Patagonia talks tough on environmental protection, even threatening to sue the president over his disregard for national monuments. But the brand has more than earned the right to use that platform because it puts its money where its mouth is, too. Exhibit A, given the season, is its radical new snow pant and shell made from 100 percent recycled GORE-TEX. The PowSlayer setup isn’t just extremely functional. It fills Patagonia’s promise to create products made from repurposed materials whenever possible. And if those products fail you, they’ll fix them. For free. For as long as the gear lasts. And the way this stuff is made, that’s a long time (and they want to recycle it for you when it’s done). It’s all part of Patagonia’s ‘Extended Play,’ program.
I had the pleasure of testing out the PowSlayer pant and bib early last spring in the Sierras during a hut trip (I know, tough gig). The stuff just works. It doesn’t look bad either. The PowSlayer Jacket is completely breathable, completely lightweight, and is really ideal for touring where you need to put layers on and off to control your body temperature. Wind? Not gonna get through this gem if you’re riding a chair during a storm, either. Other than wishing it was a bit less expensive, you really can’t go wrong with this jacket for any season, even rainy days in the city. And while it is an investment, you’ve got that guarantee that Patagonia will fix it if it breaks down (which isn’t likely).
The PowSlayer Bibs have really been tweaked this year and feel as lightweight as the jacket. No matter what you ride–splitboard or skis, snowboard or alpine setup–the bibs can be adjusted to your liking. The high back keeps the snow way out of your drawers if you’re prone to diggers and if you’re looking for durable, breathable and lightweight, this pant is the business. The pockets are watertight for your “things” like car keys or phone (same with the jacket’s pockets) and the cut on these pants is nearly perfect, allowing for maximum movement wherever you take ’em. And they’re so lightweight that it feels like you’re touring in your underlayers, which probably weigh more.
Here’s the thing: the PowSlayer setup is super versatile, for all kinds of snowsports enthusiasts. And really, both pant and bib can be used for way more than just touring or backcountry use. With layering, you could sit all day on a wet, sloppy chairlift with this gear and stay really dry. But who wants to do that? Get out there.
Max Hammer, slayin’ pow: