Salt Lake City, UT – If you’re found on the skin track as often as you’re on the chair, then Patagonia’s new PowSlayer system is worth a closer look.
At $699 for the jacket and $599 for the bibs for both men’s and women’s models, PowSlayer performance doesn’t come cheaply. But we’ve tested both pieces both in the backcountry and at the resort for a full two months, and they’re now our go-to ski outerwear for just about any weather condition that the mountain dares to serve up.
PowSlayer is part of Patagonia’s Backcounty Touring Collection that utilizes cutting-edge fabrics and designs to cater to the most discriminating customers who seek both performance and style.
“The new Backcountry Touring Collection represents a melding of our expertise building products for both high-end alpinism and freeriding to create wearable equipment crafted specifically for backcountry skiers and riders,” said Kristo Torgersen, Patagonia’s Product Director for Alpine and Snow. “Working closely with our alpine and snow ambassadors, we refined each piece to excel in a distinct backcountry application and perform as part of a layering system, whether skinning up, riding down, under bluebird conditions or white-out blowing snow.”
Both the PowSlayer jacket and bibs feature fully taped three-layer, top-of-the-line Gore-Tex Pro shells that keep wind and moisture out, yet they provide the best breathability available and are eminently packable. A relaxed cut allows ample freedom of movement and eliminates any restrictions, while providing plenty of room for layering. The jacket’s hood and hem each feature an embedded Cohaesive cord lock for one-handed operation, even while wearing gloves. Recco corpse finders are also embedded within each garment.
The PowSlayer Jacket includes a two-way adjustable helmet-compatible hood, a fixed powder skirt, and eight zippered pockets (two exterior chest including one with media device cable routing, two exterior slash, one exterior shoulder for an RFID lift pass, and one interior) as well as two unprotected internal drop pockets that are perfect for storing climbing skins while executing quick backcountry laps. Cuffs feature slim hook-and-loop closures that fit beneath gauntlet gloves, and zipper pulls are easily manipulated with gloves on. Once we got the knack of the embedded Cohaesive cord locks we could operate them without even looking. Generous pit zips provide ample ventilation for those days when you’re skinning in the solar oven.
Patagonia’s PowSlayer bibs exhibit similar design and construction. Scuff guards are large and durable, and gaiters feature a hook to clip to ski boots to keep them from riding up. There are five zippered pockets: two slash, one rear and one on each side of the bib top. Side zips ventilate along the outside of the top half to two-thirds of each leg. Be forewarned that the bibs tend to run very large; we had to cheat a bit to get the hook-and-loop fasteners to meet when adjusted.
The PowSlayer jacket and bibs are designed to work together as a system. A strap affixed to the lower back area of the jacket’s powder skirt connects to the bibs to prevent gaps that allow cold air in, and keep jackets from riding up to stop that draft.
We’ve been testing this system for about three dozen ski days, and the garments are still exhibiting no signs of wear whatsoever. All welds and seams are holding up their end of the bargain. Scuff guards are still intact. The DWR finish successfully fended off the coffee spill that one of our testers subjected the jacket to, even after its test laundering with Nikwax Tech Wash.
Sure, the PowSlayer garments are pricey, but this is one of those occasions when you actually get what you pay for.