Ski jackets can be very expensive. Ski jackets also last longer than retailers and manufacturers would like to believe. However, every ski jacket will eventually become obsolete.
Whether you keep your jacket in your closet to age for future Clown Days, your jacket will be retired, or give it to your local thrift store. This blog will highlight some of the warning signs beyond tears and broken zippers. These are the signs that you should be looking for a new jacket.
Loss of waterproofing
The process of degrading a ski jacket is already underway from the first day. Water beads up and runs off your skin like a force field. Your jacket will eventually become a sponge, regardless of how long it takes. There are some life-extending tips that you can try to delay the inevitable.
Sometimes washing your jacket can restore waterproofing to surprising levels. Water can penetrate the waterproof membrane through dirt lodged in the fabric’s fibers or pores. This will stop water from leaking into your inner layers by removing dirt that remains on the fabric’s surface.
Different fabrics and insulation types require different washing methods. Before putting your ski jacket in the washer, call your local shop for cleaning instructions. Commercial detergents, especially in powder form, are not a good idea. They can block the pores of your jacket’s membrane, compromising breathability and reducing waterproofness.
There are many aftermarket waterproof products that you can use if washing and drying don’t work and you end up with a ski jacket that is still useful but not clean. While the Nikwax products shown above are great options, they can only be used as a temporary solution to last you through the season. You can only keep your jacket waterproof for so long before you have to move on and find a new one.
Fabric technology has made remarkable advancements in terms of breathability over the past decade. In the past, 100% waterproof protection meant sweaty, suffocating consequences. It felt as if the outerwear’s weather protection was being compromised by sweat buildup on the inside.
All that has changed is fabric breathability, the ability to wick moisture, and the effectiveness of strategic venting systems. Ski jackets with windproof and fully waterproof protection are now highly capable of controlling the internal climate, keeping you comfortable and dry inside and out. You should consider buying a new jacket if you haven’t updated your jacket in a while and are struggling to maintain a comfortable temperature at the top and bottom of the hill.
Styles are constantly changing, and buyers can regret making impulsive purchases in the name “hip”. Your jacket should still be in good condition. This will help you avoid impulse purchasing with only a short-term reward.
However, the classic style excuse ceases to apply at a certain point.
Consider comparing your jackets if you’re stuck in a lift line and looking around. It’s likely that your outerwear choice has become unintentionally unique or even mocked by drunk twentysomethings. You can also look for other indicators such as the unironic use of neon colors, oversized and chevron designs, ribbed stretch material, large snap-closure collars or front kangaroo pockets… you get the idea.
One last reason to buy a new ski jacket is that sometimes you want one. Don’t be ashamed to give yourself a wardrobe overhaul. You deserve new gear.