Snowboard jackets

Needless to say, there are a lot of different types of snowboarding gear that you need to invest in, once you have made the decision to take up snowboarding seriously. Warm, protective clothing forms a crucial element of such gear, given the often chilly environment and high-intensity nature of snowboarding - and probably one of your first decisions will be to buy one of the really good quality snowboard jackets on sale. But how do you identify these great snowboard jackets from their not-so-great counterparts? Allow this article to help you there.

There are many common elements of most, if not all, snowboard jackets - and every such element plays an important role in assisting you during a snowboarding trip. Snowboard jackets, for one, should always be waterproof and windproof, to ensure that you are kept sufficiently warm during persistently harsh weather. However, they should also be lightweight and boast engineered articulation, to ensure that you can still move well enough to perform some great snowboarding tricks.

They should also boast pockets, like zippered cargo pockets, in which to store essentials like water and goggles. Other features, like a hood and handwarmer pockets, should improve the warmth of the jacket, while a powder skirt, a waistband that buttons in the jacket's front, should help to prevent snow from entering the jacket from below and dampening the pants. A separate seal for the waist, known as the hem, can also be clinched around your waist through the use of cords. Such cords are often at the bottom or inside the pockets of the jacket.

Many snowboard jackets also boast features intended to bolster their waterproofness. These commonly include a jacket-to-pant interface, which enables a snowboard jacket to be directly attached to a pair of snowboard trousers, and water resistant zippers, which give extra protection to a potentially vulnerable source of water leakage. Especially recommendable for their waterproof and breathable qualities are snowboard jackets manufactured from the fabric GORE-TEX, and which have seams fully taped with GORE-SEAM tape to further guard against water leakage. A mesh lining, meanwhile, should help a jacket to promote breathability while averting moisture from the skin.

There are many aspects of snowboard jackets which help to keep snowboarders' bodies at a sufficiently moderate temperature. For example, these jackets should come with thorough insulation, plus vents in various areas to keep the body cool when it is in danger of overheating. The underarms and front are common areas for such vents on snowboard jackets. A soft microfleece lining should similarly help to boost comfort levels.

Some snowboard jackets come with extra, unique features to make the experience of wearing them even more pleasurable. Such features can include special pockets for holding compasses or music players, and even wrap-around side seams, which help to avert damage to the jacket should the rider carry their snowboard on their side. Some snowboard jackets now even have special pockets for iPods, including headphone wiring that goes up to the top of the jacket, while some particularly pricey snowboard jackets might have a built-in audio system.

Once you have found snowboard jackets boasting all of the crucial qualities mentioned above, however, you can then focus on slightly different concerns - like the aesthetic appearance of your jacket. After all, you don't just want to be kept warm, dry and comfortable while on the slope - you want to look good, too, and provoke gasps of amazement from spectators. Of course, your snowboarding ability will play a large part in achieving that, but a jacket the physical appearance of which reflects your personality certainly won't hurt. Happy snowboarding!