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Patagonia Classic Synchilla Vest

photo: Patagonia Classic Synchilla Vest fleece vest

Specs

Men's
Price MSRP: $79.00
Current Retail: $79.00
Historic Range: $25.95-$89.00
Weight 315 g / 11.1 oz
Body 8-oz 100% recycled polyester double-sided fleece with an anti-pilling finish
Pocket bags 3-oz 100% polyester warp-knit brushed mesh
Impact Fair Trade Certified sewn
Women's
Price MSRP: $79.00
Current Retail: $79.00
Historic Range: $20.99-$89.00
Weight 266 g / 9.4 oz
Body 8-oz 100% recycled polyester double-sided fleece with an anti-pilling finish
Pocket bags 3-oz 100% polyester warp-knit brushed mesh
Impact Fair Trade Certified sewn
Kids'
Price MSRP: $59.00
Current Retail: $31.20-$39.00
Historic Range: $15.00-$59.00
Weight 7 oz / 198 g
Fabric 7.5 oz 100% Polyester Double-Faced Fleece, 85% Recycled

Reviews

1 review
5-star:   1
4-star:   0
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

A wardrobe staple. Recycled, lightweight, versatile, durable. An extra layer of warmth, which doesn't impede your shoulder movement.

Pros

  • Multi purpose
  • Feather light
  • Washes well
  • Needs no special treatment—durable
  • Recycled fabric
  • Tough fastenings
  • Cosy, to the touch

Cons

  • Not inexpensive to buy
  • Not wind proof
  • Not a rain jacket

I like a vest/gilet/sleeveless sweater....call them what you will. I don't live in a warm climate but I go outdoors every day and don't always appreciate the restrictions of heavy and bulky clothing. If I'm cutting wood, paddling, or walking with poles, my arms are going to keep themselves warm. If I'm working, with arms above my head, the tradeoff of warmth for flexibility is often a good one.

I have padded gilets, waxed cotton ones, shell vests, and a wind vest. It's only a matter or time, before I buy one, with a hood;-) The great benefit of a Patagonia, is that it breathes better than a shell, so makes a great mid-layer, or active external garment, if the northerlies aren't blowing. The Synchilla fleece is a fairly open weave and works better than some alternatives, between your base layer and rainproof.

Like many garments from this company, the vest is made from recycled plastic bottles. I much prefer to reuse such things, rather than seeing them in landfill or washed up on my local beach.

This is a simple design—two mesh backed, zipped pockets, at hand height—and a full length front zip, which also fastens the collar upright, to keep your neck from creaking. Since one of my vests is ten years old and the other five or six, I can report that the zips are great quality and overall construction is first class. Pilling of the fabric is minimal and there are no obvious wear points, around the seam binding or degradation of the elastic hem or sleeves.

The older of my vests has developed a curled-up zip, from years of travel abuse, in holdalls and backpacks, but this is only evident when the zip is unfastened.

For use in a layering system, for active outdoor travel, this product has really worked for me. It's also an unobtrusive item, in the corner of my bag and I wore each of my examples in office environments, when they were fairly new.  (The pervasive smell of kerosene or paint daubs do nothing for your corporate credibility.) As a general purpose, comfy, warm top, to protect my aging back from evening chills, or post-exercise stiffness, Patagonia's cosy Synchilla texture also scores highly.  

This is not the cheapest example in the market and it doesn't do 'everything'. It doesn't have four hidden pockets. It's not windproof, thornproof, or rain resistant and it's not as warm as a down vest. It does breathe better than any of them...and I've tried all the different types. If you like to be outside in all weathers, there will be times when you misjudge the conditions or the meteorologists get it wrong. This gilet is my fallback position for days like that.

Experience

Both vests were gifts from my wife. I am "awkward to buy for," but she knows I'll happily repurchase a design that has worked for me in the past. I was delighted to receive the second one, just as I had been when the first appeared.

The first of these garments has followed me to the Rockies, Alps, and Sierra, as well as to the shops, pub, and workplace. Probably been laundered a hundred times (I never use a tumble dryer or fabric softeners).

Source: received it as a personal gift

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Great review of a classic, useful piece, Lester! I've also learned the term "gilet" thanks to your review.


6 months ago
Lester M

In the UK, a 'vest' is usually an undergarment, worn next to the skin. The formal vest, that Americans would carry a pocket watch in, is called a waistcoat, here;-)


6 months ago
Lester M

Divided, by a common language! :-)


6 months ago
Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Good to know!


6 months ago

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