Nice Ski Jacket, but $1,600? We're Schuss Sayin'

Moncler, a luxury ski-jacket company with 100 stores, ended its first day of trading Monday with a market value of $5.1 billion . Its 47 percent rise was the best first day of trading this year among European initial public offerings of more than $1 billion.

If you missed out on the IPO, don't worry -- you can still invest $1,600 in a jacket.

Now, should you? Loot looked at the rest of the ski-jacket market, using Moncler's Grenoble Orohena as a basis of comparison. The Orohena has a waterproof exterior and down insulation. It is trim, waist-length and, at $1,560, priced in the middle tier of Moncler's apparel. The alternatives are also waterproof and insulated with down:

  • Arc'teryx's Keibo jacket retails for $750, or a little less than half of the Orohena. It can't beat the Moncler in stylish bells and whistles, though -- the Orohena is snappier, in both senses.
  • If flair is a consideration, Marmot's Mountain Down jacket boasts a range of two-tone color options. The biggest selling point is its price: $375, or half the price of the Arc'teryx jacket and less than a quarter of the price of the Moncler.
  • Patagonia's Primo Down jacket , at $649, is meant "to keep you stoked in the harshest elements." Like the Arc'teryx, it lacks some of the Moncler jacket's style.

That's what you're paying for when you buy Moncler. All of these jackets will do just fine on the slopes of Chamonix , but when it comes to apres-ski (and avant-ski, for that matter), Moncler is in a league of its own. Whether that league is worth $1,600, or $5 billion, is another matter. We guess if consumers keep answering the first question yes, investors will follow in their tracks.

James Tarmy writes the Loot blog for's Good Life channel.

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