A favorite backcountry kit at Thread the Needle, the Descensionist jacket and pant feel soft like pajamas, but they actually have a new three-layer fabric engineered by Patagonia that has a ridiculous breathability and feather weight.
Its features are the minimum essentials—two chest pockets large enough for a pair of skins; a helmet-compatible hood; inside, a pouch to stash a pair of goggles and a zippered pocket for your iPhone. One thing Patagonia intentionally left out—a fleece-type fabric on the collar, which is a nest for germs, often gets pilled by scratchy facial hair and ice, and is unnecessary because you’re probably wearing a buff.
The Powder POSSE stamped it with universal approval. “Great for all but the windiest, wettest days,” said Ben Kallman. “Use for uphill and downhill skiing.”
“I can’t wait to use this jacket on a regular basis,” said Crystal Sagan. “Easy, light, high performance but subtle features. The most comfortable kit I’ve worn all week.”
“The Descensionist obviously would crush on a sunny day in the backcountry. But its performance on a slow chairlift in a blizzard was skeptical,” said Julie Brown. “So when I took it to the ski resort on a late-April storm day and stayed dry, warm, and protected, I was completely, 100 percent sold on the Patagonia Descensionist as a tool for the backcountry that translates to the ski resort, too.”