Patagonia touts its Stormstride jacket and pants as the “most concentrated backcountry kit” ever made. So we put the kit – and Patagonia’s big claims – to the test.
On my 30th lap in 3 days on the back of the mountain. Bachelor, I was exhausted, sweaty and very happy. Above all, however, I felt quite comfortable in terms of temperature.
I wore these for my backyard chase in the backyard Stormstride kit from Patagonia non-stop. In fact, for all of my active outings, I wore the brand’s latest ski shell and pants, which came out this fall, for 2 weeks. Everything from splitboarding to transporting my two young children to a cabin on cross-country skis to snowshoeing to find our Christmas tree for the year – I worked hard to find it Stormstride jacket and trousers‘ Strengths and weaknesses.
In summary: Lots of companies offer ultra-light ski shells, but of all of those I’ve tested, many don’t stand a chance in the snow-covered hinterland. To be a great outerwear set for big driveways and downhill runs, it needs to be adaptable, easy to vent, easy to store, and easy to layer. Patagonia Stormstride kit does all this and more with 54% recycled materials.
Patagonia Stormstride Jacket & Pants review
For Patagonia this is Stormstride kit marks the first of its kind. It was developed for one user: the backcountry skier or snowboarder. For its weight (17.3 ounces for the jacket and 15.6 ounces for that trousers) it works like an indestructible big mountain ski jacket and pants set that can withstand the greatest storms, yet is sleek and adaptable enough to make active activities extremely comfortable.
Read on for my first impressions of this lightweight, waterproof, and highly breathable active shell.
Photo credit: Chelsey Magness
Patagonia Stormstride jacket
When I first opened the package, I was impressed with the softness and slim profile of the Stormstride jacket. The material consists of 54% recycled three-layer stretch with the waterproof protection “H2NO” from Patagonia. As we see a lot in ski jackets these days, the suppleness of stretch jackets increases freedom of movement and is generally more user-friendly.
But this jacket has more to offer than the rest of the one I tested. Since this is a more focused piece, Patagonia has worked out every detail (and I’ve tried them all). After my many active hours in the jacket, it was clear how much time Patagonia designers had spent on it.
The bags say it all. The internal left pocket was stretchy and big enough to hold my skins, while the smaller internal right pocket held my phone / music player perfectly. On the outside of the jacket, the outside pockets allowed easy access, matching bars and even a small squeeze bottle.
After a few more uses, I began to understand and appreciate its subtle features. The zips on the pit are easy to pull down with one hand, the hood has an internal drawstring that I can easily pull tight with mittens, and the laminated visor proved extremely useful on stormy days.
In addition, the minimal and stealthy powder skirt became my favorite accessory on the Stormstride jacket. After many drops in powder, I realized that thanks to this amazing skirt – which I didn’t even know was there – I was still dry!
Weight & price
At 15.1 ounces, this isn’t the lightest bowl on the market. But because it works so well and offers bombproof protection for backcountry turns (and one that I would even wear to the ski lift), it pulls its extra weight with well thought out features.
And for many, like me, the Stormstride’s construction with over half the recycled materials and fair-trade sewing make swallowing the $ 499 price tag a little easier.
Patagonia Stormstride Pants
Of course, Patagonia has made pants that match the jacket – for both sweaty climbs and powdery descents. The Stormstride Pants have the same three-layer stretch nylon with waterproof H2NO protection.
When I tried the pants on for the first time, I was immediately impressed by how light, spacious and durable they felt. Typically, lightweight, high-performance ski pants either feel like they’re breaking on the tiniest branch, or more like tights than real ski pants.
At the testing site, I found the vents easy to close and big enough to get their job done. As for the cuffs, at the end of eight powder runs I found absolutely no snow in my boots.
I appreciated the ease with which the trousers can be adjusted thanks to the “OppoSet” adjustment function on the hip belt. Two cargo-style zip pockets are well placed so you can access them with a strap (if necessary). And they fit in a small squeeze bottle, phone, snack or tool.
When skinning, I found the articulation in the knee and the space to move in balanced with the more active fit. You’re the perfect hybrid; They are neither too bulky nor too figure-hugging like ski pants.
Weight & price
Similar to the Stormstride Jacket, the Stormstride Pants are not the lightest I’ve carried. But at a still slim 15.6 ounce and priced at $ 399, these pants are still a good value in my opinion. I expect them to last, and like the jacket, I appreciate Patagonia’s use of 54% recycled materials!
Overall, I was very impressed. Patagonia has designed two amazing, durable, and relatively lightweight parts that are very high performing.
However, this kit is not for everyone. As Patagonia states in the Stormstride description, this kit is intended for the dedicated ski tourer. While I would wear this on mild winter days at my resort, it’s not just for skiing.
For the price $ 499 for that jacket and $ 399 for that trousersThis is a deal for those looking for twists in hard to reach places and spending all day doing it. I expect this kit to last and work for many adventurous years.