Patagonia Snowshot Pants Review
Cons: Light on features, not stylish, poor ventilation
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Patagonia Snowshot Pants
$149.25 at Backcountry
|$299.00 at Amazon|
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$169.00 at REI
|$168.71 at Evo|
Compare at 2 sellers
$149.00 at REI
|Pros||Comfortable, inexpensive, relatively warm||Great performance at a low price, tons of features, weather resistant, breathable||Great value, warm, comfortable, relaxed vibes||Stretchy, soft, comfortable, many pockets, breathable||Affordable, warm, comfortable|
|Cons||Light on features, not stylish, poor ventilation||Lacks good style and warmth, average comfort||Limited seam and pocket sealing, less effective vent design||Not waterproof, thin material, climbing style||Light on the features, fit is a bit loose, unremarkable style|
|Bottom Line||These relatively warm and inexpensive pants are great for occasional skiers||An affordable hardshell that provides great weather resistance, ventilation, and features||A good insulated ski pant for budget-minded resort skiers who don't need a technical pair of pants||Durable softshell pants for most days on the backcountry skin track||An affordable and warm pair of ski pants with a bland style|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia Snowshot...||Outdoor Research Sk...||The North Face Free...||Outdoor Research Tr...||REI Co-op Powderbou...|
|Weather Resistance (25%)|
|Fit and Comfort (25%)|
|Specs||Patagonia Snowshot...||Outdoor Research Sk...||The North Face Free...||Outdoor Research Tr...||REI Co-op Powderbou...|
|Main fabric||70% Recycled polyester, 30% Polyester micro-twill||88% Nylon, 12% Spandex||100% Nylon||87% nylon, 13% spandex||Nylon|
|Insulation||None||None||60 g Heatseeker Eco Polyester (50% Recycled)||None||Recycled polyester|
|Waterproofing||H2No||AscentShell||DryVent (2-layer)||Pertex Shield+ (partial)||2-layer waterproof breathable laminate|
|Waistline construction (elastic? snaps?)||Snap/zipper fly with internal velcro adjustment, belt loops||Snap/zipper fly with external velcro adjustment, belt loops||Snap and zipper, Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops||Snaps. Velcro tabs for adjustment, belt loops||Button zip fly with hook/loop adjustment|
|Weight (in pounds)||1.34 lbs||1.32 lbs||1.32 lbs||1.69 lbs||1.64 lbs|
|Weight (in grams)||608 g||599 g||599 g||767 g||744 g|
|# of Pockets||2||4||3||4||3|
|Vents?||Inner thigh zips with mesh||Inner thigh zips||Inner thigh zips, with mesh||Exterior thigh zips, with mesh||Interior thigh zips|
|Ski-specific features||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs||Scuff guards, powder cuffs, articulated knees, beacon clip||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs||beacon clip and sleeve, scuff guards, touring cuffs, cuff zipper||Scuff guards, elastic powder cuffs, elastic waist|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia Snowshot pants use a proprietary waterproof/breathable membrane to keep wet weather out. In our testing, it does a good job, but the zippered pockets and vents aren't waterproof, allowing some liquid water to penetrate to the inside of the pants. These pants won't stand up to the stormiest winter weather, but they do just fine for most ski days. If you ski where it regularly rains or where the snow is wet and heavy, these pants won't be enough to protect you all winter long. If you choose to go out on fair weather days, though, there will be no issue.
Fit and Comfort
The Snowshot features a soft, two-layer external shell fabric, and a hanging mesh liner on the inside, which combine to make a very comfortable pair of pants. The fit is baggy and loose, which we don't love, but it also doesn't impair our range of motion. They feel untailored and somewhat elementary, but for the price, that's what we'd expect.
One nice touch is the velcro elastic waist adjustment straps on either side of the waistband. These help the user customize the waist circumference to their body, and avoid having to wear a belt (although belt loops are also included).
In general, hanging mesh linings prevent the free flow of air inside a pair of pants, which helps them remain warm but also prevents ventilation to a degree. The Snowshot also features vents on the inside of each thigh, but these vents have mesh covering the openings. This mesh prevents snow from entering the vent holes, but it also slows airflow, preventing efficient ventilation. If you enjoy aerobic skiing in mogul fields, freeride terrain, hiking to find fresh snow, and spring skiing, these pants won't breathe well enough for you.
In lieu of insulation, the Patagonia Snowshot has a hanging mesh lining that traps air between the mesh and the shell, which is then warmed by our body heat. In our experience, hanging mesh liners provide plenty of warmth for most days on the ski hill. There are warmer pants on the market, but these hit the sweet spot between warmth and versatility.
The Snowshot is light on features. It has two waist pockets with diagonal zipper openings and storm flaps that make the pockets awkward to access. It also comes with a RECCO reflector and an attachment point for a strap on Patagonia jackets that allows the pants and jacket to act like a snowsuit. If you want pockets galore, look elsewhere.
There is nothing special about the look of the Snowshot pants. They have a slight articulation in the knee, which means the fabric is tailored with a bend where the body naturally curves, but there is so much loose, baggy material that it's hard to tell. For slim and athletic users, these pants aren't form-fitting, which gives them an unsophisticated style. The color options aren't that inspiring either.
These pants provide good performance for most skiers. They tick all of the boxes, providing decent weather resistance, comfort, and warmth, but they lack the refined features, style, and ventilation of higher-priced models. For the occasional user, they are a great option, but there are better pants on the market for a lower price.
The Patagonia Snowshot pants provide good performance for occasional users, but they lack the refinement that advanced skiers and riders look for. They'll get the job done, but considering the performance of other models at even more attractive prices, it's hard for us to recommend these pants strongly.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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