Expert Review: Dakine Men's Barrier GORE-TEX® 2L Shell Jacket

This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I tested as part of a demo program for 14 days in January of 2022.

The Dakine Men's Barrier GORE-TEX® 2L Shell Jacket.

All photos courtesy of Jake Renner

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About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I tested as part of a demo program for 14 days in January of 2022.

My take

The Dakine Barrier GORE-TEX 2L jacket is ideal for keeping skiers like me dry and well ventilated. With ultimate waterproofing and breathability, the Barrier is a great option for a hard shell and makes the perfect spring or uphill ski jacket.

About the piece

  • Model: 2022 Dakine Barrier Men’s 2L Gore-Tex Jacket
  • Size: Large
  • Fit: Slightly more of a relaxed fit

About me

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 165lbs
  • Experience: 26 years in snowboarding/skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: I demoed this jacket and pants as a complete kit mid-winter in Colorado.
  • Days tested: 14 days
  • Where I’ve used it: Colorado – Sunlight Resort, Aspen Snowmass, Silverthorne Rail Jam
  • Conditions I’ve used it in: Powder on resort, uphilling in bounds on resort, groomers, rails, and trees

How it performs

Breathability
5/5
Comfort
4/5
Durability
5/5
Style
4/5
Warmth
3/5
Waterproofing
5/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a quality jacket that would keep me warm and dry without feeling too bulky. I tend to run hot, so I like to search for jackets with medium to light insulation that remains lightweight and breathable.

Why I chose this gear

I went with the Dakine Barrier GORE-TEX 2L Jacket because it fits all the criteria above. It's super easy to move around in, ultimately waterproofing with superior breathability. In addition, this jacket is the perfect hard shell for spring days, PNW precipitation, or uphilling.

A man in the Dakine Men's Barrier GORE-TEX® 2L Shell Jacket.

My friend Matt in the Barrier 

What I love about it

  • Fit: The Barrier fits a little bit more relaxed than tighter jackets conforming to my body shape, which helps with my range of motion.
  • Range of Motion: It’s free-flowing and non-restricting, thanks to the relaxed fit and minimal insulation.
  • Design: The Barrier is best used as a hard shell, lightweight uphill jacket, for spring wear, or during wet conditions, since it has minimal insulation and maximum waterproofing backed by GORE-TEX fabric.
  • Style: Relaxed fit provides more of a loose fitting style that's conducive to breathability.
  • Quality of Materials: GORE-TEX backs this product allowing me to rest easy when it comes to quality waterproofing, durability, and functionality.
  • Durability: This jacket remained completely intact for the time I was testing it. Rip-proof fabric that remains breathable and waterproof creates the perfect shell against the elements. That’s why they call it “The Barrier.”
  • Waterproofing: 28k waterproofing ability means this jacket will keep me dry even in a rain storm!
  • Breathability: This jacket is super breathable and well ventilated with vents under the arms angled in the front toward the chest. So if I want to shed heat, I unzip my vents, and I’m golden.
  • Weight: This jacket is relatively light in weight and packs down if I fold and roll it up.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Warmth: The only issue I’ve encountered with this jacket is that it’s not very insulated, and if it's a bitter cold winter morning, I want a baselayer and a sweatshirt/sweater underneath if I’m riding the chair. It offers minimal insulation. When I rode the chairlift up one winter morning, my back got frigid from sitting against it, which is typically something I don’t notice with other jackets.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with this gear was when I got to uphill Willy’s with a few buddies. We got into the sidecountry outside of Sunlight Mountain Resort. The Barrier jacket and pants were the perfect options to keep me cool on the hike with solid vents for breathability while keeping me dry and warm on the downhill. We got to ski some untouched powder several days after a spring storm while hunting out the soft snow in the trees.

Value for the money vs. other options

Other jacket options, such as TNF Summit or Mountain Hardwear’s Ridge line, with this level of waterproofing, definitely cost more. It’s hard to find a quality GORE-TEX shell at the price of the Dakine Barrier 2L Jacket.

Final verdict

The Dakine Barrier 2L is a premium hard shell option that keeps me dry no matter how wet the snow gets. With 28k waterproofing and GORE-TEX Fabric, this jacket is a quality option at a fraction of the price.

Selling Dakine on Curated.com
Dakine Men's Barrier GORE-TEX® 2L Shell Jacket
From $227.50
$350.00
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Written By
I've skied my whole life, starting in New Hampshire at age 3. As a teenager I started to compete in rail jams, slopestyle, and big air events and continued as a young adult. I attended Season 3 Salomon Jib Academy at Loon Mountain(2009), USASA Slopestyle, and Skiercross National competitions two yea...

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