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

Published 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.
Sarah Caldwell, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Sarah Caldwell

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.

My take

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

About me

  • Height: 5’5
  • Weight: 150 lbs
  • Experience: 20 years of snowboarding

Test conditions

  • 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

Breathability
5/5
Waterproofing
5/5
Aesthetics
4/5
Comfort
4/5
Durability
4/5
Warmth
2/5

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.

Final verdict

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.

Final sale
  • We price match

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