Awesome Backcountry Touring Shell – A His and Hers Review!

Patagonia SnowDrifter Jacket Review

The new Patagonia SnowDrifter Jacket is part of the new backcountry ski and splitboard inspired line up of clothing. Made for human-powered snow adventures. This is a nice update from the Decsensionist kit from Patagonia.

SnowDrifter – New Backcountry Kit from Patagonia

The SnowDrifter lineup from Patagonia is comprised of a men’s and women’s jacket $399 and bibs, one for men $349 and one for women $349. They have two backpacks as well.  A 20L $149 and 30L $169. This review will focus on the men’s SnowDrifter jacket.  We will have a review up on the men’s bibs as well.

Patagonia SnowDrifter Lineup

Patagonia SnowDrifter Lineup

Stay tuned for Womens SnowDrifter Jacket and Bib review too!

But wait, there is more!  We also have a detailed review of the women’s SnowDrifter Jacket and SnowDrifter Bibs thanks to our badass backcountry telemarker, donut loving, writer – Eliza Lockhart.

Patagonia SnowDrifter Review Engearment.com

Patagonia SnowDrifter Jacket

Men’s Patagonia SnowDrifter Jacket

This jacket is packed with a lot of awesome features that make it ideal for backcountry touring.  Whether it is skiing, splitboarding, snowshoeing or whatever you do for fun in the backcountry!  The build quality is noticeably stronger than its previous iteration – the Decsentionist jacket.  Though I do love the old jacket for its stretch and quietness.  The new SnowDrifter weighs about the same (around 22 oz for large) yet it feels twice as burly.

Patagonia SnowDrifter Review Engearment.com

Napoleon Pocket

By no means does the extra burliness mean that it is heavy or restrictive.  In fact, it is quite the opposite.  The 75D polyester ripstop material is quite stretchy and pliable.  Much more so than a traditional 50D + material.  The fabric also has a nice mechanical stretch to it.  This is very helpful in backcountry touring.

Patagonia SnowDrifter Review Engearment.com

Internal zippered stash pocket

70% recycled materials

You can feel good knowing that the burly, stretchy materials of this jacket (and the bibs) are 70% recycled.  Add in Fair Trade sewn and you have a nice happy story behind the gear. I am a big fan of any company that does it’s best to reduce footprint and treat employees well. I think you can get behind that too!

Patagonia SnowDrifter Review Engearment.com

Sizable hood

3 Layer H2No Performance Shell

I am a fan of Patagonia’s in house waterproof breathable materials.  They have not let me down yet.  As nice as it can be to have a GoreTex Pro Shell, or other brand name WPB technology, the house brand holds its own just fine. Case in point is the Performance Shell membrane used in this jacket.  It has a nice stretch to it.  Previous garments I have used with this WPB membrane have lasted years of abuse.

Fit and Function

The fit and function of this shell are great.  For reference, I am 6’1″ 205lbs, 45″ chest, 33″ waist, and 36-37″ arms.  The size large fits perfectly.  Great coverage for the torso, even with hands overhead.  Arm length is very good covers under-cuff gloves easily.  Using the size guide on the Patagonia website was accurate.

Patagonia SnowDrifter Review Engearment.com

Perfect fit

Final thoughts on Patagonia SnowDrifter Jacket

I love the new design and materials of the SnowDrifter Jacket and bibs.  The addition of the Napolean pocket is very helpful. It swallows up a large smartphone with ease.  There is an additional small, zippered pocket inside this pocket.  Ideal for car keys or small valuables.

The only gripe I can think of is the hand pocket placement.  They are lower than traditional alpine or backcountry style jackets.  They look cool and are functional for street use, but not good when your backpack hip belt is in use.  This is a minor thing and probably won’t affect some of you.  But, it is something to consider when looking at this jacket.  If that is not an issue for you, then the Patagonia SnowDrifter Jacket is your backcountry jacket.  Fairly priced at $399.

 


Patagonia SnowDrifter Jacket - Awesome Backcountry Touring Shell 1Patagonia Men's SnowDrifter Ski/Snowboard Jacket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Patagonia Women’s SnowDrifter Jacket- A Perfect Fit

Durability at its finest. Patagonia’s Women’s SnowDrifter ($399) shell is a stellar outer layer for your days in rough weather. I have found it to do amazingly well in wind and I think it really shines on storm days. I feel comfortable bringing this with me in any weather. The durable, 3 layer, H2No material is made of 70% recycled stretch fabric which makes it ideal for not just those storm days but for the planet as well. The DWR finish promises to keep you dry in soggy conditions. 
Patagonia Women's SnowDrifter Jacket

Patagonia Women’s SnowDrifter Jacket

I am SO pleased with how this jacket fits. I’m 5’ 8”, 130 lbs and the Small is perfect. It’s not boxy, it’s long enough to keep the snow out, it’s a slim fit but still has plenty of room for layers… dream come true. The helmet-compatible hood keeps the snow and wind out and the velcro cuff adjustments keep your wrists safe from the elements. This simple, minimalist jacket goes above and beyond when it comes to protecting you. 
There are two large pockets, one on each hip, a breast pocket on the left side and one more pocket on the left shoulder. The breast pocket has a unique feature that allows you to access the contents from both the inside and outside. The series of 3 zippers give you the ultimate access to this area. 
There are large, two-way pit zips for ventilation under either arm. While testing on warmer days in the sun, I didn’t get too hot and was pleased with the breathability. Another great feature is the powder skirt which lays flat when not in use but rises to the occasion on deep days. With an adjustable cinch and an elastic stretch band at the bottom, this skirt is guaranteed to keep the snow out. Even further, there is an elastic loop compatible with the loop on the back of Patagonia pants (like the SnowDrifter bibs!) to keep the skirt in the right spot. 
This jacket weighs just over a pound at 18 oz. What’s really great is how heavy-duty the fabric feels despite this lightweight material. For its minimalism, I expected a lighter, less durable fabric and was pleasantly met with the 3 layer H2No. Whether you’re looking for a jacket to accompany you on long days on the skintrack or something to keep you warm while you take fast laps on the resort, this jacket can handle it. Its versatility, durability and element adversity keep you safe. 

Eliza Lockhart

Eliza Lockhart

Eliza Lockhart

Growing up snowboarding and hiking in the bitter cold winters and humid summers of northern Vermont, Eliza learned how to beat up gear and quickly became infatuated with new technologies. After moving to Colorado in 2015 to pursue a degree in recreation and outdoor education at Western Colorado University, her passion for the outdoors grew exponentially. Soon after, she picked up rock climbing, telemark skiing, backpacking, canyoneering, and is slowly learning to love rafting. Through these learning processes, Eliza began to understand the importance of the right gear and hopes to share her experiences and knowledge with others through Engearment.

Eliza Lockhart in water

Now working for Beacon Guidebooks as the ‘Wearer of Many Hats’ (yes, that is her official title), Eliza has learned the ins and outs of the outdoor industry. She has also worked on marketing teams, as a photographer, media coordinator, outdoor instructor and as a wrangler. She is especially excited to encourage other women in the outdoors and is an advocate for diversity and inclusion.

About The Author

Hey, I am Sean - the co-founder of Engearment. We focus on mountain based gear - camping, skiing, splitboarding, snowboarding, hiking, etc. and a strong connection to the community. I am also a fitness professional - having created the Mountain Fitness School and building several fitness facilities around Denver. My heart is always in the mountains and I will do everything I can to help you get the right gear, train well and enjoy being outside. https://mountainfitnessschool.com/p/mountain-fitness-training-get-in-peak-backcountry-condition-using-kettlebells-and-trx

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4 Responses

  1. Eric

    Hello

    I really enjoy your reviews and I have a question for you regarding patagonia. I ski 60 days a year in the alps, 30% ressort, 30% backcountry and 30% touring. I have been wearing Patagonia stuff for years and returning materials this year, I have been given a nice promotion code to be used on the new collection.

    I already own the descensionist jacket and I’d like to complement it with the snowdrifter bib plus some midlayers. For « mild » winter days I already use capeline MW and the micro puff hoody (with I love). For colder / windy conditions what shall I buy to complement this ? Was thinking the thermal weight capeline kit plus and R1 techface to layer up on top of the micro puff, . Alternatively, assuming the macro puff is a bit burly for skiing I could also get the Nano+ air hoody of R2 techface to replace the micro puff altogether.

    Thank you for your insight !

    PS : since you know both jackets, is it worth taking the snowdrifter jacket with the bib ? It seems more weatherproof and might stop the wind better in colder days ?

    Reply

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