For anyone who wants to ski, it is no secret that the sport can be expensive to get started. In addition, there are also many types of different gear and equipment that one might need for their ideal skiing experience. This article covers a wide range of different brands such as Columbia and Arc’teryx, representing only the best ski apparel and equipment that skiers use. Come to know and understand their differences and individual histories here. And for other products, do check out Some sort of Board.
Located in North Vancouver, the brand is well-known for being the gold standard for backcountry and one of the most venerable brands for skiers. They carry a lot of high-end and technical shells that perform well in the harsh cold environments of mountainous slopes. Its premium builds are well-suited for serious expeditions and ski tours spanning over multiple days. All their waterproof clothing contains Gore-Tex and is not only effectively, but also looks great. However, some downsides of the brand is that it is pricey and not very budget-friendly. In fact, Arc’teryx remains one of the most expensive brands in the market for skiers. This may deter people who are just starting out. But for people who are committed, Arc’teryx’s ski apparel such as their jackets and pants just doesn’t disappoint.
As one of the most respected and loved companies for the outdoors, Patagonia not only produces some of the best outerwear but also invests a lot of its resources in environmental and social stewardship. It has dabbled deeply in recycling and donating to environmental causes such as through its Worn Wear used gear program. Patagonia offers a wide range of apparel, from resort options to hard shells for backcountry trips. While Patagonia may not be as expensive as Arc’teryx, do still be prepared to fork out a premium price for the brand name. Fortunately, the brand also offers repair services in different locations and this also includes the option to mail-in. This can help extend the lifespan of your gear.
With its roots in hat manufacturing, Columbia has long evolved into the capable brand that we know today. Their ski apparel are effective in keeping the wearer warm as well as protective enough to keep most people happy. For under $300, one can obtain a good pair of insulated pants and a 3-in-1 jacket from the Bugaboo line, which is also often on sale. Not only does Columbia provide a wide range of apparel, but it also consistently undercuts the price of its competitors. For sure, there may be a dip in quality compared to other big brands, however, not everyone requires the top-of-the-line equipment to start skiing and have a good time. This can also be a better option for countries where the ski seasons are shorter.
Since the late 1800s, the brand has mainly supplied rainwear. However, it is not uncommon to see people wearing Helly Hansen apparel on the icy slopes as well. In fact, the company was also the base layer provider for the U.S Alpine Ski Team, which says a lot for what it has going for it. Although most of their apparel is targeted at resorts, you may also find products suited for touring and freeriding. It is also worthy to note that the brand has held up better than some other reputable brands, representing the strength of Norwegian expertise and product value.
While the brand may not be as popular as other brands like Patagonia or Columbia, it still carries a loyal following for skiers in the Pacific Northwest. While their AscentShell membrane may not be as powerful as the premium Gore-Tex, it still provides a well-rounded performance for an affordable price. Along the topic of affordability, Outdoor Research also undercuts the price of its competitors by sacrificing on some details. For those who are seeking to upgrade from Columbia, Outdoor Research can be a feasible jump and it also provides assurance with any defects found on their products.
Established in 2005, Flylow has delivered an extensive range of backcountry apparel which stands out constantly with bright colors and two-tone designs. The brand’s apparel is known to be not overly technical and yet performed better than the typical resort options. From the variety of colors in its products, one can tell that Flylow is a company that prioritizes fun and free-spirited design in their craft. For those who seek a sense of individualistic style as well as high-end technology, Flylow may just please many performance-driven riders.
Despite being a climbing brand at heart, the brand has set reputable waves in the ski industry with its Mission Ski Shell, which keeps up with the products of other big brands such as Arc’teryx and Patagonia. Excelling in the big mountains and tours, Black Diamond provides a stylish range of apparel with clean and classy color options to pick from. In addition, the company has also developed its own stretchy membrane called DB.dry; showing new waves of innovation among the top brands and building a capable reputation for themselves.
The North Face
From its humble beginnings as a mountaineering retail shop in San Francisco, the company has been well-known for its range of casual winter apparel. Their current collection of ski apparel also delivers some great performance, especially in the resort category. For those who are on a budget, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out that the brand has focused a significant amount of their efforts on making their products affordable while delivering high-tech gear in the upper ranges. All in all, The North Face has always been well-rounded and recently they have started to use recycled materials in light of practicing sustainability.
While it may not be a household brand, the company has gained a reputation for being a backcountry specialist with their products competing well with bigger brands like Arc’teryx. Although they have a narrower range of apparel, their products remain strong against external conditions and perform well in mountain missions. For those who are looking for resort gear, Norrona may not have what you are looking for. However, for those who are serious about mountain pursuits and skiing in alpine environments, the brand serves as a strong option and also Arc’teryx alternative.
Strafe Outerwear confidently stands as a technical apparel specialist with a strong history of backcountry. Sporting fantastic breathability and mobility, the brand delivers more comfort than similar Gore-Tex options with a little trade-off in weather endurance. This is perfect for people who have access to a dry powder. Although the brand is still new and may have a smaller lineup compared to bigger brands, Strafe Outerwear still serves as one of the most comfortable back and side country providers for one’s local resort.
From a respectable lineup of apparel containing resort and premium hardshell options, Spyder delivers products abundant with their features and constantly appeals to a wide market of resort and side-country enthusiasts. Although Spyder used to be frequent on the slopes in the 2000s, the brand has unfortunately slowed down in innovation and lost some of its footing in the ski industry. Although slightly out-dated, Spyder has still kept up with their usual design and craftsmanship.
For those who have found a brand that resonates with them, you can order apparel through online platforms such as Evo, Backcountry, and REI Co-op, which carries a wide variety of different brands and equipment. In addition, surfing the websites of brands with an official online presence can also prove to be a fun activity.