Expert Comparison: Volcom Men's L GORE-TEX Jacket vs 686 Men's GORE-TEX GT Jacket

Published on 02/11/2024 · 6 min readCompare Volcom Men's L GORE-TEX Jacket and 686 Men's GORE-TEX GT Jacket. Get expert insight below!
Matt Johnson, Snowboarding Expert
Claire Rogers, Ski Expert
Geoff R, Snowboarding Expert
Contributed By Snowboarding Expert Matt Johnson, Claire Rogers, Geoff R, Teron Tucker, Dave McCaul and others

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Side by side comparison

Out of stock
Volcom Men's L GORE-TEX Jacket
Most recommended
686 Men's GORE-TEX GT Jacket
Price
from:$210.00
30% off
from:$258.97
30% off
Color options
+ 2
The Curated Take

Best for those needing a waterproof and durable jacket for extreme weather conditions, especially for snowboarding and snowmobiling.

Best for people who need a waterproof, breathable jacket for warmer weather skiing, with options for layering on colder days.

User rating
--
5(3)
Features
Waterproof, Breathable, Pit zips/Venting, Powder skirt, Zippered pocket, Hand-warmer pockets
Waterproof, Water resistant, Windproof, Powder skirt, Interior/security pocket, Breathable
Insulation type
None
None

In the world of snowboarding jackets, the Volcom Men's L GORE-TEX Jacket and the 686 Men's GORE-TEX GT Jacket are two top contenders. Both jackets are praised for their waterproofing, breathability, and versatility in layering. However, they each have their unique features and strengths that set them apart. The Volcom jacket is lauded for its sleek look, superb waterproofing, and the patented Zip-Tech® interface that connects the jacket to your pants for all-over protection. On the other hand, the 686 jacket is loved for its minimalist design, large vents for breathability, and its packability. While both jackets are excellent choices, the Volcom jacket might be more suitable for those who value style and a seamless connection with their pants, while the 686 jacket might be a better fit for those who prefer a minimalist design and the convenience of a packable jacket.

The Volcom Men's L GORE-TEX Jacket is a top-tier snowboarding jacket that ticks all the boxes for a high-performance outerwear piece. It boasts a GORE-TEX 2-Layer construction that provides excellent protection against the elements while maintaining breathability. This jacket is designed to eliminate heat-draining sweat, making it perfect for all-day snowboarding sessions.

One of the standout features of this jacket is its patented Zip-Tech® interface that connects the jacket to your pants, providing all-over protection. This feature is a game-changer for those who want to stay dry and comfortable on the slopes. The jacket also comes with fully-taped seams and a V-Science breathable lining system, further enhancing its weatherproof capabilities.

The Volcom Men's L GORE-TEX Jacket is not just about performance; it's also about convenience and style. It has plenty of pocket space throughout the jacket to keep your essentials handy on the hill. The jacket also features vent zippers in the underarms, allowing you to dump extra heat when you're working hard. Despite its high-tech features, this jacket maintains a sleek look that will appeal to style-conscious snowboarders.

This jacket's waterproofing is superb, and the quality and fit of the jacket are second to none. Because of this jacket, I will likely buy more gear from Volcom when I need to upgrade other pieces.

Matt Johnson
Snowboarding Expert

The 686 Men's GORE-TEX GT Jacket is another high-performance snowboarding jacket that offers a minimalist design without compromising on features. This jacket is made with a GORE-TEX 2-Layer shell that provides maximum comfort and protection. It's waterproof, windproof, and breathable, making it an excellent choice for a variety of weather conditions.

One of the unique features of this jacket is its large chest vent, which allows cooler air to get straight to the core, cooling down the wearer. This is a departure from conventional armpit vents and is a testament to the innovative design of the 686 jacket. The chest vent also doubles as an access point to the inside pockets of the coat, so you don't have to unzip the jacket to get into the hidden pockets.

The 686 Men's GORE-TEX GT Jacket also comes with a merino wool blend on the inner collar/mouth flap for those wet and cold snow days. It has a front hand pocket inner key clip, internal goggle + lens stash pocket, lip balm pocket, phone heated pocket, and a water-resistant chest pocket zipper. This jacket is also very packable and can be rolled up and stored for easy travel.

I purchased this shell jacket because I liked the simple/minimalist look (still do!), but have found that it is a bit too long for my liking, and it limits hip mobility and the ability to use the waist pockets because of that.

Claire Rogers
Ski Expert

Similarities

Both the Volcom Men's L GORE-TEX Jacket and the 686 Men's GORE-TEX GT Jacket are high-quality snowboarding jackets that offer excellent waterproofing and breathability. They both feature a GORE-TEX 2-Layer construction, which provides superior protection against the elements. Both jackets are also designed to be breathable, helping to eliminate heat-draining sweat and keep you comfortable on the slopes.

Both jackets also offer the potential for layering, allowing you to adjust your warmth level based on the weather conditions. They both have multiple pockets for storing essentials, and they both have vents to allow for cooling when needed.

In terms of style, both jackets have a sleek and modern look that appeals to today's snowboarders. They both offer a balance of function and fashion, making them versatile choices for both on and off the slopes.

Differences and Who They're Good For

While both jackets offer excellent performance, they do have some key differences that might make one a better fit for certain individuals. The Volcom Men's L GORE-TEX Jacket stands out for its patented Zip-Tech® interface that connects the jacket to your pants for all-over protection. This feature is a big plus for those who want to stay dry and comfortable on the slopes. The Volcom jacket also has a more traditional venting system with zippers in the underarms, which some people might prefer.

On the other hand, the 686 Men's GORE-TEX GT Jacket offers a minimalist design with a unique large chest vent. This feature allows cooler air to get straight to the core, which might be a selling point for those who tend to overheat. The 686 jacket is also more packable, making it a great choice for those who travel frequently or like to have a jacket on hand for unexpected weather changes.

In terms of persona, the Volcom jacket might be a better fit for the style-conscious snowboarder who values a seamless connection with their pants and traditional venting. The 686 jacket, on the other hand, might be a better fit for the minimalist snowboarder who values packability and innovative venting.

Analysis on Who’s the Winner

When it comes to waterproofing and breathability, both jackets perform excellently due to their GORE-TEX 2-Layer construction. However, the Volcom jacket's patented Zip-Tech® interface gives it an edge in terms of overall protection, making it the winner in this dimension.

In terms of style, both jackets have a sleek and modern look. However, the Volcom jacket's design is a bit more distinctive, giving it the edge in this dimension.

For convenience and functionality, the 686 jacket's unique large chest vent and packability make it the winner. Its minimalist design also allows for more freedom of movement, which is a big plus for active snowboarders.

Finally, in terms of versatility, both jackets offer the potential for layering and have multiple pockets for storage. However, the Volcom jacket's ability to connect to your pants for all-over protection gives it the edge in this dimension.

Overall, while both jackets are excellent choices, the Volcom Men's L GORE-TEX Jacket comes out slightly ahead due to its patented Zip-Tech® interface and distinctive style.

Conclusions

In conclusion, both the Volcom Men's L GORE-TEX Jacket and the 686 Men's GORE-TEX GT Jacket are top-tier snowboarding jackets that offer excellent performance. They both provide superior waterproofing and breathability, and they both have a sleek and modern look that appeals to today's snowboarders.

However, the Volcom jacket's patented Zip-Tech® interface and distinctive style give it a slight edge over the 686 jacket. This feature allows for a seamless connection with your pants, providing all-over protection and a unique look. On the other hand, the 686 jacket's minimalist design and unique large chest vent make it a great choice for those who value simplicity and innovation.

In the end, the best jacket for you will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Whether you value a seamless connection with your pants, a minimalist design, traditional venting, or innovative venting, both jackets are excellent choices that will serve you well on the slopes.

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