Although it may sound obvious, but staying warm is of vital importance when snowboarding or skiing. And regardless of the reason why you have decided to buy a snowboard jacket, there are some important things that you need to consider before you jump into making any decision. Let’s check them out.
There are two main types of ski snowboard jackets, insulated and shell ski jackets wherein both of them are a good option to choose. The first type contains an insulated layer Primaloft in particular (a synthetic material) and an outside part of the jacket that is usually made out of a waterproof and windproof shell. When it comes to the insulation part, you should know that it is measured in grams so the higher the gram amounts the better the insulation and warmth. Generally speaking, the lighter to mild versions of ski snowboard jackets have under 60 grams of insulation while over 100 grams can provide you with more warmth and are great for extreme weather conditions.
The shell ski jackets, on the other hand, are way more breathable and can provide you with greater mobility, thanks to its waterproof and windproof shell. The main difference between this and the first type of jacket is that the shell ski one does not contain any insulation. This allows you to add more layers underneath to control the temperature the way you like it. Consequently, the one you choose can mainly depend on your personal needs and budget as well.
Now let’s say a few words about the waterproof and breathability rating. Although the second one is crucial, the waterproof rating is the most important attribute of a jacket as it prevents water from penetrating inside the shell. Generally speaking, waterproof ratings are based on millimeters (mm) and ski/snowboard jackets range from 5000 – 10 000mm. Wetter climates require for a higher rating somewhere around 15 000 – 20 000 mm range, but keep in mind that the higher the rating, the more expensive the jacket.
Breathability rating, on the other hand, is also measured in grams through the Moisture Vapor Transmission Test (MVTR) which measures how many grams of sweat per one square meter your jacket can release in a 24 hour period of time. Simply put, breathability refers to the ability to allow sweat and moisture to escape from inside your jacket through the pores of the shell lining while being able to maintain you warm. Casual skier and snowboarders require a jacket with 5000-10 000 grams of breathability rating while the more dedicated persons require a rating of 15 000 grams.