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Patagonia PowSlayer Bib Pants

Patagonia PowSlayer Bibs, Blister Gear ReviewPatagonia PowSlayer Bib Pant

Features:

  • 3L Gore-Tex Pro Shell
  • External Thigh Vents
  • Gusseted Crotch, Articulated Knees
  • Drop-seat configuration

Weight: 575g

Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley, Snowbird, Jackson Hole, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Crested Butte, Silverton, Telluride, Canyons, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin

Days Worn: 60+

MSRP: $599

Patagonia is one of the major players in the technical outerwear market, and their newfound position in the snowboard world has increased my interest in their products. The Patagonia Powslayer bibs are billed as their highest-end pants, and I had high expectations as a result.

Design

Like their sibling, the Patagonia PowSlayer Jacket, the PowSlayer bibs are minimalist by design, so when they arrived they were largely what I expected: incredibly thin, light, and sleek. But with only two front waist pockets and a cargo pocket on each leg, I would say the bibs are even more minimalist than the jacket.

The two large front pockets have notably wide waterproof-zippered openings, a plus when wearing mittens or bigger gloves. At the knees, the cargo pockets are big enough for smaller pairs of gloves or a beanie, and flaps cover the waterproof zippers. The PowSlayer bibs lack back pockets, however, and while I’ve gotten used to riding with my wallet in my front pocket over the course of a season, I definitely wouldn’t mind having back pockets.

Fit

The fit of the PowSlayer is a bit peculiar, and one of my only complaints. Keep in mind that I have a 32-inch waist and need a size large for the leg length, but the waist still seems really big—I’ve got 8-10 inches of space between my lower back / butt and the pants when the front is pulled tight to my stomach.

A Velcro-equipped cinch is present in the back of the waist, but in my case hasn’t fixed the problem. The PowSlayer doesn’t have belt loops (a potentially nice addition), though those with significantly larger waists or who prefer thicker layering may, of course, have a completely different experience.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that wearing my outermost insulating top (usually a hoody or Patagonia Nano Puff) under the bibs usually solved the problem, and the fabric is so lightweight that the excess material never felt bulky under layers.

Patagonia PowSlayer Bibs, Blister Gear Review

Jed Doane in the Patagonia PowSlayer Bibs, Taos Ski Valley.

I had one additional, peculiar issue with the Powslayer bibs, however. The diameter of the elastic boot gaiters was too wide for both my Deeluxe ID or Nike Zoom Kaiju boots. This resulted in the gaiters slipping above my boots when bootpacking, snow flooding into my boots, and my feet becoming wet. Most snowboard pants have a lace hook in the gaiter, while the Powslayer bibs do not. They also have the scuff guard on the inside of the ankles, which indicates that Patagonia caters to both skiers and snowboarders in their outerwear line.

 

2 Comments

  1. Marcel May 29, 2013 Reply

    Also not a big fan of the fit, to me the bibs are “short” in a short, regular, long… I’m pretty short and I use the small 32-inch waist / 30 inseam. I can see a large being baggy on you… but you are much taller! I wish patagonia had short, regular and long version, I think it would get more people to pay the premium price of the bibs!

  2. Mike January 15, 2014 Reply

    Had the 2012-13 model of the Pow Slayer and it was junk. I liked the fit and the fabric was super light, but after less than a half dozen ski trips the edge guards where cut through in multiple areas. The drop seat zipper worked well but the snaps wouldn’t stay closed and the zippers would slowly come down. I was pissed these bibs were pricey! Patagonia warranted them and the 2013-2014 ARE MUCH BETTER! They added belt loops and better snaps. No cuts in the edge guards after 8 days. Fabric is still light and the fit is roomy. I love them now:)

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