It’s usually accepted that layering is the key to comfort in the mountains. However, sometimes you just can’t beat a big insulated jacket when it’s cold.
This is especially the case for static periods when climbing or for lower intensity activities like skiing and snowboarding. If the jacket is also suitable for everyday wear in winter then all the better.
The following jackets are all warm and weather resistant (some are completely waterproof) and all provide awesome refuge on freezing days.
Black Diamond Cold Forge Hoody
I’ve been using the original 2 year old version of the Cold Forge Hoody regularly in winter and it’s one of the best insulated jackets I’ve ever had. The CFH uses Primaloft Gold Down Blend (a clever mix of goose down and Primaloft) as insulation. This makes the Cold Forge Hoody light and packable like a regular down jacket but also much more weather resistant due to the 30% Primaloft content. It looks and fits great and works just as well for a multitude of stuff in the mountains as it does for a wander through town.
Rab Resolution Jacket
The Rab Resolution Jacket ticks the box for anyone looking for a down jacket that will handle the wettest weather. The Pertex Shield + outer fabric is fully waterproof and breathable and protects the 800 fill power down filling in all conditions. The long length offers increased warmth and protection and multiple pockets provides lots of storage options. The Resolution is a perfect jacket for everyday wear in cold, wet places.
Norrona Roldal Primaloft Gore-Tex Jacket
The Roldal range from Norrona mixes on-mountain performance with urban style lines. The Primaloft Gore-Tex Jacket aimed at skiers and snowboarders who want a warm jacket for cold days on the slopes as well as something that they can wear on an everyday basis too. A Gore-Tex outer makes the jacket fully waterproof and the Primaloft insulation provides cosy warmth. Scandinavian styles lines ensure this jacket looks great in an urban environment too.
Arc’teryx Fission SL Jacket
Combining warmth, protection and low weight, the Fission SL is a true classic in the Arc’teryx line and one of the most advanced mountain garments on the market. A soft, flexible Gore-Tex fabric outer layer provides complete weather protection whilst the Thermatek insulation traps warmth. Thermatek is a proprietary synthetic insulation from Arc’teryx that offers the highest levels of water resistance available ensuring that even in the nastiest conditions the Fission SL will keep performing. A roomy yet technical fit means it can be thrown on over existing layers. The Fission SL Jacket is the perfect belay or base camp jacket and works great as a cold weather ski / snowboard garment too.
Mountain Equipment Gasherbrum Jacket
I used a Gasherbrum for a trip to the Alps during a period of -20 temps a few years back and it proved to be an incredibly warm jacket. The secret to the Gasherbrum’s warmth lies in its full box wall construction which completely eliminates cold spots, along with the huge amount (380g) of 800 fill power down that’s stuffed inside it. At only 785g the Gasherbrum makes for an amazing expedition down jacket for trips to the high mountains and polar regions.
Read more of Andy's reviews on his website.