Jackets come in all shapes and sizes, from lightweight to all-in-one designs. The Animal Arctic Mens Snow Jacket from design-led sports brand Animal – among its first-ever for 2022 – attempts to straddle genres, claiming to be ideal for both piste and off-piste skiing.
If you're after the best waterproof jacket or best ski jacket it’s worth considering, but the colourful styling won't be for everyone. Read on for our full Animal Arctic Snow Jacket review.
- Buy the Arctic Mens Snow Jacket from Animal (opens in new tab)
ANIMAL ARCTIC MENS SNOW JACKET REVIEW: DESIGN AND FEATURES
Those dedicated to looking good on the slopes are so often bad at skiing, which makes the three-way khaki, teal and orange stripes across the Animal Arctic Mens Snow Jacket a brave choice indeed. The stripes extend to the sleeves, too, meaning each one is teal at the top and orange at the bottom, While the hood is completely khaki albeit with bright orange drawstring and toggles.
Good skiing jackets are all about pockets. On the outside the Animal Arctic Mens Snow Jacket features two zip pockets for storing neck warmers, snacks, hip flasks and anything else you might need while skiing. That's not unusual, but these pockets are accessible from the top rather than the side. That's helpful because these are the pockets you're most likely to accidentally leave unzipped while you ski; the fact that they’re oriented upwards means you're less likely to have things fall out of them. Those pockets’ orange zips are very tough and boast a waterproof design, with a rubber branded tag on each one so that you can easily open and close them whilst wearing gloves.
As with most ski jackets, the Animal Arctic Mens Snow Jacket has a skirt integrated that fastens together using two poppers to keep snow out of your jacket when the inevitable happens and you go horizontal. Also inside, on the right side, is an elasticated mesh pocket halfway up for stuffing a hat or gloves, while on the other side is a small zipper pocket for storing a phone. Sadly there’s no way to thread a pair of wired earphones through it. Are wireless earbuds really that endemic among skiers?
Its final feature is perhaps its most important; a RECCO reflector. Integrated into one of its arms the reflector requires no power or activation. In fact, you don't even have to think about why or how it's there, but it's useful in an avalanche. In such a scenario mountain rescue can use a RECCO detector to send out a search signal, which will be reflected by the Animal Arctic Mens Snow Jacket.
- Find the best women’s ski jackets
- Explore in style with one of the best ski backpacks
ANIMAL ARCTIC MENS SNOW JACKET REVIEW: PERFORMANCE AND COMFORT
We wore this jacket during a week’s skiing around the vast Paradiski ski area in the French Alps and experienced everything from snowy and windy -10º conditions to sweaty bluebird days. The Animal Arctic Mens Snow Jacket coped well with the former, with the waterproof recycled polyester easily coping with snowflakes, tumbles and, later, rain. The interior’s PrimaLoft (synthetic microfiber thermal insulation material that’s an alternative to down) padded zones helped keep us warm, too.
However, when the Sun was out the Animal Arctic Mens Snow Jacket did feel overly warm, even when skiing with one of the best base layers underneath. That’s despite a rather loose fit to this jacket, which had a slightly baggy feel that tapered out at the bottom. However, there are two drawstring toggles to bring the bottom of the jacket taught. Another feature that gives on cold days but takes on bluebirds are the sleeve endings, which have thumb holes to work as bridges between jacket and glove. Sadly they’re a little tight to roll back easily on warm days, but that’s typical on most ski jackets. What did prove useful in warm conditions was the underarm vents, though we’re not convinced the mesh is needed; an open vent would be better for when a breath of wind is required.
Our main criticism of the Animal Arctic Mens Snow Jacket is that its main pockets are a little small and it lacks chest pockets, which are useful for storing a piste map, keys and lip balm.
Just above the left hand is a small pocket for storing a ski pass. It's ranged underneath the forearm, which is a slightly unusual position, but it actually makes it easier to tap a ski pass on the reader at turnstiles without having to do any strange twisting gestures.
- Pair this jacket with the best ski pants
- Grab some of the best ski goggles
ANIMAL ARCTIC MENS SNOW JACKET REVIEW: VERDICT
Available from XS through XXL the Animal Arctic Mens Snow Jacket makes you visible on the slopes and searchable in case of an avalanche. Its garish mash-up of khaki, teal and orange won’t appeal to all, but its generous size makes it ideal for wearing base layers and a fleece jacket in cold conditions. On bluebird days it can get a little warm, but it has underarm vents to help. However, not only are its main pockets a tad too small but there are no chest pockets, which are handy for lip balm, a piste map and even a phone. However, if you’re a minimalist skier after something bright and functional the Animal Arctic Mens Snow Jacket could suit.