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Dino Haak

Professional Ski Expert

Boys Jr. Ski Jackets

Featured On:

  • SkiMag
There is a multitude of great kids’ ski jackets on the market these days. Your youngster should definitely be the one to pick the style — they’re the ones that’ll have to feel comfortable and “cool” wearing it — but you should make sure that the jacket fulfills the basic quality requirements. Jackets should always be at least water-repellant, or better yet, water-resistant, and even better waterproof.

The best combination is waterproof and breathable. You may find some very cheap jackets that are labeled "waterproof" but there may be little to no breathability. What will happen is that the fabric may keep the water out, but it will also keep the sweat in. That moisture, especially on a jacket with cheap insulation, will soon feel uncomfortable and your child will likely become chilled.

“Waterproof” means that water droplets are prevented from entering the fabric, whereas “breathable” means that water vapor will be able to move back out through the fabric. There are actually US standards for what can be determined as waterproof or breathable. Breathability is measured in grams (grams of water vapor per square meter of fabric per 24 hour period) and waterproofness is measured in millimeters (amount of water, in mm, that can be suspended above the fabric before water seeps through). Without getting too technical here, the rule for both is the higher the numbers the better.

Water-resistant and water-repellent fabrics generally breathe better than the full-on waterproof versions. However, some of the water-resistant jackets listed here will do a great job keeping the moisture out, while some of the waterproof jackets offer exceptionally high breathability. If your kid only does a two-hour ski lesson once a week, a water-resistant jacket will do the job, even in heavy snow or rain (but who wants to ski in the rain anyways…)

Zippers can be the weak spots on any jacket and therefore the best jackets offer fully sealed seams. However, zippers can also make a big difference in how breathable the jacket will be as they can be opened to let more fresh air inside. Also, make sure the jacket has good cuffs at wrists and waistline because they will seal the jacket and prevent cold air and snow from coming in.

Hoods are great and ideally you should be able to roll them up or just have the ability to take them off when they’re not needed. Hoods that can’t be detached or stuffed inside the collar can become filled with snow or rain.

Last but not least, fit is very important. Your child should be able to move freely when wearing the jacket and not be restricted. Don’t buy the jackets too baggy though, because they’ll get in the way of good form.

Best Boys Ski Jackets (Junior Size) by Dino Haak

The Best You Can Get

  • The North Face: Boy’s Boundary Triclimate Jacket

    Dino says: The North Face: Boy's Boundary Triclimate Jacket is one fancy jacket! What I really like about this jacket is that is has two layers, a waterproof and breathable outer shell as well as a soft moisture wicking fleece liner. Together the two layers will keep junior warm big time, but should things get too toasty, just take out the liner and he can use the shell by itself. Or even better, on a dry warm day, use just the liner by itself. Your child will definitely stay dry wearing this one; it is not only highly waterproof, all seams are sealed as well. It has a hood that can be removed if not needed. The collar part of the jacket is softly lined and will keep a neck warm, even in minus temperatures. The jacket also comes with elastic, Velcro adjustable cuffs and useful pockets inside and out. You can get it in Black and Berto Blue.

    • Waterproof and breathable shell
    • Removable liner (shell and liner can be worn separately)
    • Warm and soft collar lining
    • Elastic, Velcro adjustable cuffs
    • Sealed seams
  • Spyder Kyds’ Vail Jacket

    Dino says: The Spyder Kids Vail jacket is a warm, functional and durable jacket. It is waterproof and breathable. Lots of my young students love Spyder outfits. Their logo is a spider and you can find little spiders in several places on the company’s jackets and pants (at least on most models). I love the look of Spyder jackets; they are very form-fitting yet offer unrestricted movement due to the stretch materials used.

    With 150g insulation, this jacket is guaranteed to keep kids warm without looking too bulky. The jacket is very breathable, and airflow can be increased by opening small underarm zippers. At the hip, you’ll find a tight sealing inner cuff to keep snow and moisture out. The hood can be rolled up and stored in the collar. Sometimes roll-up collars can look like oversized sausages around the neck, but not on the Spyder Vail jacket. Once in the collar it does not take up much space. Recommended by my students!

    • Very well insulated
    • Waterproof and breathable
    • Ventilation zippers
    • Roll-up hood
    • Taped seams
  • Spyder Alta Jacket – Kids

    Dino says: Oh, I love zip-off sleeves! Before I had my own school, I instructed for the Summit at Snoqualmie Ski School (wonderful people!) and our old uniform there had the said zip-off sleeves. I loved to be able to take the arms off at a whim when the sun finally broke through. The problem was though that too many instructors had the same idea and at the end of the day you were struggling to get your own jacket arms back, trying not to mix them up with others on the pile (which did happen sometimes!). However, junior will be able to store his jacket arms in a big back pocket so they won’t get lost. Really, being able to turn the Spyder Alta from a winter to spring jacket is massive bonus! The hood rolls up nicely and stays small around the collar. All important seams are taped to keep moisture out and so will the so called “powder skirt,” a cuff that can be tightened at waist level. Small zippers located at the underarm can be opened to get some fresh air flowing.

    • Zip-off sleeves
    • Waterproof and breathable
    • Taped seams
    • Underarm ventilation zippers
    • Roll-up hood
  • Obermeyer Glide Jacket

    Dino says: Obermeyer jackets, in my opinion, generally have an especially stylish look to them. They just look expensive even though they can be had for very competitive prices. The Obermeyer Glide jacket is amazing. One of my students owns it and it makes him look really sharp. It is very functional, warm, breathable, and waterproof with fully sealed seams. The Glide jacket has a multitude of useful pockets (hand-pockets, a cell phone pocket, a pocket for mp3 players, a mesh goggle pocket, you name it!). It also features an insulated hood (that can be rolled up), a fleece collar lining (with a fleece chin protector), articulated elbows for better movement, adjustable cuffs and a powder skirt to keep the snow out. It has ventilation zippers located at the armpits for good in-jacket climate control. You should definitely check this one out! Available in the color themes: Shark, Chocolate, Spice, Barn Red, Marina, and Iguana.

    • Waterproof and breathable
    • Water repellent fabric protector
    • Stylish look
    • Warm insulation
    • Underarm zippers for ventilation
  • Columbia Sportswear Bugaboy 3-in-1 Jacket

    Dino says: This green and black jacket is waterproof and breathable. When you pick it up, you’ll notice how well-made and durable it feels. The Columbia Sportswear Bugaboy 3-in-1 Jacket carries its name because it gives you the option to wear it three different ways. The jacket comes with an inner liner that can easily be detached. On cold days the jacket and liner can be worn together, on warm, wet days the liner can be removed and worn by itself, and on warm dry days the fleece can be used by itself. The fleece liner has two zippered hand-warmer pockets. The hood can be rolled up to a very small size and then zipped into the collar. All seams are sealed. There is a soft chin guard on the collar that feels comfortable to protect from abrasions.

    • Waterproof and breathable
    • 3-in-1 system (shell and liner can be worn together or separately)
    • Roll-up hood
    • Well-made and durable

You will be happy with any of these

  • Marmot Northshore Jacket

    Dino says: The first thing I noticed about this jacket is how light it is even including its removable fleece liner. It is well made, waterproof, and breathable. And with the removable liner, it is also very versatile. The Marmot Northshore is another jacket that comes with the 3-in-1 feature: Wear the shell alone, the liner alone, or both together. The fleece liner can be zipped out quickly and looks cool by itself. The jacket has a roll-up hood that is stored in the collar. The front zipper is covered by a storm-flap to protect from wind and weather. Generally, when it is cold, you’ll want to cover as much of your face as possible. What happens though is that once you pull the collar over your mouth for protection, the front will get wet from your breathing (or slobbering). This jacket has special liner-material at chin level to help move the moisture to the outer layers for quick evaporation. Make sure to try it on in the store, as the medium was much larger than the medium size of other jackets.

    • 3-in-1 system
    • Waterproof, breathable, and durable
    • Storm-flap on front zipper
    • Roll-up hood
    • Quick-drying material at chin level
  • The North Face Saber Insulated Jacket

    Dino says: The North Face Boys’ Saber Insulated Jacket, wow, that is a mouthful! It is also a jacket full of top quality features and material. All seams are fully sealed; it is waterproof and breathes well. Synthetic insulation eliminates bulk, keep it lightweight and at the same time cozily warm. You can open a set of zipper vents in case things get too hot. It has a hood that can be zipped off and stored in one of the many pockets. The available pockets are: chest pocket, hand-warmer pockets, and a pocket for his cell-phone or mp3 player. Avalanches are very, very rare on your regular ski slopes; however, we have had a couple on Snoqualmie’s steep International run. In the most unlikely case that your child should end up in an avalanche (don’t worry, if they stay in bounds on the slopes, the chances are miniscule), the Saber jacket comes equipped with a RECCO avalanche reflector, which is a small sewn-in, non-powered electronic transponder that bounces back signals sent out by rescue searchers enabling them to quickly pinpoint his location in an avalanche. A fantastic jacket and a very good deal!

    • Zip-off hood
    • Waterproof and breathable
    • Many pockets
    • Sewn-in RECCO avalanche reflector
    • Lightweight
  • Obermeyer Wengen Jacket

    Dino says: A good-looking, waterproof and breathable no-nonsense jacket. This one is functional, stylish, and highly durable. I have already mentioned how well-made I think Obermeyer jackets are. Being a high quality jacket, it comes with all seams sealed, has lots of pockets (cell-phone, mp3 player, goggles, and hand pocket), and sports my favorite feature: zip-off arms! Articulated elbows make for better arm mobility, and a fleece-lined collar and chin protector make for a comfortable wear. Colors available are True Red and Yellow.

    • Zip-off arms
    • Lots of pockets
    • Waterproof and breathable
    • Fleece collar liner and chin-guard
  • The North Face Boys’ Insulated Truffle Shuffle Jacket

    Dino says: Odd name for a ski jacket, but kids love it. One of my students told me in confidence that he thinks his new jacket has a weird name. North Face produces some gear that you can even take up on Mount Everest and the Truffle Shuffle, albeit not made for mountains that high, can easily withstand what our regular ski areas throw at us weather-wise. It is waterproof and breathable (it is fun to see these two words go together all over this review). It has the necessary pockets (Mp3/phone, goggle, and hand pockets) and a removable hood. All seams are sealed and a powder skirt will seal out the snow at hip level. The collar has a comfortable, brushed lining. This one has a cool name and looks it, too. Available colors are Graphite Gray and Black.

    • Waterproof an breathable
    • All seams are sealed
    • Lots of pockets
    • Comfortably lined collar
  • Orage Radley Jacket

    Dino says: I really like the way the Orage jacket looks! One of my new students last season came to class wearing one and I was immediately intrigued by the company’s name. I had never heard it before. Orage has actually been around since 1989 (and I didn’t even know!), with offices located in the US, Canada, and France. As I have learned now, Orage products ooze with quality. They also have unique look to them (in my opinion) and the Radley jacket looks great! The jacket is waterproof and breathable, and again, all seams are sealed. It has all the goodies, a zip-off hood, powder skirt, armpit vent for better airflow and lots and lots of pockets (four on the outside, two on the inside including goggle pocket and mp3 player pockets). The collar is lined with soft fleece for comfort. One of my favorites! I haven’t seen it much on the slopes here, but I think that makes it even more special. You can choose from the color combinations Volcano, Dark Chocolate Light Concrete, Burgundy/White, and Clover Green/White.

    • Waterproof and breathable
    • Zip-off hood
    • Armpit vents
    • Lots of pockets
    • Great looking style

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