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The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024

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.

Riding in the extremes at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Eric Phillips)
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The quality of a snowboard jacket can make or break your day in the mountains. That’s why we have thoroughly tested the best jackets for snowboarding so you can choose one that works. As you gear up for the winter or make upgrades throughout the season, consider one of our top picks for your upper half.

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. Some riders also need an insulated jacket depending on the climate where they ride. To make our list of the best snowboard jackets, a design not only needs to check all of the technical boxes but should be stylish and durable.

Overall, finding the right kit 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, take a look at our awarded picks and select options for 2024.

Editor’s Note: We updated our Snowboard Jackets guide on April 4, 2024, with new awards for the Jones Snowboards Men’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket and Jones Snowboards Women’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket, after extensive backcountry testing, and coverage of the new Stio Men’s Figment Jacket and Women’s Figment Jacket.

The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024

Best Overall Men's Snowboard Jacket

Trew Gear Men’s Cosmic PRIMO Jacket


  • Shell 3-layer shell 100% recycled nylon
  • Insulated No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 20,000/20,000
  • Number of pockets 7
  • Weight 723 g
Product Badge The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Colorful designs stand out
  • Heavy-duty fabric kept us warm
  • Super durable and sustainable 100% recycled PRIMO Fabric


  • Expensive investment
  • Hood does not fit flush over helmet
Best Overall Women's Snowboard Jacket

Trew Gear Women’s Stella PRIMO Jacket


  • Shell PNW 3L Primo Fabric woven with 100% recycled nylon, Bluesign certified
  • Insulation No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 20,000/20,000
  • Number of pockets 7
  • Weight 624 g
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Top-tier fit and style that we love
  • Sustainable inhouse fabric that’s 100% recycled and 20K waterproof
  • Fully seam taped
  • RECCO reflector


  • We wish there was a zippered internal chest pocket but love the other pockets
  • Pricier side
Best Budget for Men

Burton Men’s Covert 2.0 Jacket


  • Shell 2-layer Burton DryRide membrane
  • Insulated No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 10,000/5,000
  • Number of pockets 10
  • Weight 992 g
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • The hand pockets are lined with micro fleece — a nice touch
  • 10 total pockets on the exterior and interior
  • XXS to XXXL offered for plenty of size variety


  • Waterproofness level might not be high enough for folks in high moisture regions
Best Budget for Women

686 Athena Insulated Jacket


  • Shell 2-layer infiDRY
  • Insulated Yes, body-mapped with InfiLOFT Insulation — 80 g in body, 60 g in sleeves, 40 g in hood
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 10,000/10,000
  • Number of pockets 5
  • Weight Unavailable
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • The tricot-lined collar is always a favorite for our lower face
  • Helmet compatible hood
  • Functional pockets
  • Full taped seams


  • Not the most waterproof for moisture-rich storms
  • Could be nice to have more pockets
  • No eco-friendly material upgrades
Runner-Up Best Snowboard Jacket

Dakine Sender Stretch 3L Jacket


  • Shell 3-layer 4-way stretch recycled polyester with PFC-free DWR
  • Insulated No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 20,000/20,000
  • Number of pockets 7
  • Weight 746 g
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Vent ports help prevent goggle fogging inside face guard
  • Integrated hood visor
  • Lengthy, ergonomic fit


  • Internal chest pocket does not have media port
  • Full powder skirt does not extend 360-degrees to front
  • Not the softest material inside the face guard
Best Insulated Snowboard Jacket for Men

Flylow Roswell Jacket


  • Shell 2-layer 100% polyester hardshell
  • Insulated 60 g Spaceloft synthetic insulation
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 10,000/10,000
  • Number of pockets 7
  • Weight 975 g
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Spacious 13-inch vents underarm
  • Great windproofness


  • Not the most waterproof/breathable option for super high moisture climates
Best Insulated Snowboard Jacket for Women

Jones Snowboards Women’s MTN Surf Recycled Jacket


  • Shell 100% recycled polyester 4-way stretch fabric, PFC-free DWR, interior 100% recycled polyester liner
  • Insulation PrimaLoft Bio, recycled materials and biodegradable
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 20K/20K
  • Number of pockets 8
  • Weight 800 g
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Roomier fit for comfortable layering and liberal moves
  • Lightly insulated for cold days on the ski lift
  • Super functional pockets
  • Stylish


  • An insulated jacket isn’t our top choice for backcountry endeavors
Best Men's Shell for Backcountry Splitboarding

Jones Snowboards Men’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket


  • Shell 3-layer 100% recycled polyester fabric and PFC-free DWR
  • Insulated No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 30,000/30,000
  • Number of pockets 9
  • Weight 786 g
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Soft, stretchy fabric for unlimited movement
  • Lifetime warranty
  • 100% recycled material
  • Lightweight


  • Lightweight also means it's easy to get cold when not moving or on the chairlift
  • Among the most expensive jackets tested
Best Women's Shell for Backcountry Splitboarding

Jones Snowboards Women’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket


  • Shell 3-layer 100% recycled polyester 70-denier four-way stretch face fabric, 100% recycled 20-denier polyester backer, PFC-free DWR, recycled YKK Natulon and YKK VISLON AquaGuard zippers
  • Insulated No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 30,000/30,000
  • Number of pockets 6
  • Weight 590 g
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Supple and soft
  • Super durable
  • Eco-friendly materials including 100% recycled face fabric, backer, zippers
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Unique infographics for backcountry travel and safety
  • High waterproof rating to withstand a coastal snow climate


  • Lightweight — not insulated one bit, which could be a deterrent for some riders
  • The burly zipper teeth are a bit rough against the hands
  • An investment
Runner-Up Best Backcountry and Resort Shell

Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Jacket


  • Shell 3-layer electrospun AscentShell membrane with a 40-denier by 65-denier weave, 50-denier polyester backer
  • Insulated No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 10,000/20,000
  • Number of pockets 7
  • Weight 576 g (women’s); 627 g (men’s)
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Lighterweight shell
  • Functional
  • Plenty of pocket options


  • Leaner, athletic fit means there’s not as much room for dense midlayers on cold lift laps
Favorite Snowboard Jacket for Carrying Stuff in Pockets

Stio Figment Jacket – Men’s and Women’s


  • Shell 3L 100% recycled PeakProof, 150-denier face, 20-denier tricot backer, 80/20 PFC-free DWR finish
  • Insulated No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 20,000/10,000
  • Number of pockets 8
  • Weight 876 g (men's); 766 g (women's)
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Freeride, baggier fit for freedom of movement
  • Ample, spacious pockets
  • Hood fits over helmet easily


  • Pricier choice
  • Not primary pick for backcountry and uphilling
Best of the Rest

Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket


  • Shell 100% recycled 2-layer Eco-Vortex stretch polyester face fabric, PFC-free DWR
  • Insulated 100% post-consumer recycled PrimaLoft 60 g/40 g insulation
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 30,000/20,000
  • Number of pockets 5
  • Weight N/A
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Mega spacious pockets
  • Tapered wrist cuffs
  • Extremely waterproof to withstand a coastal snow climate


  • Hand pocket entrances are angled a bit high
  • Insulation and coverage is overkill for backcountry use

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


  • Shell 2-layer 100% Circular Polyester sourced from factory scraps and recycled jackets
  • Insulated Recycled Thermal STD 60 g in the body and sleeves, 40 g in the hood
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 20,000/15,000
  • Number of pockets 6
  • Weight 964-1,276 g
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Bonus goggle cleaner included
  • Synthetic insulation retains warmth through high moisture
  • Moderate price
  • Very sustainable design


  • Not ideal for warm conditions or uphill travel
  • Jacket is on the heavier side

Dakine A-1 Jacket


  • Shell 2-layer waterproof cotton
  • Insulated No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 10,000/10,000
  • Number of pockets 5
  • Weight Unavailable
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • 90’s inspired throwback style
  • Durable fabric
  • Unisex


  • No hood – can be cold on stormy days
  • Not the upper-tier of waterproofness but for moderate snowstorms works fine

Volcom Women’s V.CO Aris GORE-TEX Jacket


  • Shell 2-layer PFC-free GORE-TEX
  • Insulated No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 28,000/20,000
  • Number of pockets 4
  • Weight Unavailable
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • 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)

Jones Snowboards MTN Surf Recycled Jacket


  • Shell 100% recycled 2-layer body-mapped 4-way stretch polyester, 100% recycled stretch polyester liner, PFC-free DWR
  • Insulated Lightly insulated with biodegradable and recycled PrimaLoft Bio
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 20,000/20,000
  • Number of pockets 9
  • Weight 920 g
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • Powder skirt included
  • Helmet-compatible hood
  • 100% recycled materials from fabric to insulation and zip pulls


  • No bright color options
  • Insulation might not be your top pick

686 GORE-TEX Jacket — Men’s Core Shell & Women’s Willow Insulated


  • Shell 2-layer GORE-TEX
  • Insulated 40 g (women’s) with 85% recycled insulation made from plastic bottles
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 28,000/20,000
  • Number of pockets 5
  • Weight Unavailable
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • 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

Volcom Men’s L GORE-TEX Jacket


  • Shell 2-layer GORE-TEX with PFC-free DWR
  • Insulated No
  • Waterproof (mm)/breathability (g) rating 28,000/20,000
  • Number of pockets 5
  • Weight Unavailable
The Best Snowboard Jackets of 2024


  • 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
  • Lacking recycled materials
  • XXL is in high demand leading to low stock
GearJunkie editors testing apparel and hard goods at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Snowboard Jacket Comparison Chart

Scroll right to view all of the columns: Price, Shell, Waterproof/Breathability, Number of Pockets, Weight.

Snowboard JacketPriceShellWaterproof/
Number of PocketsWeight
Trew Gear M’s Cosmic PRIMO Jacket & W’s Stella PRIMO Classic$4793-layer shell20K/20K7624-723 g
Burton M’s Covert 2.0 Jacket$2702-layer Burton DryRide10K/5K10992 g
686 W’s Athena
Insulated Jacket
$2002-layer infiDRY10K/10K5N/A
Dakine Sender Stretch 3L Jacket$4953-layer 4-way stretch recycled polyester20K/20K7746 g
Flylow M’s Roswell Jacket$3002-layer 100% polyester hardshell10K/10K7975 g
Airblaster W’s Sassy Beast Jacket$3202-layer Eco-Vortex
stretch fabric with 100% recycled polyester
Dakine A-1 Jacket
$290 2-layer waterproof cotton10K/10K5N/A
Outdoor Research M’s 
Skytour AscentShell Jacket & W’s Skytour
$3993-layer electrospun AscentShell membrane10K/20K7576-627 g
Stio Figment M’s & W’s Jacket$4993L 100% recycled PeakProof, 150-denier face, 20-denier tricot backer, 80/20 PFC-free DWR finish20K/10K8876 g (men’s); 766 g (women’s)
Jones Snowboards M’sW’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket$5503-layer 100% recycled polyester fabric, PFC-free DWR30K/30K6590 g
Picture Men’s Object Jacket & Women’s Seen Jacket
$3532-layer 100% Circular Polyester sourced from factory scraps and recycled jackets28k/15k6964 to 1276 g
Jones Snowboards M’s & W’s 
MTN Surf Recycled Jacket
$500100% recycled 2-layer body-mapped 4-way stretch polyester20K/20K9920 g
Volcom W’s V.CO Aris GORE-TEX Jacket$3102-layer GORE-TEX28K/20K4N/A
686 GORE-TEX Jacket M’s Core & W’s Willow Insulated$330, $3602-layer GORE-TEX28K/20K5N/A
Volcom M’s L GORE-TEX Jacket$3402-layer GORE-TEX, PFC-free DWR28K/20K5N/A
When the conditions are deep and cold, wearing a hood while you ride can provide even more warmth and protection; (photo/Eric Phillips)

How We Tested Snowboard Jackets

Our GearJunkie snowboard gear testers include a range of experts. We have resort shredders, backcountry splitboarders, pow surfers, and instructors among our gear testers.

We meet for an annual gear testing week to swap notes, including multiple gatherings 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 Tilton 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 incredible places with her snowboard including Vancouver Island. To date, she’s tested snowboard jackets a total of 24 days and 74 hours in 2023, in addition to testing ski jackets (Tilton also skis) and working with gear testers.

Lead author, photographer, and gear tester Eric Phillips has been snowboarding since 2008. He’s a formerly certified Level II PSIA-AASI instructor and records over 100 days on snow at his home mountain in Crested Butte. He does a mix of resort snowboarding, backcountry splitboarding, mountaineering, snowmobiling, and pow surfing in his home range of the Elk Mountains.

Editor Austin Beck-Doss has been snowboarding since 2005.

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 a spectrum of design attributes including fit, durability, functionality, ease of movement, zipper quality, pocket design and utility, waterproofness, insulation, hood, wrist gaiters, cuffs, and overall value. We consider what climate and purpose each jacket is best suited to fill. We also take into consideration the most novel, style-specific, popular, highly rated, and legacy products across a range of price points and applications.

Snowboarder Testing Out the Women's Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket - Pockets
Senior Editor Morgan Tilton testing out the women’s Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Snowboard Jacket

To start, we recommend you first decide what type of snowboard jacket is best for you — how do you want to use this layer? Are you looking at jackets for backcountry touring or high waterproofness? Long days at the resort? Or one jacket that can do it all? Then, search for a jacket in your price range and sizing while considering all the extras from the number of pockets to a softly lined collar.

With any of the snowboard jackets we’ve listed here, you really can’t go wrong. Below are additional details you’ll want to consider to help you make the right decision the first time.

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.

As you ride, your arms move, so choosing a jacket with range of motion is key; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Insulated versus Non-insulated

A portion of snowboard jackets offer no insulation — the 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.

You can pull on a variety of midlayers beneath a shell, also known as a non-insulated snowboard jacket; (photo/Eric Phillips)


When picking an insulated jacket, it’s important to choose the right type of fill that’ll work for you and where you ride.

There are two primary types of insulation: down and synthetic, or a combination of both, which is typically done with targeted zones in the jacket. 

Insulation works by trapping air inside tiny pockets within the materials, whether that be down filament — which is natural — or strands of polyester — which is synthetic or human-made. 

Down Insulation

Down Insulation is derived from duck, geese, or other waterfowl as a byproduct of raising these animals for food. Down has a warmth-to-weight ratio that’s three times that of synthetic insulation.

Overall, down is lighter, more compressible, and longer-lasting than synthetic insulation. While down offers superior warmth per weight, the organic material does have one weakness: moisture. Down doesn’t insulate very well once wet, takes very long to dry, and is also more expensive.

When looking at down jackets consider the fill power. This is a number indicator of the quality of the down used: The higher the number, the more volume a given weight of down will occupy. For example, an 800+ fill is considered premium and offers such warmth per weight while the range of 500-700 is more average.  

Underarm zippers are essential for releasing heat on a warm, sunny day or when you’re working hard, like on a powder day; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Synthetic Insulation

Synthetic insulation is made from polyester fibers, which are spun to create pockets of air between fibers. The higher quality of insulation translates to finer filaments with more space for air between them. Synthetic insulation can also be treated for odor and water resistance to improve performance in outdoor activities.

Compared to down, synthetic insulation is generally less expensive, insulates much better in wet conditions, and is fast drying. But, synthetic insulation is slightly heavier, compresses less, and doesn’t last as long as down insulation.

Looking at the specs, synthetic insulation is measured in grams per square meter, referring only to the amount of insulation and not the overall weight of the jacket. The higher the number, the more insulated and warmer the jacket will be. 

Hybrid Insulation

There are a few jackets on the market these days offering a combination of both down and synthetic insulation at the same time. The hybrid construction can provide benefits for both materials while limiting each material’s flaws. It’s not all perfection though, as these jackets are still more expensive, less water resistant than synthetic alone, and heavier or bulkier than down alone.

Consider how much weight you want to carry, the packability of the jacket, what weather you aim to be in, and how much you’re willing to spend when it comes to choosing the right insulation for your new jacket.

Certain hood designs have a built-in brim that is rigid, like the bill of a hat, to prevent the elements from reaching the top of your goggles and increasing visibility; (photo/Eric Phillips)


Staying warm on the mountain is essential to having the most fun. Those fun tokens run out quickly when one gets cold, the same can also be said for becoming too hot and sweaty.

There are two ways to get warmth in a jacket: using an insulated jacket with the warmth built-in or using layers underneath a non-insulated shell.

Below is a lineup that compares the quantity of warmth each of our favorite insulated snowboard jackets provides, based on the amount of insulation in each product:

Insulated jackets allow you to wear fewer and ergo less bulky layers, so you don’t have to worry as much about selecting the best midlayer. These warmer outerlayers can also be cheaper when compared to separately buying a shell and a midlayer.

The downside: You can’t take off the insulation layer if the ambient temps rise. If you’re doing a lot of movement, like whipping through tight glades or ripping pow fields, an insulated jacket can at times be too warm. On the other hand, standing in lift lines on cold, busy days means your body can get colder faster, giving the edge to an insulated jacket.

To choose the best jacket, it’s important to know your body. Do you run warm naturally or sweat often? If yes, stick with a non-insulated shell. But if you run cold and like staying toasty warm, there’s nothing better than the hug of an insulated jacket.

We love functional, long zippers on our hand pockets; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Two-Layer vs. Three-Layer Fabric

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 has 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 dually 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.

If you tend to take a lot of breaks at the ski mountain, an insulated jacket could be a nice asset, such as here at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Eric Phillips)


Snowboard jackets are made up of many different materials from 100% recycled polyester or nylon to traditional nylon. Jackets are made of multiple layers of fabric: An outer layer or face fabric is visible on the exterior and an inner layer goes against your body, which is a 2-layer jacket. A 3-layer jacket has another fabric membrane sandwiched in between giving more breathability, durability, and waterproofing. 

Some 3-layer jackets use a blend of fabrics like the Jones Snowboards Men’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket, which has a rugged 70-denier face fabric paired with a 20-denier backer to reach a 3L Jacket. The outer face is usually treated with a Durable Water Repellent to keep water beading and prevent precipitation from soaking into the fabric. Traditional DWR is loaded with toxic chemicals though many brands offer PFC-free DWR that nixes the harsh ingredients that negatively impact humans and the environment.

Insulated jackets have insulation injected into the inner fabric of the jacket, which adds extra warmth but can take up more space. Insulation is technically another layer but does not count toward the 2-layer versus 3-layer label.

There’s a large shift in the snowsports industry toward more sustainable, recycled materials in jackets, which have less of an environmental cost but usually come with a higher price tag for the consumer. There is also a shift towards Bluesign and Oeko-Tex standards for materials, which are certifications that ensure materials and employees working in textile manufacturing plants have the highest safety and environmental standards. Jackets like the Flylow Men’s Roswell Jacket and Jones Snowboards Men’s Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket come with such eco certifications.

Snowboarder Pulls Down Underarm Vents on Jacket
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. Certain vent designs have a piece of mesh fabric to block snow from getting inside while the vents are open while other designs open directly to the baselayer underneath.

In terms of quality, YKK zippers are the toughest and are widely universal across brands.

Snowboard jackets can generally be roomier and boxier or athletic and fitted or regular, which could be tailored, like the Trew Gear Stella PRIMO Classic; (photo/Eric Phillips)


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.

Waterproofing can be clutch on deep days, due to the persistent exposure to moisture as you descend; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Here are the waterproofness levels side by side for our favorite snowboard jackets, with 30,000 mm being the most waterproof and ideal for more coastal snow climates while the jackets with 10,000 mm of waterproof ratings are more moderate for drier snow climates.

Face fabric treatments — which can be either eco-friendly formulas labeled PFC-free or chemicals that are toxic to the environment — can also help make a jacket more waterproof. Some snowboard jackets also have sealed seams and waterproof zippers to additionally block moisture.

Choosing a snowboard jacket with a variety of pockets will also help make sure you have a spot for your phone that doesn’t get in the way as you ride or tinker with your bindings; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Water Resistance

Various chemical treatments can be used on the exterior face textile of fabrics to make snowboard jackets water resistant. The treatment changes the surface texture of the fabric and allows water to collect in droplets or beads, which then roll away.

Some eco-friendly products are challenging the industry norm by achieving a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) without the use of chemicals that also never need to be reproofed. For instance, some jackets use Teflon Ecoelite PFC-free DWR, while other brands still use traditional chemical-based DWR, which will need to be reapplied every season or so. Make sure you know which type of DWR your jacket has so you can be prepared to reapply the water resistance if necessary and so that you’re more aware of the chemicals you personally wear.

The length of arms on snowboard jackets combined with a sturdy wrist cuff closure will help keep snow from riding up the outerlayer; (photo/Eric Phillips)


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, a good range for inbounds uphill workouts and backcountry tours

For high-output resort riding or on powder days, aim for a jacket with a 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.

Breathability of a fabric is important for the sake of not getting clammy as your body produces sweat, which can happen on overcast, snowy days, too; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Air Permeability

Not to be confused with breathability, air permeability is how fast air can move moisture from the inside of the jacket to the outside of the jacket, which enables the fabric to breathe.

Air permeability is measured in cubic feet of air per minute (CFM), which is the amount of air that passes through a square foot of fabric. A material with 100 CFM is not a lick windproof while 50 CFM offers a bit of wind resistance and 0 CFM is totally windproof.

Let’s think of this in terms of sweat: Traditional waterproof jackets have lower air permeability, meaning you really have to sweat before the jacket starts to breathe. Jackets like the Outdoor Research Men’s Skytour AscentShell Jacket have higher air permeability, meaning the textile breathes before you start to uncomfortably sweat.

The bottom line is that more air permeability means a more comfortable jacket for high movement.


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.

Snowboarder Slides Phone Into External Pocket on Snowboard Jacket
Exterior pockets are more convenient to access while interior pockets generally help keep a device warmer to prolong battery life; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Fit and 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.

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

Collar and 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.

Though, not all hoods fit well over a snowboard helmet compared to others, and the compatibility depends on the size and shape of the helmet, which differs model to model. Each jacket’s hood has a unique design, as well.

Some hoods are made to fit over a ski or snowboard helmet but greatly restrict movement of your head, as you swivel left or right. The benefit of a hood on the ski lift or skintrack, or on a blizzardy day at the ski resort, is that the hood will help keep you warmer in cold or windy temperatures and keep snow out of the edge of your helmet.

The downside is hoods often limit head mobility or peripheral visibility on the descent, which most riders don’t like. As a whole, we think the jacket industry needs to get better with snowboard helmet and hood compatibility. Looking for the best helmet to fit under your hood? Check out our Best Ski Helmets GearJunkie guide.

Some hoods are adjustable via elastic pulls on the side and back. Others have an integrated visor so that they don’t collapse beneath moisture and help keep precipitation from reaching the topside of your goggles. A handful of hoods are removable, while most are fixed.

Not many snowboard jacket hoods allow for complete range of motion while the hood is over a snowboard helmet and collar is zipped tight, but Patagonia tends to do well; (photo/Eric Phillips)


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 627 g and the Women’s Shralpinist Stretch 3L Jacket at 650 g.

Slightly heavier but still fairly lightweight designs include the Jones Snowboards MTN Surf Parka and Flylow Roswell Jacket at 950 g each. A slightly beefier jacket is the Burton Men’s Covert 2.0 Jacket at 993 g.

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

Snowboarder Adjusts Jacket Cuff Over Mittens
Wide, soft fabric tabs on sleeve cuffs help make adjustments easier with and without gloves on; (Crested Butte Mountain Resort; photo/Eric Phillips)

Sleeve Cuffs and 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.

Two Snowboarders Sitting Below the Rocky Peak at Crested Butte Mountain Resort
GearJunkie editors sitting below Mount Crested Butte while testing snowboard gear; (photo/Eric Phillips)

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.

The torso length of a snowboard jacket is important for keeping snow and cold air out, even when you need to lift your arms in a dynamic move; (photo/Eric Phillips)

How to Layer

Maintaining a comfortable temperature — not cold while also not sweating — can be a challenge across different conditions. In the mountains, we all know that we can see multiple seasons all within one day — much less in a few hours. The best way to manage body temperature is by properly layering for the conditions.

Starting with the against-the-skin layer, we recommend a tight-fitting base layer made of synthetic fabric, wool, or a hybrid of the two fibers. Check out our Best Men’s Base Layers guide and Best Base Layers for Women guide for more information on the right one for you.

After base layers come midlayers, which is the insulation layer where most of your warmth can be piled on. For insulated jackets, this layer is essentially already built in, but for non-insulated shell jackets, you’ll need to add a midlayer.

We recommend pulling on either a down puffy jacket, synthetic jacket, or a wool midlayer for that boost of warmth. For resort snowboarding, we usually wear this layer at the start of cold mornings before ditching it later in the day as the temps rise. To be totally clear, while you only wear one base layer, you can pile on as many midlayers as you need to get warm — of course, you don’t want to sacrifice mobility in your arms, so be strategic.

Lastly comes the snowboard jacket, which is either insulated or a shell, both of which serve as a waterproof outerlayer to keep snow and water at bay while trapping body heat inside. 

Finding the right layering system can take some time, especially when conditions vary at the ski hill. If you’re too warm, you can also open your jacket’s underarm vents to cool down. If that doesn’t work, consider ditching the midlayer or wearing a lighter-weight base layer. On the contrary, if you’re bundled up and still cold, it’s probably time to add another layer beneath your jacket.

When choosing a shell jacket, make sure to leave a little room, so that you can easily layer beneath. Insulated jackets already have that space built in, so they can run a tad tighter.

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


Snowboard jackets range from $200 to $300 for the most economical options. Starting with our budget selection, the 686 Women’s Athena Insulated Jacket comes in at $200. That’s followed by the Men’s Burton Covert 2.0 Jacket at $270, then the Dakine A-1 Jacket at $290, which rounds out the sub-$300 group. 

We’ve found among our favorites the average cost is closer to $300 to $400. That next tier of jackets starts with the Men’s Flylow Roswell Jacket ($300) and the Women’s Airblaster Sassy Beast Jacket ($320). There’s also the Men’s Volcom L GORE-TEX Jacket ($340), the Volcom Women’s V.CO Aris GORE-TEX Jacket ($310), the 686 GORE-TEX Jacket Men’s Core ($330), and Women’s Willow Insulated ($360). The Women’s Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Jacket and Men’s Outdoor Research Skytour AscentShell Jacket ($399) round out the price range of our best jackets for snowboarding.

The most robust designs, which can be best for long days in variable conditions such as in the backcountry, can reach up to $700. That last tier offers the most well-built designs and expensive materials, which can be best for long days in variable conditions such as in the backcountry or really snowy climates.

First is the Men’s Jones Snowboards MTN Surf Recycled Jacket ($500) followed by the Dakine Sender Stretch 3L Jacket ($495). Next in price comes the Trew Gear Men’s Cosmic PRIMO Jacket & Women’s Stella PRIMO Jacket, both ($499). Finally topping out at our most expensive jacket in our guide comes the Women’s Jones Snowboards Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket ($550) and Men’s Jones Snowboards Shralpinist Stretch Recycled Jacket ($600).

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

Flexible fabric and roomier fits in a snowboard jacket allow for plenty of movement; (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.

Brighter colors can be easier to spot on flat light, overcast, or blizzard-tossed days; (photo/Eric Phillips)
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 purchasing.

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 midlayer 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.

The higher the ambient temperatures, the less insulation you will need in a snowboard jacket; (photo/Eric Phillips)
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 JacketVolcom Women’s V.CO Aris GORE-TEX Jacket, and Burton Men’s Covert 2.0 Jacket.

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 Women’s V.CO 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 PRIMO Classic.

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

A touch of insulation in a snowboard jacket can help make super cold days at the resort more comfortable on the run and on the ski lift; (photo/Eric Phillips)
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.

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.

Snowboarder poses with jacket at ski resort
A softly lined interior collar is one of our favorite features of a good snowboard jacket, like this Picture Organic jacket we tested at Crested Butte Mountain Resort; (photo/Eric Phillips)

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