Patagonia Insulated Powder Town - Women's Review
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Patagonia Insulated Powder Town - Women's
|Price||$219.45 at Backcountry|
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|$119.99 at Amazon|
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|Bottom Line||A top performer where it counts, this insulated jacket also comes in at a reasonable price||A high performance technical shell that performs well in or out of bounds and won't break the bank||This jacket is very ski-worthy, especially for those wishing to have a quiver-of-one jacket. The adaptability this model offers is top notch||This jacket looks good but leaves us wanting when the weather gets bad||When we didn't push this inexpensive jacket too hard, it was able to perform adequately at keeping us warm and dry|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia Insulated...||Outdoor Research Ca...||The North Face Ther...||Burton Jet Set||Wantdo Snowboarding...|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|Specs||Patagonia Insulated...||Outdoor Research Ca...||The North Face Ther...||Burton Jet Set||Wantdo Snowboarding...|
|Main Fabric||75D postconsumer recycled polyester||100% Nylon||100% Nylon||Polyester, nylon||150D Dull Mechanical Elastic|
|Insulation||80g Thermogreen recycled polyester; sleeves: 40g Thermogreen recycled polyester||None||100% postconsumer recycled polyester||80g Thermolite||Insulating padding|
|Waterproofing||2-layer H2No waterproof membrane||3-layer Pertex Shield||2-layer DryVent||DryRide 2L||DWR, 10k waterproof fabric|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered internal stash, 1 internal drop-in||2 zippered chest, 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered arm, 1 internal mesh, 1 internal zippered chest||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 1 internal goggle Liner: 2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand, 1 mesh, 1 media||2 zippered hand|
|Weight||1.7 lbs||1.2 lbs||2.0 lbs||1.6 lbs||2.5 lbs|
|Hood Option||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, removable fur|
|Powder skirt||Yes, snap away||Yes||Yes, behind insulating layer||Yes||Yes, snap away|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The first noticeable attribute of the Powder Town is its incredible comfort. Silky soft on the inside with light and lofty insulation, this jacket was plenty warm for most days, and its roomy fit allowed for extra layers when it wasn't. In a sea of incredibly expensive insulated shells, the Powder Town also stands out for its reasonable price tag. It was a top performer in many categories and was often only outshone by the highest end, and priciest, contenders.
The Powder Town is filled with Patagonia's proprietary synthetic insulation made from 90% recycled polyester. Limited environmental footprint aside, Thermogreen performs among top-of-the-line synthetic insulations. With 80g in the body of the jacket and 40g in the sleeves, this jacket kept us toasty warm up until about 0 degrees Fahrenheit. With plenty of room for extra layers, we found the Powder Town well suited for the very coldest days too.
The insulation is well distributed with baffling that extends into the sleeves, which keeps the insulation even and gapless throughout the jacket's life. The insulated hood is an extra layer of warmth as well. The only negative we could find in the insulation of the Powder Town was in the collar — we found ourselves wishing for a little extra bulk here to keep draftiness out. That said, the large hood and long hem do a great job of this, and we really didn't miss it too much.
Patagonia's H2No DWR treatment and standard two-layer construction is a tried and true waterproofing in the outerwear industry. We found that the Powder Town carries on this legacy. The surface of this jacket only began to wet through when we actively pushed wet snow up against it. In dense, heavy snowfall, it performed excellently all day, staying dry on the outside and, most importantly, on the inside.
The Powder Town did a great job of blocking out blustery days as well. The oversized hood, long hem, and powderskirt blocked out drafts from the edges of the jacket. With all of these features in play, this insulated jacket creates its own microclimate, secure from the elements. The only place we found that the weather could permeate was at the hand pockets, where the zippers were not water-resistant but covered in a flap of water-resistant fabric instead. This is effective in all but the deepest and wettest snow conditions. Overall, the Powder Town is an excellent pick for even the deepest storm days.
Comfort and Fit
Simply said, the Powder Town is an extremely comfortable jacket. It runs a little bit large, leaving plenty of room for as many layers as you want. This, combined with an articulated cut in the elbows and a longer hemline, makes it ridiculously easy to move around.
In addition to its thoughtful construction, the materials of this jacket make for a soft pillowy feel. The soft taffeta liner is silky and did not catch or pull on any base layer we paired with it. The small amount of tricot lining on the inside of the collar was enough to mitigate any scratching from the zipper. Overall, we found very few drawbacks to the design of this jacket.
Like with many other insulated jackets in this review, the Powder Town did leave something to be desired in the breathability of the main material. We found it began to trap heat and moisture when we were exerting at our limit. This, however, is not necessarily what an insulated shell like this is designed for.
We found that the insulation felt incredibly lofty and breathable for a synthetic jacket. The Powder Town wicked away excess heat and moisture in all downhill activities, and the wide, open pit zips add an extra layer of ventilation when things get too hot.
The Powder Town is a fairly bare-bones jacket when it comes to style. The taped central and chest zippers give this classic jacket a more modern look, and the multi-colored zipper pulls are a nice retro-looking touch.
This jacket has a little more boxy cut than some other jackets in this review, so if you prefer a tapered look with a slimmer waist and asymmetrical hem, this might not be the best choice for you style-wise. However, this is a great selection if you prefer a more traditional cut.
The Powder Town has everything we look for in a resort-oriented jacket. It has plenty of pockets for storing valuables and snacks alike. We especially like the very large internal drop pocket for quick access to granola bars, candy, or as a good place to store an extra pair of goggle lenses. While the headphone-compatible interior pocket is not the most necessary with the new popularity of Bluetooth headphones, it is nice to be able to keep earbuds attached to your phone while bouncing around shredding powder.
While we do wish that the powder skirt were removable on this jacket, we found the way it clipped away to the inside of the jacket to be quite comfortable and effective. A feature of the powder skirt we also really appreciate is the loop built to snap to almost any pair of pants. This ensures no snow can creep up into the jacket, even on the deepest days. We think you'll be well equipped for just about any lift-accessed pursuit in the Powder Town.
Should You Buy the Patagonia Insulated Powder Town?
If you are a skier who prefers lift-accessed terrain and a resort storm day over any other, this is a great pick. For mostly downhill pursuits, this jacket has effective and lofty insulation that will keep you warm without ever feeling bulky or heavy, wicking away heat and moisture quickly and effectively. If you are constantly overheating, however, this and insulated jackets in general may not be the best option for you.
What Other Ski Jackets Should You Consider?
We think the Patagonia Insulated Powder Town is an excellent value and is a favorite for an insulated shell. However, if you are a skier who constantly overheats, even while skiing downhill, check out one of our other top-performing non-insulated shells. The Arc'teryx Sentinel AR is a top-of-the-line option equipped for the harshest weather conditions, albeit quite pricey. If you are looking for a shell with a more comparable price point to the Powder Town, check out the Black Diamond Recon Stretch Shell. Overall, we think the Powder Town is a great selection for any resort skier who tends to get a little chilly out there and doesn't want to break the bank to stay warm.