Anyone who knows me well will know that i like a nice bit of technical kit, jackets and packs especially, it's quite a running joke with my climbing buddy Mike and his wife!
With winter here and thoughts of january dawn surf checks i treated myself to a Patagonia Down zip hoody. I'm not much of an eco warrior but i've always appreciated Patagonia's simple functional style. Their kit is always well thought out, well tested and in my experience, lasts very well. In lieu of anything more interesting and surf related to post i thought i'd post up a review.
First off, this is not a full spec outer layer, it's aimed either as a dry weather outer or as a thermal layer under a shell. It's part of their alpine range and is fully ready to be used way up a proper mountain. It's got a fairly boxy cut and a big hood that's clearly designed to fit well over a climbing helmet. The down filling is fairly lightweight despite having an 800 fill rating and coupled with the light shell material, the jacket has very little weight. It's weight is barely noticeable wearing it and when compressed up small and attached to a carabiner it's a hardly noticeable addition to your harness on a multi pitch climb. This makes it ideal for dry weather belay jacket. Although the shell of the jacket is water resistant, it's not as waterproof as a proper outer shell and down is loses some of it's thermal properties when wet compared to synthetic fillers like primaloft. You are fine in a reasonable shower but i wouldn't wear it alone in a total downpour.
Despite it's barely there feel, this is a warm jacket, especially when you're moving. If you generate even a little bit of your own heat it retains it well and several times i've started a stroll with the dog cold and zipped up only to have to open up the zip after 5 minutes to relieve the stifling heat!
So perfect pre and post winter surf in everything but a total downpour and perfect for hanging around gearing up and belaying on baggy. Definately reccomended!