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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to pick a new jacket and noticed theres some big savings on last years products but sizes and colors are limited l, Was looking to go with gore tex. Think I've narrowed it down to the Volcom L gore tex jacket and The Burton Vagabond jacket. Dont have experience in either, thoughts?
 

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Price of course makes a difference. As a general rule, two items around the same price are going to be of approximately equal quality.

I own both Volcom and Burton jackets, and they're both quality products. For me it comes down to pockets. In general, I find Volcom has more and better pockets than Burton, but Burton has a slightly more relaxed fit.
 

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Imo, the jacket, primarily the functional design has to meet your environmental and personal needs. In the PNW, you need a jacket that will keep you dry with excellent venting because its generally warm and wet. The intercontinental rockies, you are going to want something that will keep you warm and venting is less of an issue. There are also issues of pockets, sleeves/wrist for over or under gloves, pow considerations of skirts, mesh venting or not...various stuff. A jacket can be well made and bomber but if it doesn't have the functional design features needed its a fail.
 

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I have a Vagabond from about 3 seasons ago. I have to say; I don´t like it that much. The fit is really weard. I have an XL (I usually wear a L but it was such a sweet deal that i jumped on it regardless). The jacket still fits pretty tight in the shoulder area (I have wide shoulders) and it´s really long, like a coat. Well the fit is personal preference of course but I´m also not the biggest fan of the quality of the construction. The fabric is really thick and firm - so not the most comfortable but it´s not the most waterresistant either - I´m talking about the outerfabric not the gore-tex membran that sits inside of course.
I then bought a ak swash jacket in a for me more appropriate size L. I have to say it is for sure a big step up in quality when you go to Burton´s ak product line. I would go for a ak jacket if you can/want to spend the money - it is worth it and you have a good quality gore-tex jacket.
I have no experience with Volcom outerwear but they are held high by many snowboarders as well in terms of quality...
 

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Have you tried both of those jackets on, or are you shopping online?
Where do you ride? What's the climate like? Do you actually need Gore-tex? If not, your options open up and prices can drop a fair bit too.

Between those two brands you have nothing to worry about, they're both very well established and respected. Choosing between them for me would come down to features of the jacket, and which style you like the most. By features I mean does it have the pockets you want, how the hood fits, wrist gaiters vs no wrist gaiters etc.
 
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wrist gaiters vs no wrist gaiters etc.
Probably sounds crazy to most of you, but this is the first thing I check. No wrist gaiters, zero percent chance I'm buying the jacket. Maybe because my long arms and tucking over or under never works?

Also, have never needed goretex where I ride as it's usually pretty cold, so echo the above about what conditions you ride dictating what you need to an extent.

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It for sure depends on where and in which terrain you are riding if you really "need" gore-tex/a good quality jacket.
I just hate the word "need" in situations like this. Of course most uf us, who are not doing any high alpine touring, don´t really "need" high quality 3L gore-tex outerwear. But it surely is awesome if you have it!
I would put it like that: If you will only ride on groomers and in nice weather conditions you don´t need any high quality gear. If we are honest, you would even be fine in jeans and a softshell jacket in these conditions for that matter. As soon as you ride in any powder or you also hit the slopes in bad weather conditions (snowing/raining) though, you would want the best waterproofing you can possibly get your hands on.
I rode for 15+ years in "basic" 10k/10k outerwear in any conditions. I just couldn´t afford any high quality outerwear then and back in the days one also couldn´t get the sweet internetsales deals of today. It surely did the job but I would get soaked on occasion which just isn´t fun. So using high quality stuff is just really nice if you can afford it - even if it maybe is a bit overkill on most of the days. If a wet day comes around you will appreciate the better waterproofing for sure. Furthermore, a high quality jacket will last you way longer than a cheap/basic one.

In my opinion if you are a passionate snowboarder, I would definately invest at least in a good 2L gore-tex jacket/pants even if you are mostly riding on groomers.
 

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It for sure depends on where and in which terrain you are riding if you really "need" gore-tex/a good quality jacket.
I just hate the word "need" in situations like this. Of course most uf us, who are not doing any high alpine touring, don´t really "need" high quality 3L gore-tex outerwear. But it sure is awesome if you have it!
I would put it like that: If you will only ride on groomers and in nice weather conditions you surely don´t need any high quality gear. In these conditionions you would even be fine in jeans and a softshell jacket for that matter. But at soon as you ride in any powder or you also hit the slopes in bad weather conditions (snowing/raining), you will want the best waterproofing you can possibly get your hands on.
I rode for 15+ years in "basic" 10k/10k outerwear in any conditions because I couldn´t afford high quality outerwear and back in the days and one also couldn´t get the sweet internetsales deals of today. It surely did the job but I would get soaked on occasion which just isn´t fun. So using high quality stuff is just really nice if you can afford it - even if it maybe is a bit overkill. Also; A high quality jacket will last you way longer than a cheap/basic one.
While I agree in principle, what I meant by "need" is that I've never gotten wet without goretex, and not through lack of riding powder. Snow here just isn't that wet generally.

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While I agree in principle, what I meant by "need" is that I've never gotten wet without goretex, and not through lack of riding powder. Snow here just isn't that wet generally.

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Ah ok ;) Well we get a lot of wet powder conditons here so riding powder on these days without really good outerwear can really suck.

On a sidenote: the goretex-membrane itself isn`t even that important in my opinion. It´s the DWR-treatment and the outerfabric (that actually touches the snow), which determine how "waterrepellent" the jacke is - which is more important to me. It´s not really fun if your jacket is soaking wet on the outside but yeah: it didn´t let any water actually passt the gore tex-membrane-barrier.
 

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I love volcom zip tech, keeps the snow out of my crack. I have never owned a burton jacket so i cant compare there. As someone else said, wrist gaiters are needed but maybe your midlayer has them? I plan on buying an insulated jacket this year as im over thinking about which midlayer to take to the resort. Cold arsed days or warm days ill still use a shell though so i guess that depends on where you ride. The volcom jacket you mentioned comes in insulated and shell versions.
 

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It's been a few years since I tried anything on, but my experience was always that Burton's outerwear is not very good outside the AK line. Heavy emphasis on fashion and trendiness over function. Basically mirrors @fzst's experience above.

I was pretty impressed trying on Volcom's higher end stuff (their Guch jacket feels really well built). That said, at a $280 pricepoint I'd be surprised if the Gore tex is up to the same caliber. I've avoided Volcom because they don't have lifetime warranties on their high-end outerwear, which is a dealbreaker for me-- although I'm not entirely clear if the Gore-tex brand "lifetime guarantee" supersedes the Volcom warranty. My impression was always they only guarantee the quality of laminate, but the language is unclear and I've never tested it.

In general I try to avoid outerwear from snowboarding companies outside the Burton AK line. I've blown up way too much allegedly high-end outerwear from snowboard companies-- catastrophic zipper issues, blown out seams, prematurely abraded face fabrics, etc. I've had much better experiences with more alpine-focused brands (e.g. Patagonia, Arcteryx, Outdoor Research, etc.). Stuff tends to be better built-- designed for much higher stakes activities without access to lifts or infrastructure -- and warranties are bulletproof (particularly Patagonia). Styles tend to be pretty technical and double-ice axe-y, but I've found some mellower pieces that dial that back.

Also, have never needed goretex where I ride as it's usually pretty cold, so echo the above about what conditions you ride dictating what you need to an extent.
My general sense is the gore-tex membrane is overhyped. I ride all conditions in relatively wet snowpack, so I benefit from the waterproofness, but it comes with the inherent tradeoff of breathability.

That said, I still aim for Gore-tex gear because Gore has convinced consumers that Gore = quality, so companies tend to put a lot more resources and effort into their gore-tex gear... better stitching, burlier face fabrics, lighter weight 3L construction, etc. If you look at the market for high-end outerwear (let's call it >$300 USD MSRP for a shell jacket), the overwhelming majority of options are Gore-tex or some competitor laminate like eVent. The marketing hype became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I will say Gore-tex C-knit (stretch Gore-tex) is AWESOME. Lightweight, super comfortable, fabric just feels more supple and less "crunchy". Still not the most breathable, but that only ever really affects me when I'm touring or hiking (when I'm often not wearing a hardshell anyway). High-profile, low-profile, mechanical stretch in jackets is a gamechanger for me and I don't see myself ever going back to non-stretch jackets unless I'm expecting REALLY heavy duty conditions.
 

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I was close to grabbing a Volcom Jacket in Japan this season, unfortunately I misread the number of 0's and quickly worked out my Oakley would suffice another season, little did I know it wouldn't even see any snow this season :(

So many options in outerwear - reckon I'll just wait until I see some decent mark-downs but I do like the look of the Volcom gear.
 

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I was close to grabbing a Volcom Jacket in Japan this season, unfortunately I misread the number of 0's and quickly worked out my Oakley would suffice another season, little did I know it wouldn't even see any snow this season :(

So many options in outerwear - reckon I'll just wait until I see some decent mark-downs but I do like the look of the Volcom gear.
Every time I look at the prices in Japan they are astronomical compared with Aussie prices on sale. I always look online all over the World and find that our prices with EOS sales factored in are really good in Australia thanks to online shopping. Years ago I used to buy all my gear and import it in from the USA even when our $Au dollar was like $US1.08......, ah, the good old days. Now at like '$US0.72 it's still really affordable to buy high end gear in Australia on sale. This sort of does not make sense when you think of it in relation to the $$$$$ but goods in the capitalistic free market are sold on supply and demand as well as trying to corner the market. Good shit is not cheap but if you look around hard you'll always snap up some brilliant bargains.

In Australia GORE-TEX is the 100% go as our Temp hover around 0C and it snows and melts on you or just rains on you. The outer fabric needs to have a high level of DWR (always maintained) which prevents the outerwear from becoming wet out.

My recommendation is to buy a high end GORE-TEX jacket in a plain colour which will last you for years. Splash it up with some jazzy pants for the cool look factor. YKK zips at the front without storm flaps are heaps better. Cohaesive™ hood stoppers are so much better than regular slide locks. I'm not a big fan of pockets splashed everywhere as I generally always ride with a backpack. A pocket on chest and internal for keys are all I really need. [ak] gear is really good shit and worth all the extra coin. Burton are unreal with warranty as well. Saying that most well known brands have really good gear at equivalent price points.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Man this forum is the best, the feedback is amazing . Truthfully I'm fairly new to the sport and looking to re up from the hand me downs I got . I'm out of Washington and seems like I've seen everything from snow,rain,sunny snow and ice.far from a pro. Im in construction so I've had good luck with gore tex boots so that's what pushed me that way.Just looking to get a solid purchase
 

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I have loved my 686 jacket that has hydration built into it. Helps me to remember to drink water more often and I don't need a backpack. With that being said i couldnt help grabbing a Burton AK GoreTex jacket recently because it was a good price. I have a feeling i'm gonna miss having the hydration though.
 

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Man this forum is the best, the feedback is amazing . Truthfully I'm fairly new to the sport and looking to re up from the hand me downs I got . I'm out of Washington and seems like I've seen everything from snow,rain,sunny snow and ice.far from a pro. Im in construction so I've had good luck with gore tex boots so that's what pushed me that way.Just looking to get a solid purchase
PNW/Cascades Rider here. I love the lifetime warranty and customer service of Burton.

Get Burton AK if you can find a good deal. I only have AK for my shells and I carry a collapsible water bottle in my front pocket(s) of my AK Swash jacket for hydration.

Our PNW conditions need good waterproofing and a shell with proper layering is ideal for adjusting to our varying (wet & heavy) precipitation. Pick a proper shell and let your base layers & mid layers do the rest. From someone who has spent countless hours and several seasons dialing in my outerwear, I can attest to the value of good layering.
 

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+1 on the collapsible water bottle for hydration. My friends are always trying to bum a sip of water off of me.

Sounds like I'm spoiled riding in the Rockies. 15K is more than enough out here, and Gore Tex gets sweaty fast. I can't even imagine riding in the rain. It snows here in the summer. Definitely match your outerwear to the conditions you'll see.
 
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