Cross country skiing is a long activity that exposes you to freezing temperatures for hours on end. As such, there’s no way to do it without the proper gear. A good jacket is vital when venturing out into the cold. Not just to cut down on exposure, but to ensure you’re comfortable no matter how long you stay outside.
Each jacket in this guide gives you something beyond basic protection, while also keeping your body warm and safe throughout your ski time. There is a lot of ski attire on the market, but only a few select models rise above the pack. The following items meet that requirement.
- The Camel Crown Mountain Jacket is a multi-use clothing item that is warm, light, and durable. It uses a draping technique that enhances your flexibility and has a comfortable cotton material to keep you warm at all times. The multiple pockets help store items, while the waterproof exterior keeps out snow. It is also scratch-proof, wind-resistant, and comes with a fully detachable hood.
- Few jackets prepare you for the backcountry like the Arc’teryx Alpha SV. This model is a great option for any cross country skier who often find themselves battling particularly harsh or unforgiving conditions. The 3 layers of Gore-Tex waterproof fabric are some of the sturdiest on the market, actively repelling snow, sleet, and rain with ease. The hood is large enough to fit a helmet and the jacket, while sturdy, promotes mobility.
- The Sidewinder SV is another great cross country jacket from Arc’teryx. Unlike many of the heavier models, it comes with a lightweight build made to give you the best movement while out on the trails. The waterproof shell keeps out the wind and works with the powder skirt to keep you warm. There is an off-centered zipper to protect your face in harsh weather, as well as four external pockets. It is available in three colors.
Who Should Get This?
In short, everyone. Cross country skiers need to be able to protect themselves from the elements, regardless of their experience level or how far they plan to travel. Even a short trip can lead to trouble without proper preparation.
Every skier can appreciate a great jacket, and the following models have what it takes to stand up to the elements for an extended period of time. Though they work for any and all disciplines, they are particularly useful to cross country skiers who take extended routes or who find themselves in the snow on a frequent basis.
Best Cross Country Ski Jacket: What to Consider?
Every ski jacket, cross country or otherwise, exists to keep you warm. Special linings, soft fabrics, and plush interiors are all qualities to look for when picking out snow clothing. You need a jacket that is able to insulate your body no matter where you go. You don’t want something too big or too small. It helps to find jackets with pocket or hoodie options as well.
The primary purpose of your jacket is to keep away the cold, and that includes water. Do your best to find jackets that offer weather resistance, water resistance, or waterproof materials. You’re going to encounter a lot of snow, sleet, and ice while on the trail, and those three classifications enable your clothing to easily wick away such moisture. Strong seams and premium materials both go a long way as well.
Cross country skiing is an intense activity. As such, no matter how cold it gets outside, you need a way to prevent overheating. Jackets with strong ventilation help on that end by providing a place for your body heat to escape. Not only does that cut down on sweat, but it can also prevent you from developing problems like hypothermia.
Best Cross Country Ski Jacket: Our Picks
Feature lovers will enjoy Camel Crown’s Mountain Snow Ski Jacket. This item provides the weather resistance all cross country skiers need, while also giving a lot of flexibility. That combination is then complemented by a warm cotton material, sturdy shell, and detachable hood.
What We Like:
- Ergonomic draping technique increases flexibility
- Multiple pockets
- Warm material locks in heat
- Waterproof and windproof
- Detachable hood
What We Don’t Like:
- Not as durable as other premium jackets
The Alpha SV from Arc’teryx is a great jacket for people who need to stand up to the elements. Made for harsh weather, the apparel utilizes 3 layers of GORE-TEX fabric for maximum durability. It has a large hood and is both wind and waterproof. It even comes in six fun colors.
What We Like:
- Heavy but mobile design
- 3-layer GORE-TEX fabric
- Wind and waterproof
- Six pockets allow for plenty of storage
- Six different color options
What We Don’t Like:
- Non-detachable hood
The Arc’teryx Sidewinder SV is a lightweight jacket that still has enough durability to handle the open country. At 20.1 ounces, it is extremely flexible. However, the triple-layer Gore-Tex water and windproof material is sturdy enough to keep out any wind. The powder skirt, 4 external zipper pockets, and off-center zipper complete the package.
What We Like:
- Lightweight, easy to move in
- Off-centered zipper
- Triple-layer Gore-Tex lining
- Water and windproof
- 4 external pockets
- Outside powder skirt keeps snow out and heat in
What We Don’t Like:
- Not as durable as heavier jackets
- May be lighter than some skiers need
Useful Tips and Resources
A strong jacket is a perfect cross country skiing accessory, but it is not the only one. The items in this video keep you prepared and enhance your outdoor experience.
Cross country skiing is a fun activity, but finding good spots is not always easy to do. Luckily, these resorts provide excellent trails and amazing views.
When picking out a cross country ski jacket, it is important to prioritize warmth, fit, and comfort. That is what the above items do so well, and they do it while piling on a list of extra features.
If you’re looking to go a long cross country trip, or even if you just like to venture out into the snow for extended periods of time, every jacket in this guide is for you. Make your final decision by breaking down the differences between the models and seeing what attributes best fit your skiing style.
Do you have a favorite jacket for cross country skiing?
Joseph Scalise is an avid writer, editor, and snow sports enthusiast who loves to spend his time outdoors. He began his love of writing early on in life and continued to pursue it as he grew older. While his time behind the computer doesn’t get him into the wild unknown as much as he would like, he never misses a chance to head up (or down) a mountain, across a river, or through a lush forest. When he’s not planning new trips, you can always find him typing away on his next project.