Over the last few seasons, Patagonia’s outwear seems to be improving by night and day. The brand for years, made some of the best gear for the outdoors so when they jumped into the snow sports world everyone took note. It took a few seasons to wrinkle out the kinks and now Patagonia Outerwear is some of if not the best technical pieces of gear on the market.
I had the chance to test the updated Patagonia Gore-Tex PowSlayer Jacket here in the Tetons in a variety of temperatures and snow conditions from heavy wet mush to cold choker snow. In all of the conditions tested, this jacket exceeded my expectations.
Patagonia PowSlayer Jacket Review
Starting with the front of the jacket Patagonia offers 2 large deep chest pockets that work perfectly for storing an avalanche notebook, snacks, compass and more. I would avoid using the front pocket for your cell phone as the frequency has a potential to disrupt your avalanche beacons signal.
As we go farther down the coat there are 2 traditional lower pockets, along with a pass holder on the sleeve and 1 internal mesh pocket for when you need to warm things up against your body like extra gloves or a GoPro.
Patagonia is using the new Gore-Tex Pro 3-Layer membrane on the PowSlayer Jacket. Gore-Tex Pro 3-Layer offers a lighter weight feel, a ton of waterproofness 28,000 (mm/24 hours) and lots of breathability 25,000 (g/m2/24h).
What makes the 3-Layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell membrane unique is it’ actually bonded to both the outer fabric and the inner lining of the jacket. Most likely this particular Gore-Tex membrane will be seen more frequently in the snow sports world in years to come. This was Patagonia’s first go around with this technology and they nailed it.
One thing to keep in mind is Gore-Tex and Gore-Tex Pro especially are a little bit crinkly out of the box. And not so much in terms of wrinkles but more so the sound the material makes when first worn. Crinkly is the best word that comes to mind. You wouldn’t want to go hunting in this material as it can sound loud. After a few tours, the jacket starts to get less and less noisy.
The PowSlayer Jacket has 2 zippers that run full length under the arms. The only hiccup with this system is if the zippers are too far toward the bottom or the top, the mechanics are tough to reach around and unzip the zippers. I found that keeping the zipper tabs in the middle of the arms (near your armpits) offered the easiest access when wearing a backpack. Even with the zipper in the middle, it can still be sort of a pain to get too.
Hands down my favorite parts of this jacket is the Powder Skirt. Patagonia took things up a notch by adding a separate sync that allows the powder skirt and jacket to be tightened individually. As someone that is constantly fussing with my powder skirt/jacket to keep snow out. This invention was music to my ears.
With the Powder Skirt synced down tightly, you now have the ability to adjust the jacket to fit against your body with a separate sync. You may find the ability to loosen the top up a bit once the powder skirt is synced down. It’s amazing it took this long for this technology; thankfully it’s here to stay.
Everything about this jacket works from the collar to the hood, the fit, powder skirt, just about everything. It will be hard to find another jacket that is this well thought out for backcountry specific activities like AT skiing and splitboarding. If you spend more time on chairlifts than in the backcountry I would recommend pairing this jacket with a down layer or perhaps look for a shell with added insulation.
Kudos to Patagonia for once again making my favorite piece of outerwear we tested this season. The Patagonia PowSlayer Jacket ($699) is a worthy investment for those focused on slaying powder.
To be completely honest it makes reviewing all the other brands that much tougher as Patagonia is nailing it as of late. (5 stars)