Which snowboard jackets are best?
Whether you’re hitting the slopes for the very first time or you’re a seasoned snowboarder, a great jacket is a critical component of having a good day out. Whether it be early season days filled with ice and snow or end-of-season outings with a chance of rain, you can count on a snowboard jacket to protect you from the elements. If you’re in the market for a great, versatile jacket from a reputable brand, consider the Helly Hansen Alpha 3.0 jacket.
What to know before you buy a snowboard jacket
If you tend to get hot easily, choose something with more of an athletic fit that focuses on reflecting your body heat. On the other hand, if you find yourself getting cold in the winter, choose a jacket with a bit more space underneath so you can add layers around warmth-generating areas such as your core.
Shell vs. Insulated
If you get hot easily or already own a thin jacket you can wear below a shell, it will do wonders for you in terms of blocking the wind and keeping you dry. If you get cold easily or want to cut down on individual layers, opt for a jacket with built-in insulation. If you really can’t decide, choose a shell with removable insulation to get the best of both worlds.
When it comes to snowboard jackets, one of the most important things to consider is how well it protects you from the elements. The main function of a shell is to protect your insulating layer, whatever it may be, from wind and water. If you’re on a budget, look for nylon fabrics that have a denier rating of 50 or higher. If cost isn’t a concern, opt for a completely waterproof Gore-Tex shell.
What to look for in a quality snowboard jacket
Simple, high-quality vents can make all the difference when it comes to breathability and staying comfortable. Brands such as Helly Hansen have created unique venting systems that use the movement of the snowboarder to force air through specific channels in the jacket, providing a non-blustery cooling feeling.
Powder skirts are a simple yet effective way to keep warmth in and snow out. Many jackets skimp on the powder skirt, but if you plan on snowboarding somewhere with big mountains, choose a jacket that has one.
High-quality jackets should include a RECCO reflector, which is a passive transponder that makes your location searchable no matter where you are, in the event of an avalanche or similar accident.
How much you can expect to spend on a snowboard jacket
Good quality snowboard jackets start around $100 and higher-end models can cost upwards of $500 depending on what features it comes with.
Snowboard jacket FAQ
Is down insulation good for snowboarding?
A. While down jackets do a great job of keeping you warm, they don’t function well when wet. Because of this and the fact that down insulation is bulky and can restrict movement, down isn’t as common in snowboard jackets as it is in regular winter jackets.
Why are so many jackets marketed as ‘PFC-Free?’
A. Perfluorinated acids, or PFCs, are harmful ingredients that were used to create waterproof coatings for clothing. While reputable manufacturers have entirely moved away from using PFCs in their products, budget jacket providers may still use them.
What’s the best snowboard jacket to buy?
Top snowboard jacket
What you need to know: With complete insulation, a steller shell and awesome design, the Helly Hansen Alpha 3.0 makes choosing the right jacket a simple one-stop shop.
What you’ll love: The Alpha 3.0 features a Gore-Tex exterior with a bi-layered interior insulation made from merino wool and cutting-edge synthetic fabric. This jacket comes with a Primaloft insulated pocket that preserves your phone’s battery in the cold. It comes with handy safety features such as the RECCO advanced rescue detector and fold-away hi-vis fabric to help you stand out on a foggy day.
What you should consider: Although the hood is spacious, it may be too small for larger helmets.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top snowboard jacket for the money
What you need to know: This jacket offers affordable warmth and protection and is ideal for the irregular skier or someone who needs something in a pinch.
What you’ll love: With a fleece lining, removable hood and lightweight, water-resistant fabric, this jacket provides all the snowboarding essentials without breaking the bank. Although this jacket is a bit sparse compared to its pricier peers, it doesn’t entirely shun premium features. It comes with conveniently placed handwarmer pockets, storm flaps and even a powder skirt for snowier days.
What you should consider: This jacket isn’t known for its durability.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This jacket features ultra-premium materials with cutting-edge weather protection technology to create an astoundingly durable, lightweight and functional jacket.
What you’ll love: With intense skiers in mind, this jacket is designed for harsh conditions and exploring. Thanks to the 70-denier, triple-layer Gore-Tex shell, this jacket is wind-proof, waterproof and tear-proof. From the oversized hood and the handwarmer pockets to the double-closure powder skirt and flannel-lined collar, everything about this jacket is tailored toward snowboarding.
What you should consider: Because Arc’teryx has a reputation for using high-end materials, this jacket is not cheap.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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William Briskin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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