A snowboard jacket serves a few critical functions on the mountain. It protects you from the harsh winter conditions, keeps you warm, and lets you express your style as a rider. That’s why it’s so important to pick the best one.
I’ve been on the snow for decades and have worked as a snowboarding instructor over the last ten years. I’ve worn dozens of great jackets over the years and am always searching for the top options available.
The Burton Covert is my pick for the best snowboard jacket of the year. It has all of the performance features you could ask for and comes in at an approachable price.
There are a vast amount of jackets on the market, so I’ll give you a decent list of all of the best models in this post so you can make an informed decision to match any needs or preferences you have.
Time to zip up and get out there.
- Quick Summary
- Who Should Get This
- Best Snowboard Jackets: Top Picks
- How to Choose a Snowboard Jacket That Fits: Buying Guides
- Snowboard Jacket FAQs
- Additional Tips & Resources
- My Verdict
- Best Overall: Burton Covert
- Best for Cold Weather: Volcom Ten
- Best Women’s: Volcom Bolt
- Best for the Money: DC Defy
- Best Shell: Flylow Knight
- Best for Big Guys: Burton Dunmore
- Best for the Backcountry: Outdoor Research Hemispheres
- Best for Comfort: Dakine Curley
- Best for Style: Flylow Roswell
- Best for Versatility: The North Face Clement
Who Should Get This
Every snowboarder needs a jacket. If you take the sport seriously, you will want a few different options to 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.
You need a jacket to protect you from the elements while you carve through the snow, no matter what ability level you are or what style of riding you do.
If you ride without a jacket, you risk getting frostbite or hypothermia. On warmer days, you might be able to get away with it, but for an entire season, there’s no way.
I’ve had some incredible 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
Here are my top picks for the best snowboard jackets. All of these come recommended and have varied characteristics to meet the needs of any rider.
- Best for: Overall
- Key features: Dryride Durashell, breathable, affordable, durable fabric, plenty of pockets, waist gator, mesh-line vents
- Insulation: Thermolite 80G body/60G sleeves
- Waterproofing: 10k mm
- Cost: $$
The Burton Covert is my pick for the best snowboard jacket of the year. It comes packed with various features that every snowboarder will appreciate while also being affordable enough for the average rider.
A Dryride Durashell face fabric provides waterproofing and general weather protection. This material is very effective and gives 10K mm of waterproofing while also being very flexible and breathable.
You get serious water and windproofing capabilities without any restriction in movement. Underneath is Thermolite insulation that will keep you warm and comfortable when the temperature drops.
80 grams of body insulation and 60 grams in the sleeves and hood offer low-profile insulation that will provide ample warmth when it’s needed. The liner is made to release excess body heat and be very breathable for added comfort.
Other features include plenty of pockets to store extra gear or equipment and mesh-lined pit zip vents. The chest pockets are well placed and have a hook and loop closure, while the strategically placed vents will cool you down when needed.
The Covert also has critically taped seams to increase the weatherproofing capabilities of the jacket and make it more durable in the long run. A removable waist gaiter is a nice touch, and the helmet-compatible hood is a good size.
It can have a bit of a snug fit. If you are a larger rider or want some extra room to breathe, consider going with a size up.
2. Volcom Ten
- Best for: Cold Weather
- Key features: Gore-Tex construction, plenty of insulation, breathable, jacket-to-pant interface,
- Insulation: Low Loft Polyfill 80G body/60G sleeves
- Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
- Cost: $$$
The Volcom Ten will keep you warm and cozy when the temperature plummets. It’s a solid all-around snowboarding jacket and is packed with features that help it excel in cold weather.
Gore-Tex construction and a good amount of insulation are key to how well this jacket performs in the cold. The outer shell of the Ten is made entirely of Gore-Tex, which means you can rest assured there won’t be water or wind creeping in toward your body.
A low loft polyfill insulation provides a strong layer of protection to keep your body warm while deflecting wind and cold. 80 grams in the body area and 60 grams in the sleeves give you plenty of warmth without holding you back.
The Ten also has a pretty sweet jacket-to-pants interface that will sync up with your Volcom pants to keep snow and wind out when you are blasting through deep powder or are far off on some backcountry excursion.
Mesh-lined zippered vents help increase ventilation when you need it and work well with the breathable outer layer to regulate temperatures and keep you from overheating. This complements the insulation very well.
You can get customized comfort thanks to a toggle cinch hood with a peripheral adjustment, a two-way cuff system, and a hidden waist cinch-cord. These are subtle but effective design features that I like.
The Ten can be a little too warm for spring days, and the jacket-to-pants interface only really works with Volcom gear.
3. Volcom Bolt
- Best for: Women
- Key features: EQS slim fit, V-science face fabric, 2-layer waterproof membrane, handwarmer pockets, adjustable powder skirt
- Insulation: Low Loft Polyfill 80G body/60G sleeves
- Waterproofing: 10K mm
- Cost: $$
Female snowboarders will love the Volcom Bolt. This is another excellent jacket from Volcom that will give you plenty of protection from the elements while keeping you comfortable and looking good along the way.
V-science face fabric and a two-layer waterproof membrane provide the first layer of defense against cold weather. This gives you 10K mm of waterproofing and a flexible, breathable outer layer.
A soft and moveable liner keeps in the layers of low loft polyfill insulation. This will give you plenty of insulation on those colder days without being too much in slightly warmer conditions. It’s a versatile jacket for all-season use.
The EQS fit design is specially made for women riders. It features a slightly tapered and slim design that cuts down any excess materials for a contoured fit that feels and looks good. The slim fit isn’t too slim.
Handwarmer pockets are a nice touch that offers you a lining of brushed tricot that feels fuzzy and warm when you need to take your hands out of your gloves for a moment. A super suede chin guard is another feature geared toward warmth and comfort.
The Bolt features the jacket-to-pant interface that comes with most Volcom jackets. You can attach the jacket to a compatible pair of snow pants for extra protection from the snow and cold.
The jacket doesn’t have that many pockets, so it isn’t great if you need to pack a lot of extra small items without a backpack.
4. DC Defy
- Best for: The Money
- Key features: Affordable, warm, breathable, recycled materials used, mesh-lined vents, adjustable hood
- Insulation: DC ProFill 100G body/60G sleeves
- Waterproofing: 10K mm
- Cost: $$
If you are looking for a quality snowboard jacket on a budget, the DC Defy has a lot to offer. This is an option that will provide you with plenty of warmth and weather protection without hitting your bank account too hard.
The Defy features a Warm Defense 10 membrane that offers 10K mm of waterproofing ability that is also breathable. The face fabric is made out of a 100% recycled polyester dobby material that is durable and strong.
Another value-adding feature of this jacket is its quality insulation. You get 100 grams of DC ProFill insulation throughout the body of the jacket, and this synthetic material is great at keeping in your body heat while wicking away moisture on hotter days.
It’s also a very breathable option thanks to meshed line armpit venting. These vents are strategically placed to allow extra heat to vent off. You can open or close the vents as you need them.
The Defy also comes with a fixed waist gator to keep out snow when you are riding in powder. The hood is adjustable for when the weather gets bad. Plenty of pockets allow you to stow extra gear or snacks.
This one does have a bit of a loose and baggy fit. If you don’t want extra material flapping in the wind, this might not be the option for you.
- Best for: Shell
- Key features: Comfortable, OmniBloq DWR treatment, very waterproof, plenty of pockets, good ventilation, fully taped seams
- Insulation: None/Shell
- Waterproofing: 10K mm
- Cost: $$$
If you just want a shell and don’t need the extra insulation, the Flylow Knight is the best option out there. This is a super comfortable and effective shell jacket that will keep you dry and protected from wind and snow.
3-layer Intuitive face fabric makes up the bulk of the Knight. It’s a high-quality material that is durable and very flexible as well. This will give you enough protection from the elements to let you ride in just about any condition if you are appropriately layered up and ready to go.
The face fabric is then treated with OmniBloq DWR, which provides outstanding waterproofing. You can expect 10K mm of waterproofing ability to last for season after season of continued use.
Shell jackets are ideal for anyone who wants added ventilation and breathability, and the Knight excels with both of those conditions in mind. 12-inch pit zippers will give you a lot of airflow, and the jacket is very breathable in general.
The jacket also comes with fully taped seams, a powder skirt, no-bulk cuffs, and durable zippers. All of this adds value and strength to a high-quality jacket.
Being just a shell, this isn’t the option for severe cold. It’s also pretty expensive.
- Best for: Big Guys
- Key features: Dryride Durashell, Living lining, larger sizes available, regular fit, good venting, removable waist gaiter
- Insulation: Thermolite 40G
- Waterproofing: 10K mm DWR
- Cost: $$
The Burton Dunmore is an excellent jacket for big guys because it comes in larger sizes up to 2XL. You’ll get a comfortable fit that won’t hold you back and plenty of additional features built for performance.
It has a Dryride Durashell that gives you outstanding waterproofing ability. This 2L fabric offers 10k mm of waterproofing with exceptional breathability as well. This combines to provide you with both comfort and performance.
Theromolite insulation is effective at keeping you warm while also allowing excess body heat to escape. There are 40 grams of this material throughout the jacket for adequate insulation.
The Living lining is designed to help release excess heat as well. It has breathable pores that open up when things get hot and close as temperatures drop. You also have mesh-lined pit vents for added ventilation.
A removable waist gaiter and jacket to pant interface allow you to gear up for deep snow and stay ready for those big powder days. The hood is removable to add a customized experience so you can adapt to different conditions.
The hood can be hard to get back on in the snow if you do take it off. I’d suggest leaving it in place if there is snow in the forecast.
- Best for: Backcountry
- Key features: 70D Nylon face fabric, Gore-Tex 3L construction, flexible fit, TorsoFlo venting, helmet-compatible hood
- Insulation: None/Shell
- Waterproofing: Gore-Tex 3L
- Cost: $$$$
If you like to venture into the backcountry, you need gear that can keep up. The Outdoor Research Hemispheres is the best jacket for this purpose and will give you excellent performance in the variable conditions you’ll find outside the resort.
I’ll start with the comfort and fit as it’s worth noting with backcountry considerations in mind. It’s made with stretch technology that gives the entire jacket an elastic feel that will move with you when you head uphill or down.
The membrane is made with a Gore-Tex 3L material that makes it highly waterproof and windproof. It also increases the durability of the jacket without adding any extra bulk or weight. This jacket is built to work in rough conditions, without a doubt.
The Hemispheres also comes with a TorsoFlo venting system that features hem to pit venting to allow you to get extra airflow when you are headed straight uphill and don’t want to overheat.
A helmet-compatible hood and YKK Aquaguard zippers give you more protection from the elements and added reliability.
The only real downside of the Hemispheres is the cost. It’s extremely expensive.
- Best for: Comfort
- Key features: Soft and comfortable, YKK zippers, full inner storm flap, lycra bound cuffs
- Insulation: Primaloft
- Waterproofing: Not so great
- Cost: $$
The Dakine Curley is a very comfortable snowboarding jacket that will work well when there isn’t much snow in the forecast.
This is a puff-style jacket that will keep you warm and comfortable on bluebird days. It has a polyester shell full of Primaloft insulation that effectively and efficiently keeps your body heat in and the cold weather out.
A full inner storm flap helps cut down on wind reaching your inner layers and keep you bundled up tight.
A chin flap zipper cover allows you to zip all the way up without worrying about being uncomfortable. YKK zippers work in all sorts of winter conditions.
The Curley is very comfortable, but it isn’t very waterproof. I wouldn’t wear this or any other puff-style jacket when it is snowing heavily.
- Best for: Style
- Key features: Intuitive 2-layer stretch fabric, DWR coating, looks great, comfortable fit, lots of pockets, fully taped seams
- Insulation: Spaceloft synthetic down 80G
- Waterproofing: 10K mm DWR
- Cost: $$$
If you want to look good on the mountain without sacrificing any performance or protection characteristics, check out the Flylow Roswell.
I love the look of this jacket and its sleek and simple style. I owned one of these for a while and always got comments from other riders on how cool it was.
Looks aside, the Roswell is built for action. It has an exterior shell that is treated with a high-performance durable water repellent. This gives you outstanding water and wind protection and is up to 80% effective after 20 washes, which is impressive.
Intuitive 2-layer stretch fabric makes the jacket very comfortable and unrestrictive. It will move with you no matter how hard you ride.
80 grams of Spaceloft synthetic insulation will keep you warm even when conditions turn terrible, and fully taped seams add another layer of protection. You’ll also get a lot of pockets to store extra gear or food.
I don’t have a lot of negative things to say about the Roswell. It is a little expensive, and if you have a flashy style, it might be a little subdued for your tastes.
- Best for: Versatility
- Key features: Triclimate use, 3-in-1 style, internal goggle pocket, underarm vents, removable hood, powder skirt
- Insulation: Heatseeker 100G body/80G sleeves
- Waterproofing: DryVent DWR
- Cost: $$$
If you want versatility and a jacket that can be used in a variety of conditions, The North Face Clement has a lot to offer. This one has a triclimate design with a removable inner layer, so you can adjust and adapt to your riding conditions.
The outer layer has a durable water repellent finish that provides excellent waterproofing capability. A DryVent 2L inner membrane is super comfortable and warm as well.
Warmth is considerable with 100 grams of Heatseeker poly insulation in the body and 80 grams in the sleeves and collar. But the insulation is adjustable if you remove the inner jacket. That makes for plenty of versatility.
The Clement also comes with good breathability thanks to underarm vents and has an internal goggle pocket to keep your lenses safe when not in use.
It does have a slim fit, and zippering the inner jacket in and out can take some getting used to.
How to Choose a Snowboard Jacket That Fits: Buying Guides
Here are a few factors that you should consider while selecting a snowboarding jacket that suits you the best.
Insulation is a crucial 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 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 slightly warmer.
Another important thing to look for in a jacket is water and wind protection. Most jackets are made with an outer shell 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.
Many 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.
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 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 unique. 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. Internal pockets are also nice because they allow you to secure your phone.
Snowboard Jacket FAQs
Here are some common questions related to snowboard jackets and their answers.
Can I wear normal winter jackets for snowboarding?
You can technically wear any type of jacket when you go snowboarding. Just make sure that it is waterproof and windproof. I would recommend wearing a snowboarding jacket because they have many features that are specifically intended for riding.
What brands do pro snowboarders wear?
Pro snowboarders wear many different brands. Some of the top brands that they rep include Burton, Ride, Daking, Spy, Arbor, Nitro, Quicksilver, and 686 – just to name a few. Pro riders are often sponsored by these brands and will wear their gear because they get paid to.
Are snowboarding jackets warm?
There are varying degrees of warmth with snowboarding jackets, just like there are with any other jacket. The warmth of a jacket comes down to how much insulation it has. The more insulation, the warmer a jacket will be.
How long should a snowboard jacket be?
I would suggest getting a jacket that comes at least a few inches down over your waistline. This will help keep snow and wind from creeping up into your backside. You can go as long as you want over this, but don’t get any shorter.
What do you wear under a snowboard jacket?
Typically a base layer and a mid-layer. A base layer is like a thin long underwear type of garment that goes directly over your bare skin. A mid-layer is like a sweater or light jacket. You can adjust what you wear underneath a jacket based on the weather.
Is there a difference between ski and snowboard jackets?
The only real difference between ski and snowboard jackets is the branding. They are both made to meet the needs of people who spend lots of time in severe winter weather. You could wear a ski jacket for snowboarding and vice versa.
Is Gore Tex worth it snowboarding?
Gore-Tex is one of the best waterproofing and soundproofing materials out there. If I had a choice between Gore-Tex and another material, I would go with Gore-Tex virtually every time. It’s a quality material that comes standard with many jackets on this list.
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 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 not, you can also repair small rips and tears yourself. Follow the instructions in this video to help you fix it up.
Meanwhile, it’s a good idea to learn something about how to take care of your jackets, unless you are planning to buy a new jacket every season. It’s not just about the look and personal hygiene problem, in fact, proper care of your items is key to keep them functioning well.
Let me try to explain the reason why as simple as possible here: our jacket is made up of a fabric containing a waterproof/breathable membrane, and a face fabric coated with a DWR (durable water-repellent treatment). DWR is one of the very important reasons to keep your jacket dry from rain and snow.
Here is a simple relation: water resistance and breathability decrease with DWR wears off. Regular wear, oil, sweat, dirt, etc. are all factors causing negative effects to DWR. So it’s a good idea to repair the DWR coating of your jacket when you feel clammy and wet while wearing it.
The repair of your outerwear is different depending on different brands’ tech. Here are some general tips you may consider but it’s always best for you to read the instructions first and check with the manufacturer before washing it.
- Wash your jacket with a tech wash like Granger’s, Nikwax, McNett, or Penguin, or else a mild, non-bio, no scents detergent is also fine, check the instruction first and see if it has to be hand wash, dry wash, if washing machine can be used? Just use it. Don’t worry.
- Zip up your jacket and put them in a laundry bag, normally we set the temperature to around 30 to 40 degrees for most jackets but you’d better check with the manufacturers first.
- Do not use bleach. Never ever use bleach!
- I don’t usually rinse my jacket, usually, I just take it out and let it dry naturally under an indoor environment. Or just use the low rinsing cycle.
- Apply spray-on DWR product when your jacket is still wet.
- When your jacket is totally dry, put a towel on top and iron it with medium heat.
If you want the best jacket in terms of performance, features, and value, look no further than the Burton Covert. This is my top choice for a snowboard jacket this year. It is a high-quality option from a reputable brand and will have you covered in all sorts of on-snow situations.
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. You really can’t go wrong with any of the options reviewed in this post. Just find one that matches your needs.About Lorraine