The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
The rest of the MS Team
Patagonia Down Jacket
Posted on: March 27, 2006
I was psyched when Vanessa handed me the Patagonia Men's Down Jacket at the Snake River Brew Pub in Jackson Hole to try out. I was in town for some AMGA training and spent time touring in Grand Teton National Park and on Teton Pass. After wearing it around Jackson and some in the Northwest – where I'm based – I've found it very comfortable, well designed, and of course, warm.
Patagonia's addition of down to its line rounds out its insulated technical clothing offerings. This jacket has been made with attention to detail. There is a no-snag backing to the front zipper that solves the ever-present nylon-eating-zipper issue. The unique quilted side panels offer a different look to the standard down jacket lines. A soft microfleece-lined collar and pockets add to the overall comfort of this jacket. And the new polyester shell is an improvement in durability over the first generation Patagonia down-shell material. At 22 ounces and 700-fill down, the Patagonia jacket is comparable to other brands' similar products. The price point on this jacket, however, compared with other 700-fill models make it an excellent purchase. Though generally well fitting, it seems the boxy cut could be tapered a bit more. Whether at base camp or the Brew Pub, this down jacket will treat you well.