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The 10 Best Women's Mid Layers of 2023

By: Sarah Ziffer: Women's & Kid's Techwear Buyer | November 10, 2022

 

Insulation is just insulation, right? Well, no, not exactly. When it comes to women's mid layers for skiing and snowboarding, there are almost as many styles of insulation as there are of skiers. And what style works best for you is a very personal decision. So don’t just grab that discount puffy off the rack and head to the hills. Giving a little consideration to the best women’s mid layers for you will make a huge difference over the course of a ski season. Are you looking for down or synthetic insulation? Do you care if your mid layer has a hood or not? Do you prefer a packable puffy or more of a stylish sweater? It’s important to think about what you’re looking for, what you like to wear when skiing, and then use this list to help you choose a favorite.

New This Year:

Luckily, this year, the best women’s mid layers are more versatile than ever before. More and more brands are mixing casual style into their technical gear, so you can buy an insulator that works well on the slopes and looks good around town too. So stop making do with your old ratty, patched, smelly puffy. Instead, grab one of the mid layers off this list and feel as good as you look while making turns.

Oyuki Odori Insulator Jacket

Oyuki Odori Insulator Jacket

Our idea of a simple and perfect ski morning is described as such: Wake up before the sun, brew coffee, take the dogs out to hop around in the fresh snow blanketing the yard, eat a simple yet hearty breakfast, snag your Oyuki Odori Insulated Jacket, and make your way to the mountain to meet friends and smash pow till sundown. Made from high-quality, superior Japanese milled fabric, this mechanical stretch jacket delivers unrivaled comfort on and off the mountain. Whether you're purveying the town for the perfect hole-in-the-wall dinner spot or layering up for a chilling day spent pillow jumping, this water-resistant jacket gives you all the warmth without the bulk. It's simple, reliable, and made to last, aka the Oyuki way. This is a great mid layer for the discerning skier or boarder.

InsulationStyleOriginal Price
60 g Primaloft Eco GoldHooded Puffy$239.95

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Burton AK Helium Hooded Stretch Jacket

Burton AK Helium Hooded Stretch Jacket

Bulk is the enemy of the backcountry tourist. The Burton AK Helium Hooded Stretch Jacket packs into a pocket and fits close to your body for maximum protection. It's built with stretch for those dynamic skin track maneuvers, with breathability taking top billing over wind resistance. The perfect layer under a shell, this is an insulation piece worthy of the [ak] badge. It’s shockingly warm for its size and looks great out on the town too.

InsulationStyleOriginal Price
40 g Thermacore StretchSoft Jacket$259.95

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Houdini Power Houdi

Houdini Power Houdi

Aside from including more and more recycled material, the Houdini Power Houdi Fleece Jacket is pretty much unchanged since its release 15 years ago. It's still the gold standard for durability and versatility in a technical fleece hoodie, made from indestructible Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro. Under a ski shell, on its own on a rock wall, or as your go-to casual hoodie, this jacket is a solid lock. It was made to last a lifetime--ask anyone who has one. In our increasingly disposable world, it's great to know you're going to be able to wear the Houdini Power Houdi for a decade. This jacket is an absolute classic for a reason. It just does its job, really well.

InsulationStyleOriginal Price
Polartec Power Stretch ProHoody$209.95

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Picture Organic Arcca 1​/4 Fleece

Picture Organic Arcca 1​/4 Fleece

The Picture Organic Arcca 1/4 Fleece is a classic snap mid-layer with cool color block patterns. A straight fit and high collar keep warmth close to your body and elastic cuffs keep out the wind. Wear the Arcca to the market or the mountain, its warm versatility is ready for any activity, big or small. This retro fleece brings modern warmth in a classy package.

InsulationStyleOriginal Price
PolyesterSweater$89.95

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Volcom Costus Pullover Fleece

Volcom Costus Pullover Fleece

The Volcom Costus Pullover Fleece is a hoodie to be reckoned with. It has a high collar and a long fit, plus thumb holes. Yep, that's comfort in a nutshell. Sure, it looks like a casual hoody, but it’ll keep you warm and comfy for far longer than any streetwear piece.

InsulationStyleOriginal Price
320 g FleeceHoody$70.00

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The North Face Summit FUTUREFLEECE™ Full Zip Hoodie

The North Face Summit FUTUREFLEECE™ Full Zip Hoodie

Less weight, more warmth, and easy to throw in your pack when you're on the go, The North Face Summit FUTUREFLEECE™ Full Zip Hoodie is a toasty addition to your baselayer when you need more warmth than you thought you would. Full loop construction lets FUTUREFLEECE™ trap more warmth with less material than ever before. This is one garment that deserves a spot in your pack any time you leave the trailhead. It’s understated but overperforming, just what you want from a mid layer.

InsulationStyleOriginal Price
FutureFleeceZippered Jacket$148.95

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Patagonia R1 Air Full Zip Hoodie

Patagonia R1 Air Full Zip Hoodie

The Patagonia R1 Air Full Zip Hoodie is a highly versatile layer for high-exertion activities in cold weather. Throw it under your shell, your puffy, or wear it as a stand-alone, there's not much the R1 can't handle. Think of it as an extension of yourself - warm, breathable, quick-drying, and oh so soft. The R1 is an absolute classic, maybe you’ll be the latest person to fall in love with this versatile mid layer?

InsulationStyleOriginal Price
Jacquard FleeceZippered Hoody$169.00

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Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoodie

Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoodie

Even when it's chilly, people who move fast usually need only a little bit of warmth. Enter the Arc'teryx Kyanite Hoodie, a trim and stretchy fleece hoodie that moves and breathes as well as you do. Trail running, backpacking, climbing, ski touring, you name it, the Kyanite adapts to the activity like a chameleon. Made of long-lasting Polartec® Power Stretch™ Pro with a Scuba Hood™ and No Slip Zip™ main zipper, this is one hoodie you can't live without. It’s an affordable, but high-performance insulator.

InsulationStyleOriginal Price
Polartec Power Stretch ProSoft Jacket$180.00

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Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Hoodie

Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Hoodie

A synthetic, down alternative that's worthy of four-season use, the Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Hoodie is ultralight, water-resistant, wind-resistant, and packs neatly into its own pocket. Fluffed with VerticalX™ SuperStrand insulation, this full-zip hoodie offers a shocking warmth-to-weight ratio. Layer it under your ski jacket or rock it all as your primary jacket, the Outdoor Research SuperStrand LT Hoodie is the mid-layer you'll be reaching for from here on out. Trust us. This jacket does it all, well.

InsulationStyleOriginal Price
VerticalX PolyesterHooded Puffy$218.95

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Arc'teryx Atom Hoodie

Arc'teryx Atom Hoodie

If you've ever set foot outside, the Arc'teryx Atom Hoodie should be a staple in your closet. The Coreloft™ insulation and Tyono™ shell are durable enough to withstand everyday use and the Stormhood™ and fitted shape add technical function to this quiver-killer layer. There’s a reason Arc’teryx insulators have such a reputation. Find out for yourself when you slip into the Atom Hoodie.

InsulationStyleOriginal Price
Polyester CoreloftSoft Jacket$260.00

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The Selection Process:

Our techwear buyers have an endless amount of knowledge on all things outerwear stemming from years of experience in the outdoor industry in tandem with their countless hours spent outside in all conditions around the world. From hot to cold, snow, rain, wind, and even sunshine, they know what clothing will keep you comfortable. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Sarah Ziffer

Growing up in Florida, I missed out on the chance to get involved in snow sports. Tired of the heat, and seeking out the mountains, I moved to Seattle to start a new adventure. A few years after moving to WA I fulfilled my dream of learning to snowboard and immediately fell in love with it. After just one time out on a friend’s board I was hooked. I outfitted myself from head to toe with gear from evo, and got a season pass at Snoqualmie.

I quickly realized that snowboarding inspired me to live a lifestyle centered around the outdoors. I left my job at a fashion company to come and work for evo and become immersed in the culture and experiences that make the snowboarding community so vibrant. I have been at evo since 2017, am currently the women's and kids' techwear buyer, and enjoy learning and experiencing everything this incredible community has to offer.