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Best Snowboard Jackets | Buyers Guide | Ridestore Mag

It truly is the holy grail of shopping for snow wear. To find a jacket that you’re so happy with you aren’t thinking, euch, maybe I should have gone for that one instead… We’ve all been there. And it’s painful, right? You want to find the best snowboard jacket there is that performs in every situation. Is perfect for slushy, warm bluebirds, but can weather a storm no problem. That can lap groomers, slash pow, and get down at the apres. That’s got loads of storage, but is light, too. Is affordable, waterproof, and offers amazing quality.

Well, you may think that jacket doesn’t exist. But, it does, you just haven’t been able to find it amongst the marketing hype that every brand is putting out. You don’t have to worry, though, because we’ve done the hard work for you, tested the models, done the comparisons and the homework, and we’ve come up with a trustworth, definitive list of the best jackets around for this winter season.

We listed and rated the best snowboard jackets down below to help you choose the one that will accompany you on the mountain and be your best friend in all conditions.

How we rated the best snowboarding jackets

First of all, we have to specify different parameters to understand the differences in snowboard jackets. You will be surprised at how differently they are built and what’s the thought behind different features! Which features do we need to have a closer look at when shopping for the best jacket ever?

How we rated the best snowboarding jackets

Snowboarding jackets & waterproofing

We don’t want to get wet, do we? Waterproofing is the first and most important feature you should be looking at when shopping for the best snowboard jacket in the store or online.

Most commonly, you will find jackets in the range of 5,000mm until 25,000mm. But what does this scale even tell me and how can it tell me more about the jacket I’m looking at?

The waterproofing scale tells you about how much of a specific amount of water placed on the jacket it takes to soak through the jacket – the amount of water is measured in mm per square inch.

Quite abstract in this way, but you can live by the rule of thumb that the higher the amount of mm is, the better the jacket will keep you dry!

Let’s take it in steps! Usually, snowboard jackets are located somewhere in the range of 5,000mm to 25,000mm.

A snowboard jacket with a waterproofing scale of 5,000mm is best to be worn on a sunny day with no snowfall because if it’s snowing, the coat will probably fail the job of keeping you dry for very long.

You are better off with a scale of 10,000mm. That will keep snow and water out of the jacket in moderate snowfall and will do you an excellent service.

If you know that you will ride in more demanding conditions, never buy a jacket with a scale below 15,000mm to stay dry!

If you want your jacket to keep you dry in rainfall and wet snow conditions, you should go all out with 20,000mm! With that amount, you are set for every day of the season.

Of course, jackets with a higher scale are higher priced but do consider to go for a decent waterproofing value though. You will thank me next time the snow hits!

Snowboard jackets and waterproofing

Breathability

If a snowboard jacket scores super high on the waterproofing scale, it most probably won’t have a good breathability. Well, that’s not right actually, and it’s a super interesting topic if you have an appetite for science!

The breathability of fabrics is measured in grams.

The scale shows how many grams of water vapour can pass through a square meter of the specific fabric. So if you see a jacket with a waterproofing scale of 10,000g, you know that 10,000g of water vapour passed through the material and can get quite a good picture of how breathable that jacket is.

It’s the same as with the waterproofing scale – the higher the value, the better the breathability and the better the jacket. Never consider a snowboard jacket with a breathability value below 5,000g if you don’t want to feel like being in a Finnish sauna instead of the slopes.

15,000g on the breathability scale is a decent go-to value. However, if you know that you will ride a lot in more rigorous conditions, it is advisable to look for something in the 20,000g scale.

breathability

Snowboarding jackets: Key features

There are key features that are essential to a good snowboard jacket. First things first: If the jacket you are looking at does not feel like it’s well fabricated and of good quality on the first glance, don’t even bother wasting another second on it. You should always look for perfect quality since you want the jacket to last.

Other key features of snowboard jackets are a (removable) powder skirt and ventilation features for example. It can be quite confusing for newbies when it comes to talking about fabric layering in jackets. Different brand manufacturers utilise various layering concepts. Generally, two or more layers is recommended with four fabric layers being the best you can get.  

Since the different brands and companies work with different designs, you should read about how they build their layers and how customers like that specific technique before buying!

Extra features for snowboarding

We don’t mind a little extra to make our riding experience more pleasurable. Therefore always consider all the additional key features on offer by the different snowboard jacket models to suit your specific snowboarding needs.

Would you like to have some more pockets because you have a sweet tooth and want to pack some more snacks?

Do you need a bigger pocket for your camera to have it ready to shoot all the time?

Would you like a zip in fleece jacket that you can take in or out if needed?

Best snowboard jackets for men

1

Montec Doom

Montec Doom
Waterproofing
5
Breathability
5
Additional Features
4
Value For Money
5

Is it an anorak, is it a zip-through? Why not both. The Doom is a curious number that takes the best features of the Fawk zip-through and the best features of the Dune anorak, and smashes them together into an asymmetrical all-mountain dream. There’s of course a full length zipper for getting in and out, but the set-up otherwise makes good use of all that uniterrupted space across the front, and delivers a super versatile wearing experience.

The tech specs here speak for themselves. 20k/20k across the board, with a DWR touch-up just to make this thing completely bomb proof. And with 40g of compact insulation all over, it airs on the light side to eliminate overheating and provide a solid jacket that just works everywhere. Midlayer or t-shirt, blizzard or blue skies. But this jacket has so much more to give than just its awesome numbers.

The zipper. We have to talk about it. What’s the point you ask? Well, the best thing about an anorak is having a big dump pocket on your stomach to store your stuff. The worst thing about it is trying to get if on and off. The Doom solves this problem and keeps the dump pocket, but then also manages to utilise a further mesh storage pouch inside, too. Anoraks rarely have inner pockets, but the Doom has both, making it a truly storage-stacked coat that goes from the resort to the far reaches of the backcountry without missing a beat. Load up for a long day on the mountain and say hello to your new favourite jacket.

Read our Review
2

Peak Performance Gravity

Peak Performance Gravity
Waterproofing
5
Breathability
5
Additional Features
4
Value For Money
3

We wanted to branch out a little here and talk about at least one serious freeriding jacket! For those backcountry badasses, those insatiable powder hound, and those that stare up at the steepest chutes on the ridgeline and just start salivating, the perfect jacket that’s capable of enduring those kinds of adventure is hard to come by. Unless you have us advising you, of course.

The new Gravity jacket from Peak Performance is truly a powerhouse that comes into its own outside the resort. Made from super tough polyamide, it’s got GoreTex DNA that boasts some of the best stats around. We’re talking nearly 30k of waterproofing here, and plenty of breathability, too. It’s a hard shell, when means there’s no insulation as such, so layering up underneath is necessary, but if you’re looking for a seriously heavy hitting backcountry ready coat, then this is probably it.

The styling here is awesome, too, and with waterproof outer storage to the tune of four external pockets as well as a lift-pass pocket on the sleeve, you’re not going to be wanting, even when you’re doing some resort laps to warm up those legs. For us, this tops our list for the powder hounds, and certainly checks all the boxes, even for its hefty price tag.

Read our Review
3

Dope Adept

Dope Adept
Waterproofing
4
Breathability
4
Additional Features
4
Value For Money
5

The Dope Adept tops this list for a few reasons. Dope have been making snowboarding gear for a decade now, and every year they keep improving. This coming season is no exception either. With more ecologically minded insulation, improved DWR, and updated fits and features, the Adept is set to be one of, if not the best, all around all-mountain classic zip through. Style, performance, and value for money make this our top pick for a home run snowboarding jacket this winter.

Let’s talk tech specs first. You’re coming out of the gate here with a 15k/15k split, which is more than enough to tackle the resort, and plenty for the powder, too. On top of that, you get a comfortable 60g/40g insulation split on the body and sleeves, which we think is the perfect mixture of warmth and weight. Enough that you can ride in a baselayer alone, and not too much if you need to throw on a midlayer in the process. Ideal. In every sense.

When it comes to design, they haven’t let up, either. The Adept has that classic baggy style to it that leaves plenty of room inside to move around. And with thoughtful touches like their new double-placard system, you can utilise an internal media pocket without even unzipping. Come on, now that’s cool! Plus, with all the other features you could need like a powder skirt, wrist gaiters, fleece-lined pockets, and a storage for all occasions, this is a jacket that does it all and checks every box.

The true all-mountain dominator, the Adept is the perfect jacket for the person who only has room in their wardrobe for one coat. If you have to reach for the same one all winter, this is an excellent choice.

Read our Review
4

Picture Panel

Picture Panel
Waterproofing
3
Breathability
3
Additional Features
4
Value For Money
2

When Picture deliver the new designs for the Panel jacket each year, we get a little giddy. Picture have their designs dialled in tight now, and the Panel is a firm favourite they keep returning too. A truly awesome resort-focused coat, this thing is spacious, comfortable, and has an unmistakable letterman style that just screams watch this, chump.

In terms of tech, Picture have given this a sweet 10k/10k all-around waterproofing and breathability split, and then upgraded it with their awesome Teflon EcoElite PFC-Free DWR Coating. In amongst all those letters, all you need to know is that water beads off this jacket really nicely, which keeps you dry far beyond what you think a 10k jacket could. But, inside is where this jacket shines, with a toasty 80gsm STD insulation and Thermal Dry System split. Compact foam lines the core areas of the jacket, reducing heat transfer, while the insulation locks it in.

All this adds up to a jacket that may not seem that technical, but is actually packing in a lot of awesome stuff to keep you warm and dry. And, on top of that, it looks awesome, too. The styling is tried and true, and is sure to turn heads. Finish all that off with all the features you need for a long day on the mountain, and you’ve got a jacket you can lay down park laps in, shred powder, and kick it at the apres in perfect comfort. The ideal resort-rider’s jacket? It just might be.

Read our Review
5

Burton AK GoreTex Swash

Burton AK GoreTex Swash
Waterproofing
5
Breathability
5
Additional Features
4
Value For Money
4

The Swash jacket from from Burton is a true all-mountain jacket with top tech, plenty of insulation, and careful design that’ll never leave you high and dry — but always keep you that way, too! Ba dum tss… Leaving the jokes at the lift turnstiles, the AK GoreTex Swash is a stylish jacket with the credentials to back it up.

The jacket benefits from a 2-layer GoreTex construction, and 60g of PrimaLoft Silver insulation, which helps to repel moisture and seal heat in. Fully taped seams combine with an articulated hood, an integrated powder skirt, and Burton’s Living Lining to provide unbeatable warmth and weather protection all over the mountain.

But just because it’s technical, doesn’t mean that this jacket isn’t stacked with convenience either. Burton have included four waterproof zipped outer pockets, as well as two large mesh dump pockets inside, and a secure media pocket, too, meaning that you’ve got more space than you can shake a snow-dusted spruce bough at. All of which adds up to the Swash being a reliable go-to for the rider intent on spending long days on the mountain, regardless of the temperature or weather!

Read our Review

Best snowboard jackets for women

1

Dope Annok Long

Dope Annok Long
Waterproofing
4
Breathability
4
Additional Features
4
Value For Money
5

The only thing missing from the Dope Snow lineup was a long jacket. We had all the other bases covered — the best anoraks in the gosh-dang world, baggy zip throughs, tighter fitting ski jacket, the works! But now we’ve stepped up into a whole new weight class with the Annok long.

So, what’s special about a long jacket, you ask? Well, apart from looking super cool, they also provide better powder protection, are much drier to sit (and fall on), and offer a wider range of fits for taller women. So all in all, this new powerhouse is a great addition to the range and for us, is our favourite new jacket of the season.

In terms of technical specs, the Annok has a stellar 15k/15k split, and an awesome DWR coating to help keep the snow out. Insulation wise it packs in a compact 60/40g split for the body and sleeves, toeing that perfect line between warm and lightweight. As such this jacket maintains that baggy silhouette without looking puffy, and looks as Dope as it performs.

All this is tied together with some awesome design touches like the gusseted collar for neckwarmer versatility, and lots of external storage options for all your gear. This really is an all-mountain model that’s ready for anything. The question is, do you love it as much as we do?

Read our Review
2

Montec Virago

Montec Virago W Dark Atlantic
Waterproofing
5
Breathability
5
Additional Features
5
Value For Money
5

The Montec Virago is a new addition to the range this year, and is a great all-mountain jacket that offers some awesome variety to those seeking a classic zip through they can take from the park to the powder, and back again.

Technically, this jacket packs in an awesome 20k/20k split which is more than enough to tackle even the harshest conditions. Topped up with a DWR coating and packed out with 40gsm of all-over insulation, it’s ideal to wear every day of the season. Not too bulky, not too cold, it’s the goldilocks of jacket setups that’ll serve you well all year long.

But it’s not what’s under the hood that we love about this jacket, but rather what’s on the outside. Design wise, it’s got a slightly baggier fit for that oversized military steez, and two huge outer pockets for on-the-fly storage. Goggles, gloves, and everything else, stuff them in without unzipping. It just makes life easier! Top that off with a waterproof zippered external media pocket, and this is a jacket built for winter, which completely eliminates the need to unzip unless you want to. What could be better?

Read our Review
3

Picture Season

Picture Season
Waterproofing
3
Breathability
3
Additional Features
3
Value For Money
2

The Picture Season is another slick anorak from everyone’s favourite snow brand. Equipped with Picture’s own 10K/10K DRYPLAY membrane and made from a 2-layer oxford weave, it’s a tough and capable jacket made for snowy days on the mountain and all the fun that comes with them. Finished off with a Teflon Eco Elite DWR coating, it may not have the top drawer tech specs of some jackets in the Picture lineup, but it still has more than enough performance to get you where you need to go, namely the top of the mountain (and then back down).

Featuring 80g of Thermal STD insulation, it’s a casual, resort focused jacket which is sure to keep you warm all season long. Two external waterproof pockets come courtesy of the YKK waterproof zippers, and deliver ample, secure storage. You’re also treated to a dedicated lift pass pocket and an internal zipped pocket perfect for your phone and other valuables.

In terms of design, you’ll also get an elasticated powder skirt to go with your lycra wrist gaiters, and a full side zip opening along with underarm vents. Up top, a half-zip and microfleece collar combine with a storm-ready hood which makes the Season jacket a resort cruiser and all weather bruiser at the same time. Built for colder weathers and laid back riders, the Season anorak is half business, half vacation, and 100% good, simple fun without the technical frills.

Read our Review
4

Dope Blizzard FZ

Dope Blizzard FZ
Waterproofing
4
Breathability
4
Additional Features
4
Value For Money
5

You probably already know the Dope Blizzard. It’s one of our favourite hybrid pullovers that embodies the spirit of our softshell range with the technical specs of our fully featured jackets. The result is a lightweight anorak with no insulation, no powder skirt, and a deap-seated hunger to ride the whole resort. Except now, it also comes in a zip-through.

For resort riders, spring shredders, and bluebird cruisers, heavy insulation and powder skirts are unnecessary things that get in the way of your winter experience. Too bulky and too fiddly, it’d be much easier if they just disappeared, right? We thought so too, and came up with the Blizzard FZ. This jacket has an awesome 15k/15k waterproofing and breathability split for all-weather versatility, and all the features you need to get around the mountain.

With two big external pockets, a waterproof chest pocket, hidden external media pocket, lift pass pocket, and lots of other design touches to make this a real all-rounder, the Blizzard FZ stacks up against full-blooded snowboarding jackets and stands strong. If you’re in the market for a jacket that has all the essentials and none of the bulk, or just a lightweight zip-through to lap the resort and park, well, look no further.

Read our Review
5

Burton Prowess

Burton Prowess
Waterproofing
5
Breathability
5
Additional Features
4
Value For Money
3

The Prowess jacket from Burton is both a customer and team rider favourite for it’s oversized, drop-hem design, mid-weight insulation, and it’s quirky design touches that’ll keep you warm and comfy on the mountain all day long. Featuring Burton’s DRYRIDE 10K/10K membrane complete with DWR treatment, and 80g of ThermacoreECO insulation, you’re sure to be able to weather anything the winter season can throw at you.

This classic snowboard jacket has plenty of baggy style and serves up lots of storage to go with it. Oversized cargo-styled outer pockets combine with two zipped chest pockets to offer total convenience, and are paired with internal storage compartments too, so you can be sure a long day on the mountain comes with all the creature comforts.

A sherpa fleece-lined collar and chest is totally cosy and keeps heat locked in up top, while an elasticated powder skirt prevents snow getting in the bottom. We can’t say enough good things about the Prowess, which is probably the reason that it’s stuck around in the Burton line, and our hearts, for so damn long. A jacket you’re sure to love, there are few better investments out there than the Prowess when it comes to that fine blend of performance and comfort.

Read our Review

Tips on how to choose the best snowboarding jacket

Now you have seen our favourite jackets for this season; it’s time to go through some more tips and tricks that will help you to find your new snowboard jacket!

Waterproofness of a snow jacket

The thing with waterproofness is that you first realise that you bought a coat with a waterproofness that does not meet your requirements if you are up on the mountain getting wet. It always makes sense to choose the highest rating for your budget here as you will definitely be glad about this decision the next time sitting in the chairlift exposed to the weather and still feel cosy and warm!

tips on how to choose the best snowboard jacket

Storage

Sadly the winter only lasts for so long, and if you are just some regular dude like me, you don’t fly around the world chasing the snow. So the snowboard gear needs to be stowed away in the warmer seasons. But how do I store my jacket correctly so it won’t suffer harm over the summer?

You need to find a dry and dark place for your jacket. If it gets exposed to the sun, the fabric will lose waterproofness and stability. Also, the sun rays will bleach out some colour which makes the jacket look patchy!

It is advisable to hang your jacket in a wardrobe that does not let any sun in and is located in a dry room with enough air circulation. That way your snowboard jacket won’t soak any humidity and is perfectly fresh when you take it out for the next season.

storage

Layering

Layering? You mean rocket science? There are so many different preferences for layering or not layering out there as there are riders. Some see the correct layering as a kind of religion or cult, and some don’t care and count on thick 3rd layers.

How does this layering thing even work? Layering when snowboarding is about how many layers you are wearing under your actual snowboard jacket. Layering is supposed to give you the flexibility of adjusting to the temperature up on the mountain.

You want to build layers like an onion to be set for all the different eventualities. A classic set up for a pretty cold day would be the first layer of functional underwear. On top, there would be a light fleece shirt and a thicker fleece mid layer.

On top there you would go for a Primaloft jacket for extra warmth before putting on the so-called 3rd layer – the snowboard jacket. With those layers, you are free to take on and off layers to be set correctly for every condition.

Some readers probably love layering, and some think it’s just way too stressful. The counterpart of layering would be to run the same simple set up for the whole day without adjusting. You might be a little cold in the mornings, perfectly dressed for midday and a little warm in the evenings – but you save a lot of time and carrying around different high tech shirts and jackets. You are free to choose what you want to go for; everyone has different preferences!

Layering

Types of snowboard jackets

There are so many kinds of snowboard jackets that you may have a hard time dividing them into specific groups. The most common groups to split jackets are regarding the padding.

Some people favour pure shell jackets without any padding at all, because they work perfectly with easy layering. On the other hand, some people would never take a jacket into consideration that isn’t heavily padded, because they like an easy setup for every day.

You can’t say what’s the perfect type of jacket; you need to try it out and see for yourself!

Hood or no hood?

An easy answer for a hard question: hood. Of course, a jacket without a hood can look pretty stylish, but if you ever experienced heavy wind up on the mountain, you don’t want to miss a hood on your snowboard jacket that saves you from those conditions!

Breathability

Just as the many different kinds of jackets out there, there are many different types of snowboarders with different preferences. Some riders don’t need high breathability because they are more of the chill riding type.

Overall you can say, that most riders need a pretty high breathability value in their jacket to be super flexible with their riding. You never have any disadvantages with high breathability, only advantages.

It’s the same with venting possibilities in your jacket. It’s perfect to have them since if you don’t need them, you can close them, with zero disadvantages. The most common places for extra ventilation zippers are beneath the arms (and on the inside of your legs when it comes to snowboarding pants).

Breathability

Jackets with goggle cloth

Back in the days, almost every snowboard jacket used to have a goggle cloth attached to one of the pockets on the inside. Of course, it’s a nice feature to have, but companies have stopped to feature them since it’s just as easy to take a goggle cleaning cloth with you. It’s not a tiebreaker if a jacket does not come with a goggle cloth attached!

Jackets with powder skirt

Powder skirts are to be found in almost every snowboard jacket these days. It’s not only great to have when riding powder but it’s a lifesaver if you should crash since it keeps the snow out. When trying on a jacket, you should test if the powder skirt stays in place when closed or if it moves up if you raise your arms. You should only take the jacket into consideration of the powder skirt stays in place!sno

Best snowboard jackets by category

Best snowboard jacket brand

It’s super hard to say which brand is the best brand when it comes to snowboard jackets because each rider has different preferences. But if you need an opinion on which brand gets you the most for your money, it’s, without doubt, the Swedish brand Dope Snow, case closed.

Best rated backcountry snowboard jacket

The best-rated snowboard jacket to ride in the backcountry with in my opinion is the Montec Fawk jacket. Montec offers high tech features and high quality materials at an affordable price. The Montec Fawk snowboard jacket is insulated to keep you warm on cold days but is still light enough to wear comfortably. It’s perfect for backcountry riding since it is light enough to put it into your backpack but it still has all the features you can wish for. And the best is the price: An affordable jacket that will last!

best rated backcountry snowboard jacket

Best snowboard jacket for big guys

It’s not easy to find a good fitting snowboard jacket as a big guy. Gladly companies are going more and more for bigger and longer cuts these days which benefits the big riders! A great fit would be the “Adept” jacket by Dope Snow, check it out!

Best softshell jacket for snowboarding

Especially in the sunny spring, nothing beats an excellent softshell jacket. The fabric lets in some more air and the breathability is a little comfier than in padded jackets, and you can adjust the temperature with layers underneath. My pick for the best softshell snowboard jacket is the Dope Standard DO – great bold style and perfect functionally for the warmer days up on the mountain!

Wrapping up

wrapping up

To conclude this buyers guide, I think its safe to say that the perfect jacket that fits every rider does not exist. There are too many different preferences and types of riders out there.

The key to finding the perfect snowboard jacket is trying out enough jackets to know what you can exclude. Do not rush with the decision which jacket you will choose, take your time and compare enough different jacket types to find one that you can fall in love with eventually.

So the key tip is to start early in summer and to keep up with the new releases. With enough passion and effort, I’m sure you will find your perfect match to swipe right on.

Check out the full range of snowboard jackets for men /snowboard jackets for women at Ridestore.