Expert Review: Dakine Women's Barrier GORE-TEX® 2L Shell JacketPublished on 06/09/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in March of 2022.
Riding at Schweitzer resort in Idaho. Photos courtesy of Sarah Caldwell
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in March of 2022.
The Dakine Women's Barrier GORE-TEX 2L Shell Jacket is the perfect companion for riders looking for premium waterproofing and a relaxed fit. It particularly excels in the Pacific Northwest since we get a lot of moisture out here, and it definitely keeps me comfortable and dry when it’s extremely wet or snowy.
About the jacket I own
- Model: 2022 Dakine Barrier GORE-TEX 2L Shell Jacket
- Size: Medium
- Fit: Runs a bit large
- Height: 5’5”
- Weight: 150 lbs
- Experience: 20 years of snowboarding
- When I bought this: March 2022
- Days tested: 30+
- Where I’ve used it: Washington, Idaho, and Colorado
- Conditions I’ve used it in: Powder days, spring slushy days, below-freezing temperatures, backcountry touring, etc.
How it performs
What I was looking for
I previously had a Burton jacket for many years, and after a broken zipper issue, I decided it was time for an upgrade. My previous jacket wasn’t the best in extremely wet conditions, so I knew I wanted a higher-waterproof shell jacket. I generally run warm, so insulation wasn’t a top priority; I have plenty of insulated base layers to wear underneath on super cold days.
Why I chose this gear
I’m a big fan of Dakine as a brand, and I spent a lot of time researching reviews on different shells. This particular one was within my budget and checked all the boxes; high level of waterproofing, lightweight, 2L durability, and a longer hem.** **I considered the Flylow Billie jacket as well. I ended up buying the Dakine purely because I wanted all black, which wasn’t an option in my size in Flylow. It was end-of-season sales, and sizes were more limited, but I’m happy I ended up with the Dakine.
What I love about it
- Fit: I absolutely love the relaxed fit of this jacket; it doesn’t ever feel like it's too snug anywhere, and there is plenty of room to layer.
- Range of Motion: I’ve been extremely pleased with the range of motion of this jacket. Since it’s more of a casual snowboard fit and not tight anywhere, I never feel restricted in my range of motion. That's a huge plus when it comes to snowboarding in comfort.
- Design: Overall, the design is solid, but I do feel like there are additions Dakine could make to take this jacket to another level. I would like to see more internal pockets, as well as make the hand pockets deeper.
- Style: Again, this jacket is looser and non-form-fitting, which is perfect for my style. I prefer a longer jacket and more form-fitting snow pants.
- Quality of Materials & Durability: The quality of this jacket is solid. Overall, I am impressed with the durability of this jacket. It has no tears or rips yet, and I’ve put it through a lot of riding.
- Durability Waterproofing: This is where this jacket shines: I’ve personally never been disappointed with the waterproofing on GORE-TEX products. This jacket keeps me dry no matter the conditions.
- Breathability: The ventilation is top notch: I’m never sweating up a storm with this jacket. It keeps the moisture at bay.
- Weight: This jacket has a very lightweight feel, which is exactly what I was looking for with my riding.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Pockets: Here is where the jacket could improve. The pockets are adequate but there should be more quality pockets—especially inside the jacket. I really appreciated that my last Burton jacket had multiple internal zipper pockets, but the Barrier does not. The hand pockets are also not deep enough for my liking.
- Features: There are no special features on this jacket, which is totally fine with me, but I do think Dakine could improve the overall jacket with more features. I immediately noticed I couldn’t tighten the bottom of the jacket, which was a bit of a bummer. I like to customize my fit with the tightening ropes built into the jacket.
- Warmth: I love that this jacket is non-insulated. It breathes well, so I never overheat. To combat the lack of insulation, I wear a base layer for added warmth (The North Face Summit Series Pro underneath). Although if one is looking for a super-warm jacket for the slopes, I’d recommend looking into other options.
Favorite moment with this gear
I’ve been stoked about the waterproofing ability of this jacket with the GORE-TEX. I had multiple days up at Crystal that were extremely wet, and I stayed completely dry and comfortable with this jacket on. I love the helmet-compatible hood and the longer length of this jacket—solid protection from the elements.
Value for the money vs. other options
For those looking for a quality GORE-TEX shell with a casual fit that won’t break the bank, this jacket should be a top contender. Overall, the Barrier features really quality waterproofing, breathability, and comfort. Although for those who prefer a form-fitting jacket, I’d look into other options. These include the Volcom Fern and Norrona Lofoten, which offer a more snug fit.
The Dakine Women's Barrier GORE-TEX 2L Shell Jacket absolutely delivers for riders that need a trustworthy waterproof jacket. It’s the perfect balance of a lightweight feel paired with a more relaxed fit.