Snowboarding, which blends sports like skiing, surfing, and skateboarding, is a thrilling winter activity. Whether you like to do tricks at a resort, board down snowy mountains, or explore the backcountry, you'll need the proper outerwear.
A waterproof, windproof, and breathable snowboard jacket is essential. You'll also want to look for features like a powder skirt, insulation, and fit. In this guide, we'll run down the 8 best women's snowboard jackets to keep you warm even in the harshest snow conditions.
We'll also discuss buying considerations and frequently asked questions.
In our list of snowboard jackets of 2021, this Burton is our pick for the best overall snow jacket. The outside is made from Gore-Tex, which is bonded to the outer fabric for better comfort.
Inside, there's 60 grams of PrimaLoft Silver Insulation, which was first created for the military. It's lightweight but warm. The lining material - called Living Lining - provides great climate-control. When you're cold, the pores shrink to trap your body heat.
When you're too warm, the pores expand, releasing your body heat and keeping you from overheating. The mesh-lined zip pits also help with ventilation. There are five pockets, including a pocket with a media port and handwarmer pockets.
Other features include hand gaiters, a powder skirt, shaped cuffs, a StormForm Fulltime Contour hood, and a jacket-to-pant interface.
This premium jacket is a shell, which means it doesn't have insulation. It does have a thin flannel backer, which helps with warmth. The face is 100% nylon plain weave with a durable water repellent (DWR) treatment.
The membrane is 3 layers of Gore-Tex, providing superior waterproofing and durability. Because it's Gore-Tex, the seams are fully-taped. The jacket, which has a regular fit specifically designed for women, goes down to a rider's hips.
For pockets, there are two hand pockets, an internal laminated zip pocket, a mesh dump pocket, and a sleeve pocket. Under the arms, you'll find WaterTight Pit Zippers for ventilation.
The helmet-compatible hood can be cinched with one-handed drawcords. Other features include a powder skirt, cuff adjusters, and a Slide 'n Loc attachment for compatible snowboarding pants.
Many women's snowboard jackets are very expensive, but there are affordable options, too. Our favorite budget jacket is the Outdoor Master Women's 3-in-1. It consists of a waterproof and breathable hooded soft shell with Teflon surface protection.
We couldn't find specific ratings on how waterproof or breathable the jacket is, but it's likely equipped more for dry weather conditions than wet. Inside the jacket, there's a removable fleece liner for warmth. Because the jacket is so lightweight, it's best for weather that isn't too cold.
If you need more warmth, get a size larger than you think you need and layer underneath. Other features include waterproof YKK zippers, adjustable cuffs, chest pockets, and a removable hood. While the jacket was designed for skiing, it still works well as a snowboard jacket.
Anorak-style jackets are pullover jackets that don't zip all the way down. This makes them more water-resistant. This regular-fit anorak from Burton is made from 2L Gore-Tex.
The inside is Living Lining, which is known for its ability to trap heat when you're cold and release warmth when you start to overheat. Ventilation is helped by the Pit Zip Vents. Other features include a StormForm hood, dual-entry kangaroo pocket, a pocket with media port, and zippered sleeve pass pocket.
This jacket is part of a collaboration with Kimmy Fasani, so for the full set, check out the Kimmy Bib Pant. Because this isn't an insulated jacket, it's best for mild winter weather or in conjunction with a warm mid-layer.
If you're looking for an anorak-style insulated jacket for a low price, check out this one from Oakley. jacket features include a 100% nylon face fabric with a DWR treatment, synthetic insulation to keep you warm, and a 2L FN Dry 10K Laminate.
Like all good women's snowboard jackets, the Oakley has pockets, pit zips, and a powder skirt. There's also a hem cinch system, lycra wrist gaiters, adjustable cuffs, and a 3-point hood adjustment system.
This versatility helps you fit the jacket just the way you want, so you're comfortable and ready for the best snowboard experience ever.
Our premium pick was also not insulated, but for a lower price, we like the Upshift shell snowboard jacket. The face fabric is made from nylon, while the Gore-Tex 2L membrane is bonded to the outside for comfort and versatility.
Using Gore-Tex materials also means the seams are fully-taped. While there's no insulation, the Living Lining with soft taffeta and closed-cell mesh will keep you warm.
The mesh-lined No-Snag Pit Zip vents keep you from overheating, too. Because of the jacket's slim articulated fit, it's a great fit for snowboarding and other activities. For storage, there's a power mesh dump pocket, sleeve pass pocket, chest pocket, media port pocket, and handwarmer pockets.
Additional jacket features include a water-repellent stretch powder skirt, StormForm hood, shaped cuffs, and YKK water-resistant zippers. Riders will also like the fact this product uses bluesign® materials.
For warmth, it's hard to beat a down jacket. This women's snowboard jacket from Patagonia boasts 800-fill-power goose down that's traced from its parent farm to the apparel factory.
As a down insulated jacket, this is fairly affordable. While it isn't waterproof, it does have a DWR finish on the recycled polyester face fabric.
Despite this, we still don't recommend it as your sole outerwear in wet weather, especially since it doesn't have a powder skirt. Pair it with one of the shells on this list, however, and you'll be ready. The fit has a more contoured shape with a longer hem.
For pockets, this Patagonia has zippered handwarmer pockets with Vislon zippers and an internal zippered chest pocket. Other features include an adjustable drawcord hem, elastic cuffs that keep your sleeves from riding up, and a center-front Vislon zipper.
Our last (but certainly not the least) pick for best women's snowboard jackets comes from Volcom. It has a V-Science 2-Layer shell and V-Science 2-Layer membrane.
That waterproofing is a bit lower than some of the other snowboard jackets of 2021, but it's still within the range most people need. Critically-taped seams also help keep out water. The benefit of the slightly-lower rating is that this product is more affordable than jackets with higher ratings.
The material is pretty breathable, as well. Inside, there are 80 grams of Low Loft polyfill insulation (with 60 grams in the sleeves) and a taffeta lining. Women will like the long EQS fit, as well, which is a slim fit with an extra 2-inches in body length.
Other features include handwarmer pockets, a removable faux fur hood, and a super suede chin guard that prevents chafing. We also like the specialty lift ticket ring, which was inspired by Volcom Jeans' buckle button closure.
When you're searching for the perfect women's snowboard jacket, what features matter the most? Here are seven:
A jacket's insulation (or lack thereof) determines how warm you'll be. An insulated jacket is great for very cold temperatures or for people who tend to feel the cold more easily.
The insulating layer will be made from materials like fleece, synthetic fiber, or down. Insulated jackets are heavier, especially if they use down. Weight is measured in grams. If you run warm or you have enough layers, a jacket without insulation - called a shell - is a good choice. These weigh less.
Your desired jacket weight might be impacted by your snowboarding riding style. If you're a fan of freestyle and tricks, a heavy jacket will weigh you down and affect your flexibility. For backcountry snowboarding, however, which is riskier and can involve very cold temperatures, heavier outerwear might be necessary.
To stay dry and warm, you need a waterproof jacket. All snow jackets are waterproof, but they're not all created equal. Waterproof ratings are measured in millimeters, which seems like an odd way to rate a jacket.
The reason is that when testing waterproofing, companies put a 1-inch diameter tube filled with water above the jacket's tightly-stretched fabric. Over 24 hours, testers measure how many millimeters of water the fabric can resist before the water soaks through.
Most products have a waterproof rating between 5,000-10,000 mm. If you want to prioritize staying dry, you can find a jacket with 15,000-20,000 mm, but those are typically more expensive.
|Waterproof Rating||Performance & Protection|
|0 - 5,000 mm||Little to no protection against moisture|
Drizzle and light dry snow
|5,000 - 10,000 mm||Rain- and waterproof under light pressure|
Light rain and normal snowfall
|10,000 - 15,000 mm||Rain- and waterproof under medium pressure|
Average rain and normal snowfall
|16,000 - 20,000 mm||Rain- and waterproof under high pressure|
Heavy rain and wet snow
|> 20,000 mm||Rain- and waterproof under very high pressure|
Very heavy rain and wet snow
Seam taping plays into a jacket's ability to resist water, too. With jacket stitching, there are tiny holes. To keep water from soaking into the holes, companies use seam taping on the inside and outside. On a fully-taped jacket, every seam has this tape.
Critically-taped seams only have tape on essential seam areas, like your shoulders and neck. Welded seams, which don't use stitching at all, are less common, but they're the best at keeping out water.
This is the other rating you'll find on jackets. The more breathable a jacket, the better it is at letting sweat and moisture evaporate. The rating measures how many grams of sweat per square meter evaporate in 24 hours.
Most people will be fine with around 10,000 grams. If you tend to sweat a lot, you can also find jackets with ratings of around 15,000 grams or more. These jackets cost more than less breathable ones.
|Breathability Rating||Breathability Level & Use|
|0 - 5,000 grams||Low breathability|
Useful for wearing around town and low-intensity activity
|5,000 - 10,000 grams||Medium breathability|
Good for medium intensity activities like hiking or biking
|10,000 - 15,000 grams||High breathability|
Ideal for demanding activities like skiing or snowboarding
|> 15,000 grams||Extra high breathability|
Excellent for long periods of high-intensity work with no breaks
Jackets with good waterproof and breathability ratings will be durable, but it’s worth knowing what snowboard jackets are usually made from. Materials include nylon, polyester, microfibers, and Gore-Tex.
Made from very fine fibers, microfiber is a very durable material, so the price tends to be higher. Gore-Tex is also a bit on the pricier side, but many snowboarders swear by it. As long as your jacket is waterproof, windproof, and breathable, it should be durable for a while.
Most snowboard jackets have hoods but always double-check to make sure. The styles vary. Some hoods are attached and can’t be removed, while always are removable or can be tucked away. You should be able to wear a helmet under your hood and easily move your head from side to side.
Click here for our guide to the best snowboard helmets.
Snowboard jackets come in different fit styles. A slim fit has tailoring at the waist and shoulders, so they hug the shape of your body a bit. A regular fit is looser but has some tailoring.
A relaxed fit is the loosest option, which also makes it easier to wear lots of layers underneath.
Pockets and features like a powder skirt round out our list of buying considerations. Most jackets have zippered pockets for your snowboard goggles and electronics.
You’ll also see things like front zipper covers, powder skirts (waist gaiters), hand gaiters, wrist closures, and pit zips. These are all designed to keep you warm, dry, and comfortable. While we call them “extra features,” most good-quality women's snowboard jackets will have them.
Goggles protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays reflected by the snow’s surface. All that light also makes it hard to see! Here’s our guide to the ten best ski and snowboard goggles in 2021.
Snowboard jackets are typically longer (and often looser) than ski jackets. This is because ski jackets are designed to make you aerodynamic, so they fit your body differently.
Snowboard jackets, on the other hand, need to give you room to move around more. The length is also there to help prevent snow from going up the jacket or down your pants. You can find snowboard jackets in different lengths, but at least past your butt is a good standard.
Down jackets work very well for a snowboarder, especially in very cold weather conditions. They use either duck or goose down as insulation, adding a lot of warmth while remaining lightweight.
While puffier than other types of women's snowboarding jackets, they compress, so they're easy to pack. The big downside is that they aren't great in wet conditions.
They lose their warmth and insulation when they get wet, so they work best in dry, cold regions. Many brands recognize this flaw and are making women's snowboard jackets with water-repellent down. Down jackets tend to come with high price tags.
Gore-Tex is a membrane that's breathable and waterproof. It's made from polytetrafluoroethylene fiber that's been stretched so much, it ends up with 9 million pores per square inch.
To make the fabric waterproof and windproof, the Gore-Tex membrane is bonded with other fabrics. Any manufacturer that uses this technology must also use fully-taped seams. In the decades since its creation, Gore-Tex has become the go-to material for many outdoor brands.
The downside? It's expensive. If Gore-Tex is out of your budget, you can find other material that's waterproof, strong, and breathable. That being said, if you can afford Gore-Tex, it holds up to its reputation.
Besides a snowboard jacket, there's other snowboarding gear you'll need for a dry, warm, and comfortable experience. Underneath your jacket, you should layer as needed.
Go with synthetic fiber or wool. Anything that wicks moisture is a good choice. Next comes your mid-layer, but if it's not too cold or you run warm, you might be able to wear just your insulated snowboarding jacket.
If you're wearing a shell jacket or are sensitive to the cold, a fleece vest or hoodie will work.
You'll also want waterproof snowboard pants, a neck gaiter, goggles, a helmet, and good socks. Waterproof gloves are also essential.
Mittens are warmer, but gloves give you better mobility and flexibility. For ten glove options that work for women and any other gender, check out our guide to the best snowboard gloves in 2021.
Technically, yes - but the fit will most likely not be very good even if you find a size that fits you length-wise. Sizing varies greatly between male and female models and so do the cuts and tailoring. Women's snowboard jackets cater more to the look and shape of the female body. Men's snowboarding jackets fit best over a wider pair of shoulders and leaves more room around the stomach and less around the waist.
Snowboarding is a fun, rugged, and often intense activity. It can be risky, so the right gear and outer layer picks are important for your safety and comfort.
We talked about the best women’s snowboard jackets in this article, which include Burton’s AK 2L Gore-Tex Embark as our best overall pick, the Arc'teryx Sentinel AR for the best premium jacket, and Outdoor Master’s Women’s 3-in-1 jacket for tight budgets. When choosing a jacket, pay attention to the technology like insulation, waterproof and breathability ratings, fit, and durability.
Riders should also look for powder skirts, taped seams, and helmet-compatible hoods. Be sure to layer with other outerwear like gloves, snow pants, socks, and so on.
What else should you know? Snowboard jackets are nearly always longer than other snow jackets, like ski jackets. This is an intentional design choice to keep snow from getting into your pants or up the jacket.
Materials like Gore-Tex and down are very popular, but they can be expensive. Luckily, there are other materials available with comparable warmth and waterproofing, so if you’re on a budget, you have options! If you’re a snowboarder and looking to replace an old jacket or you’re ready for an upgrade, there’s a snow jacket out there that’s perfect for you.
An insulated jacket is only part of the equation. Check out our comparison of the best women's snowboarding pants and bibs to complete the look.