Before buying a winter jacket, you should consider its main purpose. Ski jackets full of colors, patterns, various tweaks and functional parameters may look attractive at first glance and people easily succumb. But if you are looking for a jacket for the city, you should resist this temptation and take into account other characteristics.
A ski jacket in a city – an expensive toy, which will not warm you up
You will often meet people dressed in a ski jacket in cities, which developed countries see as ridiculous. Wearing a ski jacket in a city is like wearing a baseball cap in freezing weather instead of a warm cap.
Manufacturing of ski jackets is based on the logical assumption that they you actively move - skiing or snowboarding. Therefore, the emphasis is placed on functional materials, which excel with great values of water column and breathability. It is also expected that you fill sometimes fall on the ground wearing the jacket, so it is made of a stronger material to prevent its rapid wear.
You will sweat a lot when skiing down the slopes, so it is essential to let the excess body moisture get away. That is why one of the most important values for functional jackets is breathability. The higher the value, the better is the moisture management. You can also use the vents, which are mostly located in the armpits.
Besides breathability, you will certainly be interested in the water column, which indicates how much the material rainproof. The rainproof feature achieved by applying a waterproof coating or membrane and is also supported by taped seams. In the mountains there is an increased contact with water – you fall down or you get caught in rainy weather - so you need clothes, which you can rely on in such moments. Again, the higher the values of the water column, the longer the jacket can resist water.
A ski jacket and its sophisticated features
Ski jackets are also equipped with a number of useful features, which you will appreciate in the mountains.
Snow has one very annoying feature. It can get under your jacket, seep into other layers and make you feel cold. To avoid or minimize this, ski jackets have security features. These include the snow belt, placed inside the jacket, and the inner elastic sleeve. The waist and sleeve adhere to the body and prevent penetration of snow under the jacket. The inner sleeve is sometimes fitted with an opening for the thumb, so that a kind of a semi-glove is created, which also protects the palm. In addition, the outer sleeve can be tightened by Velcro and you can adjust the optimum degree of tightening.
Another nice functional feature is the hood. Any ski jacket should have a hood, because it protects the neck and head from the onslaught of cold wind, snow or rain. On the other hand, it is troublesome, because it usually cannot be dragged over the helmet, which is a must on the slopes. For this reason jackets usually have a detachable hood. It does not obstruct you when skiing downhill and you can attach it again under the hill.
Loops for attaching trousers are also useful, as well as pockets for your personal belongings, ideally several internal and external pockets. On the slopes, you will also appreciate a zippered pocket on the sleeve designed to hide a ski pass.
Ski jackets designed for ski slopes
All these details, durable material and functional characteristics help to make this a great jacket for mountain winter sports. Jackets are exceptionally good for these purposes and you will be fully satisfied with them. However, if wear a jacket in a city, you will be disappointed, because you will be cold. You will wrongfully get a bad impression about the jacket, although you have good upper piece of clothing, which you use inappropriately.
Which jacket is suitable for city?
The main purpose of urban winter jackets is to provide thermal comfort. In short, you are not supposed to freeze in this jacket, when hurrying to work, waiting for a bus or walking through Christmas markets. Therefore, the emphasis is primarily on the insulating filler. You will recognise differences between urban and ski jacket at the first glance. While you want to be very visible on ski slopes and you can afford to wear distinctive models, you want just to blend in with the crowd in a city. Urban jackets tend to be sober, so that you can wear it on more formal meetings.
Frankly, while hurrying from home to work and back, you will not sweat so much as during skiing. It is therefore not reasonable to require a breathable jacket. The point is that breathability allows for evaporation of sweat, but does not insulate. A classic winter jacket should keep the heat inside and not to let it out. Only in this way it ill keep you warm.
The situation is similar with the water column. When skiing, you are exposed to demanding environmental conditions. You can be caught up in a blizzard, rain, and before you get to some warm place, you need a jacket that will take care of you. But in a city? If you do not have to, you will not even go outside in very bad winter weather. And when such weather catches you on the way home, you can hide inside a bus stop, café, or jump on a bus and soon be home. For this reason, winter jackets designed for casual wear are usually water-repellent. This means that the water just trickles down from their surface, but the material itself is not waterproof.
So do not look for functional parameters in a classic urban winter jacket, they are not necessary. This also means that such jackets have lower prices.
No sophisticated features are necessary for urban jackets
We mentioned that ski jackets, unlike urban winter jackets, have various sophisticated features. A classic urban winter jacket does not need these additional features, because It usually does not come in such a close contact with the snow. You do not need the snow belt or internal elastic sleeve. Some elements, however, can appear in urban jackets. These are often a detachable hood or a zipper with a collar up to the chin.
Let's go shopping!
Now, when you know the difference between a ski jacket and an urban winter jacket, you can go shopping. Remember that the purpose is the most important. A ski jacket with functional parameters is suitable for ski slopes and urban well-insulated winter jacket for the city.
So good luck in choosing and we will look forward to meeting you in one of winter jackets LOAP, no matter if on ski slopes or in a city.