The Patagonia Snowbelle 3-in-1 is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none kind of jacket. It performed just OK in all of our categories, but the updates this year are an improvement to its style and function.
The Snowbelle 3-in-1 is a fine jacket, but we're not sure if the performance matches the price tag.
The Snowbelle has decent weather resistance. It uses Patagonia's H2No shell material that is also used in many of the company's rain jackets. We suspect that when put to the test the H2No will not hold up as well as products with Gore-Tex that Patagonia uses in the higher end products like the Patagonia Primo Down - Women's jacket. The hood of this jacket has been majorly improved this year and now is huge and will fit over any ski helmet - we're stoked on that!
The Snowbelle's zipper has been changed to a waterproof one and we did not notice any drafts getting through at speeds.
Comfort and Fit
The Snowbelle is quite comfortable and performed relatively well on the slopes. The H2No material is stiffer and less forgiving than a jacket with stretchy shell materials and so felt slightly more restrictive. This jacket is Patagonia's "relaxed fit" which we find to be slightly on the larger, baggier side of the size so if you're debating whether to size up or down, go down.
The Snowbelle is the most expensive 3-in-1 style jacket. We felt like a floating pair of legs in the white color.
Sometimes 3-in-1 type jackets can appear bulkier and less flattering than regular insulated ski jackets. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the Snowbelle maintains a relatively flattering silhouette. However, Patagonia's relaxed fit sizing was on the large and bulky side. We like the contrasting inner lining color of the jacket, and think the liner jacket is cute on its own, especially with the non-grid-stitched side out.
The Snowbelle's inner jacket is now reversible. We prefer this side out.
The white color we tested this jacket in is horrible, and we would never recommend anyone buying a white ski jacket. First, because it gets instantly dirty. Chairlifts are known to leak grease on riders, which is exactly what happened on day one of wearing the Snowbelle. Second, you blend into the mountain, which is a safety concern as other riders will have a harder time seeing you. We felt like a floating pair of legs in this jacket. Thankfully Patagonia has updated their colors this year and no longer offers it in white.
The Snowbelle's inner jacket has 60 grams of synthetic fill insulation. This is the least amount of insulation of the 3-in-1 jackets in this review. The Columbia Whirlibird III has 80g. Because it is two jackets in one, the Snowbelle feels slightly warmer than the amount of insulation it has. We did not notice any drafts coming through the zipper when traveling downhill at speed.
We love the Snowbelle's cavernous hood!
This 3-in-1 jacket has the same problem with ventilation as the rest of the 3-in-1s we tested, like The North Face ThermoBall Triclimate; the pit-zips only vent the outer jacket, not through the insulation. We do not think that the Snowbelle's shell material is very breathable, but it does vent well through the pit-zips. The Snowbelle's insulation is synthetic and will breathe slightly, or at least wick away moisture from the inside.
The Snowbelle's pit-zips ventilate through the shell but not the inner jacket.
The outer shell jacket of the Snowbelle contains most of its features. It has all the ski specific features you could hope for, including a powder skirt, pass and goggle pockets, as well as a media pocket with a headphone port. The problem with most 3-in-1 style jackets is that when the inner jacket is zipped into the shell, most of these features become inaccessible. This problem can be solved by just wearing the two jackets as independent layers instead of zipping them together.
To access to all the Snowbelle's ski features in the shell you'll need to have the inner jacket unzipped.
The best feature this jacket has is RECCO avalanche technology which usually only comes in higher end jackets like the Arc'Teryx Tiya or the Primo Down. Our favorite thing about the liner jacket is that it has zippered hand warmer pockets, so we can store things like keys or a wallet in them if we wear just the liner out. The Whirlibird and Triclimate do not have this feature. There is now one accessible chest pocket in the liner jacket as well, which is helpful if you do want to wear these jackets connected.
The Snowbelle's inner jacket now has a zippered Napoleon pocket.
This could be a great compromise if you're looking to wear a high-end logo, but don't want to pay top dollar for it. If you want a jack-of-all-trades kind of jacket, the Snowbelle will do it. You can wear it in most ski area climates, and it will keep you warm and dry.
The Snowbelle retails for $400 and is the most expensive 3-in-1 jacket we tested. Patagonia increased the price this year, and we do not think it is an excellent value. The Whirlibird retails for $200 and wins our Best Buy Award. We would rather spend the same amount of money and get the Flylow Billie Coat, which we think is much more stylish, comfortable, and functional.
We aren't big fans of white ski jackets, but can't help but admire our ability to match here.
We're not sure this jacket is worth the money. It is ok at most things and will keep you dry and comfortable on the slopes, but we suspect it will wet out sooner than a higher quality Gore-Tex jacket, and it is not as warmly insulated as something with down or more synthetic insulation.