Patagonia Talus Jacket
Price Paid: $150
This is an excellent soft-shell. This jacket does what every good soft-shell should do, which is keep you comfortable in a wide range of conditions. The DWR finish repels all but the heaviest of precip. The jacket is comfortable in temps ranging from 30-60 F if you're stationary, and 15-50 F when active. Throw on a quality base layer and this jacket will keep you warm in even lower temps.
Most of what I could review about the Talus would follow along the same stuff people say about any quality soft-shell. It definitely has a high quality feel. It has a great athletic fit and is quite stretchy. The Talus cuts the wind, the zippers are smooth and the looks are great.
If you are in the market for a versatile soft-shell to wear on the mountain or even just around town, give this one a look.
Fabric: stretch-woven nylon
Fill: light fleece
Price Paid: $150
A nice lightly-insulated soft-shell jacket from Patagonia. By spring 2010, I believe it's been discontinued, so you can probably find one on sale or clearance -- for a while -- if you're interested.
Summary: it's a soft-shell stretchy outer fabric bonded to a light layer of fleece (on the interior). It's nicely cut and offers an excellent array of pockets. It's quite wind-proof, pretty water-resistant, pretty breathable, and warm enough for spring/fall cool conditions.
The fleece interior allows me to wear it without any warm underlayers down to about 45 deg F. Any colder, I'll need to wear warm layers underneath. It's comfortable up to about 60 def F. Any warmer, I'm too sweaty.
I believe the main fabric used is Malden's PolarTech PowerShield. I believe it's a stretch-woven nylon with a 'discontinuous' polyurethane membrane bonded to a light fleece. This gives it excellent wind-proofness and water-resistance. It also has a DWR coating that helps promote water beading up and rolling off. However, it's not fully waterproof. Extended exposure to hard rain and it will eventually soak through.
The flip side of this combination of factors is breathability. This jacket is not nearly as breathable as some other soft-shell jackets I've worn that have no polyurethane membrane. So it's the usual trade off. This jacket lands on the more warmer, more weather-resistant, less breathable side of the spectrum.
My favorite features: it's a nice combination of warmth and weather protection for a large part of the fall, winter and spring. Certainly not the coldest days of winter, and certainly not the warmer days of late spring and summer. But very comfortable for much of the year. I also love the pockets. Two external reach-across mounted high, and two hand-warmers mounted low. Very useful. The fit is fine for me. Somewhat of an 'athletic' fit, but not too tight.
My nit-picks: the fabric is a bit thick and stiffer than I'd like. For the most part it doesn't amount to much of an inconvenience; but, the wrist cuffs closure tabs are made of the same fabric, and it makes the wrist cuffs a bit uncomfortable and bulky. Also, as I mentioned above, it would be nice if the jacket breathed a bit better.
All in all though, I definitely would recommend this jacket to a friend.
Where to Buy
The Patagonia Talus Jacket is not available from the stores we monitor.
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Here's what other sites are saying:
When you reach the top of an exposed ridge and the wind threatens to kick you off the mountain, pull out the Patagonia Talus Men's Jacket and brave it out to the top. With high-loft fleece bonded to the shell, the Talus keeps you extra warm and protected, and stops sharp gusts from cutting you down. Polartec Power Shield fabric resists wind and water, while a discontinuous polyurethane barrier maintains breathability. The chamois-lined collar, chin guard, and wind flap add comfort, and hand-warmer pockets prevent red, wind-burned knuckles.
- Backcountry Outlet refers to the men's version
Warm up in the comfort of fleece with the weather defying protection of Polartec Power Shield in Patagonia's Talus Jacket - a go-to softshell for cold-weather exploits. Surround yourself in the warmth of dense, high-loft fleece bonded to a water- and wind-resistant polyester face fabric sealed with a polyurethane layer - in all, a super-warm, weather-ready package.
- Mountain Gear refers to the men's version
Boreas, the wind god, looked down upon the measly mortal wearing the Patagonia Men's Talus Softshell Jacket. He blew a giant gust of wind hoping to send the human shivering back into the lodge, but no, the human stood tall and unmoved thanks to the windproof and warm Talus. Who is this Patagonia, Boreas wondered, and why have they bestowed such a windproof, water-resistant jacket with DWR-coated zippers to this man' And thanks to the articulated arms and low-profile fit, the human looks like he can comfortably move about.
- Backcountry.com refers to the men's version
On Sale. Free Shipping. Patagonia Men's Talus Jacket (Fall 2009) Extremely warm, highly water-resistant and windproof fleece-backed soft shell for all-around technical use in cold conditions Specifications: 9.8-oz polyester laminate with polyurethane discontinuous barrier. Recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program Weight: 22.2 oz / 629 g Features: Tightly woven 4-way-stretch Polartec Power Shield face fabric has superb water and wind-resistance Dense, high-loft fleece is bonded to the shell for warmth Discontinuous PU-layer maintains breathability DWR-coated center-front zipper Chamois-lined collar, chin guard, and windflap External pockets: two fleece-lined handwarmer, two DWR-coated chest Articulated arms Cuffs secure with supple, die-cut tabs Drawcord waist Regular fit We are not able to ship Patagonia products outside the US because of that other thing. This product can only be shipped within the United States. Please don't hate us.
- Moosejaw refers to the men's version