Reviews You Can Rely On

Patagonia PowSlayer Review

Good all-around hardshell pants for a variety of activities, at a steep price
patagonia powslayer ski pants review
Credit: Patagonia
Price:  $589 List
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 13, 2022
70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 17
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 9.0
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 6.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 7.0
  • Warmth - 10% 4.0
  • Features - 10% 7.0
  • Style - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Patagonia PowSlayer is a protective hardshell pant with a Gore-Tex membrane. It keeps water out, thanks to a waterproof shell fabric, an excellent DWR finish, waterproof zipper, and taped seams. The fit is a little awkward, with less room around the hips and crotch and extra room throughout the lower leg, but it works for most people. The style, features, and ventilation are about average. For such an expensive pant, we expect a little more, but if you are looking for a solid pair of hardshell ski pants, these won't disappoint.
REASONS TO BUY
Great weather resistance
Versatile
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Slim-fitting waist
Not warm

Compare to Similar Products

 
patagonia powslayer ski pants review
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $589 List$549 List
$549.00 at Backcountry
$399.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$329 List
Check Price at REI
$170 List
Check Price at REI
Overall Score Sort Icon
70
84
80
74
65
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Great weather resistance, versatileHighly weather resistant, great fit, good features and styleComfortable, weather resistant, great features, excellent priceGreat performance at a low price, tons of features, weather resistant, breathableGreat value, warm, comfortable, relaxed vibes
Cons Expensive, slim-fitting waist, not warmExpensive, not warm, vents have meshNot warm, less durable than other hardshell pantsLacks good style and warmth, average comfortLimited seam and pocket sealing, less effective vent design
Bottom Line Good all-around hardshell pants for a variety of activities, at a steep priceThese are the best ski pants we could find, thanks to their excellent fit and weather resistance, freeride style, and great durabilityThese best-in-class pants feature a removable bib and excellent weather resistanceAn affordable hardshell that provides great weather resistance, ventilation, and featuresA good insulated ski pant for budget-minded resort skiers who don't need a technical pair of pants
Rating Categories Patagonia PowSlayer Norrona Lofoten Gor... Mammut Haldigrat HS Outdoor Research Sk... The North Face Free...
Weather Resistance (25%)
9.0
10.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Fit and Comfort (25%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Ventilation (20%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
Warmth (10%)
4.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
9.0
Features (10%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Style (10%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Specs Patagonia PowSlayer Norrona Lofoten Gor... Mammut Haldigrat HS Outdoor Research Sk... The North Face Free...
Main fabric 80D recycled nylon plain-weave 70D x 160D 100% recycled nylon 100% Polyamide 88% Nylon, 12% Spandex 100% Nylon
Insulation None None None None 60 g Heatseeker Eco Polyester (50% Recycled)
Waterproofing Gore-Tex 3-layer Gore-Tex DRYtechnology Pro AscentShell DryVent (2-layer)
Waistline construction Snap/zipper fly with grown-on blet loops Snap/zipper fly with adjustable velcro waist tabs Snap/zipper fly Snap/zipper fly with external velcro adjustment, belt loops Snap and zipper, Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops
Weight (in pounds) 1.21 lbs 1.44 lbs 1.09 1.32 lbs 1.32 lbs
Weight (in grams) 547 g 653 g 496 g 599 g 599 g
# of Pockets 3 3 3 4 3
Vents External thigh zips Outer thigh zips Outer thigh zips Inner thigh zips Inner thigh zips, with mesh
Ski-specific features Scuff guards, gaiters Reinforced interior ankle, snap-in solution for powderskirt, gaiters Removable bib, Dyneema ski edge protection Scuff guards, powder cuffs, articulated knees, beacon clip Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs
Recco Yes No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


patagonia powslayer ski pants review - the powslayer is a nice hard shell pant for mostly resort skiing...
The PowSlayer is a nice hard shell pant for mostly resort skiing, with the occasional backcountry tour thrown in.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Weather Resistance


The PowSlayer is a three-layer hardshell pant utilizing Gore-Tex for its waterproofing. It keeps all liquid water out, thanks to this waterproof shell material. It also has waterproof zippers and taped seams, so that water can't get in through the stitching. The legs have elastic boot gauntlets to prevent snow from getting into your ski boots. One minor flaw is the lack of a mechanism to tighten the leg cuffs around a boot, a nice feature when bootpacking through deep snow to access terrain. But overall, these pants perform well when the weather takes a turn for the worst.

patagonia powslayer ski pants review - the powslayer has waterproof zippers and a gore-tex membrane to keep...
The PowSlayer has waterproof zippers and a Gore-Tex membrane to keep out all water and snow.
Credit: Sam Willits

Fit and Comfort


The PowSlayer has a tricky fit that is hard to get perfect. We thought the waist was a bit tight for the given size, especially when compared to the length of the legs. Our lead tester found himself choosing between a smaller size with a snug waist, but plenty of room in the legs, and a larger size with a roomier waist and baggy legs. There are hook-and-loop tabs on the inside of the waist belt to tighten the fit. The pants aren't stretchy, and the hard shell material is relatively thick and stiff. Overall, the fit is a little off, so don't become attached to these pants until you try them on.

patagonia powslayer ski pants review - the fit of the powslayer is a bit tight in the crotch, despite being...
The fit of the PowSlayer is a bit tight in the crotch, despite being roomy throughout the legs. It's a tricky fit that isn't perfect for everyone.
Credit: Sam Willits

Ventilation


The PowSlayer uses a thick hard shell fabric to keep water out, and this fabric also prevents the exchange of warm air from the body to the outer environment. These pants breathe decently, but on the skin track or boot pack, we had to open the vents to dump heat. The vents are 12 inches long and don't have any mesh covering the openings.

patagonia powslayer ski pants review - long, open vents allow plenty of air movement when you start to...
Long, open vents allow plenty of air movement when you start to build up heat.
Credit: Sam Willits

Warmth


These pants are uninsulated, so they don't provide much warmth. As our bodies warm the air inside the pant, this warm air becomes trapped between the pant fabric and the leg. Without puffy insulation to keep this space filled with warm air, you'll need to layer underneath appropriately. Don't expect these pants to keep you warm on their own, since the thin shell fabric allows the easy conduction of heat away from your body while sitting on chairlifts.

patagonia powslayer ski pants review - a thick and burly hard shell fabric is all that lies between your...
A thick and burly hard shell fabric is all that lies between your legs and the winter cold.
Credit: Sam Willits

Features


The PowSlayer has decent features, but they don't blow us away. There are two thigh pockets, and the right side pocket has a transceiver sleeve and clip loop if you plan on venturing into the sidecountry or backcountry. There is one hip pocket on the right side, but it is too small to be that useful for anything other than a credit card or stick of lip balm. The elastic powder cuffs are great, and there are also scuff guards on each leg to add durability. Overall, these pants have enough features to make your day easier.

patagonia powslayer ski pants review - two well-placed thigh pockets and one hip pocket are useful features.
Two well-placed thigh pockets and one hip pocket are useful features.
Credit: Sam Willits

Style


We think these pants look good. They have a tailored fit and some articulation, which makes them look athletic and high-performance, but not overly so. The zippers are slightly darker than the rest of the pant, which adds subtle highlights, but it's not over the top. The color options are limited and understated, which is how we usually prefer our pants, so that we can add more style with our jackets, but that choice is up to you.

patagonia powslayer ski pants review - we like the look of these pants, with their refined tailoring.
We like the look of these pants, with their refined tailoring.
Credit: Sam Willits

Should You Buy the Patagonia PowSlayer?


At such a high price, we don't think the PowSlayer is worth it unless you're a Patagonia loyalist. They perform about average for high-end Gore-Tex hardshell pants, and their tricky fit takes them down a notch. These are quality pants, to be sure, but we think there are better ski pants out there. And, there are better pants at a lower price.

patagonia powslayer ski pants review - ripping groomers in the powslayer during early-season testing.
Ripping groomers in the PowSlayer during early-season testing.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

What Other Ski Pants Should You Consider?


If these pants appeal to you, check out the top-scoring Norrona Lofoten Gore-Tex, which have a better fit and better features. At the time of publishing, they're also a bit cheaper than the PowSlayer. The Arc'teryx Sabre Pant, one of our long-time favorite pants, also performs better and costs less. If you are shopping on a tight budget, the Outdoor Research Skyward II Pant nearly matches the performance of the best pants. For a more backcountry-specific hardshell pant, the Patagonia Stormstride is a great option.

Jeff Dobronyi
 
You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More