Skip to Main Content

The 7 Best Ski & Snowboard Mid Layers of 2020-2021

Too often mid layers get the short end of the stick. They’re just not that glamorous after all. Shells are fancy and visible, everyone can see what you’re rocking on the outside of your kit. And base layers are really intimate, so you’re pretty focused on making sure you’ve got the right one - they’re all up in your business all day after all. But for too many skiers and snowboarders, mid layers just sort of...exist. You own one, maybe it’s a fleece you bought in high school, maybe it’s a puffy that the guy who dated your roommate for two weeks left after they broke up. Whatever it is, it’s probably not the most prized part of your winter gear setup. And that’s really too bad because the best ski & snowboard mid layers can be one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you own.

What else is practical and comfortable from the moment you wake up and cook breakfast, through your whole day on the hill, and still looks classy at the bar afterwards? What other piece of clothing gets worn to so many events, is just reliably there, keeping you warm and comfortable through whatever the day may bring? So let’s raise our glasses to the humble mid layer. It might not get the hype that it deserves, but boy does it make our lives better. So peruse this list of our favorite options next time you notice that your faithful mid layer is getting a little worn.


Volcom Polartec Fleece

The best ski & snowboard mid layers of 2020-2021
 

A good fleece is sort of the quintessential mid layer, but not all fleeces are created equal. Some are just better than others. The Volcom Polartec definitely falls into that cream of the crop category. From the long, slim fit, to the zippered chest pocket and carefully placed zippered hand pockets, the details have been taken care of. The recycled polyester material means it’s as good for the planet as it is for you. It’s the perfect warmth to keep you toasty under your ski shell on the hill or to wear as an outer layer when you’re out on the town.

Fleeces don’t have to be huge shapeless, styleless garments that your mom pulls out of the winter clothes bin every year. The Polartec fleece looks great and will keep you warm and comfy all winter long.

InsulationPockets Original Price
Recycled Polyester FleeceChest pocket, zippered hand pockets$125

Shop Now >>>


Flylow Handlebar Tech Flannel

The best ski & snowboard mid layers of 2020-2021
 

For some skiers and snowboarders, a puffy or fleece is overkill. Maybe it doesn’t get that cold where they ride or they just naturally run warm enough to not need that much insulation. If that sounds like you, we’d highly recommend trying the Handlebar Tech Flannel from Flylow. On the surface, it looks like just another plaid mountain man shirt. And it is, sort of, but better! It’s been specially designed for the needs of skiers and riders, with warm, moisture-wicking materials and a sleek, stylish fit.

This flannel is sort of the Transformer of ski mid layers. Wear it under your ski shell and stay comfortable all day. Throw on some jeans and it pairs well with them for a great apres beers look. Swap those for some chinos and you’re ready to attend an autumnal wedding. The Handlebar really does it all, that's why we picked it as one od the best mid layer flannels of 2020.

InsulationPockets Original Price
100% NylonChest pockets$89.95

Shop Now >>>


Shop All Men's Mid Layers
See All

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket - Men's & Women's

The best ski & snowboard mid layers of 2020-2021
 

The Patagonia Nano Puff might be the most ubiquitous mid layer out there, for good reason. It’s the original light puffy jacket, designed to be comfortable, versatile, and classy whatever the setting. In typical Patagonia fashion, the Nano Puff uses recycled materials throughout as part of Patagonia’s push to make as eco-friendly of gear as possible. It’s available in men’s and women’s cuts, and a huge range of colors, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally matching everyone else that has a good taste in snowboard mid layers too.

The Nano Puff is one of the warmer options on this list, and one of the lightest. So if you’re looking for a packable mid layer that fits well in your backpack when you don’t need it, but warms you up fast when you do, and also looks good off the hill as well, give the Nano Puff a shot.

InsulationPockets Original Price
60-g PrimaLoft® Gold EcoZippered hand and chest pockets$199

Shop Men's >>>

Shop Women's >>>


Helly Hansen LifaLoft Full Zip Insulator Pants

The best ski & snowboard mid layers of 2020-2021
 

There are plenty of puffy, insulated jackets out there in the world, but too often customers are left feeling a little like Winnie the Pooh, with a nice jacket up top, but our poor legs left naked to the wind. That’s where the LifaLoft Insulator pant comes in. It’s a puffy jacket, for your legs. But Helly Hansen understands that not everyone wants a fully insulated pant all the time, so they worked hard to make it modular. The ¾ length means it doesn’t interfere with ski or snowboard boots, and the full zips on each leg mean you can take it on and off without taking off your boots, or even your shell pants.

So if you’re looking for a little extra warmth for your butt and legs, and want something flexible and versatile, the LifaLoft Insulator Pant is the garment for you.

InsulationPockets Original Price
LifaLoft™ 80g InsulationLifaLoft™ 80g Insulation$160

Shop Now >>>


Volcom Spring Shred Hoodie - Women's

The best ski & snowboard mid layers of 2020-2021
 

Not everyone wants a technical looking mid layer. And not every mid layer needs to be relegated to hide under a shell all the time. That’s why Volcom makes the Spring Shred Hoodie. The Spring Shred Hoodie is, as the name might imply, designed for ladies who like to shred on snow, specifically in slushy, sunny spring conditions. So it’s got plenty of warmth for those cold, frozen mornings, along with a Hydrophobic coating that resists water, so you don’t need a shell as long as it’s not raining or snowing too hard. And while it’s styled like a classic hoodie, the technical materials mean you’ll stay warmer and dryer longer.

Volcom even nailed the fit, with what they call the “boyfriend fit”. Basically, they realized a lot of ladies were borrowing their boyfriend’s hoodies to ride in, because the longer fit is more practical and looks great on the hill, so they standardized it into some of their women’s garments. So if you love that classic hoodie style, but want something a little more modern, try out the Spring Shred Hoodie.

InsulationPockets Original Price
290g 100% Polyester Hydrophobic FleeceZippered Handwarmer pocket$75

Shop Now >>>


Shop All Women's Mid Layers
Shop All

Flylow Sondra Fleece - Women's

The best ski & snowboard mid layers of 2020-2021
 

Flylow took a look at the classic fleece mid layer and asked themselves how they could update it for the modern mountain woman. The result, the Sondra Fleece, a super modern styled piece that combines the best attributes of classic fleeces with high-tech materials and features. The Sondra is shockingly packable for how warm it is, it takes up barely any room in your pack, but does a great job of keeping your comfortable through bitter cold days. And the overbuilt funnel neck with built-in neck gaiter ensures that your face and neck stay warm and snow-free, while also looking classy while you’re out on the town.

Is the Sondra a fashion piece? Yes, Absolutely. Is it also a nicely built piece of technical outerwear? Without a doubt. Ski clothes don’t have to be boring and dumpy, add some warmth and spice to your outfit with the Sondra.

InsulationPockets Original Price
94% Polyester / 6% Spandex FleeceZippered Chest Pocket$99.95

Shop Now >>>


Arc’teryx Kyanite Hoodie

The best ski & snowboard mid layers of 2020-2021
 

Arc’teryx has always been focused on making high-performing technical gear, so it should be no surprise that the Kyanite has a lot going on. It’s designed to be an as sleek and low profile as possible. It fits well, even under slimmer cut shells, and doesn’t take up much space or hinder movement at all thanks to its stretch material. But it provides almost as much warmth as a light puffy and is versatile enough to be worn as an outer layer on warmer days. That design philosophy carries to the hood as well, the low-profile wetsuit style hood fits well under a helmet and has a tighter shape that keeps your head surprisingly warm and won’t come loose in the wind.

The Kyanite is one of those garments that packs a lot more of a punch than might at first seem possible. It’s very light and soft but does a great job of keeping you warm no matter what the mountains throw at you. It might not be the most stylish thing on this list, but that’s not the point, with Arc’teryx form always follows function. And the Kyanite functions very well. This makes it one of the best ski & snowboard mid layers of the year.

InsulationPockets Original Price
Polartec® Power Stretch® Pro | 53% Polyester / 38% Nylon / 9% ElastaneZippered hand pockets$179

Shop Now >>>