Hello, my name is Lorraine, I’m a snowboarding instructor (certified) and this is my review of the best jacket for snowboarding in 2021.
There is an almost endless amount of choices when it comes to getting a jacket that fits.
The sport’s popularity steadily increases each year, which then leads to an ever-growing number of brands that offer everything and anything related to snowboard clothing.
The crowded market gives the average boarder a range of options when it comes to choosing a snowboard jacket. However, while choices are good, that can also be a bit overwhelming.
Rather than forcing you to sift through endless options, this article will look at some of the best snowboard jackets out there to help you navigate the options and get the best one for your specific needs.
Let’s get started.
- Quick Summary
- Who Should Get This
- Best Snowboard Jackets: Top Picks
- 1. Best Overall – Volcom L Gore-Tex
- 2. Runner Up – 686 Woodland
- 3. Best Budget – Wantdo Mountain Waterproof
- 4. Budget Runner Up – Burton Covert
- 5. Best for Backcountry – Helly Hansen Straightline LIFALOFT
- 6. Backcountry Runner Up – Oakley Division Bzi 10K
- 7. Most Versatile – Dakine Sawtooth 3L
- 8. Best Shell/Spring Jacket – North Face Resolve 2
- How to Choose a Snowboard Jacket That Fits
- Additional Tips & Resources
- Final Words
- The Volcom L Gore-Tex Jacket and the 686 Woodland Jacket are two of the best overall options out there. Both offer great cold weather protection and come with key features that make them stand out in performance and look.
- If you’re looking for a budget option that will still provide plenty of warmth in a variety of different conditions, check out the Wantdo Mountain Waterproof Jacket. Another good budget snowboarding jacket is the Burton Covert.
- Backcountry riders need to have equipment that can stand up to the elements. Both the Helly Hansen Straightline and the Oakley Division are lightweight, durable, and warm enough to work both on and off the mountain.
- The Dakine Sawtooth 3L Jacket is a versatile option that will meet the needs of just about any snowboarder. You can wear this just about anywhere with great results.
- A great option for spring riders or those who live in warmer regions is the North Face Resolve 2 Jacket.
Who Should Get This
Every snowboarder needs a jacket. If you take the sport seriously, you will want a few different options so you can match changing conditions.
Snowboarding jackets come in all sorts of varieties and styles. That enables you to find any color or design you may want.
It doesn’t matter what your ability level is or how you like to ride, you will always need a jacket to protect you from the elements while you carve through the snow.
Without a good jacket, a great day on the mountain can be ruined. It can also be dangerous to ride without a jacket, as the lowered protection increases your chance of contracting hypothermia and frostbite.
In the spring or other conditions where you can ride in warm weather, you might not need a jacket.
I’ve had some awesome days on my board with only a hoodie and a t-shirt. However, you should always bring a jacket either in your backpack or car, just in case.
Best Snowboard Jackets: Top Picks
Below is a list of my recommendations along with detailed reviews for each item.
1. Best Overall – Volcom L Gore-Tex
This jacket holds up well in any condition and offers excellent protection from the elements to keep you on the snow all day long.
It has fully sealed seams throughout its design to ensure moisture never gets near your body, as well as a three-layer shell that further increases its solid performance.
This jacket features a well-designed powder skirt to keep the fluff out when you’re lucky enough to find some deep stashes. It also comes with Volcom’s Zip Tech that allows you to zip the jacket directly into the compatible pants.
In addition, it has an integrated face mask to keep you warm when the temperature drops as well as a chin guard that prevents chafing. There are also goggle clips to keep the hood in place.
- Excellent weather protection
- Fully sealed seams
- Zip Tech design
- Powder skirt
- Goggle clips
- Three-layer shell
- Not heavily insulated
2. Runner Up – 686 Woodland
The jacket is built with infiDRY 10 fabric that’s rated up to 10,000mm, and manages to stay both breathable and comfortable. It has a modern fit that sits a little baggy, but it looks great all around.
This jacket features critically taped seams to keep extra snow and moisture out and has mesh-lined armpits to aid in ventilation when your body warms up.
It also comes with a snap-off quilted hood for extra versatility and is easy to remove and reattach whenever you see fit. It also comes with a dual access media pocket, powder skirt, and wrist gators.
- Great look
- 10kmm waterproofing
- Snap-off hood
- Critically taped seams
- Powder skirt
- Media pocket
- Wrist gators
- Only available in flannel patterns
3. Best Budget – Wantdo Mountain Waterproof
Snowboard jackets can get expensive in a hurry. If you’re someone on a budget, or if you simply don’t want to spend a fortune on your apparel, look no further than the Wantdo Mountain Waterproof Jacket.
This model manages to give you great quality at a low price without sacrificing warmth or performance. It is also available in a wide array of colors, so you can always find something that fits your style.
This jacket has a water-repellent outer shell and a fuzzy inner liner. Warmth is provided by 240 grams of polyester fiber that work to keep body heat from escaping. It’s also quick-drying and comfortable.
Other key features include the large number of pockets in various sizes, headphone attachment, attached hood, and adjustable wrist cuffs.
The Mountain Waterproof also comes in various sizes that range from small to XXXL, offering something for everyone.
- Quick-drying fabric
- Lots of pockets
- Multiple color and size options
- Wind-proof and water-resistant
- Not fully water-proof
- Not as durable as other options
- Can run small
4. Budget Runner Up – Burton Covert
Budget hunters will also want to look at the Burton Covert Jacket. Burton has a good reputation in the snowboarding world because they make some of the highest-quality and most diverse equipment on Earth.
This jacket lives up to that reputation and offers a ton of warmth and cold weather protection at a very affordable price. It comes available in a huge assortment of color options and has a regular and relaxed fit.
This jacket also features 10kmm of water-proofing material and 10k grams of synthetic insulation. This makes it one of the warmest and most reliable budget jackets you can find.
Zippered armpit vents increase breathability when your body heats up and critically taped seams keep moisture at bay. An attached hood and removable powder skirt just add to those awesome features.
Read More: Cheap Snowboard Jackets Review
- Trusted brand
- Reliable performance
- Zippered pit vents
- Removable powder skirt
- Can be too warm for some riders
- Hood is not removable
5. Best for Backcountry – Helly Hansen Straightline LIFALOFT
If you love to ride in the backcountry, you need equipment that’s going to meet the intense demands you might encounter outside of the resort. The Helly Hansen Straightline LIFALOFT jacket will give you everything you need for a backcountry adventure and then some.
Helly Hansen is a great Norwegian brand that has been making superior cold-weather clothing for well over 100 years, and this item is no different.
The Straightline features a 2-ply fabric layer design that’s highly water and wind-proof but is also lightweight and comfortable.
That makes it great for the changing conditions in the backcountry from severe cold to the increased body heat you will generate hiking uphill.
It also comes with fully sealed seams, water-resistant zippers, a snap-away powder skirt, and plenty of pockets to bring any extra gear you’ll need off-piste.
- Great backcountry jacket
- Highly water-proof and warm
- Comfortable and breathable
- Lots of pockets
- Helmet-compatible hood
- Lots of additional features
- Only available in a few color options
6. Backcountry Runner Up – Oakley Division Bzi 10K
The warmth is made possible by the FN Dry 10k technology, which offers a great layer of insulation that’s durable and breathable by design.
That provides plenty of water-proof protection, alongside a good amount of flex and flow.
Another key element of this jacket that makes it great for the backcountry is the bio zone lining system that’s built to increase moisture management and better help with movement in critical areas such as your arms and shoulders.
It also features armpit vents and a large hood that’s both stretchy and helmet-compatible. The jacket comes in a few different color options, including a cool camo design, as well.
- Flexible and breathable
- Bio zone lining system aids in moisture management
- Armpit vents
- Large and stretchy hood
- Several color options
- Can be too much warmth for serious climbs or warm-season trips
7. Most Versatile – Dakine Sawtooth 3L
If you’re looking for a versatile snowboarding jacket that can be used in a variety of conditions over the course of the season, the Dakine Sawtooth 3L is for you. This jacket has a sleek look that stands out on the mountain but also blends in on the streets.
The Gore-Tex outer layer is sure to keep moisture away, while a slim profile makes it comfortable to wear in all kinds of situations.
This jacket doesn’t have a lot of extra insulation, which means it isn’t a great stand-alone option. Even so, if you pair it with a solid mid and base layer, it will provide plenty of protection from the wind and snow.
It is durable, reliable, and built with the high-quality sustainable materials that Dakine is known for. A great all-around jacket that works well for snowboarding and off-mountain purposes.
- Gore-Tex outer shell
- Not well insulated
- Slim profile can be too tight for some riders
8. Best Shell/Spring Jacket – North Face Resolve 2
The North Face Resolve 2 is a great option for a light shell or spring riding jacket. It’s lightweight and comfortable, but still offers decent wind and weather resistance. Just note to pair it with good layers underneath when taking it out into big storms.
The outer layer is made of a strong, durable Dryvent material that helps protect it from the outside world.
This jacket features a mesh lining to increase breathability, elastic wrist cuffs so it stays secure over your gloves, and an attached hood for a little extra warmth.
It won’t make for a great jacket in the heart of winter when plenty of snow is on the forecast, but for spring riders or those looking for a lightweight and easy-to-pack shell, it’s a great budget option.
- Mesh lining
- Elastic wrist cuffs
- Attached hood
- Not warm enough for serious winter conditions
- Can ride up around the waist
How to Choose a Snowboard Jacket That Fits
Here are a few factors that you should consider while selecting a snowboarding jacket that suits you the best.
Insulation is a key consideration when getting any snowboarding jacket. Not only does that give a jacket its warmth, but it offers you extra protection as well. Insulation comes from a wide range of materials, and they differ from item to item.
A more heavily insulated jacket is typically thick and bulky in a way that locks out the cold. A thinner, more lightweight jacket will have less insulation so it won’t be as warm, but it can be more flexible and breathable.
Insulation can be made out of either synthetic or natural fibers. Most jackets these days are made out of synthetic insulation like polyester or other varieties of a plastic derived filler material. Natural insulation, such as goose down, is also an option.
However, that’s less common and much more expensive. Synthetic insulation tends to dry out faster if it gets wet, while natural insulation can be a little warmer.
Another important thing to look for in a jacket is water and wind protection. Most jackets are made with an outer shell that’s either labeled as water-proof and wind-proof or at least water/wind-resistant.
That means the material on the outside of your jacket is built with a fabric that either naturally repels the elements or is treated with some sort of material that keeps out moisture.
Gore-Tex is a common water and wind-proof material that you will find in many snowboard jackets. It offers excellent characteristics that will keep you dry and warm as you ride.
A lot of jackets also have multiple layers of weather-resistant fabric to help increase their performance in wet conditions.
A jacket’s look is important to a lot of snowboarders. You always want your jacket to perform well in cold weather, and you want it to protect you from the elements.
That is its main purpose after all. Luckily, with so many available options you can easily find a model that has a cool look or design to match your personality or riding style.
Many of the options listed in this guide come in multiple styles and patterns. The fit of a jacket can also be included in style considerations, and you may want to go for a slim or baggy fit depending on your preferences.
You can get a good feel for a jacket by looking at pictures online, but it’s always a good idea to try one on in person if possible. That enables you to truly see how it looks and feels.
No matter how much you snowboard, a snow jacket is going to take a lot of abuse. You need yours to perform well during changing weather conditions and also be able to hold up well to the general wear-and-tear that comes over the course of a season.
Jackets can also be expensive, so you want any option you choose to last for a long time. This is why durability is so important.
A jacket’s durability often comes down to its materials. You want to make sure the jacket you choose is built with high-quality materials so that it doesn’t rip or tear easily.
You should also look for features such as thick zippers, strong buttons, and thick drawcords that will be able to perform through constant use. Most reputable snowboard brands have a focus on durability and some even offer warranties.
Every snowboarding jacket comes with a range of additional features that make it special. That then helps you find the exact one for you. Basic features such as a hood, powder skirt, and wrist cuffs can go a long way towards keeping you warm and comfortable as conditions change.
Extra pockets and compartments also allow you to carry extra gear or snacks so you don’t have to go into the lodge as much.
I like to look for a jacket with a detachable hood that’s big enough to go over my helmet. This makes it more versatile by allowing me to remove the hood if the weather gets warm.
Some jackets have removable inner liners, and others come with special construction. I also like to look for plenty of drawcords to help get the fit just right. Inner pockets are also nice because they allow you to secure your phone.
Additional Tips & Resources
Whenever you get new snowboarding apparel, you want to ensure it holds up well under demanding conditions. All of the options listed in this guide made the cut because they are made of high-quality materials intended to perform under changing and intense cold weather situations.
However, even when you buy from famous snowboard jacket brands and try to take care of your jackets, accidents can occur.
If you get a hole or tear in your jacket, don’t panic. There are ways you can repair your clothing even if it undergoes a considerable amount of damage. You should first check with the brand or store where you purchased the jacket to see if it’s under warranty.
You might be able to get it patched up or replaced for free. If it’s not you can also repair small rips and tears yourself. Follow the instructions in this video to help you fix it up.
As mentioned in the previous sections, there is an almost endless number of options when it comes to snowboard jackets. This list cuts through those numbers to help you find the best ones around.
It does not matter if you want an all-around jacket or just one that works well for backcountry riding, take a look at all of the above choices and you’ll certainly find one that meets your needs.