is volcom a good brand?

Is Volcom a Good Brand? [Snowboard Brand 101]

by Fraser

The debate about the best brands in the sporting world is timeless. 

And when it comes to passion-led niches like snow sports, it can get pretty frosty. 

But amidst the avalanche of names for snowboarding nerds (like me) to discuss, one stands out: Volcom.

They’ve been around for years, initially on the fringes and now very much within the mainstream. 

Recently I’ve therefore found myself thinking, “is Volcom a good brand?”

The Short Answer

Based on experience and research, Volcom has established itself as a reputable name in snowboarding, resonating with its rich history, athlete support, and sustainable initiatives. Their outerwear range is particularly well-rated. To see how it ranks among others, check out the list of top snowboard brands.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and these are my honest opinions. There are some affiliate links in the article, which may earn me a commission if you make a purchase (at no cost to you). 

A Brand with Many Hats

Before I delve deep into snowy terrain, it’s worth noting that Volcom isn’t a one-trick pony. They’ve dipped their toes into various sports, from skateboarding to surfing.

But it’s their foray into snowboarding that caught my attention.

Their diverse expertise made me wonder if they could really master the specific needs of snowboarding gear. 

So I did what I always do; I spent far too much time (and money) putting them to the test. Here are my findings…

Brand History

Founded in 1991, Volcom’s journey has been nothing short of remarkable.

The brand was born out of the passions of its founders, Richard Woolcott and Tucker Hall, during a spontaneous snowboarding trip.

This trip not only inspired the inception of a brand, but also ingrained in it a love for sports and adventure. 

Over the years, Volcom has evolved, but its core ethos—to provide innovative and quality sports gear—remains unchanged.

Snowboarding with Volcom

1. Jackets

My first interaction with Volcom’s snowboarding line was through their jackets. Lightweight yet warm, Volcom seemed to understand exactly what I needed when battling my way down the mountain.

The waterproofing was top-notch, and the breathability factor ensured I didn’t feel like I was trapped in a sauna.

However, obviously there is a massive range when it comes to price and quality. Their cheaper jackets are heavier and less flexible, whilst their higher end options offer GORE-TEX and 4-way stretch. So I tested a few…

volcom longo gore tex jacket
Volcom Longo GORE-TEX Jacket
volcom stretch gore-tex jacket
Volcom V.CO Stretch GORE-TEX Jacket

I planned to grab their flagship “Guide Jacket” however the $720 price-tag stopped me in my tracks! 

I instead tested the Longo, V.CO and Dua models. The build quality was excellent, with a whole bunch of bonus tech features (more on this later). 

Unsurprisingly, the more expensive V.CO model was my instant favorite. The stretch GORE-TEX material is super lightweight and the mobility was unmatched. However… I actually prefer the styling of the Longo and found myself wearing this more often (vanity at its finest!). 

For those on a budget, the Volcom Dua Jacket is still an excellent pick. Getting GORE-TEX at this price-point is pretty much unheard of.

Note: These are all uninsulated shell jackets. Make sure you’ve read our guide to snowboard layering.

2. Pants and Bibs

The beauty of Volcom snowboard gear comes from how well they work together.

This was my first time experiencing Zip Tech® and it will certainly not be my last. 

This innovative system allows you to “zip” the powder skirt of nearly any Volcom snowboard jacket to any Volcom snowboard pant.

The result?

No more snow getting in whilst slashing deep powder or taking unintentional tumbles. 

It basically keeps the warmth in and the snow out.

I tested it with bibs and pants – worked a charm. Make sure to have a little looseness in your outerwear fit though, or pulling the zips together can be a pain. 

The only problem with this tech is that it basically forces you to buy both your jacket and pants from Volcom. Otherwise you’re missing out. 

3. Other Apparel

Volcom also make baselayers, mid-layers and other accessories. I’ve owned a bunch of them over the years and never had any issues. 

They also make one of the best hoodies for snowboarding, which I’ve worn for many years. 

Volcom Outerwear Tech

Here’s a few of the other tech features I noted and appreciated:

Face Tech™ An ingenious addition to their line-up, Face Tech™ is a detachable facemask found in some of Volcom’s jackets. This feature ensures that, in biting cold and windy conditions, your face remains protected without the need for additional gear.

Drop Tail A longer fit at the back, covering your butt and further preventing snow entry. 

Stone Butt Patch Reinforced material in the rear (in the shape of the Volcom logo) to improve durability and provide warmth on chairlifts.

Volcom Surf and Skate Gear

Branching beyond snowy terrain, Volcom has made a splash in the realms of surf and skate as well.

For surfers, Volcom’s boardshorts and rash-guards are known for their durability, flexibility, and comfort. Their attention to detail ensures minimal drag, optimal stretch, and UV protection .

I wouldn’t personally use them for my wetsuit though… I find that the more surf-focused brands offer better products these days.

Volcom do offer some pretty decent streetwear for skating though. I can personally vouch for their jeans, tees and beanies. 

Sustainability in Focus

What particularly endeared Volcom to me was its commitment to sustainability.

In an era where the planet’s well-being is paramount, Volcom’s eco initiatives stand out. From sustainable sourcing of materials to ensuring ethical manufacturing processes, the brand ensures that its environmental footprint is minimized.

Their “Farm to Yarn” initiative, focusing on organic cotton sourcing, is just one example of their many green endeavors.

The Volcom Team

The brand’s commitment to the sport is further emphasized by the Volcom Pro Team—a group of elite snowboarders who exemplify the brand’s spirit.

This includes legendary riders like Bryan Iguchi, Marcus Kleveland and Pat Moore. 

These athletes, donning Volcom gear, have been instrumental in developing their product lines. This underlines the brand’s global appeal and its commitment to fostering talent.

Value for Money? Absolutely!

Snowboarding gear is an investment, and with Volcom, I felt every penny was justified. The durability of their products meant I wasn’t running to the store every season for replacements.

Plus, their excellent warranty system gives you extra peace of mind, be it on snow, asphalt, or water.

I would however, avoid the highest price-points in their range. 

Unless money is no object… you’re unlikely to notice much difference between the $780 Gore-Tex Guch Jacket and the just as capable $300-500 Gore-Tex range. 

My Verdict

So, circling back to the burning question: Is Volcom a good brand?

My verdict—absolutely!

Their deep-rooted understanding of action sports, combined with a keen focus on quality snowboarding gear, makes them a brand worth considering.

If you’re in search of gear that marries style, function, and durability, Volcom might be for you.

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