The Burton Blog

Digging Through The Archives: Burton's Decades of Innovation with GORE-TEX®

Innovation has always been integral to Burton’s DNA—and this drive for developing the latest and greatest doesn’t just stop with our hardgoods. Since day one, Burton has spent countless days on the hill and in the lab developing industry-leading softgoods, too. And much of this has been made possible through our long-standing partnership with GORE-TEX®. Together, we’ve designed some of the highest-performing, most progressive, and—of course— the most stylish pieces of technical outerwear in snowboarding.

Let’s take a moment to dig through the archives and look closer at some of our innovations with GORE-TEX® over the years:

GORE Gloves (1991)


Ever have your day slowed down (or ruined) by wet hands? Yeah, it’s a bit of a bummer when you have to dry out your gloves with those finicky bathroom hand dryers. But it’s even worse (and potentially threatening to the well-being of your ten digits) when you’re out in the backcountry. Lucky for all of us, GORE-TEX® gloves have become quite easy to find since they first came onto the scene in the 90s. And you know who pioneered that innovation? If you’re reading this article, you can probably guess.

Created out of necessity for our team of riders—specifically those in the backcountry—Burton was the first brand to produce GORE-TEX® snow gloves. Pretty wild, right? So, next time you’re enjoying warm, dry hands anywhere between Mt. Baker or Stowe, remember who helped make it possible.

Our freestyle glove is an ideal combination of a waterproof / breathable entrant outer, compact ‘Thinsulate’ insulation and seamless GORE-TEX insert for protection from water and wind.
– Winter Catalog, 1991

Northern Wool Jacket (1996)

Hands down warmest technical sweater of its time – combining the natural performance attributes of wool with GORE WINDSTOPPER® to virtually block any cold that could pass through. This piece elevated the warmth a sweater could provide.
– Colin Alger, Director of Softgoods R&D

Ah, 1996. While the world was getting familiar with the terms MP3 and DVD, we were figuring out ways to apply technical functionality to fashionable, everyday wear. And with our Northern Wool Jacket, we accomplished precisely that. Featuring the technical prowess of a windproof, WINDSTOPPER® lining in a wool profile, this stylish zip-up sweater packed way more performance than anything on the racks at Caldor (that was a popular, now defunct department store, if you’re wondering).

As the first Burton piece to bridge street styling and on-mountain performance, it became a blueprint for the future of technical wear. And not just for Burton. You could ride in it, aprés in it, or just lounge around the house in it. Sounds like most softgoods out today, huh?

[ak] GORE-TEX® 2L Half-Life Print (2007)

This was pushing the limits of GORE-TEX fabric at the time, developing a full sublimation CMYK print, the graphic was a stylized version of the classic 1978 DC Comic, Superman vs. Muhammed Ali – definitely an iconic print.
– Colin Alger, ‪Director of Softgoods R&D

Today, it’s not too hard to find an all-over printed jacket that also features the technical benefits of GORE-TEX®. But prior to 2007, that was far from the case. In what was once a world of monochrome offerings, the [ak] GORE-TEX® 2L Half-Life established itself as the first printed GORE-TEX® Burton jacket ever produced. Through making the invisible visible, we took a 72 dpi image and magnified it to its elemental form. And you know what? Nearly 20 years later, it could still hold up as one of the most eye-catching pieces on the hill.

Chalk this one up as another industry first.

Commissary Denim GORE-TEX® Jacket (2009)

So many trials to get this right, making sure the 3L membrane and seam tape weren’t compromised, while maintaining the washed & worn denim aesthetic with raw edge detailing - long development (and lost years of lives) to perfect the Holy Grail of Jake’s vision.
– Colin Alger, ‪Director of Softgoods R&D

No doubt, this jacket was called the “Grail” for a reason. Commonly referred to as Jake’s personal “Holy Grail” of snowboarding jackets, this fashion-forward piece was a true 3L denim GORE-TEX® coat. Yep, a denim jacket that you’d actually want to ride in (and probably want to wear everywhere else, too). But, needless to say, it wasn’t an easy one to produce. Made possible by stone-washing after lamination, this was a completely new advancement in outerwear production—and it all derived from Jake’s persistent mission to make the impossible possible.

To no surprise, denim GORE-TEX® pieces became a hot ticket item at snowboard shops around the country.

Mini Shred GORE-TEX Striker Suit (2019)

It was time to make the statement that kids want and need the ultimate protection GORE-TEX provides. Guaranteeing to keep them Dry with GORE-TEX 2L printed fabric and fully taped seams, it reinforced our commitment to high performance kids gear.
– Colin Alger, ‪Director of Softgoods R&D

If adults can get the high-performance functionality of GORE-TEX®, why can’t the kids, too? For way too many years—and, in fact, still to this day—Burton is one of the only brands making a truly waterproof GORE® one-piece for the kiddos. And while that may seem odd for the rest of the industry, making an effort to design technical and functional outerwear for the groms is simply another drop in Burton’s DNA.

For us, we’ve always seen the value in creating gear that keeps all riders warm on the inside and dry on the outside—no matter what age they happen to be. So now, parents in cool, wet climates can rejoice: we’ve been doing this since the early 2000s and we don’t aim to quit anytime soon.

MINE77 3L Game Day Jacket (2019)


If this one looks a bit unfamiliar to you, here’s why: we only made 50 of ‘em. A key look in Jake’s very first MINE77 drop back in 2019, the 3L Game Day jacket was innovative in many more ways than one. Deemed a “couldn’t-be-done” by most industry standards, this jacket featured a super lightweight, 30 denier stretch nylon face that had never been printed on before. Insanely comfortable to ride in thanks to its malleable 3L GORE-TEX® construction, the Game Day jacket paved the way for future Burton innovations—like the modern-day staple for backcountry rippers, our [ak] 3L Freebird GORE-TEX® jacket, which utilizes this same laminate.

And let’s just take another moment to appreciate that all-over, bandana-inspired print. Real clean.

MINE77 Puffy Jacket (2020)

Digging_Through_Archives_ Decades_Of_Burton_GORETEX_Mine77_Puffy

Speaking of industry firsts, here’s yet another example of something that supposedly couldn’t be done: the MINE77 Puffy Jacket. As the first-ever printed GORE-TEX® Shakedry laminate, this MINE77 favorite from the infamous year of 2020 was yet another crown jewel in Burton’s engineering achievements. In fact, we pioneered this as an experiment; there is no face textile—it is just the printed GORE-TEX® membrane employed in a super-lightweight down jacket construction with tasteful (and fashionable) accents.

Much like wearing an ultra-light, ultra-comfortable sleeping bag with the stylings of the English countryside, this might just be the best GORE-TEX® down jacket ever made.

For decades, Burton and GORE-TEX® have been partners in designing the highest-performing, most progressive technical outerwear to be found in snowboarding—if not on the planet. From industry firsts in everything from gloves to printing, these two brands have not only made snowboard outerwear much more functional, but they’ve made it a helluva lot more fashionable too. Fortunately for everyone, we both aim to keep this going for years to come.