I love it when my clients give me a challenge! A recent one was to assist with snowboarding gear and not being a winter sports fanatic, I had to do my research first. I thought I'd share with you some of the things I learnt along the way in case you too are a novice in the winter sports gear arena.
These are some of the jackets we tried, but if you have experience of other brands or more info to share then I'd love to hear from you so please do leave a comment below.
Firstly, here's a checklist of things to look for in a snowboarding jacket:
Decide if you'd like a shell with no insulation and you can add layers underneath depending on how cold it is or whether you'd like a more insulated jacket.
Look for Gore-tex & Gore-tex Pro fabric, or one with a waterproofing rating of 15k or above, plus taped seams and waterproof zips.
Again look for a breathability rating of 15k or above so you know that the sweat will be wicked away and you'll stay dry
4. Snow skirt/ powder skirt
This will be found inside your jacket and prevent snow from entering. Some are removable if you want to wear the jacket in alternative situations
This needs to be large enough to fit over your helmet and have adjusters to keep it secure and tight
Look for underarm ventilation zips which you can open when you get hot and close again once you've cooled off
Make sure the jacket has adequate pockets inside and out for goggles, mobile phone, ski pass, wallet, and if desired, one that has an opening for headphones
Burton AK Goretex Cyclic jacket - £330 - this is the jacket we ended up buying as it was a good price, looked great and had all the features we were looking for. These included fully taped seams, Goretex which means it's waterproof and breathable & with armpit vents. It also has a snow skirt, you can tighten the cuffs of the jacket to avoid snow going up your sleeves, an adjustable hood and plenty of inside pockets.
Arc'teryx Tauri jacket - £520 - in terms of aesthetics I was very drawn to the Arc'teryx products. They have minimal branding which I like and if I ever got into winter sports (highly unlikely!) this is the brand I would like to go for. In terms of what we were looking for - this jacket is more insulated than the one above so you could wear it with a single layer underneath or layer up if you were going somewhere really cold. It's Goretex again and has all the features as above and also a Recco reflector so you can be found in an emergency.
Kjus Cuche II jacket £1,399 - this was the jacket we almost bought, but decided against in the end due to the fact that it was possibly going to be too hot, as well as being very expensive. But if you want the best of the best with the highest technologies (I won't pretend to be an expert on this but you can read all about them here) then this one is super lightweight, waterproof, breathable and very stretchy and comfortable as well as having a sleek design. It's more of a ski jacket as the design is shorter but other than that it would suit a snowboarder perfectly.
Please leave any comments on your preferred brands or other features to look out for in the comments below.