For those who feel most alive on the descent.
The ladies who wake up before the sun to fly down the best fresh powder lines know how thrilling descension can be. If the way up is just a means to speed back down, the Patagonia Descensionist Jacket is for you. It's 3 layer construction protects you from the elements while letting out excess heat and moisture. Equipped with a powder skirt and internal RECCO reflector, its is the perfect high-output ski and snowboard jacket for the shred monster you are.
- A shell that moves with you as you carve your way down the mountainside
- 3-layer construction with DWR eases the beatings laid down by the elements
- Rear loop connects jacket to snow pants for comprehensive security
- Helmet compatible hood with visor gives you max coverage in harsh conditions
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Reader's Digest Version: Yes, it's only October, but c'mon it's almost ski season! I purchased the Descensionist specifically for touring and warmer ski days.
Non-Reader's Digest Version: I own a well-loved PowSlayer that's great for in-bound, cold days, but it's a little stout and warm otherwise. The Descensionist is lightweight and has a hint of stretch, yet still features that dependable Gore-Tex protection and breathability I've come to know and love.
So, while I can't speak to the actual performance of this jacket (since it's only October), I can speak to the fit and feel of it. And thus far, I'm pretty damn impressed.
I purchased a size Small since I like my jackets to have a more relaxed, long fit. The hem of the jacket falls about mid-thigh for me and covers my butt (yay!). I'd say it's pretty true to size and is almost a little more slim than I was expecting. I typically wear an XS for a true fit and a Small for a relaxed fit. I do fit into an XXS for a slim, snug fit. Note: the arms of the jacket do feel a little short, but not overwhelmingly short.
The stretch fabric is super cool. For comparison's sake, it's somewhere between the Kniferidge and the PowSlayer in terms of thickness. The jacket doesn't pack down especially small, so that's something to take into consideration if you're worried about it taking up space. That said, if you roll the jacket up into the hood, it does make for a nice temporary pillow.
The Descensionist does not have underarm pit zips, but it does have mesh-backed front zipper pockets for temperature regulation. I'm excited about this feature, largely because I've left my pit zips unzipped so many times to count and then ended up with snow in my baselayers as a result. The interior drop pockets look quite roomy for skins and what not - the zippered interior pocket for your phone does fit an iPhone 7+ (with a slim case).
The hem and hood adjustments are SAHH NIIIICCCEE - they're easy to use with a mitten'ed or glove'd hand (yes I tried this out). The front zipper is a little curmudgeon-y on the first couple of go's, but I gather it'll stop being so difficult once I put the jacket through its paces. Also, the Elwha Blue is goooorgeous.
Bottom line: this is a way cool jacket and I'm super psyched to put it to work come winter.