Bros, Betties and Bunnies: Snowboard Gear for Everyone

Journee Collection Women's Knit Flower BeanieNow that you've got your boots, board and bindings sorted out, we can move on to the soft goods: jackets, pants, socks, under layers, beanies and more. After the actual snowboard, you can best express yourself through your snowboard clothing; there are different types of riders and different ways to establish your on-snow image.


Start with the base layer; this includes thermals and socks. You want socks thick enough keep you warm, but not so thick that they make your boots fit uncomfortably, cause your feet to sweat or bunch up around your toes. Sock thickness is a matter of personal preference; many sports socks offer extra padding at the heel and ankle with a thin design at the calf for maximum comfort and warmth. First-layer tops and bottoms can be fleece, silk or any combination of wicking fabrics. Steer away from cotton base-layer items since it won't dry as quickly as man-made materials.


It's important to pick a hat that's both comfortable and warm enough to let you ride as long as you want to. There are a lot of theories on hats, but what it really comes down to is finding one you like. There are knit hats (which sometimes let cold air in if they have a wide wale) and lined knit hats to combine warmth and a knitted look, fleece hats, thin hats (ideal for use under helmets) and fuzzy hats. There are plain beanies and hats with adornments like tassels, puff balls and ear flaps. There are colorful hats, black hats, striped hats and more. Beanies are relatively inexpensive, so you can choose a few and have one for every mood and weather pattern that hits this season.


Wearing jackets is a great way to add some color to your snowboard ensemble or complete a sleek, solid-color look. No longer bulky and heavy, snowboard and ski clothing has come a long way; it's possible to stay warm and look great while you do it. Indulge in a military-inspired jacket without giving up warmth or waterproof capabilities. Many jackets now include pockets for season passes, MP3 players and whatever else you take with you. Make sure to double check the description for features like a removable hood or liner. If you buy a shell (no padding or fill), it's a good idea to invest in a vest. They're ideal for layering on cold, windy days and can be worn alone for spring skiing.


Pants are one of the most important articles of clothing when you hit the slopes. You can expect to spend some time on the ground, especially if you're a beginner, and some time on cold chairlifts, no matter how good you are. Nothing is worse than damp pants and cold wind, so choose pants with taped seams, breathability (wet on the inside from sweat is no better than wet on the outside from snow) and a tight weave for extra resistance to water. Most ski and snowboard apparel is treated to be at least somewhat waterproof, and you can reinforce that at home with a waterproofing rinse.


So tell me. How do you like to layer?



Posted by Jessica Gezon

Jessica Gezon



Nov. 19, 2010 at 10:43 AM

One year some friends and I made snow tunnels. I did NOT have the right snow equipment and played in the snow for 3 hours in jeans. I realized something was wrong when my legs stopped working. :P Needless to say the very next day I bought some snow gear and am now ready for this year's snow!

Nov. 19, 2010 at 10:46 AM

After straining my wrist and realizing that I have no balance, I have given up on snowboarding. But I still LOVE wearing beanies, snowpants and parkas to go sledding! I always pile on the socks, though. There's nothing worse than getting cold feet in the snow and having to go back inside for more socks.

Nov. 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM

My foray into snowboarding is probably going to be something like my recent introduction to roller derby: 1- Oh, I'll try it. But I'm just going to take it easy, I don't want to get hurt. 2- OMG, this is HARD 3- SMACK! Body on cement. 4- Must. Play. Roller. Derby. Constantly. NOW. This is probably why I have been slow to try snowboarding. I'm going to love it, and I'll probably be mad that I love it so much.

Nov. 19, 2010 at 10:59 AM

I like to layer a hot cup of tea over my favorite pink handknit blanket, layered over central heating while watching snowboarders on TV. Actually, I like the beanies and the jackets. Snowboarders are a fashionable lot.

Nov. 19, 2010 at 11:35 AM

I love snowboarding gear, but unfortunately I'm super awful at layering. Once I went snowboarding and thought it would be a really good idea to wear only a t-shirt and a heavy coat. I was only like 11 years old, but still. What ensued was hours of me taking off my coat, trying to hold it in a way that didn't look awkward, getting cold, putting the coat back on, getting really hot, repeat cycle. That's just one of the many examples I have of being inappropriately dressed for the weather. If there is a blizzard, you can bet on me wearing a cardigan and complaining about hypothermia. On warm days I will be the one determined to die of heat stroke by wearing knit tights and boots.

Nov. 19, 2010 at 1:54 PM

All I have to say is: Norwegian One-piece.

Nov. 19, 2010 at 2:11 PM

I cannot wait to learn to snowboard so I can have a legitimate excuse for dressing like a snowboarder.

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