Patagonia Super Guide Jacket
Price Paid: Sale
I'm pretty sure this is the jacket that I have (it doesn't say inside what it is) and I'm also pretty sure they no longer make it. But it is a very stretchy, non-insulated soft shell type of material.
However, I wasn't really familiar with this type of garment when I first purchased it, having only used pile/pertex type jackets. In hindsight I would say this: NEVER BUY A SOFT SHELL JACKET WITHOUT A HOOD. It will just drive you crazy when you top a mountain and the cold wind starts freezing the side of your face. It doesn't lose half a point for that however, as that is the buyer's responsibility, as is the need to ignore the sales pitch about a 'shell' not having a hood yet being functional in winter.
The good points are: it breathes well because Patagonia don't put membranes in their 'soft shell' line up of jackets; it is durable; it sheds precipitation well; it can be worn longer (in winter) than a simple pertex windproof on its own because it's warmer; being a stiff material, the pockets open and close one handed easily; it fits great (but see below); the collar draw cord is good.
The only downside (apart from not having a hood if you see it that way) is the lack of elastic or velcro opening in the sleeves so that you can vent your arms; it can get a bit clammy there but nothing as bad as a membrane would.
The jacket can feel a bit tight under the arms and across the chest, I find (once wearing a pack however, this problem disappears and the close fit comes into its own). I think that a close fitting soft shell with a hood makes sense with minimal pockets, perhaps a single large chest pocket, and no or very little insulation (sounds like the original micro-pile/pertex, doesn't it?). If more pockets are added and the cut is longer, it starts to function as a hard shell more and more, so the cut needs to allow a thin layer underneath. Therefore, this jacket falls somewhat in between two ideals, as I see it: lots of pockets but no hood and not long enough and narrow cuffs and so on.
Put a hood on it, open up the sleeves, leave only one or two technical pockets, give it more room in the torso and it may be the (above zero) soft shell to rule them all. For below zero, see the wonderful Winter Guide Jacket!
Fabric: stretch-woven nylon/polyester with DWR water repellant
Price Paid: $90
This is a very nice, basic soft shell jacket.
It is un-insulated. It is made from a stretchy polyester fabric. It protects you well from winds. Yet, it breathes very well. It repels water very well, but is not 100% waterproof. The workmanship is excellent. It has a basic set of pockets, zips and pull adjustments, but nothing outlandish.
The fabric in this jacket is a slightly thicker, heavier (8.9 oz), stiffer, soft-shell fabric than some others. This makes it a bit more wind-proof and burly than, say, a jacket made from Schoeller Dryskin (a competing softshell fabric). But, it has no laminate barrier, so it is more breathable than a jacket made from, say, Schoeller WB-400, Powershield, or Gore Windstopper Softshell.
It is uninsulated. But I find it a bit warm for summer. I prefer it for Fall, Winter, Spring with varying amounts of insulation layers underneath for the temp of the day.
The cut of the jacket is just right so that I can wear medium weight fleece or a thin primaloft sweater under it for colder days, or thinner fleece or long underwear for warmer days.
The arms are articulated, and the whole jacket won't ride up if you reach up over your head (ice climbing, for example)...
It has no hood. But I don't miss that. It has two basic hand pockets and a third 'napoleon' vertical pocket on the left chest. It has pull tabs to adjust the waist and neck seals. It has standard velcro tabs to adjust the wrists. The inside of the neck area is designed so that the cold zipper doesn't hit your chin. Pretty basic really. Basic, but well-executed.
If these features meet your requirements, you can't go wrong with this jacket.
In winter of 2008/9 stores seem to be offering this jacket on sale. It may be being discontinued.
Where to Buy
The Patagonia Super Guide Jacket is not available from the stores we monitor.
You may want to check pricing and availability directly at these Patagonia retailers:
You may be able to find it new or used at one of these sites:
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Here's what other sites are saying:
Technical yet burly, our workhorse Super Guides stretch, breathe, and resist weather on clean granite and alpine grovels alike. The superb, durable soft-shell fabric sheds snow and light rain while breathing freely and allowing unencumbered movement. The no-frills design includes hand pockets that sit high, above the harness-line, and a gasket-style neck closure that forms a streamlined seal. The slim elastic cuffs, drawcorded hem and chest pocket zipper are all welded in. Articulated elbows.
- Patagonia.com refers to the men's version
On Sale. Free Shipping. Patagonia Men's Super Guide Jacket (Fall 2007) The workhorse of the technical soft shells, the new Super Guide by Patagonia provides day-in, day-out durability, stretch and weather-resistance - without added frills. A superb, burly shell-fabric package sheds snow and light rain while breathing freely and allowing unencumbered movement. It's also lightly brushed on the inside for next-to-skin comfort in mild conditions. The hand pockets sit high, above harness-line, and a gasket-style neck closure forms a stremlined seal. With articulated elbows and trim, glued-in elastic cuffs, a glued-in drawcorded hem and a glued-in chest pocket zipper. The fit is trim but accommodates underlayers. Features: Weight: 28.5 oz. / 808 grams Fabric: 8.9 oz., 90 x (300 x 90) denier 47% nylon, 45% polyester, 8% spandex doubleweave construction, with a Deluge DWR (durable water repellent) finish Ideal Uses: Alpine Rock, Technical Guiding, Mountain Days, Ski Mountaineering Trim fit but accommodates underlayers Burly, new, 4-way stretch fabric provides excellent water- and wind - resistance, superb breathability, rapid moisture transport and dry time, and great shape retention that won't bag-out Fabric's double-weave configuration allows a slightly-brushed, twill weave on the inside for next-to-skin comfort; Reverse-coil, Deluge DWR center-front zipper External chest pocket uses a glued-in reverse-coil, Deluge DWR zipper; Zippered, stretch-mesh internal pocket; Two mesh-lined, reverse-coil, Deluge DWR zippered pockets sit high, above harness-line; Articulated elbows; Glued-in elastic cuffs; Glued, drawcord hem We are not able to ship Patagonia products outside the US because of that other thing.
- Moosejaw refers to the men's version
Four-way stretch softshell fabric gives the Patagonia Men's Super Guide Jacket water-resistance and high breathability for climbing in less-than-ideal weather. The clean, no-frills design favors climbers who prefer simplicity to bells and whistles. Patagonia gave the Super Guide Jacket a brushed interior that's soft against your skin and accommodates layering. Articulated elbows compliment the stretch material to provide free movement for technical climbing.
- Backcountry Outlet refers to the men's version
Description of Patagonia Super Guide JacketA technical, stretch-woven workhorse for day-in, day-out, high output mountain use. Technical yet burly, our workhorse Super Guides stretch, breathe, and resist weather on clean granite and alpine grovels alike. The superb, durable soft-shell fabric sheds snow and light rain while breathing freely and allowing unencumbered movement. It’s also lightly brushed on the inside for next-to-skin comfort in mild conditions. The no-frills design includes hand pockets that sit high, above the harness-line, and a gasket-style neck closure that forms a streamlined seal. The slim elastic cuffs, drawcorded hem and chest pocket zipper are all welded in. Articulated elbows. Features:Burly stretch fabric provides excellent water and wind resistance, superb breathability, rapid moisture and great shape retention that won’t bag-out Fabric configuration: nylon on the outside for durability, and polyester on the back for next-to-skin comfort and
- US Outdoor Store refers to the men's version