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Patagonia Descensionist Jacket - Men's

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    6 Reviews


    You manage risk, the jacket manages moisture.

    Whether you’re sweating because the skin track is steep or because the kick-turn you’re about to do scares you, you need your jacket to breathe. The Patagonia Men’s Descentionist Jacket is designed for backcountry touring, with a 3-layer waterproof membrane that seals out snow and slush while allowing vapor to escape. The knit backer encourages any moisture you generate to make its way to the outside of the jacket and evaporate. Mechanical stretch enables the Descentionist to move as you do, to ensure it won’t hold you back from an epic day of chasing powder.

    • Shell jacket for backcountry touring
    • Waterproof, 3-layer membrane is incredibly breathable
    • Mechanical stretch allows the jacket to move with you
    • Knit backer manages moisture and moves easily
    • Adjustable powder skirt lets you choose your protection level
    • Hand pockets are backpack- and harness-friendly
    • Item #PAT01Z3

    Tech Specs

    Responsible Collection
    Certified B-Corp
    86% nylon, 14% polyester, DWR coating
    fully sealed
    [external] 2 watertight zippered front, [internal]1 watertight zippered chest, 1 chest stash
    Powder Skirt
    Claimed Weight
    1lb 6.1oz
    Recommended Use
    backcountry skiing, backcountry snowboarding, backpacking, canyoneering, casual, flatwater paddling, hiking, ice climbing, mountaineering, nordic classic, nordic skate, nordic touring, ocean paddling, river paddling, road running, ski mountaineering, sport climbing, trad climbing, trail running, ultralight backpacking
    Manufacturer Warranty

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Surprisingly awesome!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: L
    • Height: 6'
    • Weight: 190lbs

    I bought this jacket on a whim for a recent skiing trip to Switzerland. When I first received it, I got a ton of anxiety about it being too thin. I bought a nano puff and capilene base layer to go beneath it, as well as a fleece sweater just in case it got really cold. Turns out it was unwarranted.

    In temperatures just short of freezing, this jacket was super comfortable with just the base layer. If you're prone to being cold all the time, you may want to add a second thin layer, but seriously, you won't need much more. Even though this is a soft shell, it stays surprisingly comfortable once you warm up. I'd usually start my day with the nano puff on over my base layer, but I would quickly warm up and the puff would go right into my backpack for the rest of the day. And I didn't need to break out the fleece at all!

    The stretchy material means it moves with ease, it doesn't have any of that typical noisy hard shell swish. It zips up right under your nose, and the hood went over my big XL helmet with ease, and stayed there. The cinch on the back of the hood tights it down onto your head if you're wearing without a helmet. The powder skirt and the cinches at the bottom close everything up nicely, and keep you warm and dry even in blowing snow.

    I do wish that there were armpit vents, as the only vents in this jacket also double as the pockets, and are located in the front. They are deep pockets though, and there's a bit of storage inside as well, so that sort of makes up for it. You can unzip the top for a bit of additional ventilation and still feel comfortable that anything in the pocket is safe, save for any full on tumbles.

    If you're on the fence like I was, give it a try!

    Surprisingly awesome!

    Looking Forward to Testing This

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: True to size
    • Height: 6'1"
    • Weight: 210lbs

    Just picked up this piece for the upcoming season and it is exactly what I am looking for. I am a 50/50 resort/backcountry skier and was looking for a waterproof shell that was highly breathable and also packable for when I am on the skin track. The Descensionist fits both bills. I am 6'1'' 210 and the L is a perfect fit even with all my layers on underneath.

    Best in Class

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: M
    • Height: 5'8"
    • Weight: 150lbs

    I had the chance to use this jacket touring around the Wasatch last winter. I had moved away from softshells in my touring but this has brought me back. It has a great fit, amazing flex, and is super comfortable. Relaxed enough to easily transition from the backcountry to the lifts and not look like a dork. Let's get real, super tight skimo clothing is about as cool as Docker stain defenders.

    On cold days the knit back was nice, and I found it was the most pleasant on spring days after a warm boot pack up several thousand feet, it was surprisingly refreshing to slip into a soft jacket. I'm used to putting on my alpine hardshell when soaking wet from sweat and instantly getting the gargabge bag effect.

    Taped seams make a world of difference, especially during winters like we had last year. I don't think I toured in the sun for 30+ days and the jacket held up well in the moisture. Is it goretex pro? no. But it well out performed every other softshell I have used. In cold-moderate temps I could keep this on while touring which is rare for me. The breathability is awesome.
    In the resort the powder skirt and Recco are nice features and match the pants well(I am beyond stoked on them!). Layer with a puffy on the coldest days and you can ride/ski through the worst of the winter.

    If you are looking for a do all, minimalist jacket with serious protection, you just found it.
    Let me know what questions you have on fit and performance.

    Mobility is Key

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: Large
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 165lbs

    For me, some of the most important features in backcountry skiing outerwear is the ability to be extremely mobile, while also staying dry and not overheating.

    This jacket captures all of these features. With a stretchy hardshell - this jacket is beyond mobile. I've worn sweatshirts that are more restricting. It not only is extremely stretchy, but its mobile in the right places. I am unrestricted in my motions. This makes climbing ridges, even ice climbing with my skis on my back, much more natural feeling.

    Keeps my dry when it start to wet snow out. But it also keeps me dry when i need to tour hard and fast and break a sweat. It's so breathable that i often can throw it on at the beginning of the tour and wont take it off until back at the car. I've never had a jacket be able to handle my sweatiness before, but of course Patagonia dialed this in.

    Descent is important - but going up is what may make or break a tour - this jacket is the perfect solution to any tourer's jacket problems.


    Good Question - i can not say for certain as i have only dealt with some wet, but not as wet storms are the PNW, here in the Wasatch. I have definitely been surprised by it's waterproofing and haven't ended a day being wet by any means. For it's mobility, i find it would be a compromise in some form, that being said it hasn't gotten "WET" but i haven't yet experienced a deluge like you can get in the northwest.

    Hi Alex. Thank you very much for your detailed review. Any comment on how the jacket handles wind? I plan to use this as my main resort skiing shell and I hope I won't freeze on the chairlift and/or windy days.


    Definitely more breathable and mobile (stretchy) than the pow slayer. I wore it on Friday ripping around brighton, then wore it yesterday ice climbing. I was sweating ice climbing, but didn't get hot for a second.