This has to be one of the most versatile pieces of…
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.