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Snowboard Jacket Buyers Guide

Snowboard jackets are gaining remarkable popularity recently. If you're looking to buy one, then there are countless factors that you might have to look over. However, most of the people will tell you some baseline or average factors to consider.

If you're looking for a snowboard jacket that specifically meets your requirements, then you need a full-fledged guide. Without getting into the complexities of numbers and technical explanations, this guide keeps it simple.

Here you will find the answers to all the questions to determine the perfect snowboard jacket for you. Furthermore, you may even find a multi-purpose of a multi-seasons snowboarding jacket. That's right! This isn't just a guide to get you the best snowboard jackets.

Significantly, this is a guide to break everything down and help you get a snowboarding jacket under your budget. Are you wondering if these jackets are for you? Is it really worth getting one? Then read ahead!

What is a snowboard jacket? Benefits of wearing one?

The excellence of technology has made it possible for us to have activity-specific clothing. Similarly, you can find snowboard jackets in the market. These are more tightly woven with materials like nylon to provide added durability.

Hence, you can find countless options among this specific type of jacket. From insulation to type of ventilation, there's a lot you can do with a snowboarding jacket. These brilliant masterpieces provide you adequate protection against snow and prevent you from getting wet.

If you need extra warmth in frigid temperatures, it will provide you that as well. As snowboarding is an enthralling activity that requires you to move freely for balance and other actions, these jackets could prove to be an asset.

More importantly, while regular jackets could be restrictive for you to move, snowboarding jackets are fantastic in breathability and flexibility. Overall, all of these features and many others make snowboarding jackets a better choice than any other jacket.

Reasons to buy a snowboard jacket.

Now that you understand the utility of a jacket, you might still wonder if you should really get one. Here are some of the most compelling reasons that you'll find to buy a snowboarding jacket. From performance orientation to year-round performance, let's start with the best reason of all:

No more discomfort

Imagine going snowboarding in your regular clothing and jacket. You may end up falling, or the snow from trees may end up falling on your neck. As there isn't apt protection against snow, you will feel the freezing ice. What's worse? It could melt and soak you. That leads to uncomfortable temperature maintenance. More importantly, you may fall sick.

Forget about any warmth and protection if it gets stormy. That's where snowboard jackets come into play. With their proper protective measures, you will stay warm without the snow or other external elements' interface.

Perform to the peak

For any competitive snowboarder, these jackets are a must-have. There is a range of fitting available with countless features that you can choose according to your convenience. Ergo, it can help you enhance your performance. For example, getting slim fit jackets for better aerodynamics.

More importantly, you don't have to worry about damaging your clothes or a jacket. The troubles of hitting snow or falling won't bother you much. You'll know that the snowboard jacket will take care of all of these features. Thus, you will be able to focus on performance.

Blend in style

Snowboarding jackets have become a norm, and almost everyone wears them. These have become sort of an 'essential' while you go on a snowboarding or other snow-related activity. If you don't have to be an odd one out, then you certainly should have one snowboard jacket at the least.

More importantly, there are many stylish jackets available in the market to tweak up your style. Nobody likes a person who shows off by not conforming to proper and responsible protection. If you want to blend in and have an excellent time, snowboard jackets have become a must-have.

Cost-effective investment

One thing that you can't deny is just how durable these jackets are! These can survive your everyday wear and tear. A single jacket can last you for multiple seasons or even years to come. Unless it's design goes out of style, it is a very cost-efficient investment.

If you're tired of investing in jackets every season, or every couple of years, then you can buy snowboarding jackets for the assurance of years to come.

Great for regular wear

If you decide on it, you can even wear these jackets for regular strolling. That's right! Snowboarding jackets are so versatile. They are available in various designs and fitting nowadays to replace other regular jackets with snowboarding jackets.

Hence, you can wear them if you live in an area with a freezing climate. With their sleek style, they are perfect for fashion trends.

Easy maintenance

If you're worried about their cleaning and maintenance, then it is a breeze. You can follow the instructions provided with the jackets on how to wash them. Most of them don't require much care or diligence in washing.

You can shove them in the machine, wash them in cold or warm water with soap or detergent. The most it might need if it has down insulation is to get fabric softener. These are robust. The artificial material makes it easier to clean.

Factors to consider when buying a snowboard jacket

A snowboard jacket is versatile, easy to maintain with long life. It can suit multiple purposes, as you can already notice. Many brands are working on providing the best designs, latest fashion, and feature-rich snowboard jackets for your convenience.

However, before you get into the brand wars, some other factors are more important. Let's take an in-depth look at these factors:

Types of jackets

There are many fancy terms and countless 'types' of jackets that are available in the market. You don't have to fall for these marketing schemes and confusing tactics. While each brand would claim that their snowboard jackets are the best, here are the three primary types you need to look for:

Shell jackets

If you're looking for performance, then shell jackets do a commendable job. These shield you from winds and maintain optimum temperature. More importantly, these are very flexible and breathable with comfortable fits.

Shell jackets are available in three different styles, softshell, hardshell, and technical shell. While hard shells are the best in the niche, softshells provide lesser shells while technical are hybrids. However, these do not have proper insulation. Thus, you would have to wear a proper layer inside the jacket.

More importantly, you can wear multiple layers inside without restraining your movement or compromising the breathability in any manner. Many performance-oriented snowboarders prefer shells. Especially since snowboarding can be full of sweat and moisture, shell jackets fight them the best.

Insulated Jackets

If you prioritize comfort over performance, then insulated jackets are a great option. Most of the people who aim for vacations in the resort would wear insulated jackets. There's synthetic and down insulation available in these jackets.

Down is natural and efficient in keeping you warm in a frigid climate. However, it is prone to absorbing moisture the most. Therefore, it lacks the moisture-wicking feature. Meanwhile, synthetic material makes it easier for you to remain dry. While insulated jackets are bulk by default, down insulation still provides more comfort in movements.

In a frigid climate, insulated jackets are an excellent choice. Similarly, if you're looking for snowboarding jackets for kids, then these will keep them well-protected.

Compound jackets

Think of these jackets as a hybrid between a shell jacket and insulated jackets. These have the convenience of a shelled jacket for waterproofing and wind resistance. At the same time, you get the insulation option in the form of an extra lining. You can choose to wear this lining inside the jacket or remove it for insulation.

Hence, this is a versatile choice. If you're looking for the all-season snowboard jackets, this one would fit your requirement. However, despite being a hybrid, it doesn't offer the best performance in either sector. It will get the job done. That's the best you can expect from it.

Correlatively, compound jackets are also one of the most feasible options available in the market. There are many cheaper variations you will find in these types of jackets. From material to features, there's a lot to customize in these jackets for your convenience.

Waterproofing is vital

Of course, the primary function of these jackets is to offer you optimum waterproofing. It's not just about the rain. There's snow, a lot of snow. After all, you're going snowboarding. Snow is frozen water, and if it comes in contact with your high-temperature body, it is bound to melt.

Inevitably, that means drenching in the water. However, if you have a properly waterproofed snowboard jacket, there's no reason for you to worry. Here are the factors for waterproofing that you need to consider:


The rating you will see on the jacket would have something like 2,000 mm or 10,000 mm. Now, these don't mean that they will protect you against 10,000 mm of rain. That's naturally impossible. However, it does consider the force to determine this 'mm' rating.

The higher waterproof rating is always better. However, you would have to pay an extra price for a higher rating. As waterproofing is the most vital aspect of snowboard jackets, it will significantly impact your jacket's cost.


Many snowboard jackets come with fully taped and critically taped waterproofing for the seams. In short, there is waterproof tape sewn in the seams to prevent moisture from leaking inside to provide discomfort.

Similar to the rating, the type of seam will determine the cost of the jacket. It's better to go for full taped seams, but critical taped would be better for freedom of movement.


This is a premium-grade material many snowboard jackets use to provide impeccable waterproofing. To put it in simple words, you can't go any better than this. It is comfortable, durable and provides adamant protection against rain, snow, moisture, and other similar elements.

However, Gore-tex is a premium material and significantly costly. If you are not serious about snowboarding, there's no need for you to invest in this material.

Qualities to look for

Waterproofing is the primary quality to look for in snowboard jackets. However, here are some other equally essential qualities that your jacket should have.


While waterproofing will keep the outside elements from getting you wet, the breathability rating is for internal elements. In other words, how well does your snowboard jacket wick the moisture out? Snowboarding is a rigorous exercise that will inevitably lead to sweat build up.

To maintain temperature and not to get wet, you need proper wicking in the jacket. That's where breathability quality and rating of the jacket comes into play. Similar to waterproof rating, a higher rating would be better, and it will impact the cost.


The next thing on the list would be ventilation. Now, this could be related to breathability, except that ventilation means the flow of air. How would the jacket keep you warm if there is any ventilation? However, it could be essential to boost the breathability of the material.

Many jackets use ventilation zips in critical parts of the body to prevent jackets from getting too uncomfortable to wear. For example, it would be underarms and other similar places to help you release excessive heat and keep yourself cool enough to not sweat or overheat.


You read about down and synthetic material for insulation above. That's what you need to consider if you want an excellent snowboard jacket. Higher insulation means more restriction in movement and vice versa.

Insulation rating would look something like '100g or 200g,' and you should indeed consider insulation around 100-200 for proper warmth without getting too uncomfortable. However, it would depend on the region you plan on snowboarding in.


The durability of the fabric matters. Why can't you wear a regular jacket for snowboarding? Because consistent exposure to high-pressure winds, temperature, snow, and other elements would wear it out. There's a risk of falls and other accidents into things that are less than pleasant.

An adequately durable jacket is excellent for the jacket's longevity and your protection during extreme sports.

Features to look for

After selecting the type, considering waterproofing and other qualities, it's time to look for some features. Now, all of these are options. However, all of these will significantly impact your jacket's cost as they can be convenient.

The hood

There are three types of hood, detachable, regular, and stowaway. However, the most crucial consideration to make here is whether the hood fits your head perfectly or not. If you're wearing a helmet, it should easily cover it without any problem.

Pockets (Electronic, Goggles)

The general rule of thumb for snowboard jackets is that the more pocket is better. However, you can look for specific pockets. Electronic pockets in the jackets allow you to store electronic devices without worrying about damaging them.

There's also goggles pockets that store the goggles optimally and protect them from damage. These are capacious and can hold your regular glasses or other bulky items, as well.

Powder Skirt

This should've been on higher ranking in features to consider. A powder skirt is an additional piece that you wear around your pants to prevent snow from getting in your back or inside the pants' opening. It closely conceals your back, so you don't have to face discomfort.

Compatibility with pants

While you should check for a powder skirt, you may simply look for the pants' compatibility if you don't want to invest extra. Some jackets are comfortable to wear inside the pants or over pants with things like a cinch cord or harness to tighten and prevent the entry of snow inside.

Cuffs and Wrist gaiters

There are Velcro cuffs, button cuffs, or snapping cuffs available. The job of the cuffs is to prevent the entry of snow from the wrist area. Correlatively, if there are wrist gaiters, it could help keep your wrist warm without any problem for extra comfort.

Collar design

Like the hood, powder skirt, compatibility with pants and cuffs, a collar design would play a vital role. Many people find it uncomfortable to have a tight grasp around the neck. However, if you want to prevent snow from getting inside, you may have to consider a proper collar design.

It should have at least one or two centimeters of a gap for breathability when you button or zip the collar.

Waterproof zip

Some jackets have a waterproof zipper or cover for your front zipper. Others may have additional flaps inside zips that you can undo to cover critical areas to waterproof them in case of a storm. It is not an indispensable feature, but certainly, something worth having.

Rescue transponder

Many new snowboard jackets come with a rescue transponder that responds to the rescue teams in case of an emergency. If you get stuck after an avalanche, it is easier for rescue team members to find you. It is light and seamless on your jacket. However, it will significantly increase the cost of your jacket.

Fitting preference

Fitting could make a significant impact on your comfort and performance—some people like a firm grasp of the jacket, others like the baggy appeal of the jackets. Thankfully, there are three different types of fitting options available for snowboard jackets.


A slim fit could be better if you're looking for snowboarding and skiing endeavors in a single jacket. Slim fit is also preferred by people who like to focus on performance over comfort. It could keep you warm better, and insulation is on-point for most of these jackets. However, you have a restricted layering option with this jacket.


A regular fit is not too tight nor too loose. It may drop down to your waist or below it and can be great to prevent snow from getting in your back, as well. Overall, the regular fit is well-balanced.


If you genuinely want to protect yourself from the snow and still have optimum breathability, then a relaxed fit is what you should aim for. These are great for overall comfort, and you have an option to layer out. There's no tailoring in the shoulder, waist, or body.

FAQs: Best Snowboard Jackets

Q: What's the difference between a ski jacket and a snowboard jacket?

A: The primary difference between the two is the performance requirement. Ski jackets need to be more performance-oriented. Thus, the fitting takes a huge impact. For skiing, you need more speed and control, so thinner jackets or slim fit jackets are better, as you also require a lot of maneuverability.

Q: Can you wear a snowboard jacket for skiing?

A: There's no problem wearing a snowboard jacket for skiing, but you might have to consider the type of snowboard jacket. Both jackets are made for snow and frigid zones, so you will be fine exchanging them for the activities. However, it's better to find a better fitting for skiing as it requires more precision and control than snowboarding.

Q: Can you wear a regular jacket for snowboarding?

A: You can wear it for layering purposes, but that could restrict your movements. Apart from that, wearing a regular jacket as the top layer is not ideal. It is not made for the purpose, there's potentially no waterproofing, and it is not durable.

In other words, you will end up doing more damage than good if you wear a regular jacket for snowboarding or skiing.


By keeping it simple and easy to understand, this guide brings you answers to the most common questions for snowboard jackets. Hopefully, it helps you break down the requirement and buy a snowboard jacket according to the purpose. More importantly, this can be a multi-purpose snow jacket for you.

Don't let big brands confuse you with their quality and prestige. You can always consider these factors to get the best snowboarding jackets! Remember that brand doesn't matter. What matters is the functionality and how much money you're willing to invest! / - © Copyright 2020