Every skier needs ski clothing, and the outer shell is your first line of defense against the snow and cold. The Patagonia Snowshot Jacket is a decent outer shell from a trusted brand.
This jacket can work well for skiing, but it’s not the most functional option for backcountry or severe weather situations. It’s a comfortable and effective option. Just know it can run a little small and isn’t made for the toughest conditions.
- Where to buy: REI, EVO
- Best for: Skiers who want a well-built ski jacket that can be used in addition to other layers. A good winter shell off of the mountain as well.
- Pros: Patagonia makes some high-quality gear and this jacket is an example of that. It has excellent waterproofness, and the hood and powder skirt give extra protection from the elements.
- Cons: Not the warmest winter jacket. I also found it to run a little small in fit, especially around the shoulders.
- Alternatives: Flylow Quantum Pro, Patagonia Powder Bowl, Mountain Hardwear Firefall/2
Why Trust Me?
Born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, 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. My brother has a Patagonia Snowshot Jacket and I took it out for a week-long ski trip to see how it holds up. Below, you will find my detailed review.
This is a well-built, capable ski jacket that will meet the needs of most skiers. It comes with a fairly hefty price tag for a shell-type jacket, but it’s backed by the reputation and brand-recognition of a quality gear and clothing manufacturer in Patagonia. It has effective weather and water repellent properties alongside a somewhat slim fit.
Warmth and Weather
Your ski jacket is your main defense against inclement weather. As such, you need something that’s built to withstand wind, snow, sleet, and even an accident or two. You also want something that can keep you warm and dry at the same time. The Patagonia Snowshot is a jacket that can provide all of that and more. That’s why it’s a good option for just about any skier.
Insulation is one of the keys to keeping you warm while you’re skiing, so let’s start there. This jacket features two layers of 75-denier polyester micro-twill insulation. That’s enough of a layer to keep you cozy and warm without being bulky, and serves as an ideal middle ground. It’s not the warmest jacket around, but when used in conjunction with proper layering, it more than does the job of keeping you warm.
The outer shell exhibits nice characteristics in terms of cold weather protection. The outer part is coated with a durable water repellent finish that more than does its job. The inner membrane is then built with a 2L H2No Performance Standard shell that makes the jacket completely wind and waterproof. These two layers combine to make a jacket built with performance in mind.
Comfort and Fit
I found this jacket to be fairly comfortable, but it had a slimmer fit than I would normally want. I have broad shoulders, which can make it tough to find something that’s tight around the upper torso and loose on the bottom. The Snowshot’s snug nature was a bit confining for me, so I would recommend ordering a size above your normal jacket. That might not be a problem if you don’t have broad shoulders.
The Snowshot was comfortable and not too restrictive while skiing, other than the fit issues mentioned above. The jacket allows for full mobility in the arms and shoulders, which means it doesn’t get in the way of any pole plants when you are out in the snow. It’s also pretty breathable and is versatile enough to be paired with other layers or used on its own during a warm day.
The jacket is listed as a regular fit jacket, but I would say it’s closer to a slim fit. I’m a big guy who usually wears a large, and I would order an XL here. If you enjoy a slimmer fit, this model can go a long way. If you want the space to add more layers, or simply enjoy the feel of a looser fit, don’t be afraid to go bigger.
Construction and Style
This is a sleek-but-functional jacket that isn’t very flashy. Even so, it still looks nice. If you’ve ever had any other gear from Patagonia, you will recognize the design and shape. It has a full zippered front with a built-in face gator to keep the snow and wind away on those extra cold days. A full hood adds another layer of defense.
The jacket features an easy-to-access chest pocket where you can store small items as well as two belly pockets for extra gear or any snacks you might want while you’re skiing. These are officially known as handwarmer pockets, but I would suggest keeping your gloves on and out of your pockets if you actually want to keep them warm. The chest pocket also comes with a secure media pocket to keep your phone safe and secure.
The fully waterproof design alongside the well thought out build makes the Snowshot functional. It’s waterproof but breathable, stylish but not flashy. That combination makes it appealing to a wide range of skiing styles and preferences. You’re not going to get much attention while wearing this jacket, but it gets the job done.
A good ski jacket comes with a range of additional features on top of its cold weather protection and insulation. The Patagonia Snowshot Jacket is full of some cool features that add to its value and performance.
It is a helmet-compatible jacket, which means the hood and zippers will adjust to go over your ever-important head protection. Its hood is also two-way adjustable to create a precise fit when you want to cover up or let some heat escape from your head. The neck gaiter has a layer of microfleece that provides a little extra comfort for your chin when you’re fully bundled up as well.
The jacket comes with a powder skirt along the bottom to keep the snow from entering your clothes when you take a spill or are playing in the powder. It’s also compatible with any set of Patagonia snow pants, which is good for people who love the brand. I also like the fully taped seams that add strength and durability to the entire package.
Price and Value
Ski gear is expensive, but you often have to make that investment to get yourself all set for the season. The Snowshot isn’t the priciest jacket out there, but it’s not a budget option either. I give this jacket a moderate value because, even though it provides solid performance and warmth, it just didn’t have the fit or feel for me to label it a favorite and justify its price.
Patagonia is a brand I would definitely recommend and the company is good about using recycled materials. They also repair their jackets for free if they ever get ripped or damaged. Such considerations do raise it up a bit in terms of value.
What I Like
I like the functional performance attributes and effective weather protection that this jacket has to offer. It’s a quality option from a quality brand that gave me everything I wanted for the week I used it. I had a few days where the snow was really coming down and this jacket did a great job keeping me dry without feeling stuffy or overdone. The materials it’s constructed out of are top-notch as well.
I was also really impressed with the jacket’s breathability. I ski hard and often start to sweat as a result. That then leads to foggy goggles and stinky base layers when I can’t find a way to cool off. The Snowshot was effective at letting excess heat escape when I was working hard without allowing me to turn cold when I was back on the chairlift.
What I Didn’t Like
My biggest issue with this jacket was its fit. It was tight around the shoulders, and I would order a size up. That being said, it was still comfortable. The restrictiveness was just noticeable as I was skiing. That isn’t a major concern, and it didn’t affect how the jacket performed, but it is something to know about before you spend your money. If you like a slim fitting jacket, it’s great. If you don’t, I’d recommended a different option.
The Snowshot’s overall look is something else I don’t like. It doesn’t look bad, but it doesn’t really stand out in any way either. I suppose I like a little style and flash on the mountain. This critique is definitely based on my own personal preferences, but if you want a jacket that people will notice, you’ll want to keep shopping.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the Patagonia Snowshot Jacket, check out these other options:
- Flylow Quantum Pro – Flylow makes some of my favorite jackets and this is a great option for skiers who want both comfort and performance. It’s a versatile model that will keep you warm and dry.
- Patagonia Powder Bowl – This jacket is a bit warmer than the Snowshot, but it comes with many of the same design and performance elements. It’s a great option for anyone who runs cold or spends a lot of their time chasing big lines in the backcountry.
- Mountain Hardwear Firefall/2 – This jacket is a recommended budget option if you don’t want to spend as much cash on a ski jacket as you would buying Patagonia. It’s not quite as high of quality, but it will still do the job.
Is the Patagonia Snowshot fully waterproof?
It is. In fact, the technology and design used in this jacket make it exceptionally water, wind, and snowproof. It’s an excellent option for keeping the weather away.
Can I use this jacket for snowboarding?
This isn’t exclusively a ski jacket. You could use it for snowboarding, snowshoeing, or just hanging out outdoors in the cold.
Will Patagonia really help fix my jacket if it is ripped or damaged?
Yes. The brand has a great reputation for quality customer service and will fix or repair your jacket for free. It can sometimes take a few weeks, but they will help you out.
If you’re looking for a quality jacket from a trusted brand, the Patagonia Snowshot can provide all that you’re after. It has excellent water and wind resistance properties that make it excel in a variety of conditions.
Beyond that, the handy breathable design keeps you from overheating without losing too much to the cold. It’s fairly pricey, but it comes with a brand reputation. The good customer support also adds value to the cost.