Patagonia Winter Sun Jacket
Fabric: Insulated stretch soft shell
Fill: "climashield green" high-loft insulation
Price Paid: on sale for approx $200
This is really a fantastic jacket... except it's not quite as warm as I hoped it would be.
It's beautifully designed and really well made. Tons of great features. It's a soft shell jacket with insulation. The insulation is something comparable to Primaloft but it's called something else ("climashield green"). I assume it's a more eco-friendly product. Great. I'm all for eco-friendly!
It uses welded construction instead of sewn seams. Very high-tech. The outer fabric is a bit stretchy and is nicely water resistant (not fully waterproof but close). Obviously, it is very good as wind protection as well. The inner fabric is smooth nylon that slips easily over whatever else you're wearing underneath. The fit is what I'd call a standard fit. It's got a bit of roominess to it but not too much. Not a tight fit, but not a baggy fit either. Just the way I like it.
There are enough pockets to satisfy anyone's requirements. Two big handwarmer pockets at the waist (lined with fleece), two napoleon pockets at the chest (one on each side) and a couple of internal pockets as well.
My two minor gripes:
It's really not as warm as I'd hoped it would be. With a regular shirt on underneath, I'm cold in this jacket when the thermometer reads 40 degrees F outside (unless I'm really active...). To be warm on colder days, I need to put on a heavy fleece shirt (exped-weight underwear or a R1 pullover). OK, I can do that. But I was expecting more warmth from this jacket based on the original product descriptions. I believe patagonia refers to this jacket as their 'warmest soft shell.' hmmnn...
Second (on the same theme), the collar has very little insulation in it. On cold windy days, I like to be able to snuggle my chin/lower face down into the high collar for warmth. This collar is high enough, but the collar has almost no insulation in it, so it is not as warm as it should be. A minor gripe, for sure. Not a big deal.
Overall, I highly recommend this jacket if you can find one on sale. It's a really nice and versatile piece of gear! But be aware, it's not a stand-alone winter jacket for the coldest days. I need significant layers on under this jacket for really frigid weather.