Gear Review: Patagonia Insulated Powder Bowl Jacket

A good backcountry snow jacket really only needs to be able to do two things: keep you warm, and keep you dry. Patagonia’s Insulated Powder Bowl jacket does both with style, with an insulating layer bonded to a two-layer GORE-TEX Performance Shell that’s designed for waterproof, breathable performance in even the coldest of conditions. The result, according to Patagonia, is a tough, versatile jacket that’s at home on the back bowls as it is on the subway.

Patagonia starts with a two-layer waterproof/breathable shell that’s designed for durable performance in all conditions – wet, dry, cold, windy; whatever you encounter in the woods. The GORE-TEX fabric also offers a durable water repellent finish, to add to its waterproofing abilities. The 100-g Thermogreen insulation (non-removable) keeps your core warm and is fully bonded to the Gore-Tex layer. The Powder Bowl also features a removable hood with laminated visor for extra protection in heavy weather, and it can even be worn over a ski helmet. Watertight coated zippers ensure that everything inside stays dry and warm.

Beyond the performance features, part of the Patagonia sales pitch has to do with overall fit and comfort, and the Powder Bowl doesn’t disappoint on that front either. A total of seven pockets are available (two hand warmers, one chest, one forearm, two interior drop-ins and one interior zippered pocket) as well as coated pit zips that make it easy to control core temperature during high stress winter activities. And, unique to Patagonia, the Powder Bowl includes a built-in powder skirt with webbing loops that can be connected directly to any Patagonia ski or snowboard pants, keeping the skirt in place and snow at bay.

Versatility is the name of the game with the Patagonia Powder Bowl jacket, despite its snow-inspired name, making it the ideal everyday jacket for cold, wet, and windy conditions. I’m not exactly a fan of “do-it-all” jackets that can’t be broken down into shell and insulation layers, depending on conditions, but the Powder Bowl makes sense to me in its simplicity. When heading out into the snow sometimes all I’m looking for is a basic system that I know will keep me warm and dry, without having to over-think it. On those days, the Powder Bowl is my jacket. I just know it will work.

For men, the jacket is available in two colors – brown and black, neither of which are my favorites for the backcountry – and features a somewhat loose “regular” fit.

For more information, click here. To purchase the Insulated Powder Bowl jacket (for men), click here. To purchase the Insulated Powder Bowl jacket (for women), click here.

About the author

Tim Sprinkle

Tim Sprinkle is a Denver-based writer and editor whose work has appeared in dozens of publications, including Outside, Backpacker and Wired.

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