DC has been one of the go-to brands for snowboard gear for more than two decades now. They have pioneered the world of extreme sports with their durable and well-priced products. The DC DCLA Men’s snowboard jacket is one of the best insulated shells for snowboarding out there thanks to its decent weatherproofing and breathability. In this review, we will go over its features and characteristics, as well as compare it to its main competitors from brands like Burton.
If you’re out on the market for a new jacket, make sure you check out my full Buyer’s Guide on some of the best snowboard jackets for this year! Now, let’s jump into this…
Overview & Features
The design of this jacket is one of its main selling points. While most jackets go for a single main color tone, the DC DCLA jackets are easily recognizable thanks to their striped main theme and contrasting sleeves. There are two main pockets and that is about it, making for a clean aesthetic. The collar is quite wide and goes very high but the hood isn’t big enough to house a medium to large snowboarding helmet.
One thing I do not like about the design, however, is that there are only two color options you can choose from. Those color options are black and blue. The 7 available sizes compensate for that to a degree but there still isn’t enough choice for a jacket priced in this range.
Material Quality & Durability
A thing I absolutely cannot fault here is the material quality and durability of this jacket. Everything you touch here is made from high-quality materials which, besides being water and windproof, also fairly rip and tear-resistant.
In terms of the actual materials, the outer layer of this jacket is made out of polyester (plain weave) and a special type of dobby polyester for the sleeves. The interior is entirely made out of taffeta and all of the seams, both inside and outside, are additionally reinforced adding to the rigidity and longevity of the jacket. The cuff gaiters are made out of lycra. All of the cord routings are internalized making removing the dangling cords you are used to seeing in other jackets. The waist drawcord cinch system has a shoelace construction.
In terms of its weatherproofing, the DC DCLA has decent protection against the elements. It packs a 10,000mm waterproofing rating combined with a 5000g breathability one. While that isn’t ideal for heavy rain and highly moist conditions, it is perfect for cold-weather snowboarding. The jacket will handle powder and deep snow with ease without having any moisture pass through it.
Breathability and Venting
The breathability of this jacket is really good for such a well-insulated shell. The protective fabrics inside the jacket will allow perspiration to move out while keeping the warm air inside. This is mainly done by making fiber openings that are porous for water molecules but aren’t big enough for air molecules to pass through them. Those microscopic pores are found on the outer layers of the jacket as well to further improve the overall breathability. Apart from breathability, there aren’t many venting options here. The only way to vent out excessive heat here is the armpit zippered pockets that open quite wide and allow for the warm air to escape.
As I already mentioned a few times, this jacket suffers from a severe lack of pockets. While some Burton jackets have at least 4 main pockets both at the front and on the inside, the DC DCLA has only two front pockets. These are hand-warmer pockets and they are also zippered. While there are good for your hands, they can sometimes feel a bit small depending on your glove sizes. There is also a zippered sleeve pass pocket and that is about it.
The jacket-to-pant connection system goes further down than other typical snowboard jackets. Another pocket you can find is the zippered napoleon pocket located exactly on that connection system.
There aren’t many additional features that would otherwise make this jacket extra special. It is a pretty straight-forward model that is meant for people that need just the basics and need it as durable and long-lasting as possible. There aren’t many accessories either, which doesn’t sit right at this price point but most of the price here goes towards material and build quality.
For some of the best snowboard tips for beginners, click here! Now, let’s check out the pros and cons of the DC DCLA jacket.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Perfect for cold-weather snowboarding
- Cool and unique design
- Durable construction
- Very warm
- Zippered hand-warmer pockets
- Has the latest DC material technologies in it
- Jacket-to-pant connection system
- While it is fairly expensive it is still a good bang for your buck if you aren’t on a tight budget
- There aren’t that many pockets
- Not a lot of color options to pick from
- Not compatible with large helmets
Now, let’s see how this jacket stacks up to one of its main competitors…
DC DCLA Vs. Burton AK Gore-Tex Snowboard Jacket
While both jackets feature a fairly minimalistic design, the Burton AK gore-tex is far better in terms of color customization. Both jackets come in 7 different sizes and the amount of pockets is comparable. The Burton model has two more pockets including an internal pocket for mobile devices as well as a zippered chest pocket on the inside. Still, one of the biggest differences between those two jackets is that the Burton AK uses a two-layer gore-tex system that really keeps you dry but also bulks the price a lot higher than the DC DCLA. The seams on the Burton jacket are also fully-taped with gore-seam tape locks that protect them against the elements. The hood of the Burton jacket is also bigger, allowing it to accommodate bigger snowboard helmets than the ones the DC DCLA can fit. As a whole, the Burton jacket is clearly superior but whether it has a better price-to-value ratio is up for debate.
You can check out the Burton AK Gore-Tex snowboard jacket at my full review on it!
Conclusion & Rating
If you aren’t on a tight budget, the DC DCLA Men’s snowboard jacket is one of your best options if you are looking for a comfortable, unique, and warm insulated shell. It doesn’t have that many pockets but is absolutely loaded on other features and cutting-edge material technologies. It is specifically designed with heavy weather conditions in mind while maintaining a decent level of breathability meaning you will stay warm without sweating up too much. While it isn’t exactly a jacket for sunny snowboard rides, it will truly excel in inclement weather conditions. As a whole, I gave it a rating of four and a half out of five stars mainly for its lack of pockets and a somewhat high price tag.