Few are the snowboard jackets that are just good all-rounders. Even fewer are the ones with a good price to value ratio. The Burton AK Gore-Tex Cyclic Jacket, albeit slightly more expensive than the typical jacket, is perhaps one of the best snowboarding models for this year thanks to its unique weatherproofing and durable high-grade materials. In this review, we will go over some of its most important features, check out its pros and cons, and see how it stacks up against other Burton jackets.
Head over to my guide on the best snowboard jackets if you want to find out more about the top models for this year along with all of their features and advantages compared to one another!
Overview & Features
The one thing that can really describe this jacket in a few words is its simplicity and its price. While you are getting the highest possible performance you are also paying a price that would be considered extremely expensive, especially when you compared it to other sub-100$ snowboard jackets. Still, more or less, you get what you pay for here, so let’s start with the design and then move onto the rest of its features…
At first sight, the design is plain and simple and frankly quite minimalistic. Still, the more you look into it, the more interesting it gets. For instance, there are three huge zippered pockets upfront that all have protected zippers and are lined with soft materials on the inside. The main opening is double-zippered, the hood has embedded cinch and everything is made out of the patented Gore-tex two-layer fabric. And then there are the color options. In typical Burton fashion, you can choose between countless color variants that are each unique and will help the jacket stand out on the slopes.
The hood is also very interesting with its adjustable embedded cinch and also the hood length adjustment strings. It has a hard top to prevent snow from getting in your goggles but it still isn’t big enough to house most medium to big snowboard helmets which is typically a huge selling point in such snowboard jackets but Burton simply passed on that opportunity. Still, the face opening is relatively small, so most of your face and neck will stay well behind the jacket and won’t get the wind blowing into them ultimately cooling down your whole upper body.
Material Quality & Durability
In terms of its materials, this jacket truly brings nothing but the highest, top-grade fabrics. The exterior is made out of gore-tex and is two-layered. That will help the jacket regulate your heat better while handling external waterproofing. On the inside, you have a soft taffeta shell in combination with a closed-cell mesh lining. That particular combo will add to the warmth while taking care of the excessive sweat during active snowboarding conditions.
One thing that adds to the overall durability and longevity of the jacket is the gore-seam tape over all of the jacket seams. Basically, there are no exposed seams anywhere on the jacket making it impossible for them to accumulate any wear and tear over time or rip any of the jacket’s parts. These gore-seam taped seams also add to the overall weatherproofing by not allowing any wind or moisture inside from those spots. Let’s talk more about weatherproofing now…
As I mentioned, the whole jacket is fully sealed with gore-tex 2L fabric that is fully waterproof. The water-sealed zippers and gore-taped seams also add to the waterproofing by making this jacket practically impenetrable even if you’re in the heaviest of rains. In terms of windproofing it also does a great job at keeping the chill at bay, although some other Burton jackets like the Covert are slightly better in that regard.
Another thing that contributes to the overall waterproofing of the jacket is the water-repellent waist gaiter. It features an ergonomic design and also has a zipper in case you want to adjust it. Another thing it can do is attach to your Burton pants vie the jacket-to-pant system.
When it comes to venting, the AK gore-tex cyclic jacket has one of the biggest armpit vents I’ve seen on a snowboard jacket. Not only they are huge but they are also double-zippered, meaning you will be able to open and close them in both directions. In fact, the main pocket of the jacket is also double-zippered meaning you can unzip it from anywhere you want. The pit vents are also mesh-lined in order to control the temperature and humidity better.
If you want to learn some cool snowboard tips for beginners, head over to my article on that topic!
There are quite a few pockets here, although not as much as some other Burton jackets. Still, the pockets you get here are a zippered hand-warmer on both sides, an outside chest pocket and an inside chest pocket, a Therma pocket designed for device storing on the inside, and a power mesh dump pockets on both sides on the inside of the jacket. All these really add to the convenience and usability of the jacket by providing a pocket for everything you might need. There is also a ski pass pocket on your sleeve that is also sealed and zippered to prevent water from coming in.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- High-trade materials
- Gore-seam taped seams
- Large, well-insulated pockets
- Extremely efficient ventilation
- Water-repellent waist gaiter
- Waterproof and windproof
- Good thermal performance
- Very expensive
- The hood isn’t big enough to accomodate large helmets
Burton AK Gore-Tex vs Burton’s Men’s Snowboard Covert Jacket
There are a few things that the Covert line of Jackets does better. First of all, the covert comes in a ton of color options (39 to be exact) and has more size options. It also is much cheaper, has far more pockets, and its hood is helmet-compatible. Still, when it comes to proper snowboarding functionality, the AK Gore-Tex takes the 1st place by simply being much better insulated and prepared for colder climates. On top of that, it is also much better waterproofed by having waterproof seams, zippers, and a two-layer gore-tex fabric on the outside. Despite all that, the Covert jacket is a good option if you are on a tighter budget and want a good all-rounder for your snowboarding vacation.
For more of my thoughts on the Burton Covert jacket, visit my full review!
Conclusion & Rating
The Burton AK Gore-Tex Cyclic Jacket is one of the most expensive snowboard jackets you can buy out there but is also one that is packed full of features and high-performance materials. It will keep you warm even in colder climates and has a class-leading waterproofing that is designed to stop snow and water from entering it. The jacket implements Burton’s newest material technologies and is specifically designed with versatility in mind. It can be used in warmer days as well as days with heavy snowfall or rain. It also blends in with your snowboard pants perfectly thanks to its large water-repellent waist gaiter. Everything from the gore-taped seams to the double-zippered vents and main pocket brings good value for your money, no matter how high the price tag is. Which brings me to its few disadvantages – that it isn’t cheap and that it doesn’t work well with a large snowboarding helmet. Other than that, I rate it with a solid four and a half out of five stars rating!