- 1 Snowboard Jacket
- 2 Factors To Consider
- 3 Waterproofing
- 4 Seams
- 5 Fit
- 6 Length
- 7 Type of Skier
- 8 Insulation Types
A snowboard jacket isn’t something that should help you look cool. It is something that should protect you from low temperatures, keep you warm and provide a decent amount of movement while snowboarding.
Not all jackets of this kind are made to meet all the expectations. In order to help you as much as possible, we will take a look at the factors and the main features you need to consider when looking for a new snowboard jacket.
Factors To Consider
Breathability is one of the main and most important factors. It should be taken into consideration. What this means is that you need a snowboard jacket that won’t let water penetrate but it will allow for your body to breathe and remove excess heat. If your jacket doesn’t allow the skin to breathe you will sweat, a lot and you will feel uncomfortable. It is also common to catch a cold precisely due to this issue.
Measuring the best breathability is actually very simple. It is measured in grams and you can see rating ranging between 2000 grams and 20000 grams. Obviously, 20.000 grams is the best rating and desired to those who need excellent performance. For instance, professional snowboarders prefer this rating. However, if you are ordinary snowboarder you can get above the average performance with a jacket with 10.000 grams breathability. Lower than that is fine and definitely very affordable but isn’t suitable for demanding users.
A powder skirt isn’t a mandatory part of the jacket but a desirable one. It is a piece of material that goes around your waist to keep you warm. It should be detachable so you can easily remove it when it isn’t needed. Another purpose of this addition is to prevent snow from getting inside the jacket from the front and the rear. Modern models do an excellent job with this and their powder skirts are superb.
When you are feeling too warm, all you have to do is to unzip or unbuckle the powder skirt and you will allow for the heat to escape. It is an excellent symbiosis of practicality and protection.
Vents are also an essential part of a professional and high-end snowboard jacket. In this case scenario, you should target models that come with vents located under the arms and at the front. They should have small zippers which allow you to open or close the vents when needed. It is an excellent feature that has huge importance especially for those who tend to sweat a lot.
With advanced vents, you can control the temperature precisely as you want. When you are cold simply zip the vents and you will increase the temperature. In order to see how much this feature is important, we can add that some models offer more than 20 vents which is stunning and will be of greater help.
A hood on any snowboard jacket is an important addition. We say addition because not all units come with a hood. Obviously, you will wear a helmet while snowboarding but when the temperature is extremely low or you are, wear a hood can be of extreme importance. For some, it is the most important addition while some users don’t prefer having a hood on their jackets.
To get the best of both worlds you should consider jackets with detachable hoods. They are the most effective and the most desirable. You can have it when needed or remove it when you don’t need.
Each snowboard jacket should come with as many pockets as possible. We like models that have specific pockets for a smartphone, maps, keys and additional storage. Think of them as mandatory pockets on a new snowboard jacket.
Don’t forget that interior chest pocket is more than just important. It is used for keeping your smartphones safe and dry at all times. It is also desirable as a place for storing cash and important documents.
Size should be carefully chosen. You should feel comfortable in the jacket and you should be able to move your arms freely without any effort. Too big jacket will slow you down while snowboarding and won’t keep you as warm as needed. Too small jacket won’t be usable either.
Take your time and measure your chest diameter and the arms if you are purchasing online. Luckily most manufacturers offer jackets in all possible sizes so you won’t have a hard time finding the one that is suitable for your body size.
This factor depends on your individual preference only. You can get any model made with any materials and come in any color you prefer. All you have to remember is that these jackets either come in bright or black colors. You may want to match the jacket to your pants, helmet and obviously a snowboard. There are no rules here and you can get any style that matches your dream.
Waterproofing is used to measure how good a jacket can protect you from water. There are different ratings and there are different possibilities. Don’t forget that the overall rating depends on the material but also on the seams used. If a seam allows the water to penetrate, your jacket won’t be waterproof.
It is mandatory to have a jacket for this purpose that comes with impressive and strong seams. A jacket of this kind will help you stay dry at all times and help you protect your accessories from the water. Below we will take a closer look at this factor and help you understand it.
Waterproofing rating is similar to the breathability. However it is measured in millimeters and it should refer to how much water a jacket can resist to within 24 hours. The lowest rating is 5000 mm which will be the most affordable but it will allow water to get it. The highest is 20.000 mm and it is reserved for the best of the best jackets. Around 10.000 mm is considered as more than just suitable and most of you won’t need a higher rating.
Gore-Tex is a new technology that made snowboard jackets masterpieces. With this tech, a jacket is breathable but also doesn’t allow the water to penetrate it. Basically, it has a membrane built in the jacket that will do the hard job. All of these jackets are paired with fully sealed seams and there is no other alternative here. The only drawback is the price. All jackets that feature Gore-Tex technology are expensive.You can also check out the studies about this technology .
Each jacket is made from many different parts. They are connected to each other using seams. There are three main types of seams you can see on snowboard jackets and each one is different.
Fully seam sealed
Fully seam sealed or fully tapped is one of the best options. It means that the seams are specifically made not to let any water get in. High-end models have this type of seams and we can see them as an excellent combination of quality and value.
Critically taped seams are not ideal. They refer to the models where only the most important seams around your chest, for instance, are completely waterproof. Other seams may let water in so these models are low-end jackets used by beginners and those on a tight budget.
Welded seams are the most desirable outcome. They are reserved for the best snowboard jackets and they can resist any level of stress or water you expose your jacket to. These seams are obtained using glue or sonic welding.
Fit is used to define how a jacket will look while wearing. Keep in mind that we can only give you recommendations and not direct rules. What this means is that you can choose any fit you like.
These are the most elegant jackets and they can be used by many snowboarders. You will definitely look cool and appealing, but the actual protection isn’t at the highest level.
The regular fit is a combination of the slim and loose style. It is one of the most popular options these days and it is one of the most appealing we can find. You will still look cool but you will be better protected.
Loose fit is reserved for ultimate snowboarders who need the maximum amount of freedom while snowboarding. A jacket of this fit is massive and will provide the best protection from the elements.
Here we can see another factor that depends on individual preference only. The length of a snowboard jacket can be either of these three types and you can choose the one that is the most suitable for you. Don’t forget that you get different levels of protection from low temperatures.
Definitely the most common type of snowboard jackets. We can link them to the slim fit mentioned earlier. You will look cool and you will be reasonably protected but not as much as some people need.
Hip is the most desirable type we actually recommend. These jackets are an excellent combination of freedom while wearing a jacket and they can provide excellent protection. On the other hand, they are not too massive nor too big.
The biggest and the longest option. A jacket of this kind is suitable for the most demanding people who hate the cold and want to stay warm at all times. We must add that a jacket of this size is massive and heavy, but also very desirable and suitable for the harshest weather.
Type of Skier
Which type of skier you are? There are 3 main ones and each one is different. Below you can see explanations. This is important in order to be able to choose the most suitable jacket for your skiing habits.
This type of skier will use tracks and official routes only. As such lower insulation, the slim fit jacket is in order. There is no need for added protection due to the fact you will always be close to the hotel and you can take shelter at any given moment.
A skier of this kind will want to try snowboarding and skiing whenever possible. It is common for some users to go behind the tracks deep into the mountain in order to find the best route. If you are one of them, you need advanced temperature protection and a high-end jacket.
This is the most common skier type. You will snowboard anywhere possible and you will do it in any way you are comfortable with. When it comes to suitable jackets, all types are great for a user of this kind. There are no special features to consider but you will generally need a very comfortable mid-range snowboarding jacket.
There are a lot of different insulations you can get in a new snowboard jacket. We know that three main types exist and each one is special. Now we will have to say something about each type and see why it is preferable.
Down is the best type of insulation and the one we highly recommend. It is derived from geese or duck feathers and the more is always better. Between 800 and 900 is the best outcome and those jackets are extremely warm and they can keep you warm at all times. Most, more affordable models have between 500 and 600.
This is a similar type of insulation as the previous one. However, down insulation has one main problem and it is moisture. This type is coated on a molecular level and it can make the down insulation completely immune to water and therefore moisture. We can add that this insulation is a stunning choice and probably the best possible outcome we can t5hink of at the moment.
Synthetic insulation is as the name suggests. It is made from polyester fibers with air pockets between. There are all kinds of different sub-types here and each one is different. A more important matter to consider is the amount of insulation. Between 50 and 100 grams is suitable for mild conditions. Around 200 grams is ideal for the harshest situations when the temperature is low.