When my husband suggested we go snowboarding together for the first time, I got pretty excited about the idea. What my over-excited travel obsessed brain didn’t quite pick out from that conversation was that there are a lot more expenses involved in one’s first snowboarding trip than the flight, accommodation, ski passes and the snowboarding instructor.
There is also all the snowboarding gear you gotta get including snow pants, boots, goggles, underlayers, and a jacket. The problem is there are hundreds of different kinds of ladies snowboard jacket available and how a snowboarding beginner is supposed to know which one to choose. It occurred to me that we would have to cancel our trip. I then start researching snowboard gear for women and end up learning a lot about the subject. With all these golden nuggets of knowledge, I decided to put together this guide to help other ladies who are wondering what they are supposed to wear snowboarding and bring with them on their first trip to the slopes.
Snowboarding Jackets for Women
This is an absolutely key piece of your snowboarding kit so you must know how to pick a snowboard jacket right. When it comes to how to buy a ladies snowboard jacket, you should look for a model that is lightweight yet warming, well-insulated but not bulky and that offers water resistance and breathability features. You want a jacket that is waterproof enough that you won’t get wet when riding and also breathable enough that you won’t get overly sweaty or too hot and uncomfortable.
- 5,000mm – the minimum rating you should look for in women’s snow jacket. This rating will give you enough protection in light rain and dry snow
- 5,000 to 10,000 – a decent rating if you are planning to ride in nothing worse than light rain and average snow conditions.
- 15,000 to 20,000 – will give you something super snuggly and fit for all the conditions(heavy rain, wet snow, high winds), all the time.
Waterproof and breathability ratings are usually listed next to each other and separated by a slash like this: XXXmm/XXX mg2. The first number is the waterproof factor and the second is the breathability rating.
Underlayers are crucial when it comes to staying comfortable on the slopes. Here you’ll also want clothing that is moisture-wicking and breathable because getting all kinds of sweaty under your jacket will eventually going to make you wet and cold. Merino wool is the best choice for underlayers. It doesn’t absorb moisture like cotton and keeps you supper warms even in very cold conditions.
Your pants also should be waterproof and breathable to keep you comfortable. Overall, all kinds of snow pants are great if your snowboard jacket comes down to your waist as it will prevent snow from getting inside your clothes if our crash. The majority of snowboarding pants have a zip running across the top which, if you’re lucky, will match the zip at the bottom of your jacket. This is another great way to stopping snow from accidentally getting inside your clothes.
These socks are extra warm compression socks with a high cotton density to keep your feet snuggly in the snow. They are also very thick to help prevent blisters in case your boots start rubbing on your ankles or heels. When buying snowboarding socks, make sure the ones you choose are high enough to reach over the top of your snowboarding boots, so the top of the boots don’t chafe against your calf.
Just like with jackets, an uncomfortable pair of boots can really ruin your snowboarding trip. You’ll find snowboarding boots in flex and stiffness models, with different laying systems, footbeds and lining, etc. The variations will better suit to certain ridding styles and conditions and less to others.
To keep it simple, stiff boots are suited to the hard-chargers. For beginners, flex boots are the best option. The lacing system wong affect the performance of the boot but it’s smart to ensure you can effectively tighten the laces of whatever system you get.
Snowboarding goggles, just like any sports sunglasses, need to meet some requirements in order for them to work for you. They need to have UVA/UVB protection, have a comfortable and functional retainer system, fit the shape of your face properly, be designed not to steam up when you’re active and have a suitable VLT rating. VLT is what determines how much light pass through your eyes.
A lower VLT number is suitable for riding in super sunny conditions while a higher percentage is required for riding in gloomy stormy weather. Considering the fact that we usually don’t know what the weather is going to be like during the trip, buying two pairs of goggles to deal with varying conditions may be the solution. Not quite, because having to stop your session to change your goggles can be a pain in the neck. The solution I found is photochromic lenses. These lenses can adjust their VLT factor by up to 60 %.
Headwear and Gloves
For headwear, you can perfectly wear a beanie. Just make sure it has a nice secure band on the inners to prevent the beanie from flying off your head while you take a dive. For gloves, my suggestion is any pair of waterproof gloves or mittens will work well as long as they can really keep moisture out.