This is my review of the Burton AK Cyclic jacket.
I’m a certified snowboarding instructor and I’ve been riding for most of my life. I’ve worn dozens of different snowboard jackets over the years and know how to assess them accurately based on key performance features.
The AK Cyclic is a high-quality jacket that will keep you dry and ready for action. It features a lot of innovation and high-end tech that makes it a good option for demanding riders. It’s very expensive, but worth it if you want the best of the best.
I’ll dive into the details and review every aspect of the jacket in this post. I’ll show you everything I like about it, alongside a few downsides, to provide you with the necessary information to make an educated buying decision.
Let’s get going.
Burton AK Cyclic Overview
The Burton AK Cyclic is a pretty sweet jacket that over-delivers when it comes to weather protection and comfort. It’s made of high-quality materials and will work well for any snowboarder who decides to rock it.
This model represents a lot of high-tech innovation to give you superior performance in a wide range of conditions. The jacket is versatile enough to use in all types of winter conditions and will hold up well under heavy use.
The heart of the fantastic performance the AK Cyclic provides is in its Gore-Tex membrane. Gore-Tex is one of the best waterproofing materials out there, and this jacket is built almost entirely of it to keep you dry in the wettest conditions.
It’s not an insulated jacket, so it might not be the choice to go with if you need extra warmth. But I prefer the versatility of a shell because it allows you to adapt to different weather conditions and situations. You can always wear a thicker mid-layer if needed.
The AK Cyclic is also very comfortable and has an articulated fit that won’t hold you back. You can expect a natural and effortless range of motion. It runs pretty true to size, but you might want to size up if you like that baggy look.
This is a jacket that is ready for anything and makes for a trusted companion on the slopes. It’s packed full of features that go above and beyond the competition, and I’ll go into those in detail in the sections below.
Burton did an amazing job with the design and construction, and I haven’t met anyone who has been disappointed with its performance on the mountain. It’s right up there with the best options and comes backed by a brand known for great customer service.
The biggest downside is its price. This is a costly option that will keep it out of the range of options for the average rider. If you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, there are plenty of riders who can’t afford it.
Still, I think this is a recommended option that can work very well for just about any rider. It’s highly functional and will give you stand-out performance with weather protection and comfort in mind.
Detailed review of the Burton AK cycle
The Burton AK Cyclic is a solid snowboarding jacket all around. It has incredible waterproofing capabilities and is very comfortable. It’s a high-end jacket with a price to match, and although I recommend it, the price tag is a little disappointing.
This is a very comfortable jacket. I prefer my outer layers to be very flexible to provide unrestricted freedom of movement. The AK Cyclic will let your upper body twist and turn in any direction without holding you back.
It comes with a regular articulated fit, which is ideal for most riders. It’s not too loose and not too baggy, giving you a comfortable feel that you don’t need to think about. This is an intentional design feature that intends to enhance mobility all over the mountain.
The jacket runs true to size, so you can get your standard size without worrying if it fits right. If you like your jackets in a baggy size, I’d order a size larger because this wasn’t built to be a loose-fitting option.
You also get a few other design considerations that enhance comfort. No-lift underarm gussets allow you to move your arms around effortlessly without any restrictions. This doesn’t add much extra material and is very functional.
There are also plenty of pockets, and their positioning is well placed. This enhances comfort by allowing any items you store in them to stay in place and not cause any discomfort as you ride. I like the zippered chest pocket placement quite a bit.
Even though the AK Cyclic is one of the most waterproof jackets around, it’s not necessarily going to be the warmest option out there. It doesn’t have insulation and is more of a shell-style jacket.
I prefer this style because it’s more flexible than a heavily insulated option, and I know many other riders feel the same way. Most days, especially when you are out there riding hard, a shell will be plenty. If you need extra warmth, you can always throw another layer underneath.
The Gore-Tex outer layer does a good job of deflecting wind. It also obviously does a fantastic job at waterproofing, and this combination is very effective at keeping you warm when conditions are bad.
A Living Lining is another design feature that adds quite a bit of warmth. This material uses taffeta and a closed-cell mesh to give you adaptive heat retention and regulation. There are pores in the material that opens up if you’re hot and close when conditions get colder.
The AK Cyclic is exceptionally waterproof. It gets an extremely high ranking in this category for a good reason – it’s going to keep you dry even in just about any type of condition. You don’t want to swim in it but other than that, you’ll be fine.
A Gore-Tex shell gives you unmatched waterproof performance. This outer layer is solid and durable to provide you with lasting protection from snow season after season. The shell is bonded to the outer fabric to provide effective protection without limiting comfort.
It also comes with a water-repellent zip-out waist gaiter that gives you another level of waterproofing when you are in deep snow. This gaiter easily blocks snow from getting underneath your layers and is crucial on those deep powder days.
YKK water-resistant zippers enhance things even further. Zippers are weak points in some garments that allow moisture or wind to slip by the defenses. That’s not going to happen here, as these zippers are very effective.
This jacket comes with a lot of extras that increase performance and value. Burton is well known for being an innovator in the snowboarding industry, and that reputation shines with the AK Cyclic.
Fully taped seams are found throughout, giving you another level of water and weather protection. These use a special steam-sealed tape that is highly effective while also giving the jacket added durability.
It also has excellent ventilation to let in extra airflow when riding hard, and your internal temperature is rising. Mesh-lined vents in the armpits allow for some customizable comfort, and these are designed to not snag on your inner layers.
The StrormForm contour hood is another awesome feature. It has a contoured shape designed to easily fit over all types of helmets without being restrictive or tight. This hood is very adjustable, so you can dial in a perfect fit when the weather turns bad.
The biggest downside of the AK Cyclic is its high price. It has a lot of innovation and uses high-quality materials, so I understand why Burton put such a high price tag on this one. But that doesn’t mean I like it.
If cost is of no concern, then I think this jacket is a solid value. You get terrific waterproofing capabilities, and it’s very comfortable. The jacket will last for a long time, so it can be seen as an investment in the long run.
Unfortunately, the cost is a big concern for nearly every rider. This one will cost you nearly as much as a new snowboard, and I think that knocks down its value ranking quite a bit. This will be out of the budget range for most riders.
I still recommend the jacket if you can afford it. You won’t be disappointed, aside from that initial sticker shock.
If the Burton AK Cyclic is too expensive or you just want to shop around, here are some recommended alternatives. The jackets below are all high-quality and solid choices.
- Dakine Sawtooth
This is another highly waterproof option that will keep you warm and dry, no matter where you like to ride. It features a 3L Gore-Tex layer, which is even thicker than the AK Cyclic. It also has a longer length, which makes for an alternate fit.
The Sawtooth is well built, and although I don’t think it’s quite as durable as the AK, it will give you plenty of warmth and comfort. The two-way adjustable hood is a stand-out feature that adds another level of weather protection.
- Burton Covert
The Burton Covert is a far more budget-friendly option, which alone makes it a little more attractive than the competition. You’ll still get solid weather protection and plenty of comfort with a DryRide two-layer outer layer.
It also comes with the same adaptable Living Lining that provides you with customized comfort, and critically taped seems to increase durability.
- Volcom L Gore-Tex
This is an affordable Gore-Tex option that does a solid job of keeping you dry when riding. It has a comfortable fit that is easy to wear and a V-science breathable lining that lets moisture and heat escape when riding hard.
The Burton AK Cyclic is a high-performance jacket built to handle any situation you get into on the mountain. It comes with a very high price but is still worth it if you want extreme waterproofing and a ton of comfort.