Snowboard clothing has to cope with a lot. They need to protect your body from the cold, wet, and snowy conditions outside whilst also dealing with a wide range of aerobic outputs; you give off a lot more heat carving up the piste than sitting on a ski-lift. Your clothing must therefore be able to regulate internal conditions whilst resisting external conditions.
Thankfully, modern technology has made Snowboard clothing to suit your preferred activity. We can broadly break down the types of clothing into 3 broad categories:
Nowadays snowboard clothing technologies is every bit as specialised and high-performance as skiing gear. Whilst styling can be drastically different, there is now a lot more cross-over with skiing clothing than you may think. Ideally, look for clothing that fulfils your performance requirements, looks good second.
However, with style being a core tenet of the snowboarding mantra, this can be easier said than done!
An uninsulated, durable and waterproof outer layer, used as part of a comprehensive layering system is the most versatile way of dressing. Beneath this layer would be layers of insulation and wick-able base layers, which can be added/removed to suit conditions.
A good example of this would be the Sweet Protection Salvation jacket.
The more traditional type of Snowboard clothing. These clothes include an insulation layer underneath a shell layer. Well suited to colder climes, and for less aerobically taxing boarding. Think high altitude Piste wear.
Colour Wear do a good selection of these.
Not 100% waterproof like a hard shell, but typically wind and shower proof. They are, however, very breathable, and really come into their own during activities with high aerobic output in dry-sic climates. They can also be used as a technical mid-layer underneath hard shells on warmer days.
There are many different ways of getting the most of the mountain. Just as there are specific snowboards (see here for our Snowboard Buying Guide) for each condition, so it is for clothing too. Similarly, there is also a lot of overlap, so don't worry about missing out too much.
Traditional snowboarding. Nice carves with the occasional journey off piste when the powder is good.
Piste boarders have the widest range to choose from, and can tailor their clothing to suit the wide variety of conditions; traditional insulated clothing will suit long waits for and on ski lifts or those high alpine resorts. A fully layered hard shell system will be ideal for those of us who like visiting a new resort each trip. Fair-weather riders will probably choose a soft shell to prevent overheating on hot spring days.
For maximum carving credibility on the slopes we’d recommend something like the Burton Folsom Jacket.
Think beautiful untouched powder and a pathological dislike of ski lifts. The level of constant cardiovascular effort produced by this kind of skiing means a well curated layering system is the only viable option. Usually a soft shell with hard shell in your pack just in case works well.
Check the Arc’teryx Rush Jacket
Snowpark junkies. With short laps and quick stairlift trips, the work rate is typically quite high. A shell system gives you versatility and range of movement to work hard, and stand up to the impacts when the aeronautics don’t go according to plan.
See the Picture Nova Jacket for a great example with outstanding pedigree.
It is worth mentioning again that there is a lot of cross-over; a soft shell used for charging through the back country will work just as well for a pleasant day on the slopes. Similarly, an insulated layer will be great pretty much anywhere it's cold enough! The key for most will be choosing a system that has specific elements to suit your preferred style of riding, yet with enough built-in versatility to get you out there enjoying yourself most of the time.
If you have any questions give us a call, or pop in for a chat!