The Patagonia Powder Bowl is a good resort jacket for skiers that are going to get out 25-50 times a year and need some decent protection from the elements. The Powder Bowl will also allow these skiers to take to the backcountry from time to time.
Patagonia Powder Bowl Ski Jacket Review
Matt’s Specs: Sizing Info
Waterproofing and Breathability: The Patagonia Powder Bowl has a 2-Layer Gore-Tex fabric for solid waterproofing and moderate breathability. Gore-Tex is still the standard for high end waterproofing and even at 2-layers it will do a good job at keeping the wet weather out. The Powder Bowl would be a good jacket for those in wet climates, and probably more than enough unless you’re seeing wet snow and rain on a daily basis. Even then, a 3-Layer Gore-Tex shell is only slightly better at keeping you dry. Breathability is good, but not great. I’ve always found Gore-Tex to be good at the resort, but not great when hiking to some of the steeper terrain. You could use this as a backcountry jacket, but understand that there are more breathable materials available.
Warmth: The Patagonia Powder Bowl is a 2-Layer shell with a mesh liner. This really won’t provide a whole lot in the way of warmth, and without a good mid-layer you’ll feel the chill of a cold day. Personally, I like shells because they allow me the option of using them on a warm day, and then layering underneath for the cold days. As long as you have a good mid-layer, shells can be used just about any day on the mountain. If you’re looking for that warm jacket for the cold days on the mountain, this isn’t it.
Fit: The Patagonia Powder Bowl has a slightly tailored fit that still works well for active skiers. The jacket is articulated, and even with the semi-tight fit, the Powder Bowl doesn’t feel restricting. At my size, I could go with a medium or a small. The medium fit well, but does feel a bit more traditional than tailored. If you’re my size and like the extra room go with the medium. I personally like the fit of the small better. It feels more tailored, looks really nice, and is still articulated enough to feel unrestricted. The small also gives me enough room to layer underneath without feeling bulky.
Features: The Patagonia Powder Bowl is designed to keep you dry on the snow, while giving you all the features you need for the resort. A 2-Layer Gore-Tex shell will keep you dry on most days. The articulated hood is helmet compatible. This type of hood sites flat while not in use, and gives you decent coverage when over the helmet. The only downside is that it leaves the cheeks exposed. However, it makes it much easier to wear while skiing and still see what’s going on around you. There are plenty of pockets, and I found space for just about everything I bring with me on the lift. The only negative I found was the horizontally placed chest pocket. I find these a bit awkward to use, but they are functional, and it’s really just a preference thing for me. The powder skirt fits well, and does a good job of keeping the snow out.
Bottom Line: The Patagonia Powder Bowl is a solid low-end technical shell for the serious resort skier. It’s not quite as bomber as some jackets, but for the price it’s not a bad resort shell.