Best Snowboarding Jackets
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. Luckily for you, we will try and take away some of the frustration as we have done the research and listed the top ten snowboarding jackets of 2018, and why they made the top ten list.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research
Great weather resistance
Made from recycled material
- Burton Covert
- DC Command DPM
- GLCR Hydra
- Burton AK 2L Boom
- Burton Vagabond
- Quicksilver Black Alder 2L Gore-Tex
- Dakine Smyth
- Authentic Smarty Form
- Arc'teryx Squamish
- Quicksilver - That’s It
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top Ten Snowboarding Jackets
1. Burton Covert
Great weather resistance
Made from recycled material
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.Read more
Weather Resistance: Made with Dryride fabric, the snow, wind, and slush are kept out and a Removable Magic Stitch waste gaiter keeps snow off your back.
Breathability: Zippered underarm vents let you cool off quickly and the Living Lining enhances breathability for airy comfort.
Warmth: 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.
Value: Burton Covert Jacket is a favorite for it's price for quality. It comes in many different styles so you'll be able to choose your favorite look for an inexpensive price.
2. DC Command DPM
Mesh lined venting
Removable power skirt
Lots of pockets
Must hand wash
The DC Command DPM Jacket brings you a lot of excellent features at a great price, making this a quality jacket for the price. This jacket is one of the most affordable jackets provided on our list, and if you are a beginner to snowboarding, or you are shopping on a budget, it will give you the coverage you need.Read more
Weather Resistance: Designed with a waterproof technical outer shell, the DC Command DPM Jacket brings you plenty of protection from the snow and water each time you venture outdoors to snowboard. This jacket is designed to let water bead off the exterior, so that you stay warm and dry whenever you wear this jacket.
Breathability: The DC Command DPM Jacket is manufactured with mesh-lined vents that help to provide an average ventilation system.
Warmth: Made from 75% nylon and 25% polyester, the interior of this jacket provides great thermal warmth against cold temperature exposure.
Value: For the price, this snowboarding jacket is great for those outdoor enthusiasts looking for a great jacket while shopping on a budget, or for snowboarders just starting out and looking for a decent snowboarding jacket.
3. GLCR Hydra
ThermagraphTM insulation system
Removable adjustable power skirt
Lots of ventilation
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.Read more
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.
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 chinguard with your breath condensation.
Warmth: Made with "Thermograph technology, the jacket's 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.
Value: Priced affordably for the technology offered on the jacket, you’ll get a good, all-around performing jacket if you decide to select this option.
4. Burton AK 2L Boom
Great weather resistance
Great warmth capturing technology
Could be more stylish
If you’re looking for a great all-around jacket that offers the best weather-resistant technology you can buy at an affordable price, then you’ll love the Burton AK 2L Boom Gore-Tex Jacket, which offers a variety of great features for snowboarders shopping on a budget. The Burton AK 2L Boom Gore-Tex Jacket brings you a warm, protective jacket that’s priced extremely well.Read more
Weather Resistance: Manufactured with high-quality Gore-Tex waterproof technology on the exterior of the jacket, this jacket also comes with water-resistant zippers for extra weather protection. You’ll get ample protection from both the wind and rain with this jacket.
Breathability: The Burton AK 2L Boom Gore-Tex Jacket comes designed with a breathable Taffeta lining, which offers plenty of extra ventilation when you are on-the-go. You’ll get decent breathability so that you won’t overhead when you are on-the-go.
Warmth: The Taffeta lining made into the interior of this jacket not only promotes ventilation, but also offers a system that creates average warmth while you are snowboarding in the colder weather.
Value: For its price and the Gore-Tex technology designed into the jacket, the Burton A 2L Boom Gore-Tex Jacket brings you an affordable option that provides several excellent benefits.
5. Burton Vagabond
Waterproof & weather resistant
Helmet compatibale hood
Could be more stylish
Burton Vagabond Jacket offers excellent weather-proofing technology and several top-of the line features that you’ll enjoy having on all of your snowboarding outings. This jacket offers plenty of weather-resistant features, plus good breathability and warmth, all at an affordable price.Read more
Weather Resistance: Designed with high-quality Gore-Tex waterproofing technology on the exterior part of this jacket, this jacket also features fully-taped seams. Plus, this jacket is Bluesign approved for its effective closure system, which helps keep the elements out of the jacket.
Breathability: This jacket is designed to be highly breathable with its taffeta lining and woven panels, and has a great ventilation system that will prevent you from overheating. You’ll get plenty of warmth without feeling uncomfortable.
Warmth: The taffeta lining on the interior of this jacket not only bolsters the ventilation system, but also makes the jacket very warm. You’ll be able to keep your body temperature well-regulated for the duration of your snowboarding outings.
Value: For its price, this jacket brings you a lot of high-level protection features that make its price hard to beat. This jacket isn’t bottom-dollar cheap, but for the quality you get, the price is very affordable.
6. Quicksilver Black Alder 2L Gore-Tex
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.Read more
Weather Resistance: The 2-layer Gore-Tex membrane keeps you dry in wet conditions. There is also a breathable shell and fully taped seems that keep the weather on the outside.
Breathability: Underarm zippered vents release excess heat in a pinch and a breathable shell keeps weather on the outside while making it more comfortable when you're starting to warm up.
Warmth: 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.
Value: A middle-priced jacket, the QuickSilver Black Alder Jacket brings you several features that will enhance your snowboarding experience.
7. Dakine Smyth
Great weather resistance
Longer to give you more body protection
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.Read more
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.
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.
Warmth: Designed out of 100% polyester materials, the interior of this jacket is made to keep warmth in, and it offers plenty of thermal protection.
Value: For its price, this jacket offers some of the best weather-resistant technology available today at a more affordable cost. Plus, the ventilation system is also a nice bonus feature, because you’ll never overheat when you wear this jacket.
8. Authentic Smarty Form
Great weather resistance
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.Read more
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.
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.
Warmth: 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.
Value: The price of the 686 Smart Form Jacket is very affordable, and also brings you many high-quality features you’ll enjoy.
9. Arc'teryx Squamish
Thin material but maintains warmth
Sleeves can be a bit long
The Arc'teryx Squamish not only comes in a variety of colours, but also is lightweight, wind resistant, and has great ventilation to make sure you are not only comfortable but also can cruise down the slopes in ease. The price on this jacket also is great for a snowboarder on a budget.Read more
Weather Resistance: The Arc'teryx Squamish is wind resistant which is a great feature as when you are cruising down the hill, you will find yourself impacted by the wind. This feature allows you to cruise smoothly down the hill, while keeping you protected from the winter elements. Aside from being wind resistant, this jacket is also waterproof and has great ventilation to ensure you maintain heat and expel moisture.
Breathability: The Arc'teryx Squamish allows your moisture to escape, which helps to regulate your temperature, while maintaining the comfortability while wearing the jacket.
Warmth: The Arc'teryx Squamish is a thin jacket, but maintains the warmth greatly.
Value: The Arc'teryx Squamish is a great jacket for the price, and is for the snowboarder that is on a budget but wants a great jacket with tons of styles.
10. Quicksilver - That’s It
Lots of pockets
2-way adjustable hood
Jacket to pant attachment
Must hand wash
Bringing you the opportunity to purchase a great jacket featuring the best Gore-Tex waterproofing technology, you’ll get a high-quality snowboarding jacket that offers a bevy of features. While this jacket runs a bit more expensive than some of the others, it’s very durable, and you’ll get a lot of usage out of it.Read more
Weather Resistance: The exterior shell of Quicksilver’s Snow That’s It Jacket comes lined with superior Gore-Tex waterproofing protection, making it one of the best weather-resistant jackets on our list. The Gore-Tex lining brings you the best wind and water resistant technology you’ll find on the market today.
Breathability: Although the Quicksilver Snow That’s It Jacket is designed with great weather-proofing technology, it’s still manufactured to provide a great ventilation system, and is one of the most breathable jackets on our list.
Warmth: Designed with 100% nylon, this jacket’s insulation provides plenty of warmth, although it isn’t as warm as some other products on our list.
Value: Quicksilver’s Snow That’s It Jacket comes at a more expensive price, but is also made to be very durable and long-lasting. So, if you do purchase it, you’ll know it may save you many in the long run, because it will last for many seasons.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
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.
Other Factors to Consider
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Snowboarding for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know About Snowboarding Gear, Informational Snowboarding Website, Sep 01, 2015 ,
- How to Choose the Right Snowboard Jacket, Informational Snowboarding Website, Apr 27, 2014 ,
- A Buyers' Guide to Snowboard Jackets, Informational Snowboarding Website, Oct 11, 2016 ,