Snowboard Jackets

What to Look for in a Snowboard Jacket

Snowboarding is a thrilling winter sport that involves descending snowy slopes on a snowboard attached to one's feet. An essential piece of gear for snowboarders is, of course, a snowboard jacket. A good snowboard jacket needs to be waterproof, windproof, breathable, and durable whilst allowing flexibility for riding. This comprehensive guide breaks down the key things to know when shopping for the perfect snowboard jacket.


When deciding on a snowboard jacket, there are several essential factors to take into account based on your planned usage. These include warmth, weather protection, fit, features, and sustainability. A good insulating layer will keep you shielded from the cold when standing still atop a mountain. Air pockets and thicker linings equal heightened warmth. Waterproof and breathable membranes are also vital. These prevent exterior moisture from seeping in whilst enabling interior perspiration to escape. For fit, snowboard jackets should feel snug yet stretchy across the shoulders and arms to allow dynamic arm lifting motions. Extra features like media pockets, goggle cleaners, helmet-compatible hoods, and powder skirts boost functionality. Lastly, eco-friendly materials like recycled plastics make for more ethical choices. Understanding these performance factors will lead you to the snowboard jacket offering the right blend of cosiness, weather barriers, flexibility, functionality, and conscience for your needs. The subsequent sections explore different snowboard jacket types and components to help inform your decision.


Insulated Snowboard Jackets

Insulated snowboarding jackets focus on delivering warmth and wind protection. They utilise thick, lofty synthetic or down feather insulation coupled with weatherproof outer fabric layers reinforced with a waterproof breathable (WPB) membrane. Whilst not as lightweight or packable as shells, insulated jackets better retain heat when idle atop frigid peaks and whilst chairlift riding. Popular insulated jacket styles include parkas, bomber jackets, and vest/layering combos. Down or synthetic PrimaLoft insulations feature, alongside protective outer shells woven from durable, water-repellant (DWR) nylon or polyester. Some jackets boast removable hoods, adjustable cuffs and powder skirts too. When judging warmth, higher fill power down and gram weights indicate more insulation and cosier jackets. For synthetic fills, thicker varieties like PrimaLoft Gold and Silver drive heightened heat retention versus standard PrimaLoft. Overall, insulated snowboard jackets promote ample cosiness across resort and backcountry adventures. Their fortified construction keeps bone-chilling winds and heavy snow dumps at bay. Just avoid overheating during vigorous riding. Opt for pit zips and breathable WPB layers to vent excess heat buildup when carving up a storm.


Shell Snowboard Jackets

Snowboard shell jackets take a pared-back, minimalist approach optimised for storm protection and riding flexibility. Ultra-lightweight fabrics bolstered by waterproof membranes seal out snow and rain whilst their stretchy, relaxed fits enable dynamic movements. Hard shells feature woven nylon or polyester outer fabric with durable water repellency (DWR). This 'beads' moisture on the surface. Underneath, a waterproof and breathable barrier like Gore-Tex blocks external dampness whilst venting interior perspiration. Soft shells use brushed, fleece-back fabrics for heightened warmth and wind resistance, sometimes with a DWR or WPB backing. Regular or 'resort' shells suit groomed piste riding with their blend of weather barriers and adaptability. Backcountry versions add reinforced fabric layers for heightened storm-proofing during off-piste adventures. Freestyle shells optimise flexibility via extra stretch panels and relaxed fits for spinning and grabbing tricks. For riding flowy tree lines or testing your aerial skills, a snowboard shell jacket delivers durable water-wicking fortifications without compromising movement. Layer up underneath to reach your desired warmth and customise as conditions fluctuate.


Women's Snowboard Jackets

Ladies' snowboard jackets bridge protection from the elements with a flattering, feminine fit. They aim to deliver sufficient snugness whilst eliminating restrictive tight spots through gusseted underarms, shaped seams, and flexible fabric cut designs. Many major outdoor brands now offer extensive women-specific snowboard outerwear ranges. These still utilise robust polyester shells and warming insulation types but engineer them to complement the average female frame. Look for ergonomic patterning with roomier sleeves, a longer hem, and a raised rear waist to avoid exposure as you carve. Storm-shielding features often match unisex or men's garments. But bright colours and stylish quilted or fleece linings add aesthetic appeal alongside winter warmth and water resistance.


Men's Snowboard Jackets

Male riders have different physiological demands for their snowboard outerwear. Broad shoulders, long arms, and narrower hips require a tailored fit not offered by generic or women 's-focused jackets. Thankfully, every top action sports apparel company provides a vast selection of snow-ready men's jackets. These exhibit performance fabric technologies are akin to other variants but have an athletic, durable construction designed for the male anatomy. Expect more relaxed shoulders without restrictive tight spots, deeper zip-fronted plackets heightened sleeve-to-cuff lengths, and an extended rear hem cut. Men's snowboard jackets also favour darker, neutral colour palettes and minimalist prints over bold contrasts and patterns. But robust temperature regulation and water wicking remain constant, as do clever features like RECCO avalanche tech and powder skirts. If hitting kickers and bombing downhill at speed, a reinforced men's shell or parka delivers.


Technical Shell Snowboard Jackets

Dubbed 'technical shells', high-performance snowboard jackets employ cutting-edge fabric tech to promote peak protection for storm-bashing alpine ascents. Though slim and nimble fitting, they seal out the fiercest winter gusts using premium waterproof and breathable laminates alongside durable, reinforced face fabrics. Many leverage 3-layer builds with a rugged polyester outer shell treated with DWR, a waterproof breathable middle membrane like Gore-Tex Pro Most Rugged or eVent DVshield, and a protective inner scrim. These sandwiches weather barriers on either side of a stretch-woven exterior, enabling optimum moisture-blocking qualities and mobility. Some technical shells also utilise proprietary waterproof breathable fabrics for streamlined builds. Polartec NeoShell and Pertex Shield supply direct both external abrasion resistance and internal humidity evacuation in one slimline format. Overall, technical snowboard shells promote unrivalled storm-fighting prowess to battle the upland elements without saturating from within. Their rugged builds and premium WPB barriers outlast years of aggressive mountain-bashing whilst retaining pack-friendly portability.


3-in-1 Snowboard Jackets

The name gives their design away - 3-in-1 snowboard jackets integrate an external shell with an inner insulated jacket to cater for fluctuating mountain conditions. This provides adaptable layering to match the temps and variable weather patterns throughout the day on the slopes. The outer component utilises abrasion-resistant fabric with DWR and reliable WPB protection like DryVent or HyVent. Underneath, a cosy down or synthetic insulated lining snaps into place. Some jackets feature full zip-in integration. Others utilise popper studs around the front zip fastening for tool-free removal. Riders benefit from having two jackets in one package. Lighter shells suit warmer days or active ascents preventing overheating. Then for idle chairlift rides or icy summit hangs, secure the bolstered inner warmth layer against the cold. Come spring slush, detach to ride in the shell alone. In summary, 3-in-1 snowboard jackets tick all-weather boxes via adaptable layering combos to react as mountain temperatures shift. Their versatility spanning winter through spring merits the minor additional pack weight when grabbing goods for varied seasonal adventures.


Sustainable Snowboard Jackets

Eco forces now influence wintertime layering alongside technical capabilities and aesthetics. Numerous leading snowsports apparel makers now integrate recycled, organic, or responsibly sourced materials within their snowboard jacket offerings to lessen environmental impacts. The most common green fabric is recycled polyester. Harvested from post-consumer plastics like old water bottles, its reincarnated fibre form provides durable face fabric performance and warmth minus the chemical and crude oil demands of virgin polyester. Shred tropics-based Picture Organic Clothing utilises 100% RPET across all shells and insulated jackets. Organic cotton, wool, and down are also featured for their biodegradable, chemical-free properties. The former makes breathable insulating linings then merino and waterfowl fill those lofted layers using ethical harvesting processes. Swiss pioneers KJUS ethically source premium 900 fill goose down to deliver waterproof, feather-stuffed eco puffers. In summary, various environmentally-conscious textiles now populate snowboard jacket builds to promote warmth and weatherproofing with a conscience. RPET, organic wool, cotton and ethical down lead the charge as shred apparel makers seek to reduce textile footprints alongside upping technical standards.


Backcountry Snowboard Jackets

Venturing off-grid into remote mountainous terrain demands hardy snowboarding outer layers. Backcountry-specific jackets utilise reinforced fabric technologies and precision patterning to combat harsh storms and challenging environments off-resort. Abrasion-resistant nylon or polyester shells treated with durable water repellency provide the first line of defence. These rugged woven materials resist damage from woody debris and sharp icy facets on untracked descents. Underneath, premium WPB laminates like three-layer Gore-Tex Pro seal moisture out completely across the roughest alpine assaults. Many backcountry snowboard jackets also integrate military spec reinforcements using durable tapes and scuff guards around the cuffs, hem, shoulders, and collar. This added armour prevents premature fabric degradation across multiple seasons of heavy use off-grid. In summary, backcountry riding requires snow jacket builds strong enough to repeatedly repel unrelenting mountain storms. Robust fabric coats buffered with bleach-tough waterproofing provide essential protection once you depart patrolled ski area boundaries.


Snowboard Jacket Buyer's Guide

When seeking your dream snowboard jacket, assessing both planned usage and personal preferences helps narrow the search. Budget factors in too-advanced technical shells demand higher dollar investment versus budget-friendly resort options. First, consider warmth requirements. Speed demons riding groomed terrain need less insulation than freeride adventurers hanging out in high alpine environments. Also, judge weather protection needs - are you based in a maritime climate with wet snow or an arid region with light powder falls? Next, determine intended usage. Freestyle riders hitting the terrain park benefit from relaxed fits allowing grabs and spins. Big mountain descenders need room for backcountry layering paired with reinforced fabric panels shielding from abrasive icy facets and rock edges. Factor in your local climate too - wet maritime regions demand superior waterproofing compared to inland powder zones. When judging warmth, understand the differences between insulation types. Higher fill down provides more loft and heat retention than synthetic fills. But the latter resists damp saturation better after falls. For resort riding, moderate 100-200g insulation suits, while 400-800 fill down or thick synthetics cater for frigid commit days. For features, assess your need for hoods, powder skirts, wrist gaiters, and tech integrations. Helmet-compatible hoods maintain vision during whiteouts. Ski jackets feature handy interior media pockets and goggle cleaners too. And backcountry-specific models boast RECCO reflectors or Avalung airbag systems for heightened avalanche safety. With your riding style, local climate, ideal warmth, and desired features defined, start trying on models to judge mobility, weather sealing, and overall fit. Move around and reach upwards to confirm no tight spots impede movement. Finally, determine whether bright colours or tonal hues better suit your style before selecting the complete do-it-all snowboard jacket.

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