Every brand name is going to have their own bells and whistles on their jackets, but there are some features that are pretty universal. One of the most common features is pit zips. Pit zips will allow heat to escape from the arm pits, which is the hottest area of the body. Riding sideways on a snowboard allows for cross-flow ventilation through the vents. Pit zips make for easy climate control by simply opening or closing them as needed. Some jackets will have ventilation through the chest and in the back, which will also allow for cross-flow venting.
Almost all jackets are going to have a powder skirt. A powder skirt is separate waistband that buttons in the front to keep snow and other elements from coming up into the jacket from below. The secondary seal for your waist is the hem. The hem will sometimes have draw cords that you can pull to cinch the hem tight around your waist. The cords are usually at the bottom of the jacket by the zippers or they will be inside the pockets.
Most jackets will have audio and goggle pockets. The audio pockets are usually located in the chest area. Some will be a zipper pocket just behind the main zipper of the jacket. The goggle pockets will normally be found lower around the waist area. Over the years the pockets have become more technical. Jackets are now made with specific pockets for iPods with headphone wiring going up to the top. In some newer and more expensive jackets there will be built in audio system. These will have a control panel on the sleeve and some might even have headphones built in to the hood.
Another great feature of most insulated jackets is extra insulation that is added in specifically targeted areas of the coat. Fleece is the most common material used for this, but depending on the jacket other materials will be used too. The extra insulation will be placed in areas such as the front hand-warmer pockets so your hands will stay better protected from the wind, and in different areas in the liner of the coat for warmth like the lumbar area or chest. Fleece will also normally be placed at the mouth area around the zipper to reduce abrasion.
Every year there are new features that are added to jackets to make a snowboarder’s day more convenient and comfortable. Most jackets now will also feature thumb gators to keep snow out of gloves and some might even have a face gator built into the hood to protect the riders face on those extra cold days. Be sure to read the specs carefully when buying a coat to get all the features you will need on a great day of shredding.