Expert Review: Volcom Men's Brighton PulloverPublished on 11/14/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
Quick photo with the sun before it set in Aleyeska, AK. All photos courtesy of Brandon Tidaback
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
The Volcom Brighton is the perfect jacket for anyone looking for an anorak style with a lot of on-mountain functionality and durability.
About the jacket I own
- Model: 2021–2022 Volcom Brighton
- Size: Medium
- Fit: Runs slightly smaller in the sides, but has longer length
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 165lbs
- Experience: 15+ years of skiing
- When I bought this: December 2021
- Days tested: 20+
- Where I’ve used it: Washington, Oregon, Utah
- Conditions I’ve used it in: PNW storm weather, powder days, and sunny bluebird days
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was on the hunt for an anorak jacket specifically, and one that was more than just a pull-over shell and had additional pockets outside of a kangaroo pouch. I live in the Pacific Northwest, so I also was not looking for anything less than 15K waterproofing.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Volcom Brighton for overall number of pockets, waterproofing rating, fit, and style of the jacket. I had originally purchased the first iteration of this jacket that only included two pockets, and Volcom stepped up the functionality of this jacket since the first iteration with everything I wanted and more.
What I love about it
- Fit: I enjoy the droptail and slightly baggy fit of this jacket very much. One would think with the slimmer profile on the sides, having things in the pockets may make it uncomfortable, but it is actually very roomy. Though the slimmer profile made me return the initial one I purchased because if I want to wear more than one layer under, it can be a tight squeeze.
- Range of Motion: The stretch-tech Volcom uses in these jackets makes it feel very loose and provides full range of motion to do anything from hot laps on the groomers to huckin’ whatever I want in the park.
- Design: The design of this jacket is what makes it functional for any day on the mountain. Lots of pockets, slightly baggy in the shoulders and sides, and the droptail design blend nicely together. This jacket also has a fleece-feeling material lined in some sections throughout the jacket that helps keep me warm.
- Style: Slightly slimmer in the sides with a longer fit. If one is in-between sizes, I recommend sizing up.
- Quality of Materials: Volcom makes consistent, quality products, and this jacket is no exception. The stretch tech is very water repellent, and this is a high-quality 15K waterproofing.
- Durability: I have used this jacket multiple seasons and it has held up very well. There is minimal wear on this jacket after consistent use, and the weatherproofing has also held up very well.
- Pockets: Two chest pockets, one big kangaroo pouch, and then another small kangaroo pouch above the main one.
- Waterproofing: 15K that holds up extremely well. I’ve worn this jacket on a few days in Washington with a mix of rain and snow and have been dry when I’ve ridden for several hours in those conditions. Even more than some of my friends' jackets that are 20K.
- Weight: This jacket has slightly more weight to it than a jacket that makes a “swish” sound due to the material of the jacket, but it still feels light to wear. I think the weight helps with waterproofing and durability.
- Features: This jacket has a mesh lined arm-pit that I can unzip, as well as a two-way zipper on the side I put it on to keep me cool on warm days. Speaking of zippers, the chest zipper doubles as a whistle, which has actually come in handy on pow days with friends to just keep in touch or try and gain attention. The final great feature is the size of this hood. When it's storming out here, I have full coverage, range of motion, and there are clips on the inside of the jacket that can connect to my goggle strap to ensure that thing stays on and I stay dry and warm.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Breathability: This jacket has a side-zip vent that I can unzip to let in some air. However, the other side is completely open on one end, so I really only have one vent I feel comfortable to have open while riding; and it only goes down from several inches in the armpit area. If there were more vent areas or if the chest pockets doubled as a way to let heat escape the jacket, it would be a higher breathability rating. I believe this is why the jacket may feel warmer than expected, because I rarely zip down the alternative side.
- Other: I wish this jacket had the hand sleeves with thumbholes internally so it fit better with my gloves. I’ve only seen one version have it, and it was the Team USA edition. If every version had that, this jacket would be perfect.
- Warmth: This jacket is only a shell and doesn’t have standard insulation. Nevertheless, it is very warm for it being a shell, and I find that with one layer I can ride for hours.
Favorite moment with this gear
There was a pow day during the winter of 2020 at Crystal Mountain that came out of nowhere and brought a foot of snow. I was there on a day off from work with absolutely nobody on the resort. I had this jacket lined with extra batteries for my go-pro, so it was extremely functional for storage and the color of it was ideal for visibility. Comfortable, functional, and warm on a pow day is all I can ask for in a quality jacket for whenever that weather comes in.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Volcom Brighton is high quality for the price one pays and is comparable to the Oakley TNP Anorak, or the Montec Outerwear Anorak jackets in terms of price point; but it outperforms those options in durability.
This jacket combines functional design, durability, and style to provide a pullover that keeps one warm while looking cool in all conditions.