Ski vs. Snowboard Jackets: A Comparison

A warm jacket is essential if you are spending time on high altitudes. But there are different jacket styles catered to different activities. With this categorization, a common question comes to mind, what differentiates one jacket from another?

Both are snowsports but both of them are miles apart. The gear for the two sports is also marketed as different. Those who indulge in both skiing and snowboarding would want to use as much of their gear as they can for either of the sports.

It makes sense. It is economical and convenient at the same time. Good, functional jackets aren’t cheap. Not many people would prefer to spend on two jackets. Even if they do, changing jackets frequently isn’t exactly fun. Although not hard, it is tedious. So, can you use one for both sports?

Yes, you can. There are minor differences between the two jackets. If you are an amateur, they don’t matter. But if you are a serious contender in one sport or both, then you can buy the specific ones. The small differences affect performance if you are progressing fast or participating in competitions.

But if you are interested in more details about how the two jackets are different and how they are similar, then read on.

Similarities in Ski and Snowboard Jackets

  • Both jackets use the same materials for face fabric and inner lining, usually polyester. Both jackets are offered as simple shells or insulated.
  • As mentioned earlier, the shells of both jackets are waterproof. High-end jackets use Gore-Tex while budget options use in-house waterproof coatings to save costs.

What sets the two types apart?

Following are key things that set the two types apart:

Ski Jackets

The main difference between both types of jackets is the fit. Ski jackets have a snug fit. They are designed to be aerodynamic for maximum speeds during skiing. Ski jackets have a shorter cut. They end at the waist preventing the hem from restricting the legs during movement. Ski jackets have fewer pockets to keep the shell smooth and aerodynamic.

There isn’t much style. Ski jackets look almost the same with some minor differences. But the colors are loud so that you stay visible in the snow. Loud colors also help during rescuing operations.

Snowboard Jackets

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that snowboarding is inspired by skateboarding. Hence, the street style look of snowboard clothing. Baggy-fitting pants and jackets are the design language of snowboarding. But the baggy fit also allows freedom of movement while performing tricks.

Snowboard jackets have a longer length that goes beyond the waist. The reason for a longer cut is the extra protection from the snow. Snowboarders have to sit on the snow to take their bindings on and off.

Due to their skateboard-inspired baggy design, snowboard jackets have more pockets than ski jackets with media pockets as well. Media pockets are not common on ski jackets. Snowboard jackets have a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Which one is right for you?

As mentioned earlier, if you are an amateur, then you can use a single jacket for both skiing and snowboarding. The jackets are interchangeable for both sports and there is nothing to worry about. But if you are progressing fast or into competitive events then you should get a ski and snowboard-specific jacket.