The Patagonia Powslayer jacket is a lightweight-but-effective ski jacket that works well in both the backcountry and the resort. It offers tremendous waterproofing abilities alongside a breathable design that’s backed by a trusted brand in the cold weather game. It’s expensive, as is most gear from Patagonia, but can last you many years of heavy use.
- Where to buy: Patagonia, EVO, Backcountry
- Best for: Skiers who want a premium option that can meet the demands of skiing in rapidly changing environments. Also a good choice for anyone who’s a fan of Patagonia gear.
- Pros: Great for the backcountry and beyond. Excellent waterproofness and highly breathable as well. A performance jacket through and through. Comfortable and durable too.
- Cons: Very expensive. Unapproachable price tag for the average skier.
- Alternatives: Patagonia Snowshot Jacket, Mountain Hardwear Boundary Ridge GORE-TEX 3L Jacket, Arc’teryx Sabre AR Jacket
Why Trust Me
I’ve been skiing almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. I have skied all over the world and have decades of experience skiing on, testing, and reviewing different skis and skiing equipment. I thoroughly researched the performance and comfort traits of the Patagonia Powslayer Jacket. My detailed review is below.
The Powslayer is an awesome jacket. It offers top tier all-around performance that will keep you warm and dry in many different environments. It will cost you an arm and a leg, but that’s really the only downside to the option. It’s built to last and will keep you in good company in the backcountry, at the resort, or in any other cold-weather situation.
Warmth and Weather
The Powslayer is built to keep you warm and dry when you’re out slaying pow. Even so, it’s not a big, heavy jacket that’s going to weigh you down. The jacket is built with high-quality materials that give it excellent attributes in terms of both warmth and cold-weather protection. For its weight, it’s one of the best jackets around and will give you reliable performance no matter where or how you ski.
This jacket is a shell and doesn’t come with any extra insulation. Some might not like that, but it might not bother those who are well-layered or who often work up a good sweat in the backcountry. The 3-layer GORE-TEX and nylon construction makes it rugged and durable to keep wind and water far away, no matter how nasty it gets outside. This gives you a waterproof rating of 28,000mm, which is quite impressive.
This jacket also does a great job of blocking out the wind, which is an essential aspect of staying warm and dry. You might not expect that out of a thinner shell-type jacket, but the Powslayer provides you with a more-than-effective layer from the blowing cold alongside its tremendous waterproofness. All things combined, this jacket delivers high-end performance both in warmth and weather protection.
Comfort and Fit
Overall, this is a pretty comfortable jacket. However, the same materials that make it so good at blocking out the cold and snow do result in some stiffness. This isn’t going to hold you back while skiing, but it’s also not the most comfortable jacket out there. The Powslayer is fully-focused on performance and makes a few sacrifices in terms of comfort to achieve that. It’s not an uncomfortable option, but it does get a little crunchy at times.
Another key aspect of the Powslayer’s comfort is its breathability. That means you’re unlikely to overheat when trudging up long ascents or skiing tough on a warmer day. It has vents in all the places you would expect it to and they more than do their job. If you run hot while you ski, this jacket has a lot to offer.
The Powslayer also has a regular fit. It’s not too slim or too baggy, and the lightweight nature makes it easy to pair with whatever layers you choose to use underneath. It’s a bit looser than I like in the upper arms, but that provides you plenty of room to move and counters the material’s stiff nature.
Construction and Style
The Powslayer is built out of 40-Denier recycled nylon ripstop face fabric. It has a DWR (durable water repellent) finish that, when combined with the GORE-TEX Pro Membrane, gives you plenty of amazing waterproof and weather-resistant characteristics. The inner lining uses a microgrid woven backer that supposedly helps to reduce the material from clinging to your underlayers. I don’t know if it actually works, but it sounds good.
The jacket has a similar style to other jackets from Patagonia, in that it’s a basic look that isn’t too flashy nor too bland. The jacket looks like a backcountry garment and comes in several solid color options that all have a nice appearance. It’s not a crazy fashion statement or a boring utility piece. Rather, it fits somewhere in the middle.
There are plenty of additional features built into the Powslayer’s design. As mentioned, the two pit zip vents create amazing breathability, and the jacket comes with plenty of pockets where you can stash any extra items you might want to bring along. There are eight in total and they offer a good mix of outer and inner storage.
The adjustable powder skirt is another nice feature that will help you keep the powder at bay when you’re working in heavy snow. This skirt easily connects to Patagonia pants, if you have the full setup. It’s also helmet compatible thanks to the large hood that accommodates just about any head size. On top of that, there’s a RECCO avalanche reflector for safety, as well as low-profile cuffs to keep snow and moisture out of the gloves.
Price and Value
For all of the amazing attributes of the Powslayer jacket, it’s extremely expensive. That high price tag keeps me from recommending it as a great value for the average skier. If you don’t have any concerns with money, it’s a great option. For the rest of us, the price tag is hard to justify and really limits the possibility of this jacket being used for most skiers. If you do get your hands on one, it will last a long time.
What I Like
My favorite thing about the Powslayer jacket is the outstanding weather protection. The jacket doesn’t mess around when it comes to keeping you warm and dry. The material’s waterproofness is top-notch and does a great job of repelling any type of snow. Even big, slushy flakes that can soak you down are no match for the Powslayer.
Breathability is another area where the jacket really shines. This comes into play in the backcountry quite a bit and allows you to better regulate your temperature so you’re not struggling to stay dry from internal moisture build-up. The zippered pit vents are effective, but the jacket allows moisture to escape in a way that keeps you cool and regulated.
I also like the Powslayer’s high-quality build and Patagonia’s excellent customer service. It’s durable, strong, and can really take a beating. However, if you do damage the jacket or experience any manufacturer’s defects, Patagonia is really good about helping you get things repaired or replaced.
What I Don’t Like
My biggest issue is the price. It’s not nice. Seriously, you can get a good pair of skis for cheaper than what this jacket costs. I know that it’s in the same price ballpark of other high-quality ski jackets, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Most of the skiers I know can’t afford this jacket, and that’s a big deterrent to anyone on any type of budget. There are cheaper options out there, and even though the Powslayer works well, I’m not convinced it’s worth the high price.
The jacket’s stiffness is something else that might put some skiers off. For me, it’s not that big of a deal because the extra tightness means the jacket is working well in terms of weather protection. However, it can hinder your arm movements ever so slightly and limits the free-flowing feel so many people enjoy. This is a minor dislike, but it’s worth mentioning if you want an option with supreme comfort.
There are an endless number of ski jackets on the market. If you want to look at some recommended alternatives to the Patagonio Powslayer, all of the following are worth checking out.
- Patagonia Snowshot Jacket – The Snowshot is another awesome Patagonia jacket that comes in at a much more affordable price. It still features stand-out cold weather protection and will keep you dry when it really starts to snow. It doesn’t have as many features as the Powslayer, but it’s still a recommended option that’s going to get the job done for most skiers.
- Mountain Hardwear Boundary Ridge GORE-TEX 3L Jacket – This is a high-quality ski jacket that’s effective, comfortable, and long lasting. It’s another 3-layer GORE-TEX jacket, which means you will get excellent wind and waterproof performance. It also rivals the Powslayer in breathability.
- Arc’teryx Sabre AR Jacket – This is another awesome jacket that’s best described as a light shell. This one has a focus on comfort, but still offers tremendous performance attributes that will keep you warm, dry, and skiing hard all day long. It’s even more expensive than the Powslayer, but you get a quality brand and a jacket that’s built to last.
Is the Powslayer Jacket insulated?
No. This jacket doesn’t come with any added insulation due to its outer shell design. It still offers a lot of warmth and protection from the elements, however.
Why is this jacket so expensive?
That’s a good question that doesn’t have an exact answer. Patagonia is an expensive brand and this jacket is one of their top-of-the-line models. It’s extremely high quality and gives you excellent performance. Those traits are then reflected in the price.
Is this a backcountry jacket?
With tremendous breathability and reliable wind and water protection, the Powslayer is an excellent choice for the backcountry. It provides you the same high levels of performance no matter where you ski.
The Patagonia Powslayer jacket is an awesome garment that works well for any skier. It offers high-end performance features in terms of cold-weather protection and breathability. That’s then backed by a brand name you can trust and rely on. This one is really expensive, however, and that’s a major downside that will keep it off the backs of a lot of skiers. A definite recommendation if you can afford it, though.