Most days on the mountain, your own sweat is a bigger threat than Mother Nature. To keep you dry, jackets often rely on user-controlled venting (strategically placed zippers) and breathable fabrics to keep your perspiration under control. The Ride Admiral does, too, but also adds Cocona, a material derived from coconut husks that the company claims "removes moisture while it's forming." An exaggeration, perhaps, but it's still one of the most breathable snowboarding jackets we've ever worn.
After nearly a month of splitboarding and resort snowboarding in a variety of temperatures, the Admiral succeeded in keeping testers dry and comfortable in all conditions – whether they were wearing a base layer beneath or not. What's more, homeostasis was achieved without relying on huge pit zippers: The Admiral only has matching, fist-size chest zippers. Beyond breathability, the jacket's outer shell and well-taped seams handily beat back all foul weather we encountered. Rounded out by such high-end features as a powder skirt, jacket-to-pant connector, thumb-sleeves, helmet-accommodating hood, and integrated balaclava, the Admiral is a killer addition to any snowboarder's quiver. [$350; ridesnowboards.com]
Area tested: Mammoth Mountain
California days worn: 21
Conditions encountered: Snow, rain, sleet, 30 mph winds, temperatures ranging from the teens to mid-40s
Activities: Resort boarding, backcountry splitboarding