The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who love outdoor activities, excursions, and outdoorsmanship. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Can I use my leather jacket to go to ski ?

I think it is waterproof and it is reasonably warm. If I wear quite heavily under it, do you think I should be fine spending 1 day skiing at high altitude ?


migration rejected from Dec 9 '14 at 2:50

This question came from our site for road warriors and seasoned travelers. Votes, comments, and answers are locked due to the question being closed here, but it may be eligible for editing and reopening on the site where it originated.

closed as primarily opinion-based by studiohack Dec 9 '14 at 2:50

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

You can wear anything you please, and I've seen everything from leisure-suits to birthday-suits on the slopes. – Lost Nov 15 '12 at 17:20
If you fall, you will get soaked. Also, ski pants are seriously a must. – theJollySin Feb 9 '13 at 0:58
up vote 12 down vote accepted

I strongly recommend you purchase, borrow, or possibly rent a proper ski jacket and pants.

Given that you don't have a ski jacket I'm guessing that you are a relative beginner. It is likely that you might be falling down quite a bit. One thing to consider is does your jacket give you good mobility? If it does not, you could very easily expose your waist line and wrists a lot when falling or lifting your arms. Ski jackets tend to have very long waists for this reason.

You might call ahead and see if rental snow clothes are available at a reasonable price. It will make your experience much more pleasant.

The mobility point is a good one. Thanks – Patrick Nov 9 '12 at 8:28

As far as I know there are no legal nor cultural barriers to stop you :)

Regarding warmth, if you can put a few layers under it I think you should be fine. And if the weather proves to be too cold, you can always buy a new jacket when you are there.


There are a variety of important features that your leather jacket will lack compared to a ski jacket. Borrowing or buying a ski jacket from a thrift shop would definitely be worth it.

Skiing is pretty physically intense. If it's not very cold (above 20?), you'll sweat, and most ski jackets don't actually have much insulation as they're designed to block as much wind as possible, while still being breathable to let some sweat out.

Leather will soak up water if you fall, your inner layers will get wet with sweat, and it will not be long enough or cinch tight enough at the waist to keep snow and cold wind from going up your back, which is extremely uncomfortable.


I have skied at high altitude in only a pair of surf shorts, and acquired a nice tan, but that was in zero wind and perfectly blue skies.

In general the benefits of a dedicated ski jacket include:

  • wind protection - your leather jacket will give you this
  • elastication round wrists, neck and waist to prevent snow, and sometimes zips to connect to salopettes
  • waterproofing - leather will not be so good at this when snow that has fallen down your neck starts to melt!
  • thermal insulation
  • large zips suitable for gloved hands

So while you absolutely can ski in anything you like, I would advise the correct gear!

The only scary point from your list is the wind. The jacket has elastication round wrists. Maybe the waterproofing is also very valid. – Patrick Nov 7 '12 at 17:58
Im still thinking what to do... and what if i buy a windproof, waterproof suit to use under the jacket ? Is there something specific you can suggest me? – Patrick Nov 7 '12 at 18:02
I've sometimes used sweaters or sweatshirts under a waterproof windbreaker. A waterproof shell over something to keep you warm is quite adequate. Ditto for the pants. – thursdaysgeek Nov 8 '12 at 0:10

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.