What to Wear Under Snowboarding Jacket?

The most common things to wear under a snowboarding jacket are a base layer and mid-layer. If you are riding in warmer conditions, you might need only to wear a base layer. But wearing both a base and mid-layer gives you the most versatility to adapt to changing weather. 

My name is Lorraine. As a certified snowboard instructor, I’ve been snowboarding for most of my life, and I’ve seen every type of weather you can imagine. I’ve worn many kinds of cold-weather clothing under my jacket and have first-hand experience with what works the best. 

This post will highlight what to wear under a snowboarding jacket. I’ll tell you what your options are and also why every rider has a preference for what they like to wear. 

Let’s jump in.

Initial Thoughts

There are no exact rules for what you should wear under a snowboarding jacket. But some guidelines will help you stay warm and dry when you are in the cold. I’ll list all of those here to give you an idea of what is most commonly worn. 

Some riders have different preferences about what to wear under a snowboarding jacket. Ultimately, it’s up to you what you choose to wear. I think it’s always a good idea to have more clothing than less because you can always take a layer off. 

No matter what you choose to wear, you DO NOT want to wear cotton under your snowboarding jacket. This includes t-shirts or sweatshirts. Cotton is a terrible fabric to wear in cold weather situations because it doesn’t provide insulation when it gets wet

What to Your Under Snowboarding Jacket: The Options

Layering is the name of the game when it comes to what to wear under your snowboarding jacket. By having several layers on or available, you can adjust your specific setup based on what conditions you are riding in on any given day. 

The most common things to wear under a snowboarding jacket are base and mid-layers. 

A base layer is also often called long underwear or thermals. Base layers are a snug-fitting, long-sleeve garment that provides you with your first line of insulation against the cold. A good base layer will dry quickly and still insulate when wet. 

A mid-layer is more like a sweater or light jacket that goes over your base layer but under your jacket. I view a mid-layer as optional, and this is the clothing item you can wear or not wear based on the conditions you are riding in. 

If you have a heavy winter snowboarding jacket with lots of insulation, you might only need a base layer and not a mid-layer. You’ll probably want a base layer and a mid-layer if you only have a shell-style jacket. 

My preferred choice of material for both base layers and mid-layers is Merino wool. This is a lightweight natural fiber that is very warm and comfortable. It also provides good insulation if it gets wet because of sweating or snow.  


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most frequently asked questions relating to what to wear under a snowboarding jacket. 

What should a snowboard base layer wear? 

A good base layer should be made of lightweight, warm fabric like Merino wool or something synthetic. You don’t want to wear a cotton shirt because they do not have any insulating properties when they get wet.

What do you wear under a snowboard shell jacket? 

If you are just wearing a shell jacket, you should wear a base layer and mid-layer, depending on the weather conditions you are riding in and your preferences. If it’s a warmer day, you probably only need a base layer but will require a mid-layer on colder days. 

What should you not wear snowboarding?

You don’t want to wear anything made of cotton when snowboarding. Cotton is not a good fabric in cold or wet weather situations because it loses any insulating properties when it gets wet. Don’t wear a cotton t-shirt under your snowboard jacket. 


Most riders wear a base layer and mid-layer under their snowboarding jacket. A base layer goes on top of your skin, and a mid-layer is a bit thicker and goes over your base layer but under your jacket. 

You can choose several different types of material for base and mid-layers, but you never want to wear cotton clothing.

About Lorraine
I'm a certified snowboard instructor. My first experience with snowboarding occurred at an indoor resort. One run had me hooked, and it has turned into a lifelong passion ever since then. I'm here to share with you some of the tips and advice I have learned along the way.

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