The PowSlayer’s 100-percent recycled nylon shell underscores one of the better trends we’re seeing in the industry: recycled technical fabrics performing just as well (and lasting as long) as the virgin stuff. (To achieve this, scrap nylon is chemically broken down, then cleaned and reconstituted.) But these pants have more than just green cred: They have an uber-tough Gore-Tex Pro membrane, which proved weatherproof and durable across subfreezing backcountry tours outside of Jackson, Wyoming, and wet spring slogs in northern Colorado. One tester lauded the fabric’s breathability, which is enhanced by thigh-length side zippers: “I was pumping sweat toward the top of our climb on a cloudless -5°F day, and when we stopped to rip skins, my partner was shivering in less than a minute due to moisture buildup,” she says. “I felt a hint of dampness in my baselayers, but otherwise I was good.”
The high-waisted bib keeps the deepest powder from sneaking in, but female testers found the zipper placement of the moon flap difficult to operate in a hurry. Patagonia reduced the total number of stitch lines used in the previous version of the PowSlayer, which saves weight and reduces the amount of scraps on the cutting room floor. The catch: High-performance, planet-conscious gear isn’t cheap.
“Some hardcore shells feel so clunky that you swear you’re wearing body armor—this is the exact opposite,” one tester says. “They’re light, airy, and beautifully tailored, so there’s no extra material to trip over.” patagonia.com