Is 686 a Good Brand? Find Out Here!

If you’re looking to upgrade your winter wardrobe, then you’ve most likely come across 686 as a brand option. But is 686 a good brand? The quick and easy answer is yes! You won’t have to dig too deep to find out why. The brand has been in the game for over 25 years and has established itself as a top-tier contender in the snowboarding apparel and accessories industry. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting as a beginner, 686 has got you covered with quality products and gear for your winter activities.

What sets 686 apart from other brands is its commitment to creating innovative, stylish, and high-performance products. The brand’s mission is to bring you functional clothing that enhances your experience in the winter outdoors while keeping you comfortable and warm. From their patented SMARTY® 3-in-1 jacket to their Gore-Tex® outerwear, 686 makes sure that their products are equipped with the latest technologies. Not only that, but the brand also uses eco-conscious materials and manufacturing methods to reduce their carbon footprint. So, when buying from 686, you’re not only getting quality products, but you’re also supporting a company that cares about the environment.

The verdict is in- 686 is a good brand! With over two decades of experience, a commitment to innovation, and an emphasis on eco-friendliness, this brand stands out from the rest. Whether you’re looking for jackets, pants, gloves, or other accessories, 686 has all the products you need to stay warm, comfortable, and stylish this winter season. So, don’t settle for just any brand, choose 686 and enjoy your winter activities to the fullest!

History of the 686 brand

The history of the 686 brand dates back to Southern California in 1992, when founder Michael Akira West felt dissatisfaction with the ski and snowboard apparel available at the time. Being an enthusiastic snowboarder himself, he took it upon himself to create his own line of apparel that would be both functional and stylish for the demanding sport. Thus, 686 was born.

West had a passion for snowboarding and fashion, and he merged the two to create a brand that not only met the demands of the sport but also appealed to the fashion-conscious community. He combined his knowledge of technical materials and designs to produce innovative and stylish clothing for snowboarders.

In the early years, 686 was a small brand with a loyal following of dedicated snowboarders. However, the brand received an unexpected push in 1995 when rapper and renowned skateboarder Lupe Fiasco was spotted wearing 686 apparel on the cover of a magazine. This exposure enabled the brand to gain national and even international recognition, and it expanded its customer base overnight.

Since then, 686 has continued to grow rapidly, thanks to its innovative designs and high-quality materials. From its early days of innovative snowboarding clothing, it has expanded its product line to include items for year-round use such as jackets, pants, hats, shirts and hoodies, and accessories such as gloves, beanies, and backpacks.

Achievements and Awards of 686

686 is a reliable brand that has been producing high-quality snowboarding gear since 1992. The brand has made a name for itself and has won numerous awards and recognition for its innovative and sustainable products. Here are some of the most notable achievements and awards of 686:

  • Transworld Snowboarding 2015 – Women’s Overall Product of the Year and Men’s Overall Product of the Year – 686 GLCR collection
  • Snowboarder Magazine 2014 – Best Men’s Snowboard Outerwear – 686 Smarty 3-in-1 Form Jacket
  • Transworld Snowboarding 2014 – Best Overall Brand of the Year – 686
  • Transworld Snowboarding 2013 – Best Women’s Jacket – 686 Smarty Solstice
  • Outside Magazine 2012 – Best Snowboard Jacket – 686 Smarty 3-in-1
  • Snowboarder Magazine 2012 – Best Men’s Snowboard Outerwear – 686 Smarty Command

These awards are not only a testament to the quality of 686 products but also to the dedication and hard work of the brand’s team. 686 always prioritizes innovation, functionality, and sustainability in their product designs leading to their victories in the snowboarding industry.

Besides recognition in the snowboarding industry, 686 is also committed to environmental sustainability, making it the first company to infuse Nano Technology into its products to make them more durable, waterproof, and breathable. The brand also works with environmentally-friendly production methods to decrease waste and carbon footprint.


686 is a brand that is innovatively building a reputation of excellence in the snowboarding market. With its dedication to sustainability and high-quality products, they provide an excellent experience to their customers. With many more awards likely to follow, 686’s products & quality make it a great choice for any snowboarder looking for top-notch gear.

Transworld SnowboardingSnowboarder MagazineOutside Magazine
2015Women’s Overall Product of the Year and Men’s Overall Product of the Year
2014Best Overall Brand of the YearBest Men’s Snowboard Outerwear
2013Best Women’s Jacket
2012Best Men’s Snowboard OuterwearBest Snowboard Jacket


Customer reviews and ratings of 686 products

One way to determine the quality of a brand is by looking at customer reviews and ratings. When it comes to 686 products, it is clear that customers are highly satisfied with their purchases. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Comfort: Many reviewers have commented on how comfortable 686 products are to wear, even for extended periods of time.
  • Durability: Another aspect that customers appreciate is the durability of 686 products. These items are designed to last, even with regular use in harsh weather conditions.
  • Style: Fashion-conscious buyers have praised the sleek and modern designs of 686 products, making them a popular choice for both on and off the slopes.

If you’re still not convinced, take a look at some of the specific product reviews:

“I purchased the 686 Men’s Infinity Cargo Insulated Pant and could not be happier with my purchase. They kept me warm and dry on the mountain all day, and the cargo pockets were great for stashing snacks and other essentials.” – John D.

“The 686 Women’s GLCR Geode Thermagraph Jacket is hands down the best jacket I’ve ever owned. It’s lightweight, but still keeps me warm in below-zero weather. Plus, the color options are amazing!” – Sarah T.

Summary of customer reviews

Overall, it is clear that customers have nothing but positive things to say about 686 products. From their incredible comfort and durability to their fashion-forward designs, these items are a popular choice for anyone looking for high-quality outdoor gear. So, if you’re in the market for new ski or snowboard apparel, be sure to check out 686 and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

Comparison of 686 with other snow outerwear brands

686 is one of the top snow outerwear brands in the market today. In this section, we will compare it with other popular brands.

  • Volcom – Volcom is another popular snow outerwear brand that offers a good selection of products. However, when compared to 686, Volcom has a more limited range of sizes and styles.
  • Burton – Burton is a well-established brand that has been around for over 30 years. While Burton also offers high-quality snow outerwear, their products tend to be more expensive than 686.
  • The North Face – The North Face is known for its durable and functional outdoor gear. However, their snow outerwear collection is not as extensive as 686’s.

Overall, while there are other great snow outerwear brands in the market, 686 stands out for its affordable pricing, extensive range of sizes and styles, and innovative features.

Comfort and Performance

One of the main factors that set 686 apart from other snow outerwear brands is their focus on comfort and performance. 686 products are designed to keep you warm and dry, while also allowing you to move freely and comfortably on the slopes.

The brand uses high-quality materials such as GORE-TEX® and infiDRY® to ensure waterproofness and breathability. Additionally, they incorporate features such as ventilation and insulation to regulate your body temperature and prevent overheating or cooling.

Design and Style

Another aspect that makes 686 stand out is their trendy and stylish designs. The brand collaborates with various artists and designers to create unique and eye-catching patterns and colors.

Their range of products includes not only jackets and pants but also accessories such as hats and gloves, allowing you to create a cohesive and fashionable look on the slopes.

Price and Value

One of the most significant advantages of 686 is their affordable pricing. While some other brands may charge a premium for their products, 686 offers high-quality snow outerwear at reasonable prices.

BrandAverage Jacket PriceAverage Pant Price
The North Face$350$250

When considering the quality, style, and features of 686’s snow outerwear, it’s clear that they offer excellent value for money.

686’s Sustainability and Ethical Practices

686 is a brand that acknowledges their responsibility to promote sustainable and ethical practices within their production and distribution processes. Through their various initiatives and partnerships, they have shown their commitment towards creating a better future for the environment and communities. Here are some of the examples:

  • 686 partners with the bluesign® system, which is a third-party certification that ensures environmental and social responsibility throughout the textile supply chain. This system minimizes the impact of the production process on the environment by using fewer resources and chemicals.
  • They have a Reclaim Project, which encourages customers to recycle their old snowboarding gear by offering them discounts on new 686 products. This initiative reduces waste and promotes a circular economy.
  • 686 has also adopted sustainable materials like recycled polyester, organic cotton, and hemp to produce their clothing. By using these materials, they minimize the impact on the environment and reduce waste.

Moreover, 686 values their workers’ welfare and safety. They have implemented ethical practices in their factories by enforcing fair labor standards, including providing safe working conditions, reasonable working hours, and fair wages. They conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with their ethical guidelines, such as the Fair Labor Association and the Business Social Compliance Initiative.

Overall, 686’s sustainability and ethical practices demonstrate their commitment to creating a better future for the environment and workers. They have integrated sustainability into their core business decisions, ensuring the longevity of their brand and the world around us.

686’s Approach to Innovation and Technology

686 is a well-known brand that is notorious for producing high-quality products backed by advanced technology. Over the years, the brand has made significant strides to maintain its position as a leader in the snowboarding gear industry.

One way 686 has achieved this is through its approach to innovation and technology. Instead of simply using pre-existing technologies, the brand invests in developing new ones to improve the performance and durability of its products.

  • 686’s proprietary infiDRY waterproof and breathable fabric is a prime example of this approach. The brand invests in developing and refining this fabric to ensure maximum protection against the harshest of conditions while maintaining breathability to regulate body temperature.
  • The brand also uses Fuse insulation technology, which fuses polyfill fibers with laminates to create a stronger and more durable insulation system. This technology provides warmth and comfort without adding bulk to the garments.
  • 686 also uses SMARTY 3-in-1 detachable layer system, which allows the wearer to adjust the layers of the garment according to the weather conditions, making it a truly versatile piece of clothing.

Moreover, 686 also invests in sustainable practices such as using recycled materials for its products and ensuring the factories producing the garments adhere to ethical labor standards. This is a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation not only in technology but also in sustainability.

Below is a table displaying some of the brand’s proprietary technologies:

686 Proprietary TechnologiesDescription
infiDRYWaterproof and breathable fabric
Fuse InsulationDurable polyfill insulation
Smarty 3-in-1A versatile detachable layer system

Overall, 686’s approach to innovation and technology ensures that their products are of the highest quality and capable of performing in the toughest conditions. The brand’s commitment to sustainability is also admirable, and it sets 686 apart from other brands in the snowboarding gear industry.

686’s collaborations with other brands and designers

686 has a history of collaborating with other brands and designers to create unique and high-performance snowboard gear. These collaborations have been a great way for the brand to introduce new and exciting products to its customers.

  • One of 686’s most notable collaborations is with Gore-Tex, a leading company in waterproof and breathable fabrics. Together, they have created a range of jackets and pants that are highly durable and weather-resistant, making them ideal for snowboarding in extreme conditions.
  • 686 has also worked with artists and designers to create limited-edition collections of snowboard gear. For example, the brand has collaborated with the streetwear brand, Levi’s, to produce a line of jackets, pants, and gloves that blend style with performance.
  • In 2020, 686 worked with the artist, Michael Kagan, to create a collection inspired by the Apollo 11 space mission. The collection features jackets, pants, and hats with graphics that depict the spacecraft and its crew, as well as the moon’s surface.

Benefits of Collaborations

Collaborating with other brands and designers has several benefits for 686. For one, it allows the brand to create unique and innovative products that stand out from the competition. Collaborations also help 686 reach new audiences and gain exposure in different markets. Additionally, collaborating with respected brands and designers can enhance 686’s reputation as a high-quality and forward-thinking brand.

Future Collaborations

686 continues to look for new and exciting collaborations that will broaden its product range and appeal to a wider audience. The brand’s commitment to innovation and creativity ensures that each collaboration is unique and brings something new to the table.

Collaboration Table

Gore-TexJackets, PantsWeather-resistant and durable gear for snowboarding in extreme conditions.
Levi’sJackets, Pants, GlovesA blend of style and performance, featuring limited-edition designs.
Michael KaganJackets, Pants, HatsA collection inspired by the Apollo 11 space mission, featuring unique graphics.

These collaborations have allowed 686 to create new and innovative products that appeal to snowboarders at every level. By partnering with leaders in their respective markets, 686 has positioned itself as a top-tier winter sports gear brand that continues to push the boundaries of what is possible.

686’s Range of Products and Collections

686 is a brand that has been pushing the limits of what is possible with snowboarding gear since 1992. Over the years, the brand has developed a wide range of products that cater to every snowboarding need. From jackets and pants to gloves and accessories, 686 has everything you need to stay comfortable and look stylish on the slopes.


  • Outerwear: 686’s outerwear collection consists of jackets and pants that are designed to provide maximum protection against the snow. The brand uses high-quality materials like GoreTex and InfiDRY to keep you dry, warm, and comfortable all day long.
  • Layering: 686’s layering collection includes hoodies, fleeces, and base layers that are designed to work in sync with your outerwear to keep you warm in extreme weather conditions.
  • Accessories: 686’s accessory collection includes beanies, gloves, and socks that are designed to keep you warm and comfortable from head to toe during those long days on the slopes.


686 is known for its unique and creative collaborations with artists and designers. The brand regularly collaborates with different artists to release limited edition collections. These collaborations bring a fresh and unique perspective to the design of snowboarding gear.

One of 686’s most popular collections is the GLCR collection. GLCR stands for Gore-Tex Like Core Riding, and this collection features gear that is designed to protect you against the harshest weather conditions. The GLCR collection includes jackets, pants, and base layers that are made with waterproof, breathable, and wind-resistant materials.

Collection NameDescription
Forest Bailey CollectionA collaboration with professional snowboarder Forest Bailey, this collection features colorful and playful designs that reflect Bailey’s personality.
Smarty CollectionThe Smarty collection features jackets and pants that have a removable liner. This unique design allows you to adjust your warmth level according to the weather conditions.
Hydrastash CollectionThe Hydrastash collection features jackets and pants that have a built-in hydration system. This innovative design allows you to stay hydrated without having to carry a cumbersome water bottle.

Overall, 686’s range of products and collections cater to everyone from beginners to seasoned professionals. With a commitment to quality and innovation, this brand continues to push the limits of what is possible with snowboarding gear.

Celebrity endorsements and partnerships with 686

686 is a popular brand in the snowboarding and outdoor apparel industry. Over the years, the brand has collaborated with celebrities and athletes to promote their products and reach a wider audience. Let’s take a closer look at some of their notable partnerships and endorsements.

  • Forest Bailey: Forest Bailey is a professional snowboarder who has been associated with 686 for several years. In fact, he has even designed his own signature line with the brand. Bailey is known for his unique style and creativity, making him a perfect fit for the brand.
  • Kelly Clark: Kelly Clark is a former Olympic gold medalist and one of the most successful female snowboarders of all time. She has been partnered with 686 for several years and has even designed her own collection with the brand. Clark is known for her dedication to the sport and her advocacy for women’s snowboarding.
  • Technical partnership with Gore-Tex: 686 has also formed a technical partnership with Gore-Tex, a company that specializes in creating waterproof and breathable fabrics. This partnership ensures that the brand’s products are made with high-quality materials, allowing customers to stay dry and comfortable in any weather condition.

Apart from the partnerships mentioned above, 686 has also collaborated with other notable snowboarders and outdoors enthusiasts to create unique and innovative products. These collaborations have helped the brand stay relevant and appeal to a wider range of customers.

In conclusion, 686’s partnerships and endorsements have played a significant role in establishing the brand’s reputation in the snowboarding and outdoor apparel industry. By collaborating with talented athletes and companies like Gore-Tex, 686 has been able to create products that not only look great but also perform exceptionally well in extreme weather conditions.

Future plans and developments of 686 brand

As a brand deeply committed to innovation and quality, 686 has exciting plans for the future as it continues to push the boundaries of technical apparel. Here are some developments to watch out for:

  • Expansion of sustainable materials – As sustainability becomes an increasingly pressing issue, 686 is dedicated to developing and implementing new eco-friendly materials for its products.
  • Smart technology integration – Keeping up with the latest technological advancements, 686 is exploring ways to integrate smart fabrics and wearable devices into its apparel to enhance the user experience.
  • Global growth – While the brand already has a strong presence in North America, 686 is looking to expand globally and reach a wider audience.

Here is a sneak peak of what’s to come from 686:

M17 GLCR Hydra Thermagraph JacketA waterproof and breathable jacket with built-in insulation and ventilation for comfort in all conditions. It also includes a Recco technology for added safety in the backcountry.
GLCR Hydrastash Reservoir Insulated JacketA backcountry-focused jacket with a built-in hydration system and thoughtful features such as ample storage pockets. It is also made with eco-friendly materials.
GLCR Oasis Thermagraph Bib PantsA versatile bib pant made with stretchy fabric and insulation for warmth and freedom of movement. It includes a Recco technology and eco-friendly materials.

By prioritizing sustainability, incorporating smart technology, and expanding globally, 686 is proving to be a brand invested in the future of technical apparel.

Is 686 a good brand?

1. What is 686 known for?
2. Are 686 products durable?
3. Is 686 clothing worth the price?
4. Do they offer a good selection of sizes and styles?
5. Can 686 gear handle extreme weather conditions?
6. Do they have a good reputation in the snowboarding/skiing community?
7. What is the return policy for 686 products?

Closing Thoughts on 686 Being a Good Brand

Thanks for reading about the 686 brand and its reputation in the outdoor sports industry. It’s clear that their products are designed to withstand tough weather conditions and provide great durability. Additionally, their gear has a strong following within the snowboarding and skiing communities. While they may come with a higher price tag, many consumers agree that the quality and performance are worth it. If you’re looking for high-quality snow gear, 686 is definitely a great brand to consider. Be sure to stop back soon for more informative content!