Women’s Dakine Brentwood Jacket – A snowboarder review

by Amanda Wishart 0

  • Gear: Dakine Brentwood Women’s Jacket
  • From: Dakine
  • Price: £230

I tend to go snowboarding in spring, usually around mid March. Some years it’s been so warm I’ve ridden in no more than a vest up top, and needed a cold shower when back at the chalet. This year, however, I chose to go away in January.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Considerably more snow than I’m used to.

During the build up to my holiday I kept an eye on the weather, as you do, and eventually realised I would need to reconsider my ride wear. A hoody wasn’t going to cut it, and as my departure date approached, I realised my 5 year old jacket probably wasn’t going to cut it either. Stocked up on base layers and armed with my new jacket, I headed off to Samoëns, France. It turns out, I didn’t need the base layers.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Come at me, winter!

Brentwood Jacket features

The Dakine Brentwood jacket is designed to be an all-weather, all-riding addition to your wardrobe. Featuring a fully taped outer shell that is both waterproof and breathable with insulation throughout, it’s all set to keep the storm out.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
‘Where did I put my board?’

It’s quite long compared to several other jackets from the Dakine range, and I’d consider it form fitting without being too slim to layer up underneath, not that I can say I needed to. The insulating layer, known as Primaloft®, is found throughout the body and arms, and in addition there is a fleece layer on the upper body both front and back. This fleece layer was great at keeping the chill off on chairlifts, and it’s so soft to touch that it just makes the jacket feel worth every penny. The length of the jacket is great for keeping the cold and snow out, but it does mean there’s a lot of extra material around the front when you’re sat down.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Very soft inner fleece.

The insulation itself is the star feature for me. Not once did I feel cold, even when sat on a chairlift in conditions that were building up to a blizzard (I’ll get onto that shortly). The temperature varied from 4°C to -7°C, and for the latter I needed a long sleeved base layer on underneath the jacket. For the ‘warmer’ days, just a t-shirt was sufficient.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Long enough to keep your tush dry and warm on chairlifts.

Now, everyone has a preference on how they layer up for the snow – some like several layers so they can remove each one to suit changing temperatures, and others like to wear minimal layers to avoid the clammy feeling of heat trapped between them and the restricted movement that comes from having all those clothes on. I like minimal – hence me going boarding in spring most years.

Midweek we experienced a blizzard… horizontal snow at high speed, unable to see our own feet, and quite honestly it was terrifying. I can’t imagine how much worse it would have been if I were to actually be cold. To find a jacket that can keep me not only warm, but cosy during a blizzard when I only had a bike jersey on underneath is quite a feat, and helped me remain focused on getting off the mountain as opposed to trying to warm myself up.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Loose enough for comfort, without being unflattering.

At arms length

The arms on the Brentwood jacket are a great length. I have a long torso and arms, so quite often struggle to find jackets that are long enough on the arms – especially when I reach out. Once in with your gloves on, the cuffs can be adjusted with velcro to keep the weather out. They’re loose enough to be comfortable with a hoody on underneath, but not too bulky.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Blizzard Protection Unit.

Also offering generous coverage is the collar, which features some fleece panels at the front so your face doesn’t get roughed up with the zip, and poppers all the way to the top to really keep the cold out. If it sits too high on your face, or you need to get your hip flask to your mouth, you can adjust the height of the collar with some toggles – a small detail with a huge function.

I did find that having the jacket zipped up to the top made my face wet from breathing, but I was so grateful for the coverage on a daily basis. The faux fur on the hood is detachable but very well secured when it’s in.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
There are three colour options, this ‘shark/amethyst’ being the only two colour design.

Further to the insulation and storm proof outer shell, the jacket features a snow skirt as a final barrier to the elements. I don’t tend to use snow skirts as I have never found them comfortable, they tend to sit on the widest part of my hips and then hunch up as soon as I move. For the sake of this review, I used it and had the usual issue, however, the length of this jacket makes the snow skirt redundant in my opinion. No snow is getting up there unless you’re having a really bad time, in which case even a snow skirt could fail you.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Handy duel entry pocket.
dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Very generous pockets, with a weather flap to protect the zip.

Now let’s take a look at the pockets. All six of them. Firstly, the main front pockets have a zip closure with a flap that pops closed over them, with a second entry behind. The second pockets don’t seal, but are really handy for putting something in when you’re in a hurry, or have your gloves on and can’t navigate a zip. They’re also good for just stuffing your hands in when you’re cold, without putting potentially wet hands in your main pockets. This is one of those details that once you’ve lived with them, you really don’t want to live without them.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
The place to keep your important items.

The chest pocket has also been designed to keep the weather out of it, with a generous cover over the zip. There is a headphone hole inside this pocket and it is plenty big enough to fit the largest of phones inside if you choose to. I struggled to make use of this pocket, as it’s not the easiest to access and the zip is on an angle that dictates that you use your right hand to both open it, and put anything in/out, so it’s a bit of a faff. I kept the chalet key in here as I knew I wouldn’t need to get to it on the mountain.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Elasticated mesh goggle pocket, plus an audio hole.
dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Lift pass pocket on the left arm.
dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
The snow skirt that I didn’t use.

Internally there is a mesh goggle pocket with an elasticated edge to it, so it’s pretty secure with a bulky item (like googles) in it, but you wouldn’t want to use it for much else.

dakine snowboard jacket singletrack snow review tested
Waist cinch for a closer fit.

Overall

I can’t comment on durability as I’ve only worn this jacket for a week long holiday, but I can speak of the protection it offers. During heavy snowfall it didn’t get damp, and it beads like a freshly waxed car. During a blizzard that saw every lift on the mountain close, the icy cold wind didn’t get through.

I have never worn a jacket that made me behave differently before – I found myself playing in the snow more, sitting down to faff with my board, I even made a snow angel. I only felt able to do these things because I was so confident that I wouldn’t end up cold and wet.

This gets not only two thumbs up from me, but a well deserved Singletrack Recommended Award too.

 

  • Gear: Dakine Brentwood Women’s Jacket
  • From: Dakine
  • Price: £230

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