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Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl Review

A good insulated ski jacket with warmth and weather resistance, but a bland style
Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl
Photo: Patagonia
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Price:  $479 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Weather resistant, warm, comfortable, great features
Cons:  Bland style, not that breathable, small pit vents
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 30, 2021
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 17
  • Warmth - 20% 7
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 8
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 7
  • Ventilation - 15% 5
  • Style - 15% 5
  • Features - 10% 9

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Powder Bowl Insulated is a fully-featured ski jacket that provides excellent weather resistance and features. With a Gore-Tex membrane and a full-coverage hood, it keeps winter storms at bay, and a moderate amount of synthetic insulation provides enough warmth for most cold days. There are pockets galore, a powder skirt, and a removable hood, making this one of the most heavily-featured jackets reviewed. However, our testers found the style uninteresting, blending in with the crowd instead of standing out. If you're looking for a solid insulated ski jacket with traditional styling, this is a great option.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
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$550.00 at Backcountry
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$300 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
68
88
72
65
54
Star Rating
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Pros Weather resistant, warm, comfortable, great featuresExcellent performance in every category, durableStrong value, highly versatile, warm, loaded with ski-friendly featuresWeather resistant, good vents, plenty of featuresVersatile, inexpensive, warm
Cons Bland style, not that breathable, small pit ventsMore snug fit than other optionsHeavy, poor ventilation in combined figurationHanging liner makes it a bit warm for a shell, fit isn't perfectBulky, basic fit and styling, limited weather protection
Bottom Line A good insulated ski jacket with warmth and weather resistance, but a bland styleThis excellent resort ski jacket nails all performance aspects to deserve a spot at the top of your wish listThis versatile and reasonably priced jacket helps you customize your layers, whether you prioritize warmth, weather resistance, or bothA high-performance shell at a great priceA versatile and very affordable jacket for the occasional skier or snowboarder
Rating Categories Patagonia Insulated... Helly Hansen Alpha... The North Face Ther... REI Co-op First Cha... Columbia Whirlibird...
Warmth (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Comfort And Fit (20%)
7.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
4.0
Ventilation (15%)
5.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
Style (15%)
5.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
3.0
Features (10%)
9.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Patagonia Insulated... Helly Hansen Alpha... The North Face Ther... REI Co-op First Cha... Columbia Whirlibird...
Main Fabric 100% recycled polyester 2-layer stretch polyester 100% nylon 2-layer Gore-Tex Nylon
Insulation 60-g and 100-g Thermogreen Polyester LifaLoft synthetic 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Polyester Recycled polyester lining 80g MicroTemp synthetic
Pockets 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered forearm, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered 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 (pounds) 2.66 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 Yes 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? Yes Yes Yes Yes, removable Yes
RECCO? Yes Yes No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Patagonia Powder Bowl Insulated is a great choice for cold days...
The Patagonia Powder Bowl Insulated is a great choice for cold days on the slopes, with good warmth and excellent weather protection.
Photo: Jackie Kearney

Warmth


The Powder Bowl Insulated uses synthetic insulation to provide warmth underneath the outer hardshell. It feels like the insulation around the torso is thicker than the insulation in the sleeves, helping to warm the core. The hood also has a thin layer of insulation. This jacket kept us relatively warm on most ski days, but not as warm as the highest-performing (and most expensive) insulated jackets.

Quilted synthetic insulation is the primary source of warmth. It's...
Quilted synthetic insulation is the primary source of warmth. It's not as thick as other, warmer jackets, but it is good enough for most days.
Photo: Jackie Kearney

Weather Resistance


A Gore-Tex membrane, sealed seams, waterproof front zippers, and a full-coverage hood provide the weather resistance of this bomb-proof jacket. The Powder Bowl Insulated is one of the most storm-proof jackets in our test period. We couldn't get water to penetrate the interior of the jacket, and Patagonia's DWR treatment kept water beading on the shell fabric even after plenty of rubbing. The synthetic insulation keeps its loft when wet, making this an excellent ski jacket for the wettest winter climates.

Waterproof zippers and a full-coverage, removable hood provide...
Waterproof zippers and a full-coverage, removable hood provide excellent weather resistance.
Photo: Jackie Kearney

Comfort and Fit


The Powder Bowl Insulated is a comfortable jacket. The shell fabric isn't too stiff, and the interior lining is soft against the skin. There is a fleece pad on the back of the neck, but we wished it also had a fleece chin pad. The handwarmer pockets are fleece-lined. The synthetic insulation adds weight and bulk to the jacket, and the cut is straight and wide through the hem. This creates a generic fit, which our slim lead tester finds a bit baggy. In general, we prefer jackets that contour gently to the curves of the body, and this jacket doesn't meet the fine tailoring of other jackets on the market. But overall, it's a comfortable jacket to wear.

The cut of the Powder Bowl Insulated is straight down through the...
The cut of the Powder Bowl Insulated is straight down through the hem, which is baggy and loose on slim users.
Photo: Jackie Kearney

Ventilation


The Powder Bowl Insulated doesn't breathe or vent as well as many other jackets we reviewed. The synthetic insulation feels stuffy and not breathable when the user is working hard, like while hiking to inbounds terrain or skiing on warm days. The armpit vents are relatively short and the zippers are hard to grasp, but they aren't lined with mesh, allowing for maximum airflow. Overall, this isn't a great jacket if you do a lot of skiing that gets you warm, like skiing bumps or hiking to reach your ski runs. However, for the majority of people who ski (largely green and blue runs), this jacket balances warmth and ventilation adequately.

Small armpit vents provide a meager amount of ventilation on warm...
Small armpit vents provide a meager amount of ventilation on warm days.
Photo: Jackie Kearney

Style


Our main gripe with this jacket is its style. The boxy, straight cut doesn't match the body's contours, which makes this jacket look generic and utilitarian. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but our testers prefer the sleek, refined look of more contoured jackets. This jacket blends in with a crowd instead of standing out. If that's ok with you, then the Powder Bowl Insulated doesn't have any major flaws.

The Powder Bowl Insulated is nothing special when it comes to looks...
The Powder Bowl Insulated is nothing special when it comes to looks, in our opinion.
Photo: Jackie Kearney

Features


This is a fully-featured jacket with plenty of pockets and other useful inclusions. The exterior features two handwarmer pockets with fleece linings and one chest pocket on the left side. The external chest pocket also has a zippered media pocket inside of it, with a headphone port that crosses into the inside of the jacket. The left sleeve has a ski pass pocket to prevent embarrassing delays at lift turnstiles. The hood is removable, but the powder skirt isn't. On the inside of the jacket, there is one zippered stash pocket and one open mesh stash pocket. A RECCO reflector rounds out the Powder Bowl Insulated's excellent set of features.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Value


This jacket performs well across the board, delivering all of the performance that most skiers will ever need. It doesn't come cheap, but certain design features (like synthetic insulation instead of down) help keep the cost lower than the most expensive jackets on the market. It won't be a great choice for users on a budget, but if you are considering a top-of-the-line jacket, this is a great choice that could save you some cash.

Conclusion


The Patagonia Powder Bowl Insulated provides warmth, weather resistance, features, and comfort nearly comparable to more expensive, best-in-class jackets. It doesn't have the style to match these heavy hitters, but if that's not important to you, this jacket is a great and less-expensive choice.

The Powder Bowl Insulated in its element, on the chilly slopes of...
The Powder Bowl Insulated in its element, on the chilly slopes of Colorado in the early season.
Photo: Jackie Kearney

Jeff Dobronyi

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