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Best Snowboarding Jackets

last updated Aug 08, 2019

When you are ready to hit the slopes and shred on your snowboard, an important accessory you should not leave home without is the snowboarding jacket. This piece of clothing will not only keep you warm, but also provide you with the breathability, and style while ripping down the slopes. With all the selection on the market, it’s hard to find the perfect jacket to fit your needs and sense of style. The things to keep in mind when looking for a snowboarding jacket is weather protection and ability to maintain warmth, as most likely you will be spending quite a lot of time outdoors.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research

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Patagonia Snowbelle
95.8/100 our score
Weather Resistance
97
Insulation
95
Breathability
96
Overall Fit
95
Patagonia Snowbelle
Why is it better?

Built-in Rocco reflectors

Chest pocket with cable routing

Lifetime manufacturer's warranty

Fully wind and waterproof

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Patagonia Snowbelle
Test Winner: Patagonia Snowbelle
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
18
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
16k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
15
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Sami Kritz
By Sami Kritz:

Hey girls! You didn't think we forgot about you, did you? In this update, we have added five new top-rated women's snowboarding jackets! We have also updated the criteria section and each product review so that we can focus on what's really important. Check out the expert tips and FAQ section to learn more!

Sorting Options
Weather Resistance Insulation Breathability Overall Fit By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Weather Resistance
97 %
Insulation
95 %
Breathability
96 %
Overall Fit
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$164.96
See Deal
Amazon Link
$249.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Weather Resistance
95 %
Insulation
95 %
Breathability
95 %
Overall Fit
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$139.96
Backcountry Link
$199.95
See Deal
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Weather Resistance
94 %
Insulation
95 %
Breathability
93 %
Overall Fit
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$129.97
See Deal
Amazon Link
$260.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Weather Resistance
91 %
Insulation
91 %
Breathability
90 %
Overall Fit
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
Weather Resistance
89 %
Insulation
89 %
Breathability
92 %
Overall Fit
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$119.97
See Deal
Amazon Link
$139.96
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.5
Weather Resistance
90 %
Insulation
86 %
Breathability
93 %
Overall Fit
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Backcountry Link
$179.98
See Deal
Amazon Link
$199.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
Weather Resistance
90 %
Insulation
85 %
Breathability
94 %
Overall Fit
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$224.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Weather Resistance
90 %
Insulation
86 %
Breathability
88 %
Overall Fit
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$149.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Weather Resistance
88 %
Insulation
84 %
Breathability
91 %
Overall Fit
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.3
Weather Resistance
86 %
Insulation
82 %
Breathability
83 %
Overall Fit
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (18.08.19)
Amazon Link
$219.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Patagonia Snowbelle Patagonia Snowbelle
  • Burton Covert Burton Covert
  •  686 GLCR Hydra 686 GLCR Hydra
  • The North Face Gatekeeper The North Face Gatekeeper
  • Burton Jet Set Burton Jet Set
  • Quicksilver Black Alder 2L Gore-Tex Quicksilver Black Alder 2L Gore-Tex
  • Dakine Smyth Dakine Smyth
  •  686 Authentic Smarty Form 686 Authentic Smarty Form
  • Outdoor Research Igneo Outdoor Research Igneo
  • Roxy Essence 2L Gore-Tex Roxy Essence 2L Gore-Tex
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Expert Interviews & Opinions
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top Ten Snowboarding Jackets

1. Patagonia Snowbelle

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Patagonia Snowbelle
Amazon Link
Weather Resistance
97
Insulation
95
Breathability
96
Overall Fit
95
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Built-in Rocco reflectors

Chest pocket with cable routing

Lifetime manufacturer's warranty

Fully wind and waterproof

Cons:

Hood is not removable

On or off the mountain, the Patagonia Snowbelle will be your go-to jacket. The articulated sleeves provide great mobility and the Thermogreen synthetic insulation will keep you warm. It's a stylish jacket that is available in many different colors and print. Venture out with confidence, knowing that this jacket features multiple layers of technology that make it both wind and waterproof.

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Weather Resistance
Each layer of this jacket is wind and waterproof. The lining is made from polyester and is finished with a DWR treatment. The shell of the jacket is double layered with H2No technology. Whether you are skiing, caught in a downpour or a blizzard, or making snow angels, the Snowbelle will keep you dry.

Insulation
Even though this jacket is fully waterproof, Patagonia still opted for synthetic insulation. The synthetic insulation will maintain its warmth, even in the event that it gets wet. The Thermogreen insulation provides 80g of insulation for the body of the jacket and 40g in the sleeves. The jacket is spacious enough to add in a couple of layers underneath if you’ll be in frigid temperatures. To keep your hands warm, there are two handwarmer pockets.

Breathability
Aside from keeping you comfortable and warm, the polyester lining wicks moisture away from your body. To keep you even more comfortable and allow you to control your internal temperature, there are pit zips.

Overall Fit
Generally, this jacket runs true to size. There have only been a handful of comments about it running slightly small. It is available in sizes XXS to XL and weighs 31.1-ounces. The articulated sleeves allow for great mobility. Additionally, there are microfleece panels at the neck and chin, to avoid any rubbing or chaffing. There is also a built-in powder skirt that is compatible with any Patagonia snow pants.

2. Burton Covert

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Burton Covert
Amazon Link
Weather Resistance
95
Insulation
95
Breathability
95
Overall Fit
96
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Great weather resistance 

Made from recycled material

Thermolite insulation

Cons:

Could be more stylish

If you want to save money while buying a snowboarding jacket but still want something with a bevy of high-quality features, then the Burton Covert Jacket just might be the right option for you. While the Burton Covert Snowboarding Jacket is less expensive than some other top-brand competitors we’ve provided on our list, it will last quite a while and is made to be very durable.

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Weather Resistance
Made with Dryride fabric, the snow, wind, and slush are kept out and a Removable Magic Stitch waist gaiter keeps snow off your back.

Insulation
The Thermolite insulation is made with 40% recycled materials and is a little thicker around the torso where more warmth is needed. The arms and hood can still withstand cold temperatures, but allow you the freedom of movement you need out on the mountain.

Breathability
Zippered underarm vents let you cool off quickly and the Living Lining enhances breathability for airy comfort.

Overall Fit
The Covert jacket offers a versatile style that could easily be used around town or on the slopes. It is available in a multitude of different colors and sizes XS to XL. The excess amount of pockets are great for storing your lift pass, chapstick, and other necessities.

3. 686 GLCR Hydra

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
 686 GLCR Hydra
Amazon Link
Weather Resistance
94
Insulation
95
Breathability
93
Overall Fit
91
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$260.00
Backcountry Link
$129.97
See Deal
Pros:

ThermagraphTM insulation system

Removable adjustable power skirt

Lots of ventilation

Cons:

Expensive 

The 686 GCLR Hydra offers a lot of features that will keep you warm on the coldest snowboarding outings. With its affordable pricing and high-quality design, you’ll get more bang for your buck with this jacket.

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Weather Resistance
Made with a hardy exterior shell that features some of the best weather-proofing technology. The "Infinidry-20" material which boasts the highest specs of 686's own fabric. It is waterproof rated up to 20,000mm.

Insulation
Made with Thermograph technology, the jacket's synthetic insulation targets the torso, keeping your most important parts warm. The panels not only keep you warm but also contain antimicrobial properties that prevent the build-up of stinky bacteria. The rest of the jacket allows the warm, moist air to filter out, leaving the ideal temperature regulation.

Breathability
The asymmetrical main zip allows a specially designed vent to sit right over your mouth. When the weather gets hectic, you'll be able to bury your face in your jacket without golfing up your goggles or soaking the chin guard with your breath condensation. Additionally, the zip-up mesh air vents in the armpits will help you to control your body temperature.

Overall Fit
For a snowboarding jacket, the GLCR Hydra isn’t very bulky. It tends to run true to size and is available in sizes XS to XL. It features welded cuffs to help keep in all your body heat. There are also thumb loops to keep the sleeves of the jacket in place. The included powder skirt is removable and outfitted with PJ connect system. This system allows you to attach any 686 snowboarding pant with no gaps.

4. The North Face Gatekeeper

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
The North Face Gatekeeper
Amazon Link
Weather Resistance
91
Insulation
91
Breathability
90
Overall Fit
90
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Great color choices

Not too bulky

Plenty of pockets

Versatile style

Cons:

The outside of the jacket isn't very soft

The Gatekeeper is a stylish jacket that fits in on and off the slopes. The body of the jacket features 100g of synthetic PrimaLoft Black insulation. While the jacket is waterproof, if the insulation somehow gets wet, it won't lose its warmth. Another great feature of this jacket is its abundance of pockets.

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Weather Resistance
As you would expect from a snowboarding jacket, the Gatekeepers offer great wind and water protection. The jacket is made from DryVent two-layer polyester that will not only keep you warm but will also wick away any moisture build-up.

Insulation
The warmth of this jacket is provided by PrimaLoft Black synthetic insulation. The body of the jackets boasts 100g of insulation, while the hood and sleeves have 80g. PrimaLoft insulation mimics the properties of down insulation but maintains its heat when wet. The millions of air pockets trap and maintain your body heat. Additionally, there are wrist gaiters that help to seal in warmth.

Breathability
Aside from the polyester material naturally wicking moisture away from your body, there are additional breathability features. In the armpit area, there are vents that allow you to easily expel excess heat.

Overall Fit
Customer reviews tell us that this jacket tends to fit true to size. It is available in sizes XS to XXL and weighs 1.15-pounds. The hood is removable and helmet-compatible. The powder skirt can be snapped away. As added bonuses, there are zip wrist pockets for small essentials, and a google wipes as well.

5. Burton Jet Set

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.3
Burton Jet Set
Amazon Link
Weather Resistance
89
Insulation
89
Breathability
92
Overall Fit
91
best offer for today
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Pros:

Great pockets (including a pass pocket)

Headphone cable port

Many different colors and styles

Stylish

Cons:

The colors in the photos can be deceiving

Could be a bit longer

Our next addition is actually Burton's best selling women's jacket. The Jet Set is an extremely versatile and stylish jacket. No one would guess that your favorite winter jacket could double as a snowboarding jacket so efficiently.

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Weather Resistance
Don’t let the great style of this jacket fool you, it means business. It is made from wind and waterproof DryRide 2L fabrics. Whether you falling in the snow or get caught in a storm, you’ll be protected in the Jet Set jacket. Additionally, the seams are critically taped to prevent any water or wind from sneaking in.

Insulation
With 80g of insulation all over, this jacket will keep you comfortably warm. The synthetic ThermoLite insulation is made with 40% recycled material. Synthetic insulation is great for snow gear because even if the insulation gets wet, it doesn’t lose its warmth. As an added bonus, the hand pockets are lined with microfleece.

Breathability
The Jet Set jacket offers a unique feature that aids in the overall breathability. It’s the Taffeta Living Lining. The lining conforms to your warmth and the exterior temperature and adjusts accordingly. If you are warm, the breathable pores open larger to keep you from overheating. Alternatively, when you are cold, the pores shrink up to help trap in body heat. If this isn’t enough, there are mesh-lined zippered armpit vents as well.

Overall Fit
What makes this jacket so versatile is its slim fit. You can wear it with style in the streets or on the slopes. It is available in sizes XXS to XXL. To dial in the fit, there is also a removable waist gaiter, a hidden hem cinch, and an adjustable and helmet-compatible hood. The plush collar also adds to the overall style and comfort.

6. Quicksilver Black Alder 2L Gore-Tex

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.5
Quicksilver Black Alder 2L Gore-Tex
Amazon Link
Weather Resistance
90
Insulation
86
Breathability
93
Overall Fit
89
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$199.99
Backcountry Link
$179.98
See Deal
Pros:

Waterproof

Shell insulation 

Gore-tex 

Cons:

Must hand wash

Quicksilver Black Alder Jacket comes with an affordable price tag if you’re shopping on a budget, and also features a bevy of pockets you can easily use to organize. If you like having space to bring along your necessities, you’ll enjoy the extra pocket space provided by this jacket.

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Weather Resistance
The 2-layer Gore-Tex membrane keeps you dry in wet conditions. There is also a breathable shell and fully taped seams that keep the weather on the outside.

Insulation
Quicksilver Black Alder comes with an engineered jacquard mesh lining made from recycled lightweight taffeta and brushed tricot. This makes it ultra-lightweight and breathable for all seasons. This is a good choice for riders who like to add or subtract layers to regulate temperature.

Breathability
Underarm zippered vents release excess heat in a pinch and a breathable shell keeps the weather on the outside while making it more comfortable when you're starting to warm up.

Overall Fit
The Black Adler has a modern fit that offers a stylish but slim look. There isn't a lot of extra room underneath for layers. There is a jacket to pant attachment system, a removable powder skirt, and lycra wrist gaiters with a thumbhole. It is available in sizes XS to XXL.

7. Dakine Smyth

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
Dakine Smyth
Amazon Link
Weather Resistance
90
Insulation
85
Breathability
94
Overall Fit
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$224.99
Pros:

Great weather resistance

Great breathability

Longer to give you more body protection 

Cons:

Could be more stylish

For snowboarders wanting the weather-proofing protection of Gore-Tex at a more affordable price, the Dakine Smythe Gore-Tex Jacket just might offer the options that fit your snowboarding needs. Dakine Smythe’s Gore-Tex Jacket offers several high-quality features that are designed for warmth.

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Weather Resistance
Made with an exterior shell that is lined with Gore-Tex technology, this jacket brings you the best weather-proofing technology on the market today, and also comes with water-resistant zippers.

Insulation
Designed out of 100% polyester materials, the interior of this jacket is made to keep warmth in, and it offers plenty of thermal protection.

Breathability
Dakine Smythe’s Gore-Tex Jacket comes with a good ventilation system, featuring openings under the arms that zip open and close, so you can ventilate as needed. Also, this jacket offers a ventilation system as a neck for an extra breathability boost.

Overall Fit
The Smyth is offered in sizes Small to XXL. It has a standard fit that has proven to be quite comfortable. It is especially great for tall people, due to its length and long sleeves.

8. 686 Authentic Smarty Form

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
 686 Authentic Smarty Form
Amazon Link
Weather Resistance
90
Insulation
86
Breathability
88
Overall Fit
91
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$149.95
Pros:

Great weather resistance 

Great breathability 

Waterproof

Cons:

Could be more stylish

Another affordable choice in snowboarding jackets, the 686 GLCR Vector Jacket brings you plenty of bang for your buck, with a variety of features you’ll enjoy each time you snowboard. The 686 Authentic Smarty Form Jacket is another good option for those new to snowboarding, or those needing a decent snowboarding jacket that doesn’t burn a hole in their wallets.

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Weather Resistance
Made with a 100% nylon coated exterior shell that features Microporous Waterproof technology, this jacket can easily repel moisture while you’re out in the snow. You’ll stay warm and dry each time you wear this jacket.

Insulation
The lining designed into the interior of this jacket is made from 100% polyester and nylon materials, making it very thermal in nature, although it isn’t quite as warm as some more expensive options on our list.

Breathability
The 686 Smarty Form Jacket is designed with a good ventilation system that includes Air-Flo’s mesh-lined underarm vents. You’ll never feel like you’re going to overheat in this jacket, even while you are on-the-go.

Overall Fit
Even though there is some stretchiness built into this jacket, it has been agreed that the jacket runs a size large. Reviewers have been pleased with the overall fit after ordering a size smaller than usual.

9. Outdoor Research Igneo

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.3
Outdoor Research Igneo
Amazon Link
Weather Resistance
88
Insulation
84
Breathability
91
Overall Fit
90
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Plenty of pockets

Integrated Rocco Reflectors

Lifetime warranty

In-pocket goggle wipe

Cons:

Sleeves can be a bit long

Insulation could be improved

The Igneo is yet another wonderfully weather-resistant snowboarding jacket that is available in many different colors and designs. It is slightly less warm than some of our other options, but the relaxed fit leaves room for layering.

Read more

Weather Resistance
As you have come to expect, the Igneo is wind and waterproof. The two-layer Pertex shield provides a strong barrier between you and the elements. To further ensure the weather resistance of this jacket, the seams are fully taped.

Insulation
This jacket provides a bit less insulation than we have seen on this list. The TherMore Classic Compact synthetic insulation provides you with 60g of insulation on the front of the body and tops of the sleeves. On the back of the body, there is 40g of insulation. While it does provide decent warmth, you may need a couple of layers underneath.

Breathability
For adjustable breathability, there are long zippered pit zips. If you feel like your little microclimate inside the jacket is getting too warm, you can simply unzip the armpit zipper and enjoy instant relief.

Overall Fit
The Igneo has a relaxed fit. As mentioned, the insulation isn’t quite as warm, so the fit of this jacket allows for extra layering. However, if you prefer a slimmer fit, you may want to consider sizing down. It has also been mentioned by many reviewers that the sleeves run long. The articulated elbows provide a full range of motion. A few extras include a removable, adjustable, and helmet-compatible hood, a double separating front zipper with a storm flap, thumb drive loops, and a removable powder skirt. The jacket is available in sizes XXS to XL and weighs about 29.7-ounces.

10. Roxy Essence 2L Gore-Tex

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.3
Roxy Essence 2L Gore-Tex
Amazon Link
Weather Resistance
86
Insulation
82
Breathability
83
Overall Fit
86
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$219.99
Pros:

Lots of pockets 

3-way adjustable hood

Jacket to pant attachment 

Built-in neck warmer

Cons:

Must hand wash

Insulation could be increased

Last but not least, comes Roxy Essence. This one has decent insulation to provide you warm while cruising downhill. Plenty of airflow throughout the jacket to prevent you from sweating while out in the cold. Not to mention you will love the way this one was created to fit your body.

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Weather Resistance
Remember our old friend, Gore-Tex? Gore-Tex is one of the most dependable, durable, and weather-resistant fabrics. This jacket from Roxy has not one, but two layers of Gore-Tex, making this jacket extremely wind and waterproof. Whether you are snowboarding, in a snowball fight, or caught in a hail storm, this jacket will keep you dry.

Insulation
PrimaLoft Black synthetic insulation brings us 60g of warmth. It is a decent amount of insulation, but you may require an insulation layer underneath. The liner of the jacket is made from Taffeta with Tricot panels. To keep your skin happy and your neck warm, there is also a Roxy x Biotherm neck warmer built-in.

Breathability
Like most snowboarding jackets, there are mesh-lined zippered underarm vents. If you feel like you are starting to overheat, simply unzip the vents and enjoy the rush of chilled air to cool you down.

Overall Fit
The Essence jacket provides a tailored fit. It is fitted, without being tight, but still shows a feminine shape. The hood is adjustable three-ways and helmet-compatible. There is a snap-away powder skirt, a jacket to pant attachment system, and lycra wrist gaiters with thumbholes. The jacket is available in sizes XS to XL.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Weather Resistance

Since you don’t want to wind up with any rain or snow getting into the interior area of your jacket or clothes, waterproofing becomes a very important factor to look into when purchasing a snowboarding jacket. If you wind up getting wet and cold, you’ll probably wind up cutting your snowboarding adventure short and feel extremely disappointed.

Most snowboarding jackets that are modern in design are constructed with fabrics that include some kind of water-resistant technology in them. However, how effective that water-resistance really is can vary depending on manufacturer and jacket style. So, while almost all snowboarding jackets have some form of weather protection built into them, not all of these jackets will perform the same when you encounter nasty weather elements, and some types of technology will protect you better than other types.

However, purchasing a snowboarding jacket that has just the right amount of weather resistance for you can also save you money, so if you don’t need a heavy amount of protection, you can save a bit of money if you are shopping on a budget. So, you’ll need to consider the amount of protection you really need before you make your purchase.

First, the way a jacket is designed can tell you a lot about the type of weather protection you are likely to get when you purchase it. Some jackets come with higher collars to help protect your neck and hoods that cinch easily around your neck to better protect your head. You want to make sure you get a jacket that can easily protect your head and neck area with both the collar and hood design features.

Another design feature to consider is the sleeve length on the jacket since you’ll want something that will work well with your gloves and stay over them so that your hands and arms remain protected from the snow. Also, many snowboarding jackets feature designs around the waist either with a powder skirt or a longer length that help keep snow out of your pants, keeping your lower body area protected from the snow.

Some are also designed with waterproof zipper features, which can help prevent snow from seeping through the zipper areas on the jacket. Also, pockets on your snowboarding jacket should also be designed to keep snow out, either with waterproof zippers or with a flap to protect the pocket area.

The best waterproofing technology available for purchase today in a jacket is Gore-Tex, which is very breathable and also helps to keep water out of the interior area of your jacket. However, Gore-Tex typically isn’t an affordable option, although we’ve listed some more affordable types of Gore-Tex jackets on our list, they still typically cost more than other types of jackets.

Gore-Tex jackets always come fully seam-sealed, since this is a standard requirement manufactures must follow when using Gore-Tex technology. However, if you don’t have the money to spend on Gore-Tex technology, you can still get a lot of weather protection using some of the guidelines we provided above—checking out the seams on the jacket, and also checking out the waterproof ratings on the jacket.

Insulation

Insulation materials designed into the snowboarding jacket will help dictate the level of warmth you can expect out of your jacket. There are different types of insulation used by brands that make snowboarding jackets, and there are a few things to remember about these types of materials.

First, jackets that use similar insulation materials will be more effective if there is more of that type of insulative material in it because it will boost your warmth. However, not all brands use the same types of materials in their jackets, and the type of materials used can also affect how warm your jacket will make you feel.

One common type of insulation found in snowboarding jackets is goose down. Goose down is a more expensive insulator, because it helps make the jacket lightweight while still providing excellent warmth, is made to be durable and long-lasting, but it can also be problematic when it gets wet. Wet goose down loses its ability to insulate well. However, some manufacturers add waterproofing materials into their goose down insulation to prevent this from happening.

Another type of insulation you’ll find in jackets is synthetic insulation, made from polymers. This type of insulation is more affordable but isn’t as lightweight than goose down insulation, and it also is not as durable and long-lasting. However, synthetic insulation will still keep you very warm even if it gets wet, unlike goose down insulation.

The type of insulation you decide to select will depend on your budget as well as the weather conditions you’re likely to encounter. If you’re worried about goose down insulation getting wet, then you’ll probably prefer synthetic insulation.

Breathability

Since snowboarding will keep you very active, you’ll wind up perspiring while you’re on-the-go. Even if the weather is very cold outside, you’re likely to sweat because you’re moving so much, and your heart rate will be active throughout your snowboarding adventure.

A breathable jacket comes designed with a good ventilation system that will allow the water vapor from the interior of your jacket to escape while you are active and sweating so that you don’t overheat or get wet with moisture from your own perspiration. If you have a jacket that doesn’t offer great ventilation and you sweat often, you’ll get wet with moisture, and the jacket can also create an odor build-up.

Many manufacturers list breathability numbers in their product descriptions, usually measured in grams. The breathability ratings usually vary from about 3,000g to 20,000g. So, if you’re shopping on a budget, how much breathability do you really need?

Most snowboarders are just found with jackets that have a breathability rating of around 8,000g or more. 20,000g sounds great, but will cost you more, and might not really benefit you unless you sweat far more than the average person when you are snowboarding.

Overall Fit

The way you want your snowboarding jacket to fit will depend a lot on your personal preference, but it’s an important factor to consider since it will dictate how comfortable your jacket will feel to you each time you put it on. While many of us like to purchase jackets and other clothing items online, it’s almost always a better idea to go into an actual store to try your snowboarding jacket on so that you can ensure it’s a great fit for you. Trying to determine how well the jacket will fit you when shopping online can be very difficult to measure.

When purchasing your snowboarding jacket, you want to ensure you have the range of motion and flexibility you need so that you can perform well while wearing your jacket. You also don’t want a jacket that’s too bulky or too small, because either problem can slow you down and restrict your ability to perform well when you snowboard.

Also, take a look at some of the other parts of the jacket to make sure they won’t chafe your skin, and ensure that the interior lining of the jacket feels comfortable to you. You don’t want a jacket that might rub your skin raw as you move, because it will be very uncomfortable to wear.

Also, check out the hood of the jacket to make sure it adjusts to fit your head properly, so it will keep the snow out. Ensure that the cuffs on the jacket work well with your gloves so that you won’t have a problem with snow getting in through the wrist area of your jacket. Also, make sure the materials in the jacket give you the weather protection and breathability you need.

After you’ve selected some of the brands and styles of snowboarding jackets you might want to try on, go to the store and try out their fits. That way, you’ll be able to judge the comfort level personally, and you’ll be able to select a snowboarding jacket that performs well and fits great, keeping you comfortable each time you snowboard.

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Style

When looking to invest in a snowboarding jacket, make sure to take the time to find the perfect jacket that will not only keep you protected this winter season but will also let you be stylish while you shred some snow. If you think you have found a jacket that you are interested in, try and go into a store and try it on to ensure it fits and looks good on you. If you have a great jacket, you will have a great time while snowboarding this winter season.

Seams

Most feature one of two-seam styles—and manufacturers will list these styles as either “fully seam-sealed” or “critically taped.” So, what’s the difference? A fully seam-sealed jacket means just what it sounds—the seams are totally sealed so no water or snow can creep into the interior of the jacket. Critically taped seams mean that only some seam areas in the jacket are sealed—that creates less waterproofing protection and signals that water can still get into some of the seams of the jacket. As a result, it’s almost always better to purchase a snowboarding jacket that’s fully seam-sealed, especially if you don’t want to wind up dealing with cold, wet rain or snow on the inside or your jacket.

Other Factors to Consider

Water Resistance

When you are shopping around for a snowboarding jacket and reading the manufacturer descriptions, you’ll also notice that some brands use a waterproof rating number to describe just how water-resistant their jackets really are. You’ll see this rating listed in millimeters from about 5,000mm to 20,000mm. Basically, the number of millimeters listed in the waterproof rating is listed to tell you the amount of rain a jacket can absorb over a one-day period.

However, these waterproof rating numbers are not always accurate, nor do they always tell you how much water a jacket can really handle in a day period. If you’ve ever purchased a jacket with a 5,000mm rating, then you’ll know just what we mean. Even a jacket that has a 5,000mm waterproof rating number can still let water in since more intense levels of rain and snow can still get through the exterior shell of this type of jacket. On the other hand, even when the snow and rain are pouring, it’s unlikely that water will get through a jacket with a 20,000mm waterproof rating.

So, what’s an effective waterproof rating if you’re trying to save a bit of money and don’t have the money to spend on a 20,000mm waterproof rated jacket? Most people who snowboard can get away with a 10,000mm waterproof rated jacket that’s fully seam-sealed unless the rain or snow becomes excessive.

If you are worried about water possible seeping through a 10,000 mm jacket, you can still save a bit of money by purchasing a 15,000 mm waterproof rated jacket that’s fully seam-sealed, if you want to make sure you never experience any cold rain or snow wetness on the interior of your jacket. However, unless you’ll be out when the rain and snow are very heavy, you will probably be fine with a 10,000mm fully seam-sealed snowboarding jacket.

Another popular waterproofing technology you’ll see used on some snowboarding jackets is DWR (Durable Water Repellant) Coatings. DWR coatings are usually designed over the exterior jacket shell to repel water, and while they do help, they don’t typically last and do wear off with wear and washings. However, some of this does depend on how well you maintain your jacket since you can use chemical treatments and washes with your jacket to help extend the life of your DWR coating.

How long a DWR coating will last depends a lot on the durability of the jacket overall. It does work well for a while, and it helps to keep water out while venting out your perspiration, creating a decent amount of breathability so that you don’t overheat. Also, the DWR repellant will make sure the jacket doesn’t get fully wet, because if your jacket becomes overly wet, it won’t be able to breathe and let water vapor from your perspiration to escape from the interior of the jacket.

Like Gore-Tex technology, most DWR jackets are breathable, although Gore-Tex ventilation systems typically do work better. However, if you’re shopping on a budget, you’ll still get what you need if you wind up purchasing a jacket with a DWR coating. While the jacket won’t be as durable as a jacket with Gore-Tex technology, it will still perform well.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Do I need a snowboarding jacket with a powder skirt?

a:

Powder skirts on snowboarding jackets are designed to help keep the snow out of the waist area of your jacket, so if you fall or slide, you won’t get snow inside the interior of your jacket or pants. Powder skirts won’t always keep out every ounce of snow you might encounter, but they do help to repel snow and keep it out of the interior of your outfit. If you want to make sure you probably won’t get snow in uncomfortable areas as you snowboard, then getting a jacket with a powder skirt is an effective idea.

q: What are RECCO reflectors on snowboarding jackets?

a:

Some snowboarding jackets come with a technology known as RECCO designed into them. A RECCO reflector is a small location device planted into the jacket that can help search and rescue teams find you if you get trapped out in the snow. RECCO reflectors do tend to make jackets cost more, but they also provide an effective safety boost.

q: Do I need to consider storm flaps on my snowboarding jacket?

a:

Storm flaps cover the exterior front zipper area of your snowboarding jacket, and they can be closed off to help keep snow or rain out of the zipper area. Depending on how hostile the weather conditions are when you snowboard, a storm flap can help you stay warm and dry every time you venture outdoors to snowboard.

q: What do I need to know about hoods before I purchase my snowboarding jacket?

a:

Different snowboarding jackets offer a different variety of hood styles. Some snowboarding jackets will use cinching cords or Velcro so that you can adjust the hood over your head and neck, cinch it up, and keep the snow out. Some hoods can also be removed from jackets when you don’t need to use them. Since you’ll lose a lot of heat through your head area when you are out in the cold, you do want to consider a snowboarding jacket that has a hood you can at least adjust to fit your head and help keep the snow away from that part of your body.

q: How do gaiters work on snowboarding jackets?

a:

Gaiters on snowboarding jackets are typically found on the inside of the cuff area and help hold that cuff where it needs to be so that snow stays out of the jacket. Sometimes, gaiters can stretch to adjust, and other times, gaiters will come with thumbholes.

q: How many pockets do I really need on my snowboarding jacket?

a:

The pocket number on any snowboarding jacket is really a matter of personal preference, but if you want to be able to stay organized and take items along with you, then you will want some pockets on your jacket. Make sure that the pockets on the jacket have flaps or waterproof zippers on them so that the items you take along with you stay warm and dry when you are on the mountain.

Sources

  1. Nina Zietman, Snowboarding for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know About Snowboarding Gear, Informational Snowboarding Website
  2. Ebay, How to Choose the Right Snowboard Jacket, Informational Snowboarding Website
  3. Nick Carr-Jones, A Buyers' Guide to Snowboard Jackets, Informational Snowboarding Website
  4. BRITTANY ARTWOHL, Top 13 Women’s Snow Jackets 2019, Buying Guide
  5. Nate, Top 20 Women’s Snowboarding Jackets, Snowboarding Blog