Trew Powfunk Jacket
The Trew Powfunk is an excellent snowsports jacket. It has the best waterproofing and windproofing capabilities I've seen in any piece of clothing, it's extremely durable, it looks sick, and it has tons of small features that make it a great buy. That being said, it is quite pricey at $375, but is good enough for multiple years of heavy use.
- Looks sick
- Lots of features
- No insulation
Fit and Comfort
The Trew Powfunk fits really well. The size chart on Trew's website was accurate and the only bagginess that comes with the jacket is intentional for the looser freeride style many athletes opt towards today. The hood on mine fits over a size medium helmet and doesn't slide around while on, however, the neckline must be unzipped slightly before putting the hood up.
Speaking of the neckline, the neckline is extremely high, coming up to cover your chin and almost your mouth. If you're skiing in rough weather, this is great for keeping snow out of your face, but could potentially get in the way if you have a short neck. For day-to-day use, I just fold/scrunch the neckline down below my chin and it causes no problems. The torso is long and can look a little odd with tighter pants, but if you ski with a baggier style, then the additional length is almost unnoticeable.
There are plenty of points on the jacket with adjustability. The cuffs have velcro strips to tighten down, making the jacket wearable with gloves with large cuffs, or tight seals. The powder skirt features two sets of buttons, so it can be worn at different tightnesses depending on your size and the number of layers you have on under the jacket. The hood is three-way adjustable, with an elastic cord running through the front of the hood that can be tightened with two tabs that come out of the bottom of the chin guard and a second cord that can be accessed from the back of the hood. And as if the powder skirt wasn't enough protection from the elements, the bottom of the jacket has two cords that can both be tightened for a tighter waistline.
Water-resistance and Breathability
The Powfunk is easily the most waterproof thing I have ever owned or even seen. I've worn this jacket in pouring rain and been able to keep lapping long after my friends' shells had been soaked clean through. It beads water excellently and feels significantly more waterproof than even my full Gore-Tex snowpants. The jacket is made of a material of Trew's own creation, the PNW 3L (Protects in Nasty Weather/Pacific Northwest) and its waterproof capabilities should come as no surprise, considering the jacket has an MVTR rating of 20k/20k. The three-layer construction of the jacket also allows it to be quite breathable; I've never experienced problems with sweat building up inside my jacket while skiing.
The Powfunk has no insulation, so it's not particularly warm. However, the way the jacket fits allows for heat to stay inside the jacket, and the bagginess of the jacket allows for plenty of layers to be stacked underneath it. For a general idea of how much I can layer on underneath, on a typical day (10-20 degrees F) I'll wear either a single thermal layer or sweatshirt, a back protector, my bib, a lightweight insulated midlayer, and a wool-lined flannel.
Even with all those layers, I still have plenty of freedom to move around, and on even colder days, I can add even more layers, or swap out my lighter midlayer for a larger puffy jacket, still with plenty of room to go. And while the jacket itself isn't warm, there's plenty of space to make yourself warm and adjust as needed.
Wear and Tear
After more than 100 days of use, I can definitively say that this jacket is practically indestructible. Well, not really, but even with plenty of classic East Coast runs such as "tight pines followed by a 20-minute bushwhack out of a streambed" and "sliding sideways down an ice bulge" thrown in the mix, I haven't noticed any scuffs, tears, or damage whatsoever. As for the construction of the Powfunk, all the seams are intact and I haven't had so much as a zipper break.
The Powfunk has many features worth talking about, including...
Pockets: The Powfunk has a total of eight pockets, each of them spacious and well placed. The pockets include a zippered chest pocket, a zippered shoulder pocket, two zippered hand pockets, two exterior buttoned pockets, and two interior mesh pockets. My personal favorite of the pockets is the shoulder pocket, as it provides an excellent place for an RFID card, and when not needing one, it makes a great stash for a radio. All the pockets are well designed and are quite large.
Vents: The Powfunk has two long pit zip vents that stretch from mid-torso all the way around to mid-bicep. They're just simple vents, with no mesh liner, and two zippers so you can adjust how open the vents are, and where they're open.
Powder skirt: Here on the East Coast, times when you really need a powder skirt are few and far between. However, the time I got to spend this season in Alaska and the weekend at Smuggs in Vermont with some of the deepest snow I've ever skied gave me an appreciation for the powder skirt. The Powfunk's powder skirt is a large elastic band with fabric connecting it to the jacket. It can be closed at the front with four buttons, but if you own a pair of Trew's pants, it can be connected to the pants directly, forming an even better seal.
Chin guard: The chin guard on the Powfunk has proved to be incredibly useful for dealing with some of the gnarlier weather mother nature chooses to throw at us. I find it to be the most useful when sleet is coming down and I need to protect my face during my runs. It comes up high enough that if I tilt my head down a little bit, the only part of my face that ends up exposed is my nose.
Adjustable hood: As I've said, the hood on the Powfunk is three-way adjustable, which means that it can be tightened down different ways for different helmets. I tend to only use the hood when skiing in the rain or sleet, and the tightness of the hood combined with the chin guard makes for excellent protection against the elements.
I was unable to figure out how to loosen the hood anywhere short of taking off the jacket and pulling at the cord inside the hood. I don't know if this is down to me not knowing how to use the jacket or just a poor design though, and since I only used one helmet all season, adjusting on the fly wasn't an issue.
RECCO: While I did not have the opportunity to test this feature, I'm glad I didn't have to. For those who don't know, RECCO is a system that allows rescue units to locate people trapped in avalanches or who are otherwise in trouble. And while I hope to never need it, I appreciate Trew's inclusion of RECCO on the jacket.
After more than 100 days of use, I believe the Trew Powfunk is an excellent snowsports jacket. It is well designed and manufactured, has more useful features than any other jacket I've owned, and still manages to look awesome while doing all that. Personally, I would recommend it for sidecountry and backcountry skiing due to its versatility and the ability to hold plenty of supplies.
4.5/5 would recommend
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $375
Where to Buy
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Historic Range: $81.99-$199.93
Reviewers Paid: $375.00
28 oz (Medium)
Modern freeride fit is longer and slimmer in the body than a traditional alpine shell