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Patagonia PowSlayer Jacket

Patagonia PowSlayer, Blister Gear ReviewPatagonia PowSlayer Jacket

Weight: 552 g (19.5 oz)

Reviewer: 6’2″, 160 lbs.

Size Tested: XL

Color: Paintbrush Red

Features:

  • 3L Gore-Tex Pro Shell
  • Touch Point System
  • Relaxed fit

Test Locations: Snowbird, Taos Ski Valley, Jackson Hole, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Keystone, Crested Butte

Days Worn: 40+

MSRP: $679

The entry of Patagonia and other more “traditional” outdoor brands into the snowboard market in recent years has been an interesting one. As big-mountain freeriding, backcountry snowboarding, and splitboarding have gained popularity, the demand for high-end, technical softgoods within the core snowboarder population has grown, too.

Patagonia has assembled a stellar team, including Forrest Shearer, Ryland Bell, and Alex Yoder—who at last year’s Snowbird North Face Masters stop was raving about his PowSlayer kit. While Alex is a Patagonia ambassador, his high praise for the jacket definitely piqued my interest.

When I saw the price, however, I was stunned—is any jacket worth almost $700? All the Gore-Tex outerwear I had worn previously (from Sessions and Burton) had retail prices under $300. I wanted to find out.

Materials

Right as I pulled the PowSlayer out of the plastic, it was clear that this was by far the lightest jacket I had ever owned. The PowSlayer is made with Gore-Tex Pro Shell, which commands a high price for a reason: it’s an incredibly thin, lightweight waterproof/breathable Gore-Tex laminate.

As I felt the paper-thin fabric, I felt the same fear that Jonathan Ellsworth had upon first inspecting his Gore-Tex Pro Shell Enzo Jacket: “I’m going to destroy this thing in one run.”

But after rereading Jonathan’s review (which includes a Pro Shell analysis by BLISTER outerwear expert Sam Shaheen), I felt a lot more confident. (And if you haven’t read Sam’s Outerwear 101 piece, you should. It’s my favorite BLISTER article.)

Fit / Sizing

Patagonia labels the PowSlayer with a “relaxed” fit—not surprising, given its team-driven design process, which includes a crowd where tight, athletic fits are largely unpopular. Generally speaking, the sizing and fit were very similar to jackets from brands like Sessions, Analog, and Burton.

Jed Doane, Patagonia PowSlayer, Blister Gear Review

Jed Doane in the Patagonia PowSlayer.

I’m 6’2” and pretty lanky, and often have issues with the arm length of jackets. But not so with the PowSlayer, where an XL gave me a great fit. My only tiff would be that it’s a little wide in the waist, though that is easily fixed with a quick cinch of the adjustable Touch Point waist cord (more on that below).

Patagonia PowSlayer Powderskirt Buttoned, Blister Gear Review

Patagonia PowSlayer Single-Button Powderskirt

The powderskirt, however, closes with only one button, and therefore has only one size, which is several inches too large for my 160-pound frame and 31-inch waist. Had I not been wearing bib pants with the PowSlayer jacket, I’m sure this lack of adjustability and extra space would have been an issue on pow days.

Patagonia says this single-button design was to reduce weight and bulking in the front, but I’ve never had an issue in the past with bulk in any adjustable powder skirts, and I don’t think adding one or two buttons would raise the weight exorbitantly. If anything, I think it would increase the functionality for a broader range of users.

The powderskirt is made of an extremely lightweight material and has a one-button loop interface on the back that is designed with Patagonia pants in mind; the interface was easy to use with my PowSlayer Bib Pants.

Powderskirt sizing aside, the relaxed fit and lightweight material of the PowSlayer allowed for a great deal of mobility. Basically, the PowSlayer jacket is the kind of jacket you practically forget that you’re wearing.

 

10 Comments

  1. Gluten Free Dan March 19, 2013 Reply

    It’d be nice to someday see a jacket with Cordura (or a similar fabric) on the forearms to resist tearing. I’ve got about 2 full seasons in a Stoic Bombshell now and its starting to show more wear in that area. Not the worst thing in the world, but be a nice touch to see on a shell.

  2. Marcel March 19, 2013 Reply

    Really good jacket and combo if you use the bibs as well. I’ve had about 15 days on both and there are a few things I dislike. As you mentioned the hood is not big enough to comfortably go over a ski helmet. I can do that with my MH Victorio and OR Mentor jackets, not so much with the powslayer, so I wish the helmet was a little bigger. I don’t see a reason for the hand warmer pockets, I do like the velcro cargo pockets but don’t quite get the hand warmers, because they are completely useless for me when wearing a pack, which is 100% of the time. I wish they weren’t there to save some weight as well as the arm pocket, but it might be useful for some people to hold a pass. Also I would like a one hand adjustment hem cord, specially because they are inside the hand pockets which I don’t like. So get rid of the pocket as well as the two hand adjustment cord., don’t see a reason for the internal pocket as well, I don’t use and probably will never use it, but at least they are not those huge stash pockets for gloves and goggles. Very durable and protects you very well from the elements. I would have the same comment about the bibs, good side vents but again don’t see why we need hand pockets! I do have a few small cuts from ski edges on the bibs, but I’m sure Patagonia can fix that for me if I send the bibs back, so I’m not worried.

    • Marcel March 19, 2013 Reply

      btw, they are awesome for ski too! :-)

  3. Ben November 27, 2013 Reply

    Hi there. I am 6’4″, 190lbs, and a Patagonia person (online live chat) suggested that I go with a Medium. I really questioned that, but he swore that this jacket runs big and gave me some measurements. I believed him after that, but now after you’re review I’m back to questioning the size that is right for me. Did you try on any other sizes? I don’t want a baggy fit, and would like the powder skirt to fit my 34″ waist, but I definitely want to make sure the sleeves are long enough. Maybe a Large? I guess there is no substitute for finding a shop to try them on. Thanks for any feedback you can give. -Ben

    • Hey Ben,

      Good question, and the short answer is you’ll have to try one on to see if it’s the fit you’re looking for, but here’s my opinion. I wouldn’t go XL if you don’t want a baggy fit, but I’m worried that you’ll run into arm length and mobility issues if you go with a M at your height. I think that buying a L is your best bet without trying one on. Hope this helps.

      -Jed

  4. Kay December 4, 2013 Reply

    Hey Jed,
    at 6’0 and 190lbs, do you thing i could fit in a Medium? I usually layer it with a down sweater/jacket.
    Thanks
    Kay

    • Kay,

      Again, it depends a lot on the fit that you personally prefer. The powslayer’s fit will definitely be baggier than most other Patagonia jackets, so I wouldn’t anticipate problems layering, but if you have long arms you may run into problems with the M depending on how long your like your sleeves. I’m 6’2 , 165 and have pretty long arms and the XL sleeve length goes to about my knuckles. Hope this helps.

      -Jed

  5. Geedreej January 14, 2014 Reply

    On the flip side of the sizing questions, I’m wondering if the powslayer jacket/bib combo would be far too baggy if I got them in an XL, I’m 6’0 and 205lb. If there was a store within 100km of me with said gear in stock, I’d go try them on, but that’s not the case. I don’t mind a half steezy fit, but I don’t want to swim in it. Thoughts?

    • I would probably suggest a large in the bibs- they’ll be plenty long enough, and I’m pretty sure the waist will be roomy even on someone who’s 205. As for the jacket, I’d lean towards XL for you but you’d probably be fine with a L if you like a less baggy fit. Hopefully this helps.

      Thanks,
      Jed

  6. Jscriv December 2, 2014 Reply

    Just to comment on the sizing – i’m 6’3″ 210 and the large is plenty big for me, perfect actually, and that’s paired with a base layer fleece and nano air jacket. Love it!

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