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Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants Review

Excellent, all-around ski pants suitable for almost all users
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Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants Review
Credit: Patagonia
Price:  $299 List
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Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 10, 2019
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 9.0
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 5.0
  • Warmth - 10% 6.0
  • Features - 10% 6.0
  • Style - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Powder Bowl pants almost come out on top in our industry-wide comparison. At one point, in fact, an earlier version of these pants held our Editors' Choice Award. We have virtually no reservations in recommending these pants. A Gore-Tex shell produces excellent weather resistance, and the comfort, fit, and style of these pants are also top-notch. The materials, warranty, and tailoring work together to make a product that will last a long time and serve you well.
Carefully tailored
Excellent weather protection
Mesh-backed vents
Doesn’t have all the bells and whistles
Patagonia discontinued the Powder Bowl line in 2022.

Our Analysis and Test Results

These are solid, all-around ski pants that offer draping comfort and great weather protection, with style to boot.

Performance Comparison

patagonia powder bowl pants - this is what we live for. deep and fast turns in great gear. powder...
This is what we live for. Deep and fast turns in great gear. Powder Bowl pants in the powder bowls of Western Wyoming
Credit: Mark Smiley

Weather Resistance

Gore-Tex fabric and Patagonia's excellent water repellent treatment, combined with careful tailoring, offer all the weather protection you would ever need. Patagonia's use of waterproof zippers and pocket flaps augment the weatherproofing of the material. Furthermore, the shell material is thick enough to block the wind, yet thin enough to be comfortable. Patagonia's excellent DWR coating will keep any liquid water from soaking the outer fabric of the shell, which can be especially uncomfortable in the thighs which are exposed during chairlift rides.

patagonia powder bowl pants - dressed up your local diner's condiment selection, our lead test...
Dressed up your local diner's condiment selection, our lead test editor in the Powder Bowl pants.
Credit: Benja Glatz

Fit and Comfort

Patagonia started out making clothing for rock and alpine climbing. In those contexts, fit and mobility are key. They bring that knowledge and tailoring to the Powder Bowl Pants. These pants fit very well, moving with you and staying largely out of your way. As it pertains to fit and comfort, we are thankful for the fashion trends away from the ultra baggy ski resort gear of a few years back. More closely tailored legs on ski pants move better with the skier or rider and stay out of the way when walking around.

The only usability downside of the trend to narrower leg profiles is that pant cuffs are tighter over ski boots. The latest iteration of the Patagonia Powder Bowl has pant cuffs that take some work to get nestled over ski boot cuffs. All the pants we tested are similarly close-fitting at the bottom.

patagonia powder bowl pants - the draping yet close fit of the powder bowl pants is unique.
The draping yet close fit of the Powder Bowl pants is unique.
Credit: Jediah Porter


Ventilation of ski pants is provided almost exclusively by vertically oriented zips along each leg. The most effective vents, in terms of exchanging air, are those that have no mesh backing and are oriented along the outside of the leg. Vents are backed with mesh and/or oriented on the inner leg for better protection from snow ingress. The vents of the Powder Bowl pants are on the outside of the legs and backed with mesh. They do the job, but the non-meshed vents found on some of its competitors are better.

patagonia powder bowl pants - the exterior, mesh-backed vents of the powder bowl let in air and...
The exterior, mesh-backed vents of the Powder Bowl let in air and keep large chunks of snow out.
Credit: Jediah Porter


We tested the uninsulated version of the Powder Bowl. Most skiers and riders seem to prefer their resort pants uninsulated. This way, you can add the amount of insulation that you need in the form of long underwear. You can also wear the shell pants alone for the warmest or highest-aerobic-output activities. The pants feature a thin, hanging mesh lining that adds some warmth to the equation, compared to other pants that have only the shell fabric between you and the outside world.


Of the major features we look for in ski pants, the Patagonia Powder Bowl is pretty well equipped. There are four pockets, two of which are lined with fleece for comfortable hand warming. There is a Recco reflector for avalanche rescue/recovery on the lower leg. We wish the Powder Bowl pants were better equipped for carrying an avalanche transceiver, but that is not at all important to many.


These are svelte, smoothly tailored pants. They aren't baggy, and yet don't look constricting either striking a balance somewhere in the middle. We appreciate the like-colored zippers and minimal pocket accenting, although the angles of the front cargo pocket and side vent zippers give the pants a sharp look. Overall, the pants look good in every color option.

patagonia powder bowl pants - the powder bowl pants protect and serve for long days in all kinds...
The Powder Bowl pants protect and serve for long days in all kinds of skiing.
Credit: Jediah Porter


The pants are almost as good as more expensive options on the table. Furthermore, the performance, style, and materials will last. Patagonia's warranty and repair service further augment the initial value. As such, these pants are a great investment.


The Patagonia Powder Bowl ski pants are all-around high performers, and we highly recommend them.

Jediah Porter