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Best Snowboard Mid Layers 2020-2021 | Our pick of the best mid layers for added warmth and comfort

We've listed our favourite mid layers to keep you warm and dry throughout the season

Choosing the right mid-layer is where snowboarders often go wrong. Sure, you could wear one of your cotton hoodies but why would you when a heavy piece of cotton is one of the worst materials to wear whilst doing any form of exercise? Cotton, you see, retains moisture which means that if you sweat a lot the moisture won’t leave your mid-layer (leaving you cold and miserable by the end of the day).

Choosing the right mid-layer is important. A mid-layer sits between your base layer and your outerwear, and its main purpose is to keep you warm by trapping the body heat within the fabric instead of letting it escape into the cooler outside air. Look at it like this. The base layer moves moisture away from your body, whilst the outer layer keeps the elements at bay. The mid-layer is there to keep you warm – provided you’ve chosen well that is.

“A good mid-layer should be breathable and able to retain heat”

How to choose the right mid-layer? A good mid-layer should be breathable and able to retain heat. Similar to outerwear, it is important for a mid-layer to be able to breathe to prevent sweat from building up in between the mid-layer and base layer, only to leave you cold once your body temperature drops.

Fleece

A classic fleece is a good option for a mid-layer. As a material, fleece doesn’t absorb moisture and dries quickly – allowing the sweat to leave the fabric which’ll stop you from getting cold. Fleece is made by napping a polyester fabric, giving it more thickness and creating air pockets for insulation.

“As a material, fleece doesn’t absorb moisture and dries quickly”

The ones looking to replace their cotton hoodies may find fleece to be their best option. During the last few years, a lot of brands have stepped up their fleece game. Not only do many brands use recyclable plastic in the production process, they’ve also got increasingly creative with the patterns and colours meaning you’ll look cool too.

One thing we’ll add here is that you should try to avoid washing your fleece too often, and when you do use a washing bag (GuppyFriend makes good ones). Fleece is made out of plastic and sheds microfibers when washed. These microfibers then make their ways into the oceans, polluting the waters with plastic (something we’re working hard to prevent).

Fleece might not be the lightest option but it’s comfortable, breathable, and keeps you warm. It’s also one of the cheaper options for a good mid-layer.

Synthetic Insulation

Synthetic insulation is a good alternative to real down as it provides warmth whilst retaining heat more effectively than actual down if damp. It doesn’t, however, have quite the same warmth-to-weight ratio as real down – nor is it as compressible or durable. It does, however, continue insulating when wet as the polyester fibres used to create synthetic down absorb nearly no moisture. If you’re about to face more damp / humid conditions, synthetic insulation might be the best way to go.

“If you’re about to face more damp / humid conditions, synthetic insulation might be the best way to go”

In terms of price, synthetic insulation is an affordable option as it often ranks between fleece and down insulation. Consider it a happy medium.

Down Insulation

If you’re about to tackle some serious cold, down insulation is your best option (helping to create the warmest mid-layers on the market). However, moisture makes down clump up, lose its ability to trap heat and thus stop it insulating as well as you’d like it to. This can happen from both outside and inside. When its wet, it takes a long time for down to dry.

When choosing a down product, you want to pay attention to the down fill power and fill weight. These are two different measurements, but combined they’ll give you an indication of the jacket’s warmth.

“If you’re about to tackle some serious cold, down insulation is your best option”

Down insulation relies on the lofts to trap the heat against your body. Fill power measures the quality of the clusters – the higher the fill power the higher the quality of the clusters. Usually, a mid-range fill power for down insulation falls somewhere between 550-650, whilst high-end insulations are everything above that. Fill weight tells you the total amount of down in the jacket, given in ounces.

When choosing down insulation, make sure it’s been produced using ethical standards, and that no animals have been subjected to unnecessary harm in the process. Read more about the Responsible Down Standard here.

If you’re looking for a less technical solution to wear underneath your jacket, we’ve listed our favourite hoodies and jumpers for 20/21 in our Best Snowboard Accessories and Gifts listicle.

Best Snowboard Mid Layers 2020-2021


FW Manifest Tour Hybrid Hoodie

PRICE: £270

New for season 20/21, FW is introducing the Manifest Tour Hybrid Hoodie puff. It works equally well as a mid-layer, when you’re looking to add some warmth, or simply on its own.

Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the FW Manifest Tour Hybrid Hoodie here

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Mons Royale Neve Insulation Hood

PRICE: €240

The Neve Insulation Hood lives up to the same well-known high standards as the rest of the Mons Royale products and is made to not only keep the ladies warm but also comfy up the mountain. 59% wool, 36% polyester, and 5% elastane – this mid-layer possesses some unique, useful, and versatile qualities.

Selected for The Whitelines 100 – take a closer look at the Mons Royale Neve Insulation Hood  here

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Adidas Mid Layer Prima Jacket

PRICE: £120

This yellow cocoon screams comfort and warmth, and very much looks like a safe haven to nest in after a heavy night out. The Adidas Mid Layer Prima Jacket is ideal to use as a comforting mid-layer or simply on its own, making it a great option for you both on and off the mountain.

Click here for the full review on the Adidas Mid Layer Prima Jacket.

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Adidas Polar Anorak

PRICE: £90

If you aren’t looking to spend too much money on a new mid-layer but still want to have something that does a better job when it comes to wicking sweat than your average cotton hoodie, investing in a fleece is probably your best bet. The Adidas Polar Anorak fleece looks snazzy enough to be worn on its own but it also provides all the comforts you’d expect from a good fleece mid-layer.

Click here for the full review on the Adidas Polar Anorak.

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Burton Women’s AK Baker Power Stretch Full Zip Mid Layer

PRICE: N/A

For season 20/21 Burton’s gone all-in with their Baker and Helium AK mid and base layer collections. The Baker collection focuses on warmth without adding any bulk or weight. The women’s Baker Power Stretch fleece is an abrasion-resistant fleece that maximises performance thanks to its slimmer fit and four-way stretch material.

Click here for the full review on the Burton Women’s AK Baker Power Stretch Full Zip Mid Layer.

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    Burton AK Helium Vest

    PRICE: £/€

    Engineered for maximum breathability, the Burton AK Helium Vest has been built with quick-drying moisture-wicking fabrics. The wicking abilities of the vest mean that once engaging in more strenuous activities, the fabric wicks the sweat away and pushes it out onto the outer layer; something which, in turn, will push it out into the environment – leaving you comfortable and dry as a result.

    Click here for the full review on the Burton AK Helium Vest.

  • BUY DIRECT FROM BURTON
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    Eivy Redwood Sherpa

    PRICE: €100

    Being wrapped in the Eivy Redwood Sherpa Fleece is like being wrapped inside a cloud in the sense that once you’ve zipped in, you won’t be wanting to come out of it anytime soon. The design is a bit heavier than the typical snowboard mid-layer fleece. However, it looks (approximately) five times better meaning you won’t just be wanting to wear this on the mountain.

    Click here for the full review on the Eivy Redwood Sherpa.

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    Eivy Mountain Fleece

    PRICE: €100

    A future vintage classic, as the brand puts it themselves, the Eivy Mountain Fleece is a warm, cosy, good-looking mid-layer that can be used equally well underneath your jacket or on its own – on a sunny spring sesh or simply on a cold night out.

    Click here for the full review on the Eivy Mountain Fleece.

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    FW Women’s Manifest Powerstretch Pro Hoodie

    PRICE: N/A

    Designed to keep the ladies warm and dry on the mountains, the FW women’s Manifest Powerstretch Pro Hoodie is an excellent addition to your mid-layer collection. It’s tight enough to move with you, while the stretch fabric allows for more freedom.

    Click here for the full review on the FW Women’s Manifest Powerstretch Pro Hoodie.

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    Oakley Cruiser Down Vest

    PRICE: N/A

    The goggle giants Oakley are slowly taking over the snowboard outerwear industry too. By partnering up with our favourite Norwegian snowboarder, Stale Sandbech, Oakley’s introducing the world to a whole range of new clothes – including the Oakley x Stale TC Cruiser Vest.

    Click here for the full review on the Oakley Cruiser Down Vest.

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    Patagonia Nano Puff

    PRICE: £180

    The Patagonia Nanopuff has been around for more than a decade and whilst its physical appearance hasn’t changed much in that time, a lot has happened underneath the surface. Patagonia, together with many other brands, is fighting the ‘good fight’ by constantly pursuing more sustainable methods when it comes to manufacturing. The Nanopuff’s internal development is a fine example of what the company has achieved in that respect.

    Click here for the full review on the Patagonia Nano Puff.

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    Quiksilver Soul Power HZ Fleece

    PRICE: £80

    This is the fleece you will want to replace all your old smelly mid-layer cotton hoodies with. Fleece is breathable and a good option for a mid-layer whilst cotton, sadly, is not (rest in peace, cotton). The Quiksilver Soul Power Fleece is part of a new mid-layer era in that it ‘breathes’ and looks rad.

    Click here for the full review on the Quiksilver Soul Power HZ Fleece.

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    Rome Riding Snap Hoodie

    PRICE: N/A

    A riding hoodie is the snowboard industry’s answer to staying dry in style, especially when spring comes along. A basic design stacked with the perfect amount of tech is what you’ll get with the Rome Snowboards Riding Snap Hoodie.

    Click here for the full review on the Rome Riding Snap Hoodie.

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    Sessions x Led Zeppelin Nighthawk P/O Hoodie

    PRICE: N/A

    The Sessions Led Zeppelin Nighthawk Hoodie has a 3k waterproof rating. A 3K waterproofing might not sound like much (if this was a jacket, it wouldn’t be) but it still makes a difference – especially when you factor in the added DWR treatment. If you’re contemplating between this and an average cotton hoodie, we would highly encourage you to go for this more techy alternative as it will actually do a decent job at keeping you dry.

    Click here for the full review on the Session x Led Zeppelin Nighthawk P/O Hoodie.

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    Volcom Iguchi Slack Vest

    PRICE: £260

    Five generations in the making, the Volcom Bryan Iguchi Slack Vest is one of the most ingenious inventions in the history of snowboard soft goods. Carrying big volume backpacks in the backcountry can often affect your balance and riding posture, something you’d ideally want to avoid if possible. The Slack Vest eases off some of that extra weight on your back while keeping everything super close to your body, thus allowing for a broader range of mobility and increased stability.

    Click here for the full review on the Volcom Iguchi Slack Vest.

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    Yuki Threads Loop Shred Hoodie

    PRICE: £96 / €105 / $122

    Yuki Threads is doing a good job in creating a more sustainable manufacturing path for other snowboard brands to follow. The Loop Shred Hoodie is made out of 100% organic cotton that’s been sourced from audited farms, while for the rest of the fabric they’ve used 100% recycled PET plastic bottles.

    Click here for the full review on the Yuki Threads Loop Shred Hoodie.

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