Awesome Backcountry Touring Shell

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 will also have a detailed review on the women’s SnowDrifter Jacket and SnowDrifter Bibs thanks to our badass backcountry telemarker, donut loving, writer – Eliza Lockhart.  Stay tuned for that!

Patagonia SnowDrifter Review

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

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

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

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

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 Men's SnowDrifter Ski/Snowboard Jacket



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.

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3 Responses

  1. Eric


    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 ?


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