The $100 Amazon Jacket

It can be difficult to find snow outerwear that matches your style and wallet preferences. It can be costly and time-consuming, but it doesn't always have to be. The important thing to know is that harsh winter weather requires a technical and high-performance jacket - so expect a pricier tradeoff for higher quality, protection, and comfort. If you prefer lower upfront costs, you will likely skip additional features like waterproofing, durability, and warmth for a few saved dollars. Brand also affects price.

Whether you’re new to snow sports or an enthusiast looking to upgrade your outerwear, choosing the right jacket is very important! In many ways, it's the difference between having a memorable trip or feeling miserable cold, wet, and unhappy.

And this makes your jacket selection that much more important.

There are so many types of jackets out in the marketplace and technology changes are happening all the time, creating a confusing and cluttered buying process. It seems like there's always a bigger and better jacket design to go with which ultimately drives the price. In fact, there are a just handful of jacket varieties and brands that offer different technologies, at varying price points too. So it's important to find that ultimate jacket that provides you with both an experience worthwhile along with s comfortable price point. 

We'll take you through four common ski/snowboard jackets - simple shells, insulated, puffy, 3-1, and soft shell jackets in order to help you make the right decision for you.

So when you're looking for that ideal jacket and you're trying to thread the needle (no pun intended) between price, style, and comfort, remember these categories of jackets before you brave the outdoors.

Simple Shells

Better known as your outer most layer and protector against snow, wind, and rain, simple shells are known for their versatility and lightweight. They are typically made of one to three layers of material but provide little insulation. So if it's a blue-bird (sunny warm) day on the mountain, sometimes a simple shell is all your need over your base layer.


Known for providing a more holistic experience on the mountain, an all-in-one design. The insulated jackets tend to give you a range of functionality when it comes to weight and how much you want to layer on the inside. It has all the bells and whistles with both options for light to heavy volumes of insulation built into the jacket. Likely the most popular jacket on the mountain.


A very warm jacket for the coldest environments, but not the best on the slopes. They are very easy to pack but are not nearly as waterproof as other snow jackets. So if it's wet, we would high suggest avoiding wearing a puffy jacket as these jackets can wear down very quickly once wet. And if does get wet, the proper care will be both time consuming and costly. 


The most versatile jacket--combining the out shell with an inside removable fleece jacket. This is design for every kind of day on the slope and is very comfortable. You can wear the outer shell for your ultimate bluebird day or suit up for needed protection if the weather calls for snow or possibly rain.

The fleece is very lightweight and warm.  The material maintains its warmth when damp, so it’s particularly useful during most activities, in any season.  It’s perfect to be worn as an outer layer while you’re in cold and dry conditions – walking around town or hiking. Or you could wear as a mid-layer fleece, beneath a shell or even an insulated jacket for even great warmth.

Soft Shell

Another super versatile garment -- the softshell provides a balance between wind and cold along with soft and comfy when you are in colder climates. It's also waterproof and breathable for a comfortable fit during wet and windy conditions. It provides flexibility and a lightweight aspect that makes it perfect for your Apres events. A super versatile garment!  The softshell provides a balance between wind and cold protection – soft and comfy enough to wear as a mid-layer during the colder climates.  Or lightweight, yet waterproof and breathable enough to wear as an outerwear garment during for wet/windy conditions.


Finding that ideal $100 jacket is both ambitious and difficult. A well thought out layering system is crucial to your fun on the slopes. Developing a layering system that fits your needs are important to help protect you from the elements, and putting your understanding to good use can guarantee comfortability, enjoyment and ultimately planning another trip out to the mountains with your good buddies.

Choosing a jacket suitable for your style and wallet preferences is up to you. You still need to find appropriately matched pants and layers to keep you warm and dry, and safe from the unpredictable elements. At Powfitter we encourage you to find that comfort with both your apparel and wallet.