To enjoy skiing, you must be dressed for the occasion. Skiing in winter can be a real pleasure, but for that to happen, you have to overcome the biggest challenges: cold, wind, snow, ice… The most important tip: layered clothing!
If you already own a jacket and pants, can you wear them to ski and snowboard? What’s the main difference and do you actually need a different set for both sports? And is Burton a good choice for skiers?
Burton is possibly the best snowboarding brand in the world. It’s an industry leader thanks to its technical apparel and great designs. One of its flagship products is probably its warmest synthetic insulated Gore-Tex jacket. It features premium insulation wrapped in a two-layer, blue sign-approved sustainable Gore-Tex outer.
To learn more about Burton and ski clothing, keep reading this article.
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Ski vs Snowboard Jackets
You’re right, it seems there’s no difference between a ski jacket and a snowboard jacket. But there is. The key difference is the fit. Snowboard jackets are typically looser than ski jackets and longer in length. This is important because it’ll keep you warmer when sitting in the snow and strapping your board on. There is also the issue of style and comfort.
Ski jackets are a bit more fitted because you do not need that much movement skiing. A tighter fit is there for aerodynamics and speed. Given that both are made for winter sports, you should probably wear a snowboard jacket skiing and vice versa. Especially when learning to ski or ride a snowboard.
- Same materials are designed to protect you from the cold. Both jackets typically have a warm fleece lining and a waterproof shell.
- Windproof, waterproof, and designed to keep you warm and dry.
- Internal and external zippers are designed to store your stuff. And an outer sleeve pocket for your ski pass.
- A range of features, price points, and quality of the build.
- Interchangeable and designed to provide superb protection in both sports.
Speaking of differences between the two, there are a couple of issues you need to consider. Despite the similarities, snowboarders need to move their bodies more which affects the choice of clothing.
- The looser, baggier fit of snowboard jackets and pants. Mostly for style and aesthetic purposes than a boost in performance, although the looser fit provides more movement. This is important for performing tricks and jumps.
- Ski jackets and pants are more fitted (often with braces)
- Skiing is a more traditional sport and developed under different cultural influences.
- Typically, a skier’s garment, the shell suit is an all-in-one jacket and trouser combo. It keeps you warm and dry and saves you the trouble of two separate pieces of clothing. Most snowboarders, however, would be too embarrassed to wear a shell suit.
How to Choose a Ski or Snowboard Jacket?
If you’re a fan of the great outdoors and extreme sport, both skiing or snowboarding may be a perfect choice. Whether you’re a newbie or an extreme sports aficionado, choosing the right clothing is highly important! It can either make or break your perfect day on the slopes (staying warm and dry vs ending up cold, wet and downhearted).
There is an incredible variety of jackets available on the market. Your perfect jacket is out there whether you’re looking for men’s ski jackets or a baggier snowboard fit. With the advancement of technology, the design and construction of jackets are constantly improving.
Generally, you can pick among a solid number of varieties, each with specific technology and in different price categories. You can find specific features in different brands and styles to match your preferences. These features should help you make the right decision before you pick up a jacket for your next trip.
Types of Ski and Snowboard Jackets
In this article, we cover the four most popular forms of ski/snowboard jackets to help you chose what’s most adequate for your type of activity.
This type of jacket has no insulation and represents your first outer layer of protection against the wind, rain, and snow. They are lightweight, versatile, and usually made from single, double, or triple-layer material. Despite the simple construction, these jackets will effectively protect you from the elements. This is due to waterproof membranes, water-repellent coatings, and windproof technology.
If you’re looking for comfort and technical finesse, you should keep looking. But the versatility of this jacket makes it quite handy as you can layer it however you want. In warmer temperatures, you can wear a shell over your base layer. And in colder temperatures, you can wear it over your warm mid-layers.
This versatile jacket provides great wind and cold protection. It is comfortable and soft so you can wear it as a mid-layer in cold temperatures. Being waterproof, lightweight, and breathable, it is considered solid protection in wet/windy conditions.
Its soft and flexible construction, pockets, front zip closure, and ventilation zips make this kind of jacket perfect for Apres wear. You can wear it all year round whether it’s a camping or hiking trip, family picnic, or a windy day on the beach.
Puffy Down Jackets
Wearing a puffy down jacket will warm you up really very quickly. Yet, these jackets may be a better choice for Apres wear and not snow sports. You can easily pack them down, but they’re significantly less waterproof than other snow jackets because of down.
You can find puffy down jackets in different weights – lightweight ones with less fill and super lofty ones with heavy fill. If you have this jacket, you need to wash and dry it properly.
A definite all-rounder. Insulated jackets incorporate different volumes of insulation (light to heavy)., based on which you can decide the number of layers needed. Being an all-in-one kind of design, you cannot remove any layer or insulation from this jacket. Without any doubt, this is the most popular type of jacket out there.
This versatile jacket combines a shell outer jacket and a removable fleece jacket inside. The fleece jacket acts as insulation. 3-in-1 jackets are designed for comfort, regardless of the season. The waterproof outer shell is great for warmer months, where there is still a chance for rain and snow. On the other hand, the fleece jacket can be a part of everyday wear by itself.
Alternatively, you can wear them combined (zipped together) if you need a waterproof, warm, and breathable jacket when on the slopes.
Key Features to Consider in Ski and Snowboard Clothing
- Waterproofing – jackets come with different levels of waterproofing dictated by different price points. Ideally, you’ll look for the highest rating.
- Breathability – refers to how easy water can evaporate off the surface and through the material. It is measured in grams of evaporation per 24hrs. Specifically important for sweatier people and beginner skiers and snowboarders. If you opt for jackets with a lower breathability rating, you’ll need more time to dry.
- Zip vents – you can find them on most ski and snowboard trousers. They allow you to adjust the breathability by opening or closing vents.
- Warmth – related to the quality of the materials and the amount of inner insulation that a jacket or trouser has. More insulation keeps you warmer, but it also tends to reduce breathability.
A Perfect Ski Jacket
As discussed through this article, there are many similarities between ski and snowboard jackets, albeit with a few key differences. Given that speed is the key aspect of skiing, ski jackets are expected to fit close to the body. Unlike them, snowboard jackets are looser and baggier because snowboarding requires balancing with arms. Besides, snowboard jackets are longer to keep you warm while sitting in the snow.
Apart from windproofing, waterproofing, and breathability, you should also look for little features of your ski jacket that can enhance your enjoyment. But also, safety and comfort when on the slopes. These features include, without being limited to:
- Adjustable hood – for a perfect fit
- Multiple Pockets – allows you to carry your gear for a day on the slopes
- Fixed Snow Skirt – a panel around the hips that prevents snow from getting in underneath your jacket
- Detachable Snow Skirt – similar to a regular snow skirt but you can take it off when you’re off the slopes
- Underarm Venting – adjustable temperature control and ventilation
- Goggle Pocket – great for keeping your goggles safe
- Stretch Fabrics – provide mobility and freedom of movement
- Wrist Gaiters – prevent snow from entering through the sleeves
- Audio Pocket – to store your music device or phone and protect them from the wet and cold
Skiing with Burton or Not?
Burton is waterproof, equipped with YKK zippers, a removable waist gaiter, and a large interior pocket for storing your gear. And on top of it, there’s Burton’s lifetime warranty.
Whether you wear Burton or not does not affect how you ski. You may be skiing or snowboarding, or both because it’s fun and you love to do it. And most of the time you can easily forget about the brand.
Burton is one of the major companies in the industry and sponsors some of the best riders out there. On the other hand, there is a significant population of riders who won’t wear Burton for that reason. They rather opt for supporting smaller brands. This is because these manufacturers are core and dedicated to making good ski/snowboard gear. Some even argue that it is physically impossible for skiers to wear a Burton jacket.
Traditional ski clothing is typically more fitted because of Olympic heritage and its focus on speed. Snowboard clothing is loosely fitted, baggier, and reflects the sports “rebel, rebel” origins. Today, ski and snowboard brands remain faithful to that styling, but their key features are more-less the same.
It does not mean that snowboard clothing would work fine for skiing and vice versa but ultimately, it’s about the sport, not the brand. You can opt for major brands and stay on the safe side in terms of safety and quality or opt for a more socially responsible option and pick smaller companies. It’s up to you. Just, don’t wear a snowboard jacket when skiing.
If you’re learning skiing or snowboarding, you can easily wear the same clothing for both sports. Choose snowboarding clothing if you prefer the looser, baggier feel and more movement on the slopes. Or go for a more fitted style if you ski. While Burton is the top of the hill in terms of snowboard clothing, there are brands that are more to the core when it comes to skiwear.
The question of whether you can ski in a snowboard jacket is pretty much the same as whether you can walk in snowboard boots. Sure, but that’s not what you’ll be looking for.
Ultimately, picking the right jacket is only the tip of the iceberg because you still need to find the right pants and mid-layers. This is the only way to stay warm, dry, and safe from the elements.