GearJunkie Editor Morgan Tilton testing snowboard jackets; (photo/Eric Phillips)

The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2022-2023

Whether you’re snowboarding at your home resort every weekend, or splitboard mountaineering volcanoes, having a functional jacket that holds up to the elements is essential.

As you gear up for the winter or make upgrades throughout the season, consider one of our picks for the best snowboard jackets of 2022-2023.

To make our list of the best snowboard jackets, it not only needs to check all of the technical boxes, but should be stylish as well. While your backside can mop up plenty of snow on the ski lift or run, a jacket likewise collects plenty of moisture, especially on a long, snowy day out. Jackets need to block moisture while also being breathable, and some riders need an insulated jacket depending on the climate where they ride.

Overall, finding the right snowboard jacket for your daily missions will help keep you dry, warm, and protected from whatever weather the mountain throws at you. If you’d like to learn more about the nuances of snowboard jackets, drop down to the buyer’s guide tips and FAQ at the bottom of this article. Also, make sure to have a look at our comparison chart to steer your decision-making.

Otherwise, scroll through to check out which snowboard jackets made our list of top picks or jump to a category below:

The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2022-2023

Best Overall Snowboard Jacket: Trew Gear — Men’s Cosmic Jacket Classic & Women’s Stella Classic

Trew Gear — Men's Cosmic Jacket Classic & Women's Stella Classic

These modern jackets look good, feel good, and offer an excellent barrier to all winter conditions, from heavy snow to wind to sunny days. It’s hard to beat the Trew Gear Women’s Stella Classic and Men’s Cosmic Jacket Classic snowboard jackets ($399).

These Bluesign-certified three-layer shells are robust and offer strong protection against snowfall, even in the Pacific Northwest where there’s a high water content. The design doesn’t stiff riders on breathability, either. And the pit zips are generous with 16 inches to gape open.

The fit is roomy, so you can layer beneath and have ease of movement. The length covers the bum for extra warmth and protection.

While a powder skirt is a nice touch, it’s even better when it’s removable like on these jackets. For a bit more safety, a RECCO reflector is integrated.

Inside, two mesh dump pockets are large enough to hold splitboard skins between laps — a big plus in our book. Outside, there’s a pass pocket and four external zippered pockets.

While they might be too pricy or overbuilt for some riders, they balance the demands of Mother Nature with style points and a high-quality, long-lasting build, making the Cosmic and Stella Classics our top picks for the best snowboard jackets of the year.

  • Shell: 3L shell
  • Insulated: No
  • Recycled content: No
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 20,000/20,000
  • Seams: Fully seam taped
  • RECCO reflector: Yes
  • Number of pockets: 7
  • Weight: 22-26 oz.
  • Stylish, unique cut
  • Deep collar for face protection
  • Pricier investment
  • Lacks traditional hand pockets
  • No recycled material

Check Men’s Price at Trew GearCheck Women’s Price at Trew Gear

Best Budget Snowboard Jacket for Men: Burton Covert Jacket

Burton Covert Jacket

Perfectly insulated, tons of features, great pockets, and overall style contribute to why the Burton Covert Jacket ($220) is a great choice for resort shred days.

The jacket offers moderate-level waterproofness and breathability, which works for riders in more mild and moderate climates. And the price tag is on the lower end of the spectrum.

There are ample pockets (including one for media access), pit zips for venting, a removable powder skirt, and a helmet-compatible, one-hand-adjustable hood.

This was one of the warmest jackets we tested, and a few testers of different sizes and heights all liked the fit.

Burton also made a big effort with the sustainability of this jacket, using 40% recycled content insulation and ensuring all the fabrics are Bluesign-approved.

  • Shell: 2-layer Burton DryRide membrane
  • Insulated: 80 g in core, 60 g in sleeves
  • Recycled content: No
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 10,000/5,000
  • Seams: Critically sealed
  • RECCO reflector: No
  • Number of pockets: 6
  • Weight: 35 oz.
  • The hand pockets are lined with micro fleece — a nice touch
  • 8 pockets on the exterior and interior
  • Waterproofness level might not be high enough for folks in high precipitation regions

Check Price at REICheck Price at Backcountry

Best Budget Snowboard Jacket for Women: 686 Athena Insulated Jacket

686 Athena Insulated Jacket

This insulated design sits at an excellent price point for comfortable, functional snowboard outerwear. The 686 Athena Insulated Jacket ($190) offers synthetic insulation throughout the body, sleeves, and hood, which serves to keep shredders warm during cold temps and potentially eliminates the need for a mid-layer purchase as well, which could be a bonus for those on a budget.

While the jacket doesn’t boast the highest waterproofness and the seams are not critically taped, the insulation is synthetic, so it can retain heat even when damp. But overall, this jacket will serve folks in cold, dry conditions rather than snowboarding all day in a snowstorm with high water content.

The pockets are adequate with an internal goggle and lens stash, an external smartphone pocket with an outlet for an audio cord, and a pass pocket. There are two spacious zippered hand pockets. We also like that there’s a powder skirt and underarm ventilation.

  • Shell: 2-Layer infiDRY
  • Insulated: Yes, body-mapped with InfiLOFT® Insulation — 80g in body, 60 g in sleeves, 40 g in hood
  • Recycled content: No
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 10,000/10,000
  • Seams: Not critically taped
  • RECCO reflector: No
  • Number of pockets: 5
  • Weight: Unavailable
  • The tricot-lined collar is always a favorite for our lower face
  • Helmet compatible hood
  • Functional pockets
  • Not the most waterproof for moisture-rich storms

Check Price at REICheck Price at Amazon

Best Insulated Snowboard Jacket for Men: Flylow Roswell Insulated Jacket

Flylow Roswell Insulated Jacket

The Flylow Roswell Jacket ($300) is insulated — hood included — making this layer a solid contender for blustery conditions over a base layer and light fleece or on warm spring days with short sleeves, depending on the rider and location.

If the conditions call, riders can pull the hood over their helmet. There’s a powder skirt, and we appreciate the wrist gaiters with thumbholes.

While the waterproofness is on the lower end, the face fabric is treated with DWR, which enhances the protection so moisture beads right off. The jacket’s seams are fully taped, and there’s a YKK waterproof zipper. With 120-denier fabric, the material is not the most robust but does the trick for weekly trips to the resort. All considered, we’d prefer to use this jacket at the resort versus the backcountry.

And we can’t overlook that there are pockets galore: four exterior pockets for stashing goods, a pass pocket, one interior pocket for skins (or gloves), and a media pocket.

  • Shell: 2-layer 100% polyester hardshell
  • Insulated: 60g Spaceloft synthetic insulation
  • Recycled content: No
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 10,000/10,000
  • Seams: Fully taped
  • RECCO reflector: No
  • Number of pockets: 7
  • Weight: 33.5 oz.


  • Spacious 14-inch vents underarm
  • Great windproofness


  • Not the most waterproof/breathable option for super high precipitation zones

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Amazon

Best Insulated Snowboard Jacket for Women: Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket

Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket

The women’s Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket ($300) has detail-oriented features, from the unique powder skirt to the spacious pockets and a highly waterproof, breathable fabric. With compressible PrimaLoft insulation integrated into the jacket, the design aims to keep riders both warm and dry.

The two-layer fabric is Eco-Vortex with an outer layer that’s 100% recycled. An FC-free DWR finish adds even more protection against heavy snowfall. And the waterproof YKK zippers down the center front and on the chest pocket block moisture.

Overall, the smooth fabric isn’t loud or crunchy. And it barricades biting cold wind and repels moisture super well.

Some of the most unique features of this jacket are the two huge chest pockets. The opening is a whopping 12 inches, and the length is closer to 18 inches in total. The pocket is shaped like a triangle that tapers toward the top, so the width varies but is nearly 9 inches at its widest point. These two gargantuan pockets are a tradeoff for not having traditional hand pockets.

Check out our full review of the Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket. Also read the review on the Airblaster Sassy Hot Bib, which is a key complement to the jacket.

  • Shell: 2-layer Eco-Vortex stretch fabric with 100% recycled polyester and FC-free DWR
  • Insulated: PrimaLoft 60g/40g insulation
  • Recycled content: Recycled polyester
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 30,000/20,000
  • Seams: Fully sealed
  • RECCO reflector: No
  • Number of pockets: 5
  • Weight: Unavailable
  • Mega spacious pockets
  • Tapered wrist cuffs
  • No direct hand pockets

Check Price at evo

Best Shell for Backcountry Snowboarding: Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Jacket — Men’s & Women’s

Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Jacket

Our best shell and backcountry-performance jacket for shredders is Outdoor Research’s Skytour Jacket ($379). Launched back in 2021, the Skytour is made with Outdoor Research’s AscentShell technology and has been a servant on backcountry missions.

Of all the shells we tested, this one was one of top-notch waterproofness and breathability. Our favorite detail is the stretch, which is a necessity while dialing in the shoulder straps and hip belt on a heavy pack, snowmobiling to the base of a climb, and adjusting our bindings at the top of the drop.

This jacket performs super well in the backcountry. The fit and sizing are accurate for the purpose, and it’s equipped with pit zips and quality pockets both in terms of size and placement. There are both an interior and dual exterior chest pockets, two hand pockets, an interior mesh stash, and forearm pass pocket. While it’s not insulated or roomy, you can use this shell at the resort, too.

If we had to pick only a few favorite things to brag on about this jacket, it’d be the combo comfort and durability of the shell, the adjustable hood with a wire brim, and the softly lined chin guard. All in all, if you haven’t upgraded your splitboarding shell in a while, the OR Skytour AscentShell should definitely go on your list.


  • Shell: 3-layer electrospun AscentShell membrane with a 40-denier by 65-denier weave and 50-denier polyester backer
  • Insulated: No
  • Recycled content: No
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 10,000/20,000
  • Seams: Fully taped
  • RECCO reflector: No
  • Number of pockets: 7
  • Weight: 22.1 oz.


  • Lighter weight shell
  • Functional with plenty of pocket variety


  • Leaner, athletic fit means there’s not as much room for dense mid-layers on cold lift laps

Check Men’s Price at REICheck Women’s Price at REI

Most Sustainable Snowboard Jacket for Men: Jones Snowboards MTN Surf Jacket

jones men's mountain surf parka snowboard jacket

Recently launched by Jones Snowboards is an outerwear collection that includes the MTN Surf Jacket ($459), an everyday jacket that works as well on bluebird park days as it does on a skin track. This baby is supremely accommodating in all conditions, comfortable, and versatile.

Lined with 100% recycled 40g PrimaLoft insulation, the predominant characteristic of the MTN Surf Jacket is warmth, but not at the sacrifice of movement or breathability. Its tough body-mapped shell features two types of PFC-free fabric: a two-layer, waterproof ripstop recycled polyester in the hood and shoulders, and a more breathable, two-layer, four-way-stretch recycled polyester around the torso.

This pairing means protection where you get wet and breathability where you sweat, enhanced by zippered pit vents that make dumping heat a breeze. We generally keep them open for the downhill and zipped for the lift.

For other sustainability features, the jacket has YKK Natulon recycled zippers as well as YKK VISLON Aquaguard zippers with recycled zipper pulls and adjuster cords. A PFC-free DWR treatment. 100% recycled polyester lining. The materials include 46% recycled polyester. And the four-way stretch face fabric is combined with 58% recycled polyester.

The jacket is WRAP-certified and meets the Oeko-Tex standard 100 and includes Bluesign-approved materials, verifying the sustainable, ethical processes and materials used to make the jacket.

For storage, each of the parka’s nine pockets are designed for a different use, with a pass pocket in the left forearm and a cellphone stash tucked into the chest where it stays warm and holds battery life longer.

  • Shell: 2-layer body-mapped 4-way stretch polyester
  • Recycled content: 100% recycled face fabric
  • Insulated: Yes, PrimaLoft Bio
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 20,000/20,000
  • Seams: Fully taped
  • RECCO reflector: Yes
  • Number of pockets: 9
  • Weight: 33.5 oz.
  • Powder skirt included
  • Helmet-compatible hood
  • No bright color options

Check Price at REICheck Price at Amazon

Most Sustainable Snowboard Jacket for Women: Jones Snowboards Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket

Snowboarder wearing the Jones Snowboards Women’s Shralpinist Stretch 3L Pants
Morgan Tilton testing the Jones Snowboards Women’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket; (photo/Eric Phillips)

This winter, Jones launches the first-ever women’s apparel in the brand’s newly founded outerwear collection. Enter the Women’s Shralpinist Stretch 3L Jacket ($550), a premium pick for snowboarders to wear from sunshine to winter storms, season after season on backcountry tours or while taking resort laps.

It’s a mystery to us how this material is so buttery soft yet tough. While the fabric seems to mark up easily, it is super durable and pliable.

But there’s no tradeoff for sustainability, which is at the forefront. The 40-denier and four-way stretch face fabric is 100% recycled polyester. The 20-denier polyester backer is 100% recycled, too.

The fabric is treated with PFC-free DWR, which adds resistance to moisture without being toxic to the environment. The whole package is OEKO-TEX Standard 100-certified, which verifies the safety of the materials for health and the environment, and it also has Bluesign-certified materials.

One of our favorite features of this jacket is how deep and large the two exterior chest pockets are. Each zipper length is 8.5 inches, and the pockets are nearly 7 inches wide with approximately 14 inches in length. There are four other pockets: two interior dump pockets, a large interior zippered chest pocket, and a small (pass) pocket on arm.

For sidecountry and backcountry riders, there are emergency avalanche rescue education and tools integrated into the jacket. That includes RECCO detectors and an integrated infographic called “5 Red Flags” with signs related to avalanche stability that splitboarders should consider. Inside the jacket is a second durable, laminated infographic that will likely never wear down — Avalanche Rescue Steps.

Read our full review of the Women’s Shralpinist Stretch 3L Jacket

  • Shell: 3-layer 100% recycled polyester fabric and PFC-free DWR
  • Insulated: No
  • Recycled content: 40-denier four-way stretch face fabric is 100% recycled polyester, 100% recycled 20-denier polyester backer, YKK Natulon recycled zippers and YKK VISLON AquaGuard zippers
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 30,000/30,000
  • Seams: Fully taped
  • RECCO reflector: Yes
  • Number of pockets: 6
  • Weight: 22.9 oz.
  • Supple, soft, durable, eco-friendly fabric
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Lightweight — not insulated one bit, which could be a deterrent for some riders
  • The burly zipper teeth are a bit rough against the hands

Check Price at Jones

Best of the Rest

Women’s Volcom Aris GORE-TEX Jacket

Women's Volcom Aris GORE-TEX Jacket

The Volcom Aris ($290) is a well-fitting (but not tight), flattering, well-equipped jacket we found perfect for snowboarding.

The Aris uses maybe the most popular fabric out there — a two-layer GORE-TEX shell with a PFC-free DWR. The fabric is super durable and isn’t crunchy or loud.

And this jacket won us over with all the other little details: YKK AquaGuard zippers, a jacket-to-pant interface, long pit zips, a taffeta-lined interior and brushed tricot-lined pockets, and a hood adjustable in two places. The super soft suede chin guard is one of our favorites we’ve ever used and keeps our face protected during stormy days and lift rides. There’s a unique tiny whistle integrated into the front zipper pull, too.

This is one of those jackets that’s designed so well it feels familiar from the first day you put it on. There are also the adjustable cuffs, hem, and hood to applaud.

Whether you aim for a more urban-style jacket or a more modern-style jacket, the Aris caters to both. Let’s face it — most of us do want a jacket that feels and looks good. That combo makes it one of the best snowboard jackets you can buy.

  • Shell: 2-layer GORE-TEX
  • Insulated: No
  • Recycled content: No
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 28,000/20,000
  • Seams: Fully taped
  • RECCO reflector: No
  • Number of pockets: 4
  • Weight: Unavailable
  • Super functional pockets
  • Wide Velcro straps around wrists means we can easily tighten up with gloves on
  • Hood brim to help block moisture
  • Non-insulated might not be a good choice for extremely cold environments or conditions
  • We’d like more pockets (there are 9 on the Volcom men’s Ten GORE-TEX Jacket)

Check Price at evoCheck Price at Backcountry

Picture Organic — Men’s Object Jacket & Women’s Seen Jacket

Picture Organic — Men's Object Jacket & Women's Seen Jacket

Picture’s shells are about as sustainable as jackets can get. The men’s Object ($300) and women’s Seen jackets ($300) are similar — both are made with a two-layer 20,000mm water column-rated material with a PFC-free DWR treatment.

In addition to the sustainable outer, the Picture Object shell is also made with a 64% recycled polyester with DRYPLAY membrane, while the women’s Seen is a touch more eco-friendly, made with a bio-sourced fabric (58% bio-sourced polyester from repurposed sugarcane waste and 42% recycled polyester).

Both jackets have fully taped seams, YKK waterproof zippers, underarm vents, powder skirts, wrist gaiters, and a designated pass pocket. There’s a pretty good warmth level, thanks to Picture’s body-mapped Thermal STD insulation in the body, hood, and sleeves.

Most differences are only in terms of style, color, and fit. The women’s is a slim fit, while the men’s is standard. The women’s jacket keeps the 60g insulation in the hood for warmth up top, while the men’s Object drops the hood insulation to 40g. Both have a PFC-free DWR treatment.

  • Shell: 2-layer recycled and bio-sourced waterproof/breathable fabric
  • Insulated: 60 g in the body and sleeves
  • Recycled content: 64% recycled content in men’s jacket, 100% bio-sourced and recycled material in women’s jacket
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 20,000/15,000
  • Seams: Fully taped
  • RECCO reflector: No
  • Number of pockets: 6
  • Weight: 34-45 oz.
  • Bonus goggle cleaner included
  • Synthetic insulation retains warmth through high moisture
  • This jacket can feel a bit toasty on warm spring days with the insulation

Check Men’s Price at REICheck Women’s Price at REI

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686 GLCR GORE-TEX Jacket — Men’s & Women’s

686 gore tex shell GLCR jackets men's on left and women's on right, same style with one zippered chest pocket

If you’re looking for a quality GORE-TEX jacket with a longer length designed for snowboarders, 686’s men’s Core Shell ($280) and women’s Willow Insulated jacket ($320) are fantastic options.

Some of the best and only longer-coverage GORE-TEX jackets on this list, the men’s Core and women’s Willow both feature a two-layer, Bluesign-approved GORE-TEX poly fabric with a DWR treatment and fully taped GORE-TEX seams.

Both men’s and women’s styles have helmet-compatible hoods, attached powder skirts, Lycra wrist gaiters, and adjustable cuffs. There are five total pockets (two hand pockets, one pass pocket, one goggle pocket, and one media access zippered pocket). And best of all, both include a lifetime warranty.

The only big difference between the men’s and women’s styles is the women’s version has an added 40 g of 70% recycled infiLOFT insulation. We found it provides nice warmth while not being so much that you can’t use this jacket on warm spring days, especially with the pit zips and chest vent zipper to help air out.

For less than $350, this all adds up to a great deal — one of the best snowboard jackets for the price.

  • Shell: 2-layer GORE-TEX
  • Insulated: 40 g (women’s) with 70% recycled insulation made from plastic bottles
  • Recycled content: Yes (women’s)
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 28,000/20,000
  • Seams: Fully taped
  • RECCO reflector: No
  • Number of pockets: 5
  • Weight: Unavailable
  • The tricot-lined inner collar is plush
  • An audio cord outlet is included for the internal smart phone pocket
  • Insulation is only available in the women’s jacket

Check Men’s Price at AmazonCheck Women’s Price at evo

Men’s Volcom L GORE-TEX Jacket

Volcom L GORE-TEX Jacket

Another staff favorite that didn’t quite make our top picks is the Volcom L GORE-TEX Jacket for men ($310). This Volcom Jacket shares similarities with the Volcom Aris — it’s a relaxed fit, two-layer GORE-TEX shell with design details that’ll help make this jacket last the long haul.

It’s waterproof and windproof and works great for snowboarding. There are many pockets with good placement, including two softly-lined hand pockets, a zippered pass pocket on the sleeve, a device pocket on the chest with an external zipper and media port, and a mesh goggle hammock inside.

The design also has fully taped seams, hood adjustment cinch, mesh-backed pit zips, and a full suede chin guard.

To help keep snow out on deep powder days, there’s also a zipper interface for the jacket to zip into your Volcom snow pants, which works seamlessly — we give it a big thumbs-up. Top it off with an eco-friendly PFC-free DWR coating, and this shell is ready for a storm or sunny bootpack.

  • Shell: 2-layer GORE-TEX with PFC-free DWR
  • Insulated: No
  • Recycled content: No
  • Waterproof/breathability rating: 28,000/20,000
  • Seams: Fully taped
  • RECCO reflector: No
  • Number of pockets: 5
  • Weight: Unavailable
  • Hand pockets are lined with soft tricot fabric
  • Main zipper pull has a small integrated whistle
  • No insulation might be a no-go for some riders in cold places

Check Price at BackcountryCheck Price at Amazon

Snowboard Jacket Comparison Chart

Snowboard Jacket Price Shell Waterproof/
# Pockets Weight
Trew Gear Cosmic Jacket Classic & Stella Classic $399 3L shell 20K/20K 7 22-26 oz.
Men’s Burton Covert Jacket $220 2-layer Burton DryRide 10K/5K 6 35 oz.
Women’s 686 Athena Insulated Jacket $190 2-Layer infiDRY 10K/10K 5 N/A
Men’s Flylow Roswell Insulated Jacket $300 2-layer 100% polyester hardshell 10K/10K 7 33.5 oz.
Women Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket $300 Two-layer Eco-Vortex stretch fabric with 100% recycled polyester 30K /20K 5 N/A
Men’s Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Jacket $379 3-layer electrospun AscentShell membrane 10K/20K 7 22.1 oz.
Women’s Jones Snowboards Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket $550 3-layer 100% recycled polyester fabric and PFC-free DWR 30K/30K 6 22.9 oz.
Men’s Jones Snowboards MTN Surf Jacket $459 2-layer body-mapped 4-way stretch polyester 20K/20K 9 33.5 oz.
Women’s Volcom Aris GORE-TEX Jacket $290 2-layer GORE-TEX 28K/20K 4 N/A
Picture Organic Men’s Object Jacket & Women’s Seen Jacket $300 2-layer recycled and bio-sourced fabric 20K/15K 6 34-45 oz.
686 GLCR GORE-TEX Jacket $320 2-layer GORE-TEX 28K/20K 5 N/A
Men’s Volcom L GORE-TEX Jacket $310 2-layer GORE-TEX with PFC-free DWR 28K/20K 5 N/A
GearJunkie editors taking a break below Mount Crested Butte while testing snowboard gear; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Why You Should Trust Us

Our GearJunkie snowboard gear testers include a range of experience levels from intermediate to experts and men and women. We also have backcountry splitboarders (with AIARE 2 certification), backcountry snowmobilers, pow surfers, and certified instructors on staff. We meet for an annual gear testing week to swap notes, including a recent ride week at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, which is known for its extremely steep terrain.

Leading the gear testing, Senior Editor Morgan Tilton specializes in snowsports. She’s been snowboarding since 2002, when she switched from skiing on two planks to one, which she’d been doing since age 4 at Telluride Ski Resort. While she grew up competing in slopestyle competitions, today Morgan lives in the Elk Mountains, where she snowboards in-bounds, splitboard tours and mountaineers, heads out on sled-accessed adventures, and pow surfs in between. She’s traveled to some incredible places with her snowboard, including Vancouver Island.

Editor Austin Beck-Doss has been snowboarding since 2005, and our contributing photographer Eric Phillips is a certified Level II PSIA-AASI instructor.

We’ve tested snowboard jackets in a range of conditions from California to the Colorado Rockies and high-alpine environments. Our apparel has protected us in ice-cold wind, on long lift rides, on long backcountry tours, and while romping through deep powder.

While testing for the best snowboard jackets, we consider fit, durability, functionality, fit, ease of movement, and overall value. We also take into consideration the most novel, style-specific, popular, highly-rated, and legacy products across a range of price points.

Morgan Tilton testing out the women’s Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Snowboard Jacket

Choosing a Jacket

To start, we recommend you first decide which type of shell or jacket is best for you, look for a jacket in your price range and sizing, and then consider all the extras. With any of the snowboard jackets we’ve listed here, you really can’t go wrong.

You can also learn more about the specifics behind each jacket design to help decide which jacket would be the best for you and your goals.

Insulated vs. Non-insulated

A portion of snowboard jackets offer no insulation — a shell which is a versatile option to use across a variety of conditions. You can pull on this waterproof and breathable layer to stay dry and protected from the sun, wind, precipitation, surrounding debris like tree branches, or abrasive snow burn if you slide out.

Designs without insulation typically have enough room to add a mid-layer in addition to a base layer beneath for chilly or cold days. This type of jacket works well for climates with a range of temperature conditions as well as spring days (with cold mornings and warm afternoons) at the resort or powder days when you typically accumulate heat carving turns.

To decide if a non-insulated jacket is right for you, consider the ambient temperatures where you usually snowboard, if there is frequent windchill, and your body temperature on the lift.

Other designs are insulated. If the temperatures are consistently super cold or windy or if you generally get chilled, an insulated jacket might be a good choice. Some riders can wear an insulated jacket over a base layer without as much consideration for what mid-layer to bring along.

Insulated snowboard jackets can be prime for freezing or blustery conditions, long lift rides (especially with hair-raising gusts), or frequent breaks while going downhill. For some snowboarders, though, these jackets can pigeonhole them into donning too much warmth.

The type and warmth level of insulation varies across each jacket from flannel to down-filled panels or synthetic proprietary fabrics.

An insulated jacket is not recommended for backcountry travel, as the warmth-to-weight ratio is often too much.

Two-Layer vs. Three-Layer

A two-layer jacket has a face fabric — such as polyester or nylon — connected to an inner liner that protects the fabric, is breathable, and adds comfort. These jackets usually feel less hefty than a three-layer jacket.

Some have an insulation layer, and the outermost surface is usually treated for waterproofness. The price is generally more moderate compared to three-layer jackets.

Dialing up the durability, a three-layer jacket is a waterproof/breathable membrane — often made by GORE-TEX or a brand’s in-house tech, like The North Face’s DryVent or FUTURELIGHT — sandwiched between a tough face fabric and liner. Sometimes the outer fabric is treated for waterproofness. These jackets offer more protection for fierce weather conditions and are pricier.

Broadly, you’ll want to scrutinize how robust you need your jacket to be for the conditions you’ll snowboard in as well as budget needs.

Underarm vents provide adaptability for variable weather conditions and cardio-intensive spurts like bootpacking or powder runs in the glades; (photo/Eric Philips)


Snowboard jackets often offer ventilation by way of underarm zippers, which help regulate body temperature. This feature is great for warm-blooded folks or those who ride in warm conditions and for powder days when your body works hard to make turns (on powder days, remember to close your vents before your descent!).

Some underarm zippers are longer than others and this feature is especially key for backcountry adventures when you’re consistently on the move.

Other innovative ventilation designs exist. In terms of quality, YKK zippers are the toughest.


A waterproof jacket is ideal for snowboarding because the weather can be flippant, and you don’t want to run the risk of getting wet from snow or rain. The top-tier standard for waterproofness is GORE-TEX, a membrane integrated into various jacket designs.

The material is waterproof, windproof, and breathable. Some brands have a proprietary version of waterproof/breathable fabrics.

Often, waterproofness is measured by the amount of water that can be placed atop a fabric before it leaks, from 5,000 to 20,000 mm or greater. The latter end of the spectrum leads to a less breathable fabric.

  • 0-5,000 mm: Resistant to light rain, dry snow
  • 6,000-10,000 mm: Waterproof for light rain and dry, non-heavy snow
  • 11,000-15,000 mm: Waterproof for moderate rain and dry, non-heavy snow
  • 16,000-20,000 mm: Waterproof for heavy rain and wet snow
  • 20,000 mm and greater: Waterproof for heavy rain and dense, wet, heavy snow

For many locations, a waterproof range of 8,000 to 10,000 mm works well for mild to moderate precipitation.

If you generally snowboard in a wetter climate with heavier snow (meaning, the snow water equivalent, or the water content in the snow, is higher) or you want to use your snowboard jacket for the backcountry, a jacket with more waterproofness is a good call.

Among the most waterproof snowboard jackets on our list is the Jones Women’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket with 30,000 mm protection, which is one of our top-shelf choices for sustainable design and backcountry use.

Face fabric treatments, which can be eco-friendly formulas or chemicals toxic to the environment, can also make a jacket waterproof. And some snowboard jackets have sealed seams and waterproof zippers to help block moisture.


A jacket’s breathability is the ability of the fabric to allow your body heat or perspiration to pass through from the interior to the exterior.

Generally, breathability is measured by the grams of water that can pass through one square meter of fabric over a 24-hour period (written as g/m² or an abbreviated g). However, there’s no industry standard for testing a jacket’s breathability, so the methods vary across manufacturers.

  • 5,000-10,000 g/m²: Not the most breathable, suitable for inbounds alpine skiing
  • 10,000-15,000 g/m²: Moderate breathability
  • 15,000-20,000 g/m² and higher: Super breathable, good range for inbounds uphill workouts and backcountry tours

For high-output resort riding or on powder days, aim for a jacket with breathability of 10,000 to 15,000 g/m². Backcountry snowboarders and uphill athletes should look for even more breathability — 20,000 g/m² or more.

Exterior pockets are more convenient to access while interior pockets generally help keep a device warmer to prolong battery life; (photo/Eric Phillips)


Most jackets include two exterior hand pockets with zip closures, which can be low or placed higher for compatibility with a backpack belt or harness for snowboard mountaineering.

Other exterior pockets can include small pouches on the arm or on the chest such as for an ID or ski pass.

Deep, wide, higher-placed exterior pockets, like a chest pocket, can be nice for stowing a smartphone or notebook in the backcountry or on the lift: in contrast, putting heavier or bigger items in the lower-placed hand pockets can sometimes smack against the upper thigh while uphilling, sitting on the lift, bending over to reach your boots, or making aggressive downhill carves.

Interior pockets often have a zip closure (these can be great for chambering a credit card or ID), ports for headphones, or a mesh construction with an elastic band at the top.

Deep, wide interior mesh pockets with an elastic closure can be essential for holding backcountry skins, especially if the temperature is crisp and you need to prevent the glue from freezing over between use, or gloves or goggles.

Occasionally, a zippered pocket is insulated to help extend the battery life of your smartphone.

Examine what you’ll need to carry, the adequate pocket size, and if the pockets are located in the most comfortable place for you.

Fit & Sizing

Generally, snowboard jacket designs land in two camps: trimmer with a more streamlined, athletic fit or roomier and boxier with a more relaxed silhouette. Both can be comfortable. If you’re wearing a backpack in the backcountry, it can be better to wear a more well-fitted jacket so the fabric doesn’t get pinched up.

A slightly longer jacket can provide extra protection from wind and snow, but some skiers find the additional fabric cumbersome. Longer jackets are also generally better for frontcountry travel and sitting on the lift versus splitboard tours.

Each manufacturer has its own size charts. Be sure to take your personal measurements and match them up with the size charts, which can differ across brands. And remember to consider the type of mid-layer and base layer you’ll wear beneath your jacket. It might be better to size up so the layering doesn’t feel restrictive.

A handful of companies deliver more size inclusivity with broader offerings in the men’s and women’s categories including Columbia, Obermeyer, and L.L.Bean.

Everyone’s body is unique, so check the exchange and return policy before you buy.

We advise getting a snowboard jacket with a hood that is helmet-compatible; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Collar & Hood

An ergonomic collar and hood are significant features for face, head, and neck protection against sun, snow, sleet, hail, wind, or rain. Pulling up a hood can help the body retain heat in chilly conditions.

Jacket collars vary in height and ideally have an interior chin guard that feels snug against the face — a key component on a gusty chair lift.

Hoods can be helmet-compatible, which is a priority if you need extra protection and warmth around your face and neck while riding a lift or snowboarding during a snowstorm.

Some hoods are adjustable via elastic pulls. And others have an integrated visor so they don’t collapse beneath moisture. A handful of hoods are removable, while others are fixed.


A jacket’s weight can become an important factor for backcountry snowboarders that carry a day pack or may need to stash their jacket in a pack and can’t sacrifice space for bulk (weight plays into overall volume).

Similarly, some uphill athletes want to wear a jacket for weather protection but only need a light layer. And occasional resort snowboarders take laps with a backpack on and might need to store their jackets as the conditions warm.

The lightest jackets in our picks include the Outdoor Research’s Skytour Jacket at 22.1 ounces and the Women’s Shralpinist Stretch 3L Jacket at 22.9 ounces.

Slightly heavier but still fairly lightweight designs include the Jones Snowboards MTN Surf Jacket and Flylow Roswell Jacket at 33.5 ounces each. A slightly beefier jacket is the Burton Covert Jacket at 35 ounces. 

Ultimately, you shouldn’t compromise a jacket’s protection and durability or comfort features and adequate warmth to drop a little weight.

Wide, soft fabric tabs on sleeve cuffs help make adjustments easier with and without gloves on; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Sleeve Cuffs & Powder Skirt

Powder skirts can be a great addition to a jacket to prevent fluffy flakes from flying up and soaking your base layers or lower back (which isn’t an issue if you prefer bibs compared to pants). Some powder skirts are removable, and some have attachment points to connect to your pants.

Sleeve cuffs generally have a Velcro closure, though some designs have additional snaps, and cuffs vary in width and length.

Inside, some sleeve cuffs have an inner wrist gaiter — a stretchy fabric for warmth that sometimes has thumbholes to help secure the fabric over the top of the hand. Wrist gaiters can help block out wind but they can also be too bulky for some folks especially if they like to wear a watch or tuck their glove gauntlet into their sleeve cuffs.

Sustainable Features

With each passing season, the snow sports outerwear industry incorporates more and more sustainable manufacturing practices and recycled materials. If sustainable features are a priority for you, be sure to check each manufacturer’s specifications for material sources, sustainable manufacturing certifications, and so on.

Jones Snowboards definitely sets the gold standard for sustainability with the brand’s recently launched apparel line for women and men. All of the Jones Outerwear materials are OEKO-TEX- and/or Bluesign-certified. The majority are 100% recycled, and they utilize PFC-free DWR (except the GORE-TEX Pro fabric). Picture Organic also sets a high bar for sustainable apparel design.

Bluesign is a top-tier certification for textile products that are safe for the environment, workers, and customers. We have included multiple Bluesign-certified pants and bibs on this list.


Snowboard jackets range from $200 to $300 for the most economic options, and the average cost is closer to $300 to $400.

The most robust designs, which can be best for long days in variable conditions such as in the backcountry, can reach up to $700.

Usually, a higher price tag denotes higher-quality materials or additional features (things like RECCO reflectors can up the price) or a more time-intensive design and manufacturing process.

Our staff has found some great off-season deals on jackets over the years. If you buy in early fall or can wait until late spring/summer, you may find some of the jackets here as much as $100 to $150 off.

A softly lined interior collar is one of our favorite features of a good snowboard jacket; (photo/Eric Phillips)


What Is the Difference Between a Ski Jacket and Snowboard Jacket?

Ski jackets tend to have a more athletic or slimmer fit and are lighter weight, while snowboard jackets tend to be baggier, longer at the hem, and heavier. They all have a unique level of waterproofing, adjustable cuffs, and pockets. Any of those jackets can have other features such as powder skirts to keep loose snow out or helmet-compatible hoods.

Many of the jackets we’ve listed here are well-equipped insulated jackets or shells made for snowboarders but can work for other snow activities including skiing, sledding, or snowshoeing.

How Do I Choose a Snowboard Jacket?

Our buyer’s guide is a great place to start.

First, understand the conditions where you will most often snowboard: what are the average temperatures during the months when you ride and how much precipitation could you expect? Know your snowboard goals and how frequently you plan to ride. The more often you go, the greater durability and waterproofness you should consider choosing in your jacket.

Next, do research to figure out what features you want in a jacket, what style jacket you want, and which ones are in your price range.

We’d also recommend trying a few on if possible, especially if you’re taller or shorter than average or in between sizes.

We’ve tested and recommended a variety of jackets here, so every type of rider has options.

Should I Size Up in a Snowboard Jacket?

If you fall in between sizes, we do recommend sizing up. For outerwear and snowboard jackets especially, some roominess is usually factored in.

Each manufacturer will have its own size charts for male or female categories. Match up your personal measurements to the size charts and check the return or exchange policy before purchase.

If you see a jacket on this list from a brand you already own, try on the jacket or item you have and see how it fits.

You can always go into your local retailer as well if you want to try on a particular size in person — just make sure they have it in stock.

Also consider the type of mid-layer you prefer to wear beneath your jacket, and how much space you’d prefer. A little wiggle room is nice — you don’t want your layer system to be too tight or cumbersome.

Should a Snowboard Jacket Fit Loose or Tight?

A snowboard jacket should be slightly loose (but not too loose) in the shoulders and waist so your range of motion when snowboarding isn’t affected. It should fit like a standard jacket everywhere else.

If you have a snowboard jacket that is insulated, you may only need a base layer or a light mid-layer underneath.

If you have a shell, you’ll most likely wear more layers and something insulating like a puffy as well. Shell jackets are sized larger for this purpose to accommodate layering. That being said, it’s always a safer choice to have a jacket fit slightly loose than too tight.

Too tight, and your motion will be restricted, you won’t be comfortable, and even accessing pockets might be harder. We’ll also call out here that fit is based on preference — some of us like our jackets baggy, some don’t. As long as you’re happy with the fit and the jacket keeps you warm and dry, that’s all that matters.

What’s the Warmest Snowboard Jacket?

Many of the jackets that made our list are insulated from the cold, some even with a different weight of insulation in the core versus the extremities. The warmest on our list in terms of insulation are the Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket, Volcom Aris, Burton Covert Jacket, Picture Organic Object, and Picture Organic Seen jackets.

And if you are worried about your noggin, especially at the end of the day when you take off your helmet or if you want to use your snowboard jacket for other winter activities or daily errands, some jackets also have an insulated hood.

What’s the Best Snowboard Jacket for Women?

Across testing and research, we found the Volcom Aris GORE-TEX Jacket to be one of the best snowboard jackets for women, hands down, in terms of waterproofing, warmth, fit, and coverage. Another really popular women’s jacket is the Trew Gear Women’s Stella Classic.

If you spend a lot of time in the sidecountry or backcountry, we’d also specifically recommend a jacket without insulation.

What’s a Good Price for a Snowboard Jacket?

Snowboard jackets — whether insulated or shells — are a long-term investment and worth the money for the protection and comfort they provide in a winter environment. The most economic options usually range from $200 to $300, and the average cost is $300 to $400. The most robust designs, which can be best for long days in variable conditions, can reach up to $700 or more.

Usually, a higher price tag denotes higher-quality materials (things like RECCO reflectors can up the price) or a more time-intensive design and manufacturing process.

Our staff has found some great off-season deals on jackets over the years. If you buy in early fall or can wait until late spring/summer, you may find some of the jackets here as much as $100 to $150 off.

How Long Should a Snowboard Jacket Last?

A jacket can break down for a multitude of reasons, including exposure to sunshine, rain, and snow — and most of all, wear. If you want to get a lot of life out of your snowboard jacket, remember to treat it well.

This means avoiding contact with sharp objects to prevent tears and snags, keeping it clean, and hanging up/hanging out to dry. After a few years of use, you may find yourself doing some extra care on the jacket’s zippers or waterproofing. And be sure to follow the care instructions, which are unique for each jacket.

We typically find ourselves using our favorite snowboard jackets for 5 to 6 years, but that number is often lower for backcountry gear. If you only ride inbounds a couple of weeks each season and take good care of your jacket, its lifespan will be longer — maybe even a decade.

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Morgan Tilton

Morgan Tilton is the Senior Editor, Buyer's Guides, Snowsports for GearJunkie and is based in Crested Butte, Colo. More broadly, she's an adventure journalist specializing in outdoor industry news and adventure travel stories. A recipient of more than a dozen North American Travel Journalists Association awards, when she’s not recovering from high alpine or jungle expeditions she’s usually trail running, mountain biking, or splitboarding in Southwest Colorado, where she grew up and lives today.