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Stuart's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running

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FleetFoot

FleetFoot wrote a review of on February 1, 2013

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

After a long search, I finally found the ski jacket I was looking for. I thought the Patagonia Powder Bowl was going to be the answer, but it ended up having some serious functional flaws. On the other hand, this OR jacket seems to have been designed with functional requirements in mind.

1) the shell is adaptive and moves well with your body

2) the hood fits over my RED Avid helmet easily, allows me to zip up the collar, and provides a bit of head movement

3) has all the usual tech: fully taped seams, water resistant zippers, down, removable powder skirt, etc.

4) bonus: removable built-in balaclava

5) seems like it's configured to allow you to "batten down the hatches" on a cold snowy day, or stay cool on a warm day if you just wear a base-layer, unzip everything, and remove components (balaclava, snow skirt)

In my opinion the jacket has a great cut. It doesn't pull on my shoulders, but still conforms to my frame. It's also very cozy; I feel like I'm wearing a hoodie. I tried the grey color on and liked it, but ended up getting the blue instead.

As I was reading jacket reviews for Outdoor Research, Patagonia, Mountain Hardware, etc., I found this criteria from a reviewer on the Patagonia site: I want to "put [the jacket] on and forget that I am wearing it". The Stormbound jacket meets this requirement 100% and remains fully functional, so I highly recommend it.

5'11" 145lbs with broad shoulders: size small (medium was too baggy, small is just right)

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FleetFoot

FleetFoot wrote a review of on January 28, 2013

2 5

Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

After reading all the reviews, I was pretty sure this was going to be the right jacket for me. When I actually tried it on with my other gear, I found that the Powder Bowl just wasn't going to meet my functional requirements. It's definitely a good looking jacket with some great features and a good price, but there are too many flaws for me to keep it.

1) The body of the jacket and sleeves fit perfectly, but the back (between the shoulder blades) was too tight on me. I felt a constant pull. The jacket material just doesn't flex very much. My shoulders are moderately broad for my generally thin frame.

2) The main zipper is very difficult to get past the 3/4 point. You have to really yank on it to zip the jacket all the way up.

3) This was the deal-killer. If you are wearing a helmet, you cannot put the hood up AND zip up the collar. It's just too tight. I tried a smaller helmet and had the same issue. So the only way to stay warm on a cold snowy day is to leave your hood down, or not wear a helmet.

Over on the Patagonia website, there's a review by a diehard Patagonia guy who summed it up well:
"[It's] hard to describe, but I have never felt like this is a jacket I can put on and forget that I am wearing it."

FYI, I ended up settling on the Outdoor Research Stormbound jacket instead. It has as few extra features, and the hood is functional. The fit isn't quite as stylish, but the jacket works the way it's supposed to and I forget that I'm wearing it.

I'm 5'11" 145lbs, and I ordered a size small in the Powder Bowl.

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