This year I had the opportunity of testing the latest high-performance shell from the [ak] line, the Burton [ak] GORE-TEX 3L Hover Jacket.
What is it that makes this jacket a must-have for snowboarding deep powder? First and foremost is Burton’s use of the 3L GORE-TEX Pro material. GORE-TEX 3L is the most waterproof, durable lightweight material available from W.L. Gore & Associates. You can literally stand outside during a rainstorm and stay perfectly dry while wearing the Hover jacket, making this piece a stand out for anyone riding in wet zones like the Pacific Northwest.
Burton and W.L. Gore & Associates looked to the surf industry for inspiration on how to keep water out of this jacket. One of the best features of the AK Hover Jacket is the use of taped seams, which in the surf world are used from keeping cold water out of your wetsuit. This design stops water from being able to penetrate between any exposed stitching. Making the Men’s Burton [ak] GORE‑TEX 3L Hover Jacket a truly waterproof piece of outerwear.
The only downside that comes from wearing such waterproof material, is the sound you make while walking in this jacket. It’s a little bit crinkly due to the use of the GORE-TEX Pro membrane. That being said, would you rather make a little a bit of noise while staying dry, or do you prefer being wet and cold while sneaking around quietly? The choice is a no-brainer.
Burton AK 3L Hover Fit
This shell is designed to be used with layers and offers plenty of room to do so. Burton’s [ak] Hover 3L Jacket comes in a regular fit. To be honest I felt it was a little on the tall/long side, which I personally like in a snowboard jacket. At 5’11 155lb I had plenty of room in a size Medium.
Terje Haakonsen, a professional snowboarder and Burton team rider helped to design this jacket, and it shows. Some of the best features include a new trend we’re starting to see in snowboard jackets, a neck gasket – collar that’s built into the jacket. This little bit of extra material is placed so that snow and wind are essentially blocked from every going down your neck. Once you put the Burton [ak] GORE-TEX 3L Hover Jacket on and feel how the neck gasket works you may be wondering why it’s taken the ski and snowboard industry so long to figure this out. Moving forward most likely all top of the line jackets will feature this tech.
I really dig the 2 deep chest front pockets, especially for splitboarding. You can easily put a compass and phone in one pocket and an avalanche notebook in the other. Being able to have these crucial pieces of your kit easily accessible, is one of the reasons I pick this particular jacket to use day in day out for touring and working in the backcountry.
The Hover Jacket also comes with a removable powder skirt, however not sure why you would ever want to take this off a snowboard jacket that was designed and built for playing in deep snow.
With a lifetime warranty, it’s will be hard to find another jacket that will outlast the [ak] line from Burton. If you are serious about spending time in the snow and want a piece of outwear you can trust and rely on, the Burton [ak] GORE-TEX 3L Hover Jacket ($629.95) is the best jacket money can buy, especially if you enjoy supporting snowboard brands.