The brand new Patagonia PowSlayer not only annihilates snow and inclement weather, but also kills almost any memory of your father’s old Patagonia jacket. Yes, the PowSlayer is environmentally friendly and constructed with impeccable quality just like your dad’s jacket, but unlike older Patagonia items, the styling, new technology and cut of this jacket places Patagonia in the upper echelon of contemporary technical outerwear brands.
The PowSlayer is one of my new favorite go-to true shells this season and for good reason. It performs better than most of the other shells I tested this year and also fits and looks better too. The 3-Layer GORE-TEX Pro nylon fabric used is top of the line, lightweight, durable and highly breathable. This jacket will easily stand up in coastal regions during the nastiest of conditions. Some additional features I really like are the non-coated water resistant front zipper which is much easier to utilize with gloves on than coated zippers, the coated Slim Zip zippers for the outer pockets that reduce weight, the easy to access chest media pocket with cord pull through (I love that Patagonia is an outdoor brand that doesn’t overlook things like this), the easy to access zipperless front cargo pockets ideal for energy bar storage, and the back of the hood adjustment feature that ensures maximum peripheral vision.
Even though I love this jacket overall, I do however want to point out one shortcoming that you should be aware of. The Touch Point System (embeds cord locks in the hem) seems great however the two cord locks that are located on either side of your face for additional hood adjustments don’t seem to work very well. You can pull the draw cords at the base of your neck for additional hood security, but the second you start moving your head around or backwards, these both come loose and the feature quickly eliminates its usefulness. I’m not sure if it’s because the locks aren’t strong enough or the cords are too slick, but it’s something you should know about. The lock at the back of the hood however works just fine and is the most important hood adjustment anyway.
All and all, the PowSlayer is still one of the best new jackets on the market this season and quickly replaced my beloved Primo setup from last winter. It is securely in my personal arsenal this season and its high-quality construction will help ensure that it lasts for many, many seasons to come. The $679 price tag is definitely hard for most people to swallow, but if you can spring for this level of ski/snowboard jacket investment, you will have difficulty finding another shell that can compete.