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Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket - Women's Review

Great protection from the elements in a simple yet well-constructed design
Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket - Women's
Credit: Patagonia
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Price:  $400 List | $279.30 at Evo
Pros:  Solid construction, highly functional, ski specific, breathes well
Cons:  On the heavy side, not remarkably flattering
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Betsy Welch ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 23, 2022
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 16
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 9.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 7.0
  • Warmth - 20% 3.0
  • Ventilation - 20% 8.0
  • Style - 10% 7.0
  • Features - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

We've come to expect the best from Patagonia, and the Powder Bowl Jacket doesn't disappoint. It's a basic-appearing, highly functional hardshell that kept us dry and protected from the elements. As one of the longest-running designs in Patagonia's ski shell lineup, the Powder Bowl has all the features you need for a long day on the slopes, like watertight zippers on all five pockets and a roomy, helmet-compatible hood. It might not be the jacket for someone who wants something with more heft and warmth (though it is offered in an insulated version, too). Still, it's perfect for someone who has their layering system dialed and wants a great outer layer to protect them from the elements without standing in the way of getting after it.

Editor's Note: We updated this review for the Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket on March 23, 2022, with a closer look at value, as well as other suggestions for jackets that may better fit your needs and budget.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $400 List
$279.30 at Evo
$450 List$299 List
Check Price at REI
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$199 List
Check Price at REI
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Pros Solid construction, highly functional, ski specific, breathes wellWarm, lofty insulation, soft, very mobile despite insulation, excellent comfort and fitRelatively inexpensive yet high-quality, breathable, great mobility, great ventilationWarm, three jackets in one, well-constructed with thoughtful features, versatileInexpensive, three jackets in one, warm, comfortable
Cons On the heavy side, not remarkably flatteringLackluster ventilationNon-insulating, thin shell material, not for most casual skiersSlim fit, heavy, poor ventilation when both layers are wornNot very stylish, hood not helmet compatible, two layers don't work well when zipped together
Bottom Line Great protection from the elements in a simple yet well-constructed designA super warm and soft resort jacket with a cool utilitarian look, this is perfect for someone who runs a little colderAn excellent value for a high performing technical shell that serves inbounds or in the backcountryThis jacket is versatile and has all the necessary ski features for a long day on the hill, all at a reasonable priceA decent deal for two jackets that can be worn in three combinations, this is a great intro ski jacket
Rating Categories Patagonia Powder Bowl Helly Hansen Powder... Outdoor Research Ca... The North Face Ther... Columbia Whirlibird...
Weather Resistance (20%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
Warmth (20%)
3.0
8.0
2.0
8.0
8.0
Ventilation (20%)
8.0
6.0
9.0
4.0
4.0
Style (10%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Features (10%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
Specs Patagonia Powder Bowl Helly Hansen Powder... Outdoor Research Ca... The North Face Ther... Columbia Whirlibird...
Main Fabric 150D 100% recycled polyester GORE-TEX with DWR coating 70% nylon, 30% polyester 100% Nylon 100% Nylon Legacy Dobby 72% Nylon/ 28% Polyester.
Insulation None Body: 60g PrimaLoft Sleeves: 40g PrimaLoft None 100% Postconsumer recycled polyester Thermarator
Waterproofing Gore-Tex 2L PFC free DWR 3-layer Pertex Shield 2-layer DryVent Omni-Tech
Pockets 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 arm, [internal] 1 zippered, 1 drop 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 zippered sleeve, 2 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 Shell: 5, Liner: 3
Weight 1.7 lbs 2.2 lbs 1.2 lbs 2.0 lbs 2.4 lbs
Hood Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pit Zips? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cuff construction Velcro Velcro with wrist gaiters Velcro Velcro Velcro
Powder skirt? Yes Yes Yes Yes, behind insulating layer Yes
RECCO? Yes Yes No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Patagonia Powder Bowl packs everything you need for a long day in any kind of weather into one, high-performing package. We were impressed by its useful, ski-specific features, extreme durability, and relaxed comfort and fit.

Performance Comparison


Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket - Women's ski jacket - we loved skiing in all conditions in the powder bowl!
We loved skiing in all conditions in the Powder Bowl!

Weather Resistance


The Powder Bowl is crafted from a tough, 2-layer 100% recycled polyester GORE-TEX fabric that makes it waterproof and windproof in the most adverse conditions. The exposed zippers are watertight and don't allow air to bite through. We didn't feel a single bit of moisture coming through the jacket, even under hammering, wet snow. The adjustable hood is more than adequate to fit over a helmet and has an adjustable visor to protect you from the elements further.

Although it's not insulated, the jacket has a mesh lining that helps wick moisture. When we got sweaty, the inside of the jacket didn't. Moisture beaded right off the outside of the jacket, a silly but important visual we love to note.

Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket - Women's ski jacket - the powder bowl keeps out wind, water, and any other weather mother...
The Powder Bowl keeps out wind, water, and any other weather Mother Nature throws at it.

Comfort and Fit


The Powder Bowl isn't trying to be something it's not. It fits just like a ski jacket should — loose without feeling baggy, with plenty of space to move and layer underneath. Despite its outer GORE-TEX shell, it's soft and not a bit stiff and gets even more nimble with use.

The size small fits true to size; we liked the extra room it gave us to play with layers underneath. The adjustable wrist cuffs provide ample space to pull the jacket on over gloves and mittens. The hood is oversized, and we could zip the jacket up over our chins with the hood up. Surprisingly, the non-removable powder skirt doesn't add extra bulk around the hips.

We didn't mind the Powder Bowl's non-removable skirt.
We didn't mind the Powder Bowl's non-removable skirt.
We loved layering up under the Patagonia Powder Bowl
We loved layering up under the Patagonia Powder Bowl

Style


The Powder Bowl certainly wasn't the most stylish jacket of the bunch this year. But it's like an elder statesman: refined and elegant. It doesn't have the fitted body of other jackets we tested, but it falls well below the waist, which we find essential for both good looks and function. It's flattering without being overly girly and comes in four basic colors that look good with solid or print ski pants.

Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket - Women's ski jacket - the powder bowl's style is basic but not boring.
The Powder Bowl's style is basic but not boring.

Warmth


Although this was the jacket's lowest ranking since it's not insulated, we still found that the Powder Bowl kept us warm when we were skiing hard. We like the versatility of hardshells as something we can layer up under or keep on the light side when it's warmer out. We did try this jacket on a few hikes within the resort and found that it struck a good balance of breathability and warmth.

We wouldn't wear this jacket on a frigid day without plenty of insulation underneath, but it's warmer than it looks. Our home hill in Colorado is notoriously windy, and the windproofing of this jacket helped us stay warm. Nevertheless, we recommend wearing a few thin to mid-sized baselayers underneath for most applications.

Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket - Women's ski jacket - we love big hoods and big cuffs to help block the wind!
We love big hoods and big cuffs to help block the wind!

Ventilation


Patagonia may have the best pit zips out there; with dual zippers and a wide, gaping design, they're practical and easy to use. We often unzipped the pits on long, challenging runs and didn't have to rush to close them up on the chair ride back up. The shell itself is fairly breathable despite its bomber polyester GORE-TEX outer lining. We got slightly overheated while hiking, but the pit zips saved the day again. This jacket wouldn't shine in a pure backcountry setting, but it breathes more than well enough for the resort and the sidecountry.

Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket - Women's ski jacket - patagonia knows how to make a long pit zip!
Patagonia knows how to make a long pit zip!

Features


Patagonia has been in the ski jacket game long enough to know what we need and what we don't. The pocket situation on this jacket is as close to perfect as we've seen. The hand pockets are ample and microfleece-lined. The chest pocket even has a smaller zipped pocket within it, so you never have to stress about accidentally pulling out your credit card and cash when you reach for your phone. Two pockets are inside, one for googles and another zippered, mesh-lined pocket. Other than the pockets, we love the oversized, adjustable hood, wide cuffs with velcro adjustment, and waist and hood cinching systems. Everything is well-actuated so that when the weather turns quickly, we never have to spend time tugging on cords and cables.

Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket - Women's ski jacket - the powder bowl's hood is adjustable and has a surprisingly useful...
The Powder Bowl's hood is adjustable and has a surprisingly useful visor in the front.

Should You Buy the Powder Bowl?


The Patagonia Powder Bowl is an understated, elegant hard shell. It was one of the most weatherproof jackets we tested, and we were impressed with how protective it is despite its lack of flair. The pockets are bomber and hold everything we need for a long day on the slopes. We were perfectly warm with the right number of layers, and we liked the relaxed fit that allowed us to move and dress for the weather. This isn't a jacket for someone who takes it slowly all day and never gets their body temperature up, but we think the Powder Bowl is for those who want protection from any type of weather and a jacket that can keep up all day. Furthermore, Patagonia is known for its iron-clad guarantee, and the company's commitment to sustainability means that they'll always repair your gear at little to no cost. We find this to be a valuable perk.

What Other Women's Ski Jackets Should You Consider?


The Patagonia Powder Bowl isn't cheap for a hardshell but is an excellent choice, particularly for its weather resistance and feature set. Savvy skiers and riders, particularly those focused on backcountry travel, should closely compare the value and performance of this jacket to the Outdoor Research Carbide. No shell jacket – even the most expensive models like the Arc'teryx Incendia – is going to offer warmth like an insulated jacket, like the Helly Hansen Powderqueen 3.0 or convertible The North Face Thermoball Eco Snow Triclimate 3-in-1.

Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket - Women's ski jacket - the powder bowl was a worthy companion on every ski outing we took...
The Powder Bowl was a worthy companion on every ski outing we took it on.

Betsy Welch
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