While the looks may change according to fashion, the main task of good snowboard outerwear is to keep you warm and dry even in the roughest of conditions.
The reality is, and will always remain, that the more you pay the more technical the fabric will be. When you’re looking for a new pair of pants or a new jacket, the two things you should consider are:
The waterproof rating is measured in millimetres (mm). This refers to the depth of water that is required to penetrate the fabric (based on filling a one-inch diameter tube). If you aren’t too fussed about this, anything under 10,000mm goes. However, the best snowboard jackets rate at 20,000mm or more, putting things into perspective. Unlike wine, the garments do not get better with age, as their water repellency often degrades as they become older, which is why it might be worth spending that little bit extra on a higher rating so you won’t have to buy a new jacket after one season (which will also keep Mother Nature happy). However, who doesn’t love a rad looking coach jacket, so if that’s what your heart desires, we won’t judge.
In theory, it’s easy enough to make a fully waterproof jacket – in reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that. As living creatures, our body temperatures differ throughout the day as we can go from freezing to sweating, so maintaining a comfortable temperature can be tricky. We want to avoid trapping moisture that may later freeze, which is why our snowboard jackets and pants have to be able to breathe.
“In theory, it’s easy enough to make a fully waterproof jacket – in reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that”
Breathability ratings are measured in grams. The ratings refer to the weight of water that can pass through a square metre of fabric in 24hours. Bear in mind though, that the testing protocols aren’t universal, and thus lack consistency between brands. As a rule of thumb though, you’d want the breathability rating of your outerwear to be somewhere between 15 or 20,000 grams if you aren’t just planning to lap the park.
This year Gore-Tex, the pioneer and market leader in technical fabrics, was challenged by The North Face’s new ‘Futurelight’ technology. Neither of these fabrics offer a standard waterproof/breathability rating, hence the N/A ratings in the reviews.
As keen as we are on the technical aspects and the quality of materials used in the outerwear, you shouldn’t forget about the fit. The best snowboard outerwear is designed with articulation in mind, hence you should be able to bend your knees, twist the shoulders and reach for the grabs, without having to fear that you’ll rip the fabric.
“It might be good to think twice before spending £300 on a jacket you wouldn’t dream of wearing next season as it’s gone ‘out of style’”
If you feel unsure about how to choose your snowboard clothing, have a look at our video guide How To Choose Your Snowboard Clothing. In the end though, it all comes down to you, and when it comes to choosing the right outfit, it’s alright to be shallow and choose that dope coach jacket over the super techy one.
Whether you’re more of a traditional all-black-everything kinda person or a lover of neon colours, we won’t judge. However, it might be good to think twice before spending £300 on a jacket you wouldn’t dream of wearing next season as it’s gone ‘out of style’.
Before we let you scroll through the best snowboard jackets and pants for the season, there’s one more piece of advice – don’t skimp on the pants, no one likes a soggy arse.
Best Snowboard Jackets and Pants 2020
Scroll down to view all snowboard jackets & pants, or skip to a particular brand using the links below
686 | Adidas | Analog | Bonfire | Brethren Apparel | Burton | Columbia | DaKine | DC | Dope | Ellesse | Holden | Horsefeathers | Nikita | Oakley | Patagonia | Quiksilver | Rome | Roxy | Sessions | The North Face | Transform Gloves | WearColour
The Best Snowboard Jackets & Pants 2020
- Adidas Premiere Riding Jacket
- Adidas Riding Pant
- Bonfire Vector Jacket
- Bonfire Tactical Pant
- Bonfire Surface Pant
- Burton Women’s Loyle Anorak Jacket
- Burton Women’s Loyle Pants
- Holden Women’s Rowen Fishtail Jacket
- Holden Women’s Standard Skinny Pants
- Nikita Lindan Jacket
- Nikita Evergreen Stretch Bib Pants
- The North Face FUTURELIGHT™ SS Jacket
- The North Face FUTURELIGHT™ SS Pants