Expert Review: Burton Men's [ak] Cyclic GORE‑TEX 2L Jacket

Published on 01/03/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2020.
will koons, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert will koons

Hiking out of a corniced ravine. All photos courtesy of Will Koons

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2020.

My take

The Burton [ak] Cyclic GORE-TEX 2L Jacket is a high-performance outerwear piece that is great for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders looking for a versatile and durable jacket that can withstand harsh winter conditions. I tested the 2020 model, but the more recent models remain largely unchanged. Burton said, “Why mess with a good thing,” so my experience should apply to anyone purchasing this year's model.

Hiking out

About the jacket I own

  • Model: 2020 Burton AK Cyclic Jacket
  • Size: Large
  • Fit: Runs true to size

About me

  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 175lbs
  • Experience: 20+ years of skiing

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: October 2020
  • Days tested: 30+
  • Where I’ve used it: Mt. Hood, Oregon
  • Conditions I’ve used it in: Blizzard conditions and bluebird conditions

How it performs

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

What I was looking for

I was in the market for a new piece of outerwear that was durable, weather-resistant, and able to keep me dry in variable conditions. I also wanted a jacket with ventilation and storage options.

Why I chose this gear

I decided to buy the Burton AK Cyclic jacket because it is a high-performance outerwear piece that is durable, versatile, and able to withstand harsh winter conditions. Yes, I did consider buying other options; I looked at several different brands and styles and considered factors such as performance, durability, and features. Ultimately, the Burton AK Cyclic jacket was my best choice based on these features.

Looking up at the cornice we just dropped

What I love about it

  • Fit: Pretty Standard fit. Runs true to size
  • Range of Motion: Pretty normal range of motion. I’ve worn other jackets where the range of motion can impede riding, but I did not have issues with this jacket.
  • Quality of Materials: The AK line is made from the highest quality GORE-TEX. This waterproof membrane is THE name in the industry for quality and consistency.
  • Durability: The Burton AK Cyclic jacket is known for its durability and can withstand harsh winter conditions, making it a good choice for those looking for a jacket that will last for multiple seasons. I’ve used this in multiple conditions, and it has held up great.
  • Pockets: Wide range of well-placed pockets. I need storage in my jacket for other gear, and it doesn't lack in that regard.
  • Waterproofing: This jacket is made with a two-layer waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX fabric that keeps me dry and comfortable in wet and snowy conditions. The jacket also has fully taped seams to further prevent moisture from entering the garment.
  • Breathability: The Burton AK Cyclic jacket has ventilation features to help keep me comfortable and to regulate body temperature and moisture. The jacket has underarm vents that I can open to allow for airflow and help dissipate heat. These features, along with the fabric's natural breathability, allow me to remain comfortable during physical activity.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Style: The style is boring, with an all-black colorway and no highlights or design breaks. For some people, that is preferred, but it's something to be aware of. This jacket is somewhat form-fitting. I enjoy not having an overly baggy fit that gets in the way during riding.
  • Warmth: I rated this average because it is just a shell. I would list it as N/A if I could. Not an issue with a jacket, just something to be aware of when purchasing. One will need to perfect their layering system underneath this shell.

Favorite moment with this gear

I had a great experience with my Burton AK Cyclic jacket during a blizzard on Mt. Hood in 2020. The jacket's waterproof GORE-TEX layers kept me dry and comfortable all day, despite the heavy snowfall and strong winds. The fully taped seams also did a great job of preventing moisture from seeping into the jacket, and I could ride confidently, knowing that I was well protected from the elements. Overall, the jacket performed exceptionally well in challenging conditions and helped to make the day a success.

Value for the money vs. other options

When considering whether the Burton AK Cyclic jacket is worth the money, it can be helpful to consider factors such as its performance, durability, and features, as well as one’s own specific needs and preferences. In terms of performance, the Burton AK Cyclic jacket is known for its high-quality construction and ability to withstand harsh winter conditions, making it a reliable choice for intermediate to advanced skiers and snowboarders. It also has a range of features such as ventilation, pockets, and style options that may make it a more appealing choice for some users. In terms of durability, the Burton AK Cyclic jacket is built to last and is designed to withstand repeated use and harsh winter conditions. This can make it a good value for those who plan to wear it frequently and want a jacket that will last for multiple seasons. Finally, in terms of cost, the Burton AK Cyclic jacket may be more expensive than other options on the market, but it is also likely to be of higher quality and have more features. Ultimately, whether or not the Burton AK Cyclic jacket is worth the money will depend on one's individual needs and preferences. It may be worth investing in a higher-quality jacket if it meets someone's needs and will be used frequently. One other jacket I considered was the Mtn Hardware Sky Ridge. However, I preferred the Burton AK’s fit. The Sky Ridge tends to run a larger fit and is less form-fitting.

Final verdict

I recommend the Burton AK Cyclic jacket because it is a high-performance outerwear piece. It is made with a waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX fabric and has ventilation features to help keep one comfortable and regulate body temperature, as well as fully taped seams to prevent moisture from entering the garment. The jacket is durable and versatile and is able to withstand harsh winter conditions, making it a reliable choice for anyone who spends time on the slopes.

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