Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Victoria Australia
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Best thing is layers.
Pull Over (Interchangeable)
Buy GORE-TEX Shell's. Check out Oakley or The North Face. I'm not a fan of the 'Ski' brands like Spyder or Karbon, but they also sell respectable products. I just think they're living off their reputations with regards to pricing considering 99.99% of their product is made in China. Arc'teryx is much the same, but I like it more since its name is weird.
BUT, for peace of mind and flexibility, get the shells. Then buy a good base layer, then layer on with a Moncler/Canada Goose puffer - they can condense into something mean and tiny so they fit in a jacket pocket if you're too warm with it. If you're stuck in a blizzard you could always layer a fleece pull over, but I think you'll roast - for me its either fleece pull over on top of underarmour/drifit from Nike, or its the base layer + a puffer.
All up it stacks the $$, but IMO its better if you frequently move around as you're gear can be kitted up/down according to location, season and temp. Plus, the puffer you can wear normally anyway - full blown insulated snow gear is really a single purpose item only.
Other brands sell puffers like TNF, HH, etc. I prefer moncler or Canada Goose for a few reasons, mainly personal.
Good luck! (I'll be in Japan in Feb! Should be awesome)