Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Weather resistant, warm, comfortable, great features
Cons: Bland style, not that breathable, small pit vents
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Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl
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|$550.00 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Weather resistant, warm, comfortable, great features||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||Bland style, not that breathable, small pit vents||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 good insulated ski jacket with warmth and weather resistance, but a bland style||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 Insulated...||Helly Hansen Alpha...||The North Face Ther...||REI Co-op First Cha...||Columbia Whirlibird...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort And Fit (20%)|
|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|
Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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