I’m starting with fit since this was the biggest factor for me.
The fit is…it’s not “runs small”, but more like a snug fit (at least for me).
Based on the size chart, I’m a medium and that’s what I took.
The chest was perfect room: It’s fit but enough room for layers within.
The arms were golden. I liked this the most. There was enough width and space in your sleeves for layers but at the same time not baggy enough (I don’t like baggy, sorry traditional snowboarders lol). The length of the sleeve is good too because when you have your arms relaxed, it’s not too long that you have to “roll up” your sleeve every time for gloves etc. At the same time it’s not short that if you raise your hand or wave that it exposes your wrist.
Waist was the…challenge for me. It’s definitely fit, borderline tight. Or to be fair, maybe it’s just because of how I dress. One quick thing I can tell you is if you’re a person with a big tummy and you don’t want to showcase that, Medium size is not for you.
My mistake was when I got the jacket, I definitely tried it on, but I didn’t try it with my winter gear! I just tried it with my hoodie and casual clothes! So in that scenario, everything was 10/10 fit of course!
When I started wearing my gear, it definitely felt uncomfortable on the waist area. It’s not tight like you can’t breathe or you can’t squat. I was able to do those a lot and easily. It’s just that sensation where everything else is perfect fit and not a bother and you can tell that there’s something snug with the waist.
The good thing is that the jacket opens from the bottom of the zipper too so there’s a way to ‘have give’. I guess that’s the best explanation I can give you: it feels tight that if you bend over a lot and aggressively, it feels like it’s going to unlock and zip up from the bottom. Not like it feels like it’s going to rip or tear your jacket, but really just open that, or at worst break your bottom zipper.
In fact, that happened a couple of times and that’s why you can notice in the display image I have (the first, main banner image I have up top), you can see that the bottom of my jacket is “opening/widening” up. That’s because by bottom zip was actually partially open.
To be fair, I think what made it difficult is that when I gear up, I have:
- snow pants
- leggings/yoga pants
- Burton Impact shorts
So it was really bulking up that area. Not to mention that I’m wearing the Volcom Puff Puff Give jacket so it’s as puffy as it can get.
Again it’s not functionally unusable, it just “felt weird” for me.
You can see it below. I’m not going to point out anything. Just watch the video. If you find something off, then maybe there’s something. If you don’t find anything, then maybe it’s just a “me” thing.
To be fair, my friends say it’s nothing and it doesn’t look odd or tight from their perspective, so maybe it’s just a me thing.
Another point to consider and to be fair is that: maybe my previous jacket was just looser than necessary and so maybe I just got used to a ‘wrong feel’. I always think about this and after consulting with friends and also since it’s not like it’s too small that it’s unusable, I conclude that I’m probably just new to the sensation and fit. I then just brush it off and accept it as it is.
Lastly, I also don’t want to swap it with a large size because that means that my waist might be a little less cramped, but that means everything else will be oversized and baggy and I don’t want that.
This fit of the hood is also perfect. I’ve worn this on a rainy day at Tremblant so I had to do the: “helmet and then swoop the hood on top of the helmet” look. It was a perfect fit.
I was wearing a large helmet and large goggles. It fit perfectly. There was enough space for me for goggles and then some for ventilation, but not enough that cold wind’s just rushing in when you’re going at higher speeds.
With my previous The North Face jacket, I felt that The North Face hood was wider and shorter than necessary. It was wide that it feels like it’s covering my entire shoulders when I’m not wearing it. And then when I use it with a helmet, I feel like the jacket was being pulled up since the hood wasn’t tall enough. Same helmet, same goggles.
With this Volcom though, perfect. Shoulder of your jacket still remains in contact with your shoulder and no weird tugging when you turn/lift your head.
Look and style
I like it and it would say it’s 8.5/10.
It’s in the light blue but it’s in the lighter shade of “light blue”. It’s definitely true to the “sky” blue definition.
By the way, it’s lighter than the blue Burton jacket.
Let me elaborate more on this category:
Ease of cleaning
Since it’s lighter, it’s more obvious if it gets dirty.
I’ve seen people who wear any brand jacket with either light or white colour and wear them multiple times so you can see all the dirt, the marks, the stains, etc. I’m not a fan of that. I don’t ever plan leave mine as nasty as that.
I find that it does take a bit for this to be dirty. If 0 was it gets dirty with the smallest finger smudge to 10 being it’s really hard to make it dirty, I’d say this is around 7 to 8 / 10.
I’ve sat on wet/dirty/muddy chairlifts, rolled around in dirt, got slapped by trees, getting bucked around in bar crowds, airports, and other places with lots of friction and I’m still good. Mud and dirt are easy to brush off with your gloves (or I guess as long as your water repellency is still ace).
I’ve taken tough tumbles and hitting trees/rocks in the end and those will of course leave a mark. It’s cleanable because I’ve had those hits and I was able to brush off and maybe rub tissue + water later on and it removes 70% of it. It becomes not obvious until someone gets really close and really wants to see how clean your jacket is.
I’m sure it’s cleanable further on with proper wash and more vigorous rubbing, but I’m just cautious because I don’t want to screw up the water repellency on it.
Fashion-wise, I think light coloured jackets are the bomb. The one caution I have though ESPECIALLY with shades off blue, is your visibility. I’ve always thought that maybe since you’re LIGHT blue, it might become a safety issue wherein people can’t see you especially from afar if your colour is blending in with the snow and/or sky.
I haven’t experienced waist to chin deep snow but I’ve always thought that I would at the very least THINK REAL HARD before wearing one later on in backcountry or serious mountains. Also, I’ve decided that it would be ok if it’s within resort and just in small/medium results.
That said, I’ve ridden with several crews and I’ve asked them if I was difficult to spot. And good thing they’ve said, I’m still easy to spot. FYI: I wear black helmet, dark navy pants, dark grey gloves. It wasn’t a concern and people didn’t express concern that people might not see me and collide with me. So that’s a relief.
Well, this one is the shell version so definitely expect 0 heating. There is zero insulation for this jacket for those beginners. It means it’ll resist wind and rain, but nothing is keeping the heat in. Wear more warm layers underneath it.
As mentioned with my Tremblant trip, water repellency is 10/10. It’s Gore-tex so, that’s all you need to know. Freezing -20 winds are no match and you can withstand it. Just have proper layer/heating underneath.
I didn’t have any problem with it at all. Water didn’t seep in anywhere. I was more worried of me steaming and everything being humid so my goggles started to slowly fog up if you’re not moving.
I’ll only mention those that stand out for me:
I like that everything’s fully taped seams. As mentioned, I like that the zipper also opens from the bottom.
This outer doesn’t have a wrist gaiter and I thought I would have a problem with it since I had one with my previous jacket. Turns out I can live without it! As mentioned with the arm/sleeve fit, it’s just enough wide for layers and insulation to fit and a little bit of space for ventilation but it’s tight enough that if you fall on your board and tumble with your arms, it doesn’t invite much snow to go in through your wrist. Sure if you’re in deep powder most likely, but not with groomed resorts.
The chest zipper doubles as a whistle which is pretty cool, but like airbags, I hope I’ll never have to use it. I tried it and I think my voice is still louder than the whistle.
It has a goggle pocket too which I’ve used once or twice. I’m not used to the sensation of one in my pocket but I like that it’s “to the side” enough so the curvature of the goggle wraps on your torso instead of the goggle poking out off the front of your torso.
The one thing I really enjoy are chest pockets. It has one and one is all I need! With my previous jacket, my TNF jacket had more space in it so usually I just casually throw my phone in it and forget it. With this L jacket, at first it felt smaller but I definitely saw and understood that beauty behind it.
The pocket space seems to be more snug and I think it probably has enough space for phones, some change, and a power bar. That’s it. Eventually I appreciated to space because you’re not supposed to be stuffing that pocket anyways right.
I also notice that I think the shape of the pocket is landscape. By that what I mean is, usually when I put my phone in my chest pocket in my old jacket, it remains vertical/standing/portrait in my pocket. With this L jacket, I feel like my phone always slides horizontal naturally. You can still stash your phone in vertically and zip it though.
At first I found this weird (again, just basing it from my previous experience) but I realized that I genuinely think this is better. Because this way, when you hunch over, you don’t feel your phone impaling your chest. I don’t know if you experienced it before but sometimes you bend over and your phone stays vertical in your chest pocket so it’s poking you a bit and/or it feels like it’s going to rip through the pocket? Yea, with this jacket, none of that sensation any more.
The size of the chest pocket is ample. It’s not as big and deep as backcountry snowboard jackets (wherein you can fit maps, tranceivers, radios, etc) but it’s definitely perfect for resort riding. It is after all built for resort riding.
Side pockets are 10/10. It’s new to me that their zip direction is opposite (you zip downwards to close your pocket) unlike my previous jacket which is the opposite. Again, there’s really no right or wrong. I don’t know if there is even a “correct direction” to close zippers but just in general. All my zippers are the exact opposite direct of my previous jacket.
This jacket is relatively affordable compared to other jackets, other brands. This makes it a very compelling “bang for your buck” jacket too. It’s also not like “it’s cheap therefore there were some corners cut”. It’s actually well made and excellent. This one is just in the lower tier since it’s just an outer and it’s not a feature-packed jacket.
Bonus tip: this jacket gets marked down easy come off season 😉 If you can wait for the season to end, omg, such a steal.
Do I like this jacket? Very. Would I buy it again? Yes. Overall grade, 8.5/10. The one thing that really just stands out for me is that waist snugness. If there’s something I can change, I’d expand the waist space just a tiny tiny bit due to the scenario I have above. I think it’s worth the time and effort especially if they’re pushing these outers with Volcom puffy jackets. Volcom midlayers are enough to eat any available waist space I think. What more for my layers.
I really like the jacket and I want to give it 10/10. Would I replace it asap because it’s not excellently comfortable? No. If there was a very similar product with a little less style but more waist space, I’d probably consider that one. Would I consider a totally new jacket with more waist space? No. As I’ve said, all categories and factors of this jacket is 10/10.
It’s just that waist space, and again, maybe it’s just a me thing and maybe I’m just not used to it yet…In that case, this jacket can easily spike to 9.5 out of 10 for its category.