Reviews

Shockingly warm for the weight and highly breathable…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought via a "pro deal"
Price Paid: $100

Summary

Shockingly warm for the weight and highly breathable with just the right amount of wind protection. This jacket is a great insulation layer for winter activities such as backcountry skiing and ice climbing. It's become my go-to insulation layer for winter.

Pros

  • Warm
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Moderate wind protection

Cons

  • Not super small when packed
  • Would prefer zippers on hand pockets
  • Sad colors, I wish there were brighter colors to choose from

I am very impressed by this jacket and it has become a staple part of my winter adventure suit replacing the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody. I'm 5'4" 125 lbs with a very athletic build and the small fits great over long sleeve baselayers and lightweight fleece such as an R1.

The Ascendant is long enough that it stays down under a pack. According to my kitchen scale the Ascendant weighs 60g less than the Nano Air in size small. It is warmer than the Nano Air and has about the same breathability and wind resistance. The folks at Polartec worked some magic with the Alpha Direct insulation used in this jacket. The Alpha Direct does not need a lining like most insulations, the soft fluffy fleece is exposed on the inside of the jacket. It is light warm and soft on the skin and slides well over most baselayers. 

The zippered chest pocket easily fits a normal size smart phone, and while the two hand pockets are handy I do wish they were zippered. The hood has a drawcord to reduce the volume, but I haven't used it yet. The hood does layer well over a beanie or hat, but is not big enough to fit over a ski helmet.

I have put one small hole in the sleeve, but that was from a battle with a tree and the tree won. The jacket doesn't pack down as small as a down jacket but is much more breathable especially when doing aerobic activities such as skinning uphill. One of my biggest complaints is that the colors to choose from were kind of sad and I ended up getting a dark teal jacket with a gray lining. Since I use this jacket so much in the winter in the back country I would have preferred something much brighter.

Overall I highly recommend this jacket if you are looking for something light and warm to use in fall, winter, and spring.

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Experience

I've owned this jacket for four months and use it several times a week. I got it for backcountry skiing, but I also wear it around the house, at work, climbing, camping... It has kept me warm skinning uphill in single digits with a midweight baselayer underneath and in the cold office I work in.

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Nice review of your OR Ascendant, bwbarb! Looks like you've had a lot of fun while wearing it. Thanks!


1 month ago

rated 5.00 of 5 stars All Ascendant Hoody versions

In addition to the 1 women's review above, there is 1 review for another version of the Ascendant Hoody. Read all reviews »

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