Best Mid Layers for Skiing

Best Mid Layer for Skiing

If you’ve ever been out on an icy mountain, then you know your best defense against the fiercely cold weather is layers! Layers keep you warm, comfortable, and dry so you can stay outdoors for as long as you want.

While a base layer and an outer layer should be there, mid layers are specifically important for insulation. Therefore, if you are going skiing soon, it’s important to know how to decide which mid layer to take.

In a Hurry? Here are Our Top Choices

The 5 Best Mid Layers for Skiing

In this article, we have given a quick overview of some of the best mid layers for skiing for both men and women. Let’s check it out!

1. Helly Hansen Women’s Power Air Heat Grid Jacket

Helly-Hansen Power Air Heat Grid Jacket for women is an eco-friendly jacket made from 89% recycled polyester. As compared to fleece, this material sheds about 5 times less microfibers. Thanks to the Polartec Power Air knit construction in this jacket, this jacket retains warmth. This material is both efficient in keeping you warm and effective in being environmentally-friendly.

This zippered, hoodless jacket comes in a boxy fit that offers ample space to move around and even wear extra layers. It features zippered external and internal pockets as well as thumb loops.


  • Extremely lightweight, yet very warm.
  • Eco-friendly as it sheds less microfiber.
  • Offers quick drying.
  • Thumb loops come in a perfect fit.
  • High neck to keep the winds out.


  • Doesn’t have a hood.

2. Columbia Steens Mountain Fleece 2.0

Columbia Steens Mountain Fleece 2.0 is a fleece jacket made from 100% polyester MTR filament fleece. This zippered jacket is quite a heavyweight option as compared to the other jackets mentioned in this list. It comes in a loose, boxy fit and features zippered hand pockets, elasticated cuffs and a drawcord at the hem.

Although bulky, this mid layer is perfect for the most extreme conditions as it will keep you warm. It is very affordable and is a great, inexpensive option to provide warmth, comfort and dryness in the coldest of days.


  • Very affordable and offers a great value for money.
  • Provides great shelter and comfort against the cold.


  • Too heavy.
  • Does not have a slim fit.

3. Rab Alpha Flux Jacket

Rab Alpha Flux Jacket is a fleece jacket designed in collaboration with Polartec. This versatile jacket offers great breathability, movement, and wind resistance in harsh conditions. It is lined with Polartec Alpha fleece that makes it incredibly soft and comfortable to wear while keeping all the moisture at bay.

The underarm area of Flux jacket is made from non-insulated stretch panels and treated with polygiene that allows ample airflow and odor resistance. Whereas a nylon lightweight outer shell does a great job at keeping all the water away even if you are wearing this as a standalone jacket.

This jacket would not only fit perfectly under an outer layer but can also be worn as a standalone jacket for outdoors.


  • Very lightweight and breathable.
  • Comes with thumb loops.
  • Offers maximum weather resistance.
  • Keeps you safe from winds, water, and the cold.


  • Not too warm as compared to the fleece jackets.

4.  Outdoor Research Refuge Hybrid Hooded Jacket

Outdoor Research Refuge Hybrid Hooded Jacket is an affordable jacket that comes with non-insulated sides and sleeve. The sides and sleeves of this jacket are made from a stretch fabric that wicks away all the moisture and allows you to move freely. On the other hand, the chest and back are insulated with OR’s vertical fill that traps the air to retain warmth but let go of the moisture.

This hooded jacket features three pockets, two hand pockets and one chest pocket, that are lined with mesh so you can open them any time you need ventilation. The left packet also serves as a stuff sack and comes with a carabiner loop with a clasp that you can attach to your backpack or a harness.

The Refuge jacket has greatly fitting sleeves and a boxy torso, making it great to be worn even standalone. However, the hood of this jacket is not adjustable. But it can fit under a helmet.


  • Wind, water and cold resistant.
  • Allows great mobility.
  • Effective ventilation and breathability.


  • Non-adjustable hood.

5. Ortovox Swisswool Zebru Jacket

Ortovox Swisswool Zebru Jacket is a slim-fit hooded jacket weighing only 9.2 ounces. Although lightweight, the Zebru jacket is extremely warm for its weight. This is thanks to the Swiss wool insulation lining in this jacket that not only keeps you warm but also keeps out all the moisture and odor.

The exterior of this jacket is made from 100% polyamide that makes it easy for you to move without feeling bulky. This material also offers moderate water and wind resistance. It will prove as a great option with a thin base later and a sturdy outer layer when you go skiing. Thanks to its unmatched breathability, this jacket would easily be your first choice.

In harsh conditions, you can wear the hood and seal the openings around your face with its elastic edge. This jacket is also compatible with helmets and can be worn both under and over a helmet.


  • Extremely lightweight and breathable.
  • Water and win resistant.
  • Helmet-friendly hood.
  • Great for all winter activities.


  • The waist hem can sometimes ride up.

What to Consider When Buying A Mid Layer for Skiing

Here’s a list of what you should consider when buying a mid-layer for skiing:

  • It should offer warmth and insulation.
  • A nice fit: Don’t buy bulky or boxy fitting jackets because a jacket with great fit will keep you tucked in.
  • Ventilation: Make sure that your jacket is moisture wicking, breathable and stretchy.
  • Weather proofing: Water, wind and cold resistant.

Our Final Thoughts

After comparing all the options mentioned above, our top choice for the best mid layer for skiing has to be the Ortovox Swisswool Zebru Jacket for men, as it is incredibly lightweight yet effective in protecting you from the weather. For women, our top choice is the Helly Hansen Power Air Heat Grid Jacket.

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