In every review we conduct, there are relevant sub-comparisons between similar products. In this case, we tested multiple jackets designed as "3-in-1" options – a shell and an insulating layer designed to be worn as one. Most are similar in intention, and in actual execution, they add up remarkably similar, too. The Patagonia 3-in-1 Snowshot is a little more durable, better made, and offers a subtle yet nicer style. For general purpose skiing, we recommend a fully insulating all-in-one jacket. However, value hunters will like the appeal of the 3-in-1 style jackets. Those folks should closely examine this review and compare it to other 3-in-1 models we tested.Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Patagonia 3-in-1 Snowshot on March 6, 2022, with a closer look at value and buying advice for other, similar products.
Patagonia 3-in-1 Snowshot Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: 3-in-1 versatility, Patagonia quality
Cons: Bulky, boxy fit
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Patagonia 3-in-1 Snowshot
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|Pros||3-in-1 versatility, Patagonia quality||Excellent performance in every category, durable||Strong value, highly versatile, warm, loaded with ski-friendly features||Weather resistant, good vents, plenty of features||Versatile, inexpensive, warm|
|Cons||Bulky, boxy fit||More snug fit than other options||Heavy, poor ventilation in combined figuration||Hanging liner makes it a bit warm for a shell, fit isn't perfect||Bulky, basic fit and styling, limited weather protection|
|Bottom Line||A versatile 3-in-1 jacket for the average ski resort user made with top quality||This excellent resort ski jacket nails all performance aspects to deserve a spot at the top of your wish list||This versatile and reasonably priced jacket helps you customize your layers, whether you prioritize warmth, weather resistance, or both||A high-performance shell at a great price||A versatile and very affordable jacket for the occasional skier or snowboarder|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia 3-in-1 Sn...||Helly Hansen Alpha...||The North Face Ther...||REI Co-op First Cha...||Columbia Whirlibird...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Patagonia 3-in-1 Sn...||Helly Hansen Alpha...||The North Face Ther...||REI Co-op First Cha...||Columbia Whirlibird...|
|Main Fabric||Nylon||2-layer stretch polyester||100% nylon||2-layer Gore-Tex||Nylon|
|Insulation||60g Thermogreen synthetic||LifaLoft synthetic||100% Post-Consumer Recycled Polyester||Recycled polyester lining||80g MicroTemp synthetic|
|Pockets||Shell: 3 external, 2 internal. Liner is reversible. Handwarmers on either side, 1 chest pocket||2 handwarmer, 2 chest, 1 internal chest, 1 internal mesh, 1 sleeve||Shell: 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest,1 internal media, 1 internal goggle, 1 internal zippered sleeve. Liner: 2 hand||2 handwarmer, 2 chest, 1 internal chest, 1 sleeve||Shell: 3 external, 1 internal. Liner: 2 external, 1 internal|
|Weight||2.88 lbs||2.56 lbs||2.86 lbs||1.76 lbs||2.94 lbs|
|Water Resistance||Gore-Tex||Helly Tech Professional||DryVent 2L||Gore-Tex||OmniTech|
|Hood||Adjustable and Removable||Adjustable and removable||Adjustable||Adjustable||Adjustable|
|Pit-Zips||Mesh-backed (shell only)||Mesh-backed||Yes (shell only)||Yes||Mesh-backed (shell only)|
|Cuff construction||Velcro||Interior stretchy wrist gaiters and external velcro cuffs||Velcro||Velcro||Velcro|
|Powder skirt?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes, removable||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
There is inherent value in Patagonia's construction and design of the 3-in-1 Snowshot. A 3-in-1 jacket includes an outer shell jacket and an inner insulated jacket that can be snapped and zipped together to make a third warmer jacket.
In the case of the Snowshot 3-in-1, the inner layer is a synthetic insulated, full-zip front, hoodless sweater. The outer shell jacket is waterproof, with a separate hanging lining to manage moisture and protect the H2No membrane on the polyester face fabric. The two jackets together are fairly warm by virtue of the insulation and multiple layers of fabric. These numerous layers of fabric also confine the wearer's movement more than an all-in-one insulated jacket – this shortcoming is shared by all 3-in-1 jackets.
The warmth of the Patagonia Snowshot 3-in-1 comes from 60 grams of synthetic insulation in the liner, the multiple layers of fabric in the entire package (we counted at least five layers of fabric and one layer of insulation throughout the entire combined product), and the air spaces between all these layers. As such, this is a very warm jacket.
Even when comparing the shell of the Snowshot 3-in-1 to the other shell-only contenders in our testing, this jacket is warmer. This additional but minimal warmth is provided by the separate hanging liner of the jacket. The other shell jackets we tested are "three-layer" style, in which the outer fabric, the waterproof membrane, and the lining fabric are laminated into a single piece. The Snowshot has a membrane and outer fabric laminated together, with a separate inner layer.
Patagonia's climbing background prompts excellent weather resistance. They use their proprietary "H2No" waterproof breathable membrane for less expensive pieces instead of the more expensive Gore-Tex. Our experience with H2No indicates that it is adequate for all but the most gnarly conditions. Patagonia seam seals the Snowshot 3-in-1and applies a generous water repellent coating to the exterior.
Fit and Comfort
The Snowshot 3-in-1, by virtue of its construction, has many layers of fabric rubbing against each other. This setup produces friction and a more restrained range of motion than traditional single-piece ski jackets. There is no way to provide the versatility of the 3-in-1 jacket without this added friction, so there is a trade-off. However, when worn separately, the individual layers of this jacket are very comfortable. In the end, it comes out just about average.
Testers noted that the fit of this jacket was a bit larger than average, partially due to the boxy, untailored fit of the torso and hem sections of the jacket. Our main tester is usually a perfect men's medium, and this jacket was a little loose on him.
The Snowshot 3-in-1 offers short pit zips without mesh across the opening. Furthermore, the vents are only part of the shell layer and not the insulated sweater underneath. The result is a jacket with average ventilation when worn in its full configuration. Single-piece insulated ski jackets offer better ventilation for the warmth in most cases.
Of course, this jacket, and other 3-in-1 jackets, allow the user to shed either component if the weather changes. That means that this jacket could be worn as a well-ventilated rain shell or a thin insulated sweater for cool days in the spring or fall. However, our score reflects the performance of this jacket in its full configuration.
We gave average to high style marks to this ski jacket. It is entirely unobtrusive in any configuration. The shell alone hangs loosely and is the least visually appealing. The two parts together look like any other insulated ski jacket. The lining has a classic Patagonia puffy look.
Most color options feature a two-tone look, one color above and another color below, separated horizontally. This design adds a bit of excitement to the jacket's style, but it's not edgy enough to make it look any cooler than a single-color jacket. The Snowshot 3-in-1 comes out average in this category.
This jacket doesn't compare highly to the competition for ski features. The most notable feature of this jacket is the 3-in-1 construction. Both layers of the Snowshot 3-in-1 have two handwarmer pockets and one external chest pocket. The shell's handwarmer pockets are fleece-lined. The snow skirt (which we normally review as part of the weather protection) is less usable than on other jackets due to the interference of the lining jacket. Still, it does attach to compatible Patagonia pants with a small tab of fabric that buttons through a loop on the pants.
Should You Buy the 3-in-1 Snowshot?
The Patagonia 3-in-1 Snowshot is a quality modular jacket made by a well-respected manufacturer. If you're looking for one jacket for every day out on the hill – regardless of conditions – then we think the Snowshot is a great option to consider. Patagonia's construction will last a long time, while its warranty will cover any issues you may have. There are cheaper options in the 3-in-1 market, but if you want a high-quality product backed up by an excellent warranty, look no further.
What Other Ski Jackets Should You Consider?
The modular style of the Patagonia 3-in-1 Snowshot jacket is not for everyone, though we can't discount its versatility. In terms of warmth and weather resistance, this jacket is only surpassed by the much more expensive Arc'teryx Macai and Arc'teryx Sabre AR jackets. But for an insulated option, the extra cost of the Helly Hansen Alpha LifaLoft is well worth the ventilation, comfort, and style improvements. Even the slightly more affordable The North Face ThermoBall ECO Snow Triclimate is an upgrade in terms of fit and features and offers a better overall value.
— Jediah Porter
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