It's not cheap, but the Arc’teryx Rush is one of the very best ski jackets around right now. This superbly designed and built lightweight shell that will immediately appeal to serious skiers and boarders, especially those looking to hit the backcountry. That said, it looks equally at home on the piste with its attractive range of colourways (five in total), and it will also work fine as a year-round hiking/outdoor jacket – and the fact that it'll double as one of the best waterproof jackets in general is no bad thing given the price tag.
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Designed specifically for big mountain adventures. The Rush offers the perfect combination of lightness and breathability for those hard ascents at the same time as being both waterproof and windproof when the weather turns foul – indeed, the rugged Gore-tex Pro ‘More Rugged’ fabric from which it is constructed was developed by Arc’teryx in conjunction with Gore, although the material is quite ‘crinkly’ and may not appeal if you prefer a smooth, soft outer fabric.
The fit is quote loose, allowing for easy layering underneath (start with one of the best ski base layers and go from there), and all the features have been well-thought out for serious mountain use. From the top you get an ergonomic, helmet-compatible hood (note that this can be a bit flappy and oversized when worn without a helmet), waterproof pit zips, two huge zippered hand pockets that are harness compatible, a zippered lift pass pocket on the left sleeve and adjustable cuffs and hem.
Inside the jacket you’ll find two elasticated internal stash pockets with a zippered security pocket built into the left-hand pocket. Beneath this is a fixed powder skirt to keep the pow on the outside and the warmth on the inside.
In use the ergonomic cut of the Rush and the generous sizing mean it’s very comfortable and not at all restrictive whether hooning down a powder field or schlepping up said powder field before the hooning starts. And because it utilises Gore-tex Pro ‘More Rugged’ fabric and comes with pit zips it’s easy to control your body temperature without necessarily having to take it on or off to cool down or warm up, making for more time skiing and less time faffing around.