Patagonia Figure 4 Jacket
Price Paid: $170
This has to be one of the most versatile pieces of outerwear I've ever worn. I've used it as a lightweight cycling jacket over a cotton t-shirt on cool, windy days; as a damp-weather jacket on strenuous hikes in the mountains, layered over a light fleece; as a cold-weather (in single digit temps with lots of blowing snow) skiing soft-shell, layered over a Patagonia Down Sweater; and as a stylish-looking lightweight jacket, for around town use. In all situations, it has performed extremely well.
Fit is excellent; I'm 6'2", about 190 lbs, with longish arms...the XL is a perfect fit for me. It's not too loose or too snug and the sleeve length is perfect. I've used a variety of different layering systems with the jacket with no problems. Sleeve length is on the longish end, and roomy enough for layering without binding. The cuffs are slant-cut at the ends for additional protection at the wrists, and the velcro closure tabs are infinitely adjustable. One thing I really like is that the sleeves are more than long enough for sports that require full arm extensions, like mountain biking and climbing, without riding up and feeling constricting.
Torso fit can be described as full through the shoulders, tapered and more trim at the waist, yet not too snug for layering. Length comes to just below the waist, above the hips, with some additional length on the rear. As already noted, it accommodates a variety of different layers very well.
The collar is quite high and with ample stiffness, well- lined with a soft, fleecy material, and it has a wonderful gasket-closure drawstring design that seals the neck area very well. With the cuffs snugged up, the elastic drawstring waist cord tightened up and the gasket collar cinched tight it seals out the elements extremely well.
My one criticism is that the body hem uses only one drawstring cinching pull at the side, not two like other jackets/shells with one on either side. This requires repositioning the hem fabric after tightening so it does not bunch up on one side. They should have used two drawstring cinching points.
The two chest/hand pockets double as torso vents...there are no pit zips. Breathability is outstanding, as is water resistance; it's not a rain shell, but it does repel water/rain/snow very well. All zippers are laminated and lay flat, and appear to be weather resistant. I've never experienced any interior wetness when wearing it.
The interior lining fabric used is a thin mesh that slides well over other fabrics and does not snag or pull on the wearer. The exterior fabric is soft and supple, yet tough enough to stand up to a lot of use...mine still looks like new after several months of extensive wear. All exterior seams are taped and laminated. The jacket rolls up very compactly and stores easily and lightly in a pack.
I got the royal blue color...a bright, sky-blue color that really stands out without looking too obvious. Like all Patagonia outerwear, the jacket really looks good...it's a simple, durable, tough, sleek, un-fussy garment, with lots and lots of versatility.
Where to Buy
The Patagonia Figure 4 Jacket is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
Unless you're strictly a fair-weather climber or backpacker, you're probably a little leery of most soft shell outerwear manufacturer claims. When you consider all of the hiking and climbing soft shell outerwear with variable degrees of breathability and weather protection, it's easy to understand the caution. That's one of the reasons Patagonia developed their patent-pending Composite Seam System(TM) (CSS) for their Figure 4 Jacket. Many soft shell manufacturers offer designs with exceptional water repellency, but water still seeps in around stitched seams, so most offer taped or glued seams that sometimes chafe, wear or dig--especially beneath a pack. Patagonia's CSS design is just as durable but it's lighter and softer than rigid glue points and compresses easily within your backpack. CSS is a new sonic weld technology that does away with threads and seeping stitch holes. These weld seams have a special soft adhesive mesh tape that beats the width and weight of contemporary taped construction with a folding flex that can in some cases save up to 15% more pack space than compressed soft shells in similar sizes. Construction technology aside, this is a highly functional design with articulated elbows for mobility and a neck gasket closure that helps seal out any repelled rivulets of water that might otherwise run down your spine. The cut is anatomically contoured but still loose enough for all but the heaviest insulating middle layers. Keep in mind that the length hits the hips, making the Figure 4 jacket slightly shorter than conventional alpine outerwear--especially the ski stuff. Distinct Centaur Cuffs with hook-and-loop closures cover the back of your wrists without adding excess bulk in front. If you ever wanted to take a chance on breathable soft shell performance for those long hikes up the ridgeline, Patagonia's Figure 4 is one of the best bets we've seen this season.
- Altrec Outdoors refers to the men's version
The Figure 4 Jacket by Patagonia is a durable soft shell for all-day technical use in mixed conditions. Crisp edges and offwidths. Verglas, n v , powder. Through any technical terrain, Patagonia's highly breathable and durable Figure 4 allows unencumbered movement, thanks to stretch, articulated elbows and a slim fit. Its stretch-woven polyester fabric with a Deluge DWR (durable water repellent) finish resists wind and moisture, while stitch-free, glued seams improve wet-weather performance while adding softness and compressibility. The fleece-lined collar closes with a stretch-woven neck gasket to seal out spindrift. Details include contoured, compressible hook-and-loop wrist closures, an external chest pocket, two above-harness hand pockets and a slim fit that allows for baselayers and light midlayers.
- RockCreek refers to the men's version
Crisp edges and offwidths. Verglas, n?v?, powder. Through any technical terrain, our highly breathable and durable Figure 4 allows unencumbered movement, thanks to stretch, articulated elbows and a slim fit. Its stretch-woven polyester fabric with a Deluge? DWR (durable water repellent) finish resists wind and moisture, while stitch-free, glued seams improve wet-weather performance while adding softness and compressibility. The fleece-lined collar closes with a stretch-woven neck gasket to seal out spindrift. Details include contoured, compressible hook-and-loop wrist closures, an external chest pocket, two above-harness hand pockets and a slim fit that allows for baselayers and light midlayers.
- Patagonia.com refers to the men's version
On Sale. Free Shipping. Patagonia Men's Figure 4 Jacket (Spring 2008) The men's Figure 4 Jacket by Patagonia has a durable soft-shell for all-day technical use in mixed conditions. Features: Polyester doubleweave stretch-woven fabric, without spandex, is windproof, highly water-resistant and breathable with a soft inside for moisture dispersion and comfort Welded Seam technology for reduced weight and improved wet weather performance, durability, softness and compressibility Neck-gasket closure has stretch-woven drawcord casing for streamlined seal Collar is lined with a polyester knit for next-to-skin comfort Reverse coil, DWR (durable water repellent) zippers Two zippered hand pockets and a left zippered chest pocket Articulated elbows Anatomically contoured, perforated hook-and-loop cuff closures are soft and lightweight Shorter length extends to hip Drawcord hem Contoured fit is trim but allows for underlayers Weight: 425 g. (15 oz.) Fabric: 5.5-oz. doubleweave stretch-woven polyester with Deluge DWR finish
- Moosejaw refers to the men's version