Patagonia Women's Powslayer Bib Pants

This review is my honest opinion of the snow pants which I purchased with my own money in November of 2019.

Close up of snowpants on a skier.

All photos courtesy of Hunter R.

Published on

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snow pants which I purchased with my own money in November of 2019.

My take

The Patagonia Powslayer Women’s Bib Pants are an awesome option for those looking for waterproof but non-insulated ski pants with a lot of ventilation capabilities. They keep me dry and protected from the wind and will last forever.

Two skiers on a hill hug each other with their poles in the air.

About the pants

  • Brand: Patagonia
  • Model: Patagonia PowSlayer Bib Pants
  • Size Fit: Patagonias sizing is a little all over the map, I have some products from them that are a size medium and tight, and some that are a extra small and too large, but I am generally an XS across most brands and found these to be a great fit in XS.

About me

  • Height: 5’3
  • Weight: 110
  • Pant size: 27/28/XS
  • Experience: 20+ years

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: November 2019
  • Days used: 100
  • Where I’ve used them: Backcountry and resort skiing in Utah
  • Weather conditions used in: Sunny spring days, blizzards, windy sleet, rainy wet days, freezing but dry days

How they perform

Ease of Movement

What I was looking for

I was looking for waterproof ski pants to use on mostly backcountry days that would last for a long time and had side zips so that I didn't overheat on the hikes up. I wanted a bib style so that I could comfortably adjust layering under my pants depending on the weather conditions without worrying that my ski pants would be too tight or too loose regardless of what I was wearing under them.

Why I chose this gear

I chose this product because it was waterproof and has full side zips on the legs so that I can unzip on the way up if need be. At the time I bought them I had some old softshell ski pants that I had been using on resort days. I didn’t like the fit, but they also were really warm and no longer waterproof. I knew from these previous pants that I wanted something with a more adjustable fit—hence the bib style—and something that was going to be waterproof without getting too hot. I also like that the bib style is just suspenders instead of additional material as some bib-style pants are (as in they zip all the way up to the chest). The suspenders are removable so it didn’t feel like a huge commitment if I decided I hated bib-style pants. I have also used some 2-layer Gore-Tex jackets previously, but they didn’t last as long as I hoped, so I was willing to pay the extra bucks to get a 3-layer Gore-Tex pant option that would keep me dry when I needed it to! I am short and it can be hard to find snow pants that don't get in the way of my ski boot because of this. I got the XS short version and they are the perfect length for me.

Back view of the Patagonia Powslayer Bib Pants.

Vents and drop seat on the back.

What I love about them

  • Fit: I am short so I wanted something that would not be too long or get in the way of my ski boots. These came in a short so that was a good option for me. I also liked that they are a baggier fit, but that they don't fall down due to the suspenders. This makes it really easy to wear either just a thinner base layer under them on warm days without worrying that they will fall down, or a thicker base layer and even some fleece pants under them on freezing days or resort days where I won’t be as active, without worrying that my pants will be too tight.
  • Waterproofing: These are top-of-the-line waterproof, due to the 3 layer Gore Tex, and though it's reflected in the price, I have never had an issue with them soaking through at all, so if that's a priority, these are great pants! The seams and zippers are fully taped as well as the pockets.
  • Durability: So far I have put a lot of days on them and they have done great, with no real wear and tear. I do wash them with a special waterproofing wash and take pretty good care of them, but still use them quite a bit and I have nothing durability-wise to report as an issue. Patagonia also has a great repair program, so if I did have any issues with them there is the peace of mind that I could always take it in there and see what they could do! There is also a little protector over the material near the boot area so that they don’t prematurely rip there since that's a high contact area, a great durability feature for Patagonia to add.
  • Weight: They are really lightweight since they are only a hardshell and not insulated.
  • Special Features: They have two pockets on the right side and one pocket on the left side. One of the pockets on the right is a bit lower on the leg and has a little sleeve that could fit a phone or credit card or something so that it's not just loose in the pocket. The lower pocket on the right side has a little cord to attach a beacon, which is a great feature since they are mostly backcountry skiing pants. They also have a drop seat, meaning I can just unbuckle the pants instead of taking the suspenders off if I need to use the restroom! This is an awesome feature in women’s pants so that as much time isn’t wasted taking everything on and off just to pee. It also spares me from getting as cold when I need to pee since I don't have to totally take my jacket off.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Comfort: They are 3-layer Gore-Tex so they do feel a bit plasticky as waterproof material sometimes does.
  • Warmth: Though they are wind resistant, they are not insulated at all, so they are not a good option if that’s the priority or for those who are mostly resort skiing on cold days.
  • Breathability: They are not the most breathable option, though Gore-Tex is still quite a bit more breathable than most other waterproofing materials on the market. However, they make up for it with the full side zips.
  • Ease of movement: Though I don't think they are restrictive at all, they again feel a bit plasticky and sound loud when moving thanks to the 3-layer Gore-Tex.
Front view of the Patagonia Powslayer Bib Pant.

Vents and pockets on the front

Favorite moment with this gear

My first time wearing these pants was on a CAT skiing day trip and they were awesome. It wasn’t bad weather at all but the snow was so deep and we did so many laps that if I had used my old softshells I think they would have felt wet by the end of the day. It really solidified that I had gotten the right pants and made me excited about the ski season ahead with them.

Value for the money vs. other options

They are a bit pricier than many other waterproof pants on the market because 3-layer Gore-Tex is significantly pricier than 2- or 2.5-layer Gore-Tex. Skiers who aren’t really going to put them through the wringer or who only ski on warmer and good weather days probably can get away with a cheaper option. That being said, how long they last, along with Patagonia’s repair program, and their minimalist but high-quality design, make them a worthy investment in my eyes. I also didn’t want to have to go through the process of finding a new pair of pants that fit well after just a few years, so I was willing to pay more for something that will last me 10ish years.

Final verdict

The women’s Powslayer Bib Pant is a high-quality option for those who are skiing in variable weather and conditions, want some wiggle room with layering options and are serious about staying dry. Though they are pricier because of the quality, it’s worth it for every skier to find a pair of pants they love so they don’t have to keep replacing them. These pants have a lot of features such as the drop seat, beacon pocket, and ventilation capabilities that make them exceptional for backcountry skiing, but also still a good day-to-day option for resort laps, too.

Selling Patagonia on
Patagonia Powslayer Bib Pants Women's
Ski Expert Hunter R.
Hunter R.
Ski Expert
Hunter here! How can I help?
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Written By
Hey there! My name is Hunter and I grew up in Ogden, Utah - one of the most underrated places for skiing IMO (but shh don't tell your friends). I considered leaving the state for college for all of five minutes until I realized the access to skiing, climbing, etc. in Utah is unparalleled. So I just...

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