I've only been snowboarding once this past winter but I'm hooked. I have not been involved in any other snow sports either.
For the past 10 years or so, I've had a North Face snowboard jacket, but I did not know it. I used it as a rain coat and I thought the powder skirt was something to keep the wind out.
(I was looking for a rain coat at the time and it was on clearance for $30 at the time.)
Under this TNF shell, for the base layer, I wore a long sleeve sleeve polyester running shirt. It wicks real nicely but no insulation. On top of that I had a polyester shirt that is cut similar to a cotton sweatshirt and has the thickness of something like a hoodie sweatshirt.
Anyhow, later that day I discovered that my TNF shell traps a lot of moisture. With the chest vents open, I was still warm, but the underarm and chest area was completely wet and was making for some weird cold spots. After the trip, I found that HyVent material just doesn't breathe well at all compared to other materials. The fabric is rated 650g/m2/24 hours for breathability. Comparatively, my Marmot pants are rated 25000.
I was browsing and found the Helly Hansen Mission jacket
for around $200. I like the appearance and the waterproof and breathability ratings look impressive. The insulation is what concerns me, 100g and 60g depending on the area I guess. When I was riding, it was around 27F/-3C. Would this jacket be overkill for similar conditions? I figure I'd just skip the insulating layer if I bought this jacket.
I'm probably going to Lake Tahoe when I go again this coming winter.