSRP: $349 [BUY NOW]

Spyder Hokkaido GTX Jacket

Spyder debuts a new Gore-Tex technology with the Hokkaido GTX this season. Meet Gore-Tex Laminate and PFCecFree DWR, a not-so-sexy moniker that’s more commonly known around the Spyder offices as Gore Pow Pow 2.0. This new face fabric is the first Gore two-layer, four-way stretch technology that’s fully waterproof, breathable, and eco-smart, and is also treated with a PFC-free laminate for a slick finish to shed snow like a boss. The inside is stuffed with PrimaLoft Gold Eco synthetic insulation to close the environmentally friendly loop. 

  • Type: Insulated
  • Fit: Athletic
  • MSRP: $800 [BUY NOW]

686 Smarty 4-in-1 Complete Jacket

Anyone can make a 3-in-1 jacket, but a 4-in-1? Leave it to hipster skate brand 686 to up the ante. Versatility is the name of the game here: Wear the shell, the zip-out fleece liner jacket, or the insulated vest separately—or wear them all together. The 15K shell uses 686’s infiDry fabric with DWR, while the vest is stuffed with 120g Polyfill synthetic. Other bells and whistles include underarm vents and powder skirt on the shell, mesh goggle pocket, headphone loops, and a pass pocket. So many looks, so little time.

  • Type: Insulated
  • Fit: Freeride
  • MSRP: $320 [BUY NOW]

Jack Wolfskin Exolight Jacket

German brand Jack Wolfskin has a relatively small presence in the states, but they’re a major player in Europe. One test run with the Exolight Jacket and we can see why. Not only is this high-performance shell super lightweight, waterproof, breathable, and easy to move around in, it’s also made entirely from 100 percent recycled materials and is PFC-free. A great addition to the offerings on racks across the United States, with an eco commitment that all brands should aim for. 

  • Type: Insulated
  • Fit: Freeride
  • MSRP: $499

Men's Snowpants and Bibs

Pull ’em on and go. Comfortable, durable, and high-performing, these bottoms are on top.

2020 men's pants

From top: Ortovox Andermatt Pant (Green); Mountain Hardware Boundary Ridge Gore-Tex Bib (Purple); Columbia Snow Rival II Pant (Black); Eddie Bauer Freshline Bib (Grey); Fjällräven Bergtagen Eco-Shell Trousers (Orange).

Orotovox Andermatt Pant

Look to Swiss mountaineering brand Ortovox for quality technical outerwear for high-output activities. We love the Andermatt pant, lightly insulated with Swisswool—wool from black sheep who live high in the Alps—and equipped with a roomy thigh pocket with carabiner and Merino inserts on the butt and knees for extra warmth and comfort. 

  • Type: Insulated
  • Fit: European
  • MSRP: $530 [BUY NOW]

Mountain Hardware Boundary Ridge Gore-Tex Bib

Guys who shred all season—in all conditions, at the resort and beyond—should reach for this solid bib, constructed with three-layer Gore-Tex. The Boundary Ridge is a traditional full bib with thigh zips, drop seat, and durable Schoeller kick patches at the leg openings. Everything you need for deep days, nothing more. 

  • Type: Shell 
  • Fit: Freeride
  • MSRP: $400 [BUY NOW]

Columbia Snow Rival II Pant

Columbia’s workhorse pant gets a facelift with new colors and design, but this classic still delivers the basics and more with Omni-Tech waterproof and breathable shell fabric with four-way stretch, Omni-Heat Thermal Reflective lining, leg venting, and a fit that’s timeless on the slopes. 

  • Type: Insulated 
  • Fit: Athletic
  • MSRP: $199 [BUY NOW]

Eddie Bauer Freshline Bib

Designed with input from mountain guides all over the planet, the Freshline Bib is EB’s top-of-the-line pant, fully body-mapped for precision performance in the most demanding conditions. EB uses eVent’s Expedition and Alpine fabrics for a mix of protection, breathability, ease of movement, and durability. Features include full-length zips, generous thigh pockets with internal mesh, and even removable knee pads (there’s that guide input). A bomber bib option for guys who charge. 

  • Type: Shell 
  • Fit: Freeride
  • MSRP: $449

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