Getting The Right Snowboard Jacket

by Fraser

I’ve been rocking two snowboard jackets over the last few seasons and they’ve both been really good. One is Special Blend, the other is Planet Earth. Prior to these two jackets I wore an excellent Quiksilver jacket and my favorite snowboard hoodie; but before that, I had a couple of not so great choices.

So what makes a good jacket? The prime quality that has made the last 3 jackets so successful, is that they’ve kept me warm and dry. This might sound obvious, but the shell jacket from Burton I used to wear did neither. It had no insulation, which more often than not left me feeling cold. It was also a poor material as far as water-proofing goes. The jacket got wet.

The other duff choice that I made was a suede down jacket. It looked sick, no doubt, and as long as it was dry it worked really well. But it’s not easy to stay dry when snowboarding – the suede just wasn’t practical.

Some people like a lighter jacket with the freedom to layer up, others like the uber warmth of a down… For me, a jacket that has mid-insulation is best. A single base layer in the sun, a breathable hoody when it’s cold. Perfect.

Anyhow, I wanted to mention the Planet Earth jacket in particular.


I don’t normally pay much attention to features, but this jacket gets it just about perfect:

  • A good choice of main pockets, all zipped and all insulated. Dry.
  • Two good side-entry breast pockets. One on the inside, one on the outside. Both insulated and zipped, easy to get to. The outside one is perfect for a mobile. The inner, a goggle pocket, is big enough to hold a small cam corder (e.g. mine). Very handy.
  • Good vents, both under the arms and on the back of the jacket.
  • Magnetic buttons that ooze quality and work perfectly every time.
  • The wrist gaters that keep snow from going up your arm, even if you’re wearing under gloves.
  • It’s even got a balaclava of sorts that tucks away at the neck; I used it in Fernie when it was really cold.

It’s just an awesome jacket. I love it. Unfortunately it’s starting to show a few signs of wear – I’ll probably get the sewing kit out before next season. It’s one of those bits of kit that I don’t want to wear out, I’ll hand on to it as long as possible. It’s the perfect jacket.

So what about you? Any outerwear that seems to work perfectly? Or are you stuck with some kit that you can’t wait to replace?

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