Expert Review: Patagonia Powder Bowl Pants

Published on 10/18/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the ski pants, which I purchased with my own money in March of 2022.
Tyese Messerman, Snowboarding Expert
By Snowboarding Expert Tyese Messerman

All photos courtesy of Tyese Messerman

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the ski pants, which I purchased with my own money in March of 2022.

My take

The Patagonia Powder Bowl Insulated Pants are a solid pant designed for intermediate to advanced riders who are shredding the resort or even dabbling into the backcountry on chilly days. They are made of a durable GORE-TEX material that is very waterproof and breathable and have a super comfortable design.

About the pants I own

  • Brand: Patagonia
  • Model: Powder Bowl Insulated Pants
  • Size Fit: True to size

About me

  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 130lbs
  • Pant size: Small
  • Experience: 23+ years of snowboarding

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: March 2022
  • Days used: 10+
  • Where I’ve used them: Oregon, Utah, backcountry
  • Weather conditions used in: Spring conditions, very snowy conditions, one rainy day

How they perform

Ease of Movement

What I was looking for

I was looking for my first pair of GORE-TEX snow pants. I had always stuck to around 15–20K waterproofing, but the fabric of my current pants and bibs kept wetting out in wet conditions, so I wanted to finally upgrade to GORE-TEX. I was also looking for a bit of insulation, as I planned to primarily use these resort riding, and only on colder, blustery days in the backcountry.

Why I chose this gear

These pants use a high-quality GORE-TEX 2L Membrane fabric, and they also have reinforcements around the ankle area with heavy-duty material that I liked. The zippers for the ventilation are diagonal across the outer thigh which also really appealed to me. Overall, Patagonia makes very quality garments, and I like them as a brand and manufacturer. I also looked at the Volcom Knox Insulated Gore-Tex pants, and also the Dakine Remington Pure 2L Gore-Tex pants. Both seemed like durable products, but I ended up choosing the Patagonia pants mostly because they had RECCO built in and I like the safety that provides.

What I love about them

  • Fit: I personally like a more tapered, slim design, and I would not say these have that. They are more of a straight cut, and are wide enough at the bottom to not need zippers to get over my boots. That being said, they still fit quite well through the hips and don’t appear too ‘bulky’ when they’re on.
  • Comfort: These Powder Bowl pants are very comfortable and feel very high-quality. Being that they are a fairly straight design, I find that I have to use the inner velcro tabs to adjust them tighter to go around my waist. This causes a tiny bit of bulging material but doesn’t compromise comfort. The polyester plain weave lining material is very soft and comfortable as well.
  • Warmth: These pants have proven to be very warm in all sorts of conditions. I generally just wear Icebreaker 250 leggings under them, and I haven’t been cold yet, even in a few snowstorms. The material is very pliable, not too heavy, and soft feeling, despite being both GORE-TEX and insulated.
  • Waterproofing: The Gore-Tex material used is very waterproof. I have ridden in snowstorms and these never even wet out. This is especially appealing when riding the lift in a snowstorm or when transitioning in the backcountry from touring mode back to snowboard mode.
  • Breathability: The 2L Gore-Tex membrane feels highly breathable. Despite being insulated, I generally have no problem skinning in these unless it is a very warm spring day. The zip vents are really helpful, too, when trying to get a little extra airflow.
  • Durability: The material feels very durable to the touch. I especially like the scuff guards around the ankle that are very abrasion resistant and help to protect the bottom of the pants. I personally have found this helpful when using crampons on a steep face: the pants don’t easily snag. Also for resort riders—when strapping bindings on and off, this protects the pants very well too.
  • Ease of movement: I find these to be very comfortable and easy to move around in. They have articulated knees which is helpful for both snowboarding and hiking alike. They fit a little high-waisted on me, which isn’t always my favorite, but they definitely stay up better than some of my pants, and I don’t need suspenders or a belt with these.
  • Quality: Overall, these feel high-quality and pliable. They’re very comfortable, waterproof, and breathable for chilly days on the slopes.
  • Special Features: I mentioned they are equipped with RECCO, which is awesome. I also love the gaiters that snugly fit over my boot and the fact that the front and back pockets are all zippered, so nothing can fall out.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Weight: I can’t say I feel weighed down in these pants, but they are still insulated, so they are heavier than non-insulated pants. If one’s used to a GORE-TEX shell and then put these on, they could feel a little heavy.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with this gear came on an unexpected pow day. We actually went splitboarding up a small mountain across from the local ski resort. The snow was flying and every step seemed to accumulate more and more powder. While it was a challenge to quickly and efficiently get the skins off and the bindings adjusted for going down, these pants kept me so dry and cozy I couldn’t believe it. They’re some of my favorites!

Value for the money vs. other options

There are definitely other GORE-TEX options out there that come in a little bit cheaper, but for the overall design and quality, I think these are definitely worth it. For example, the Dakine Remington Pure 2L’s come in almost $100 cheaper, but they also don’t have all the bells and whistles and just don’t feel as nice. The Arc’teryx Sentinel’s come in more expensive, but they’re an even higher-end fabric. These pants seem to fit right in the middle as far as quality and cost.

Final verdict

Overall, I really love these pants. They are comfortable for all sorts of activities, whether it be at the resort or in the backcountry, they are very durable, and they’re very breathable. They are warm for chilly days, and exceptionally waterproof even in rainy or really snowy conditions. They’re a great bang for the buck!

Tyese Messerman, Snowboarding Expert
Tyese Messerman
Snowboarding Expert
36 Reviews
653 Customers helped
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