Mountain Hardwear Powder Quest Ski Jacket and Pant – Good to the Last Chair
I most recently wore them on a brutally cold and (later windy) day where the high temperature inched towards 11 degrees mid day, but was in the single digits most of the day.
Paired with a midweight baselayer, I was fine the entire time. The only reason I stopped skiing was because my hands and feet got cold.
Mountain Hardwear Powder Quest Ski Jacket
Let’s start with the jacket.
I loved the distinct Glacial print- a winter camouflage that evokes the 10th Mountain Division, which is perfect for skiing in Colorado. Sidenote: my boyfriend really liked the Glacial print as well and informed me the Powder Quest ski jacket is now his favorite to see me wearing.
The overall fit was fine, but in keeping with current trends, a little roomier than I’m used to but not a deal breaker.
When the wind really began to blow, I was happy to find that the attached hood was spacious enough to cover my helmet-covered head.
The three-way drawcord adjustment ensured a tight fit that kept the elements out. Finally, the corners of the hood are lined with a soft, fleecy material that provided extra warmth on my face (I absolutely loved that detail).
The Powder Quest ski jacket has a copious amount of zippers: two underarm pit zips with mesh backing, two zippered lower hand pockets, two shared long zippers for chest and upper hand pockets, the traditional internal zip pocket, and finally, a zippered pass pocket sewed discreetly into the left sleeve.
Initially, the placement and concept of the shared pockets with the long zippers puzzled me. From a style standpoint it resembles some kind of front facing ventilation system, but it’s actually two pockets along one big zipper. I wasn’t expecting that, I told myself.
Lined with the same soft material as that of the hood corners, the upper hand pocket is intended to keep hands warm (I preferred to use the lower hand pockets instead) and are deep. In contrast, the upper chest pocket is a bit shallow, but can accommodate snacks and smaller items.
The zippered lower hand pockets are not traditional in the sense that they are vertical, but that they lie horizontally. They are also placed more in the front of the jacket rather than the sides, but not too drastic where you can place your hands inside them naturally, not awkwardly.
I wish the interior of lower hand pockets had the same soft material lining that the corners of the hood have and the upper hand pockets have (soooo warm), but perhaps Mountain Hardwear purposely left it out because they knew people would be walking around with their hands comfortably warm in their pockets and not skiing.
Surprisingly spacious, the lower pockets can accommodate snacks, a cell phone, ski pass, chapstick, or extra hand warmers with ease.
For me personally, there were so many pockets (zippered and unzippered) that I couldn’t possibly use all of them. My past experience with gear (jackets and packs in particular) that offers a plethora of pockets is that I lose track of which pocket I stashed something in.
Available in three colors (Glacial, Black, and Dark Caspian), the Powder Quest ski jacket features 100g insulation, waterproof stretch fabric, internal drop pocket, drawcord hem, and internal powder skirt.
From the soft lining of the hood corners, to the zipper pulls on every zipper (I cannot emphasize enough how important zipper pulls are), Mountain Hardwear put a lot of thought into this feature-heavy jacket. Those seemingly small details make a big difference on the mountain; especially on bitter cold days.
Overall, this is a fantastic jacket and so different than other ski jackets I’ve reviewed.
What made it for me (in addition to my boyfriend’s compliments) was how warm it kept me on the coldest days in the mountain, the aforementioned small details, and the winter white camouflage print and striking black zippers and contrasting logo. This season, Mountain Hardwear hit a home run with the Powder Quest ski jacket!
Mountain Hardwear Powder Quest Pant
Finding ski pants that fit is like finding jeans- it seems impossible sometimes!
From the moment I put them on, Mountain Hardwear’s Powder Quest ski pant had my big stamp of approval.
Why? The Powder Quest is the first ski pant in a very long time that actually fits me (I am 130 lbs, 5’0”) without being too tight along the waist and legs, or having legs that are too long. This is a win for me, because most pants are either too big or too small.
Like the Powder Quest ski jacket, the Powder Quest ski pants kept me warm, even on the coldest and windiest of days.
The feature I liked the most was the adjustable waist velcro tabs and wide belt loops. Whatever baselayer I was wearing underneath, I knew I wouldn’t be uncomfortable skiing.
I also liked the deep hand pockets. Lined with soft material and zippered (with zipper pulls!) to keep essentials safe.
The black pants I wore were in the same camouflage pattern as the jacket and complemented it well.
Other key features:
Mapped synthetic insulation with 60g in the legs and 40g in the seat/upper thighs
Snap front closure with zippered fly
Two zippered thigh pockets
Inner thigh zip vents with mesh backing
Jacket-to-pant attachment loop
Reinforced nylon kickpatches that extend around bottom hem
Side ankle gusset
Internal snow gaiter
60g synthetic insulation
Dr. Of Stoke
Freelance writer, bicyclist, outdoor recreation enthusiast, social justice advocate, and mom to her furbaby, Utah the Adventure Dog.
A Colorado native, Kate considers the outdoors her mother ship. She brings her passion for bicycling, the environment, and issues of diversity to her writing. Her primary outdoor recreation activities are mountain biking, fat biking, snowshoeing, camping, peak bagging Colorado’s 14ers, road cycling, and Nordic skiing. After suffering two major knee injuries within four years, Kate hopes to return to alpine skiing next season.
Kate earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Colorado State University and later an MSEd and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue University. In addition to her education, Kate’s background serving on the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and experience working for non-profits and bicycle sales well position her to bring depth and understanding to the complex changes currently taking place in the outdoor recreation industry.
We also heard she has a (slight) obsession for blue heelers.