Expert Review: DC Men's Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket

This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2022.

A snowboarder in the DC Men's Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket.

All photos courtesy of Matthew Lauerman 

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2022.

My take

The DC Men’s Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket is a great entry-level piece for someone who wants to stay warm while enjoying some more premium features and looking sick.

The DC Men's Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket.

DC Defy after a few days of use, no damage at all

About the jacket I own

  • Model: 2022 DC Men’s Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket
  • Size: Large
  • Fit : True to Size

About me

  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 183lbs
  • Experience: 4 years of snowboarding

Test conditions

  • When I bought this jacket: September 2022
  • Days tested: 10-12
  • Where I’ve used it: Arizona Snowbowl
  • Conditions I’ve used it in: Clear weather, snow, sleet, warm early fall days, and windy days.

How it performs


What I was looking for

I wanted a nice jacket that would suit most conditions on the mountain, keep me warm and dry, and be more streamlined than my older gear. I was also looking for something budget-friendly with extra features like a pass pocket and sleeves with thumbholes to help keep the snow out.

The DC Men's Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket.

Jacket in use

Why I chose this jacket

I chose the DC Men’s Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket because it seemed to check all the boxes for major features in my search. It's a budget-friendly shell with a pass holder pocket on the sleeve, quite a few pockets to carry all of my extras, and a hood just in case. It fits nicely and has a relaxed, loose fit. I selected this jacket as an alternate option to my Burton Covert Jacket as this one is a bit slimmer and has a simpler design for less bulk and more free movement.

The DC Men's Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket.

Showcasing the thumb holes on the sleeves

What I love about it.

  • Fit: Relaxed/loose fit style. I ordered a Large, and it's nice and roomy, with plenty of room to layer and keep warm. I am 6’0” and 183lbs, and I wear a size Large with room to spare.
  • Range of Motion: The DC Defy jacket has a wide range of motion due to the loose fit. It feels very free and unrestrictive. It keeps me feeling loose and flowy all over the mountain.
  • Design: I like the simplicity of the jacket. It has essential features necessary to make a great day on the mountain. The thinner jacket doesn’t leave me looking bulky or bumpy, and the designs and color options look great.
  • Durability: The material is durable and has held up well—no rips or tears after going through trees and falling with a shallow base depth.
  • Features: The sleeves with integrated thumb holes are a great feature that helps keep the snow out, along with the pass holder pocket for easy scanning access. It also has plenty of pockets to stash the essentials on any day. The powder skirt is a nice addition to keep the snow out, and the option for integration with DC pants is nice to have to really lock the snow out.
  • Aesthetics: I enjoy how this jacket fits. It's very comfortable and doesn't look bulky, even with some layers underneath. Super sleek but just as warm as other options on the market, such as the Burton Covert.
  • Waterproofing: The waterproofing does what it's supposed to, with no loss of performance after multiple trips, spills, and days crawling out of the pow. No complaints and no wet underlayers.
  • Comfort: This jacket is very comfortable to wear for multiple hours, days, and trips. It's soft, warm, and dry and is not very restrictive. Great feeling jacket for most conditions.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Breathability: There is no venting in the arms. The jacket tends to get warm easily and holds in the heat, so it’s not very easy to cool off without shedding layers.
  • Warmth: The DC Defy jacket is super warm on cold days, blocks a good amount of wind chill, and holds my body heat in. I am warm all day when paired with a base layer and a small mid-layer, but for a shell, this jacket has 100g of insulation in the jacket and 80g in the sleeves, making it feel less like a shell to me.
Back of the DC Men's Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket.

DC Defy back after a few days of use, no damage

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment in this gear was riding off-piste on a windy day at Snowbowl, carving the powder feeling nice and toasty. With the powder kicking up and the wind blowing, I still felt comfortable, and the relaxed fit kept me loose and let me float confidently.

Value for the money vs. other options

The DC Men’s Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket is an excellent budget option for someone looking for a warm jacket with an ample range of motion, all of the style points, and a light load. This jacket does a great job at delivering many features at its price point that one doesn’t normally see until they step up the budget cap, such as the sleeves with thumb holes and a pass pocket on the sleeve.

Some other comparable options are the Burton Men’s Covert Jacket which is very similar in price and features but with a little thicker design and a little slimmer fit. It has vents to help one cool off, which is a plus, but it lacks some other features. The Quiksilver Men’s Mission is another great option in the price point with some similar features and venting, or the Columbia Men’s Winter District Jacket, which is very similar in blueprint to the Defy Men’s Shell but with a couple of extra pockets. All are great choices but offer different designs and features depending on exactly what features are most important in someone’s search for their next jacket.

Final verdict

The DC Men’s Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket is a great entry-level jacket for anyone looking to enjoy the resort and look sweet while doing it. It’s a little on the warmer side for a shell, so it’s a great option if someone tends to run a little colder and doesn’t want to pack as many layers on and with some great features like a pocket pass and sleeves with thumb holes as well as the powder skirt. It does a great job of keeping the snow and warmth out.

Selling DC on
DC Men's Defy Snowboard Shell Jacket
Meet the author
Snowboard Expert Matthew Lauerman
Matthew Lauerman
Snowboard Expert
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Written By
Hi! My name is Matt, I'm 21 years old from Phoenix, AZ and I've been snowboarding since 2017 mainly at Arizona Snowbowl with many days on the mountain in all conditions on all groomers, off-piste and everything in between. I've been around snowboarding all my life with my older friends and family be...

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