There is no denying that warmth and comfort will affect your mountain experience. For warmth one will have to start with well insulated clothing.
Two major insulations stand out, natural (down feathers, cotton and wool) and synthetic insulation.
Down feathers are typically restricted for use in jackets. Common synthetic insulation includes fleece, Gore-Tex and Climashield which can be found in many ski garments.
The choices here are limited to insulated and non-insulated.
Typically we get our insulation from our hat, headband or helmet.
On deep powder days or rainy days a hood will keep you dry.
Jacket designs these days include many pockets. Back country skiers will appreciate a large chest pocket for a radio and shoulder attach point for a microphone..
Many jackets will come with specialized pockets for lip balm, trail maps, goggles, mountain pass (clear pocket), cameras, cell phones, wallets, etc.
Two features are often associated with sleeves, removable or arm pit vents.
Either way, the idea here is comfort during spring skiing.
Some jackets have features to keep powder snow out of your jacket.
Chords and straps which can be tightened around the bottom of the jackets as well as the sleeves, may do wonders to keep out the snow.
Most winter sports jackets are water proofed. It is the older jacket which loses its waterproofing which causes trouble.
Products like 3M Scotchgard can return ski apparel to its original waterproof condition.
Fabric is measured for "waterproofing" by the amount of water pressure required to cause it to leak (measured in mm).
Typical values are around 5,000 mm while fabrics of high quality are around 20,000mm.
For comparison, 704mm = 1 psi.
Fabric "breathability" is measured by the amount of water vapor which will pass through a fabric in a 24 hour period (measured in grams of water vapor which can pass through a square meter of fabric per day often simplified as just "grams").
For example, Gore-Tex Performance 3-layer ranges from 10,000g to 15,000g while Gore-Tex Pro Shell 2 and 3-layer measure at 25,000g plus.
Fall line-up 2014 - Winter 2015
Colorful line of ski jackets
Burton with the Green Mountain Process (GMP) teamed together with Mountain Dew for a line of clothing manufactured from recycled plastic Mountain Dew beverage bottles. See Burton GMP
Introduced fall 2013 - winter 2014
Note that the Polarmax line of baselayer clothing is manufactured in the USA from thread to fabric to clothing.
The fabric is chosen for base layer performance which includes microbial protection for anti-odor, moisture management (wicking), thermal properties and texture for comfort.
The materials include "technical mesh", thin fleace, synthetic and natural wool or cotton fibers.
Opedix support under garments and thermal wear.
The Opedix line offers added structural support to knee joints and upper torso.
The Opedix support system provides a subtle support action to improve joint positioning and athletic posture to improve mechanics.
The Opedix tights produce a 3-point bending moment to enhance knee alignment and loading on the joint. They claim to unload the knee by up to 16% as well as to reduce muscle oscillation increasing endurance.
EC3D Sports: compression garments
Seamless orthopedic compression garments designed for athletes to improve athletic performance. EC3D garments are anatomically designed to create graduated compression – highest further from the heart and lowest closer to the heart – to provide optimal performance.