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When Yvon Chouinard started his small business providing gear to climbers little did he know how huge Patagonia would become. Patagonia isn’t just like every other outdoor gear company out there. They have a focus on environmentalism and caring for the earth. From the environmentalism and caring spirit, they are producing the best Patagonia Jackets for customers.
Their mission statement, “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis”, really says it all.
They certainly achieved building some of the best products on the market since 1973. Though this brand produces a vast array of different outdoor gear, their outdoor apparel is particularly impressive. Their outdoor jackets in particular are well-known for being far warmer, thinner and more durable than competitors.
In a Hurry? Here’s My Top Pick Up Front: Personally, I love the DAS Parka available at this listing. It’s comfortable, durable, and flexible (doesn’t feel like a straight-jacket).
Here are 3 of Patagonia’s most loved, most impressive jackets for different situations.
It goes without saying that there are a ton of fleece jackets that promise incredible warmth but fall short. This is not one of them. The Patagonia R3 Fleece Jacket is built to deal with incredibly cold temperatures as a middle layering piece and as a stand-alone piece for everyday winter wear. It wouldn’t be at all surprising for the average person to wear only this jacket over a t-shirt and feel completely comfortable in 20F-30F.
The reason the R3 Fleece Jacket is so incredibly warm despite being so thin is a combination of the fleece and the insulation used. Their patented Regulator fleece is made of hollow-cored fibers which help in conserving body heat without sacrificing moisture wicking capabilities.
The insulation used is Polartec Thermal Pro which has many of the same warmth and wicking benefits of the Regulator fleece. For additional moisture control, Patagonia made the side panels out of Polartec Power Dry to keep underarms dry. Environmentally-friendly recycled polyester makes up the rest of this jacket.
Due to the nature of the insulation, fleece and polyester, this jacket can be compressed down to a surprisingly small size. This makes it a perfect layering piece for people who will be wearing it on hiking trips and worry about additional bulk if they take the jacket off.
The R3 Fleece Jacket is available for both men and women, sizes ranging from XS to XL in both with an additional XXL size for men’s. Anyone who lives in moderate to super cold climates will get a lot of use from an R3 jacket. For the latest prices and discounts, check here).
A step up in warmth from the R3 Fleece Jacket is Patagonia’s Nano-Air Jacket. A lot of people are crazy about this jacket and for good reason.
This award-winning jacket was recognized as the 2015 Outside Gear of the Year for its amazing warm, durability and one very original characteristic- the fabric stretches with movement. This interesting feature allows the wearer to move around easily which is useful for outdoor winter activities involving climbing or maneuvering the body in an athletic way like snowboarding. Such incredible stretchiness also makes this a great layering piece for very frigid weather as it doesn’t add very much bulk.
There are 3 layers to this jacket that make it so warm. The outer layer is a 100% ripstop nylon treated with a strong water repellent, the middle layer insulation is called FullRange that stays warm even when wet, and the inside of the jacket is the plain-weave liner for comfort.
Patagonia also incorporated their Nano Puff quilting into the side panels for a combination improved the shape and further durability. Since this jacket is able to be used in mildly wet conditions such as a light rain, the zipper of the jacket has an interior flap which also helps prevent raindrops from seeping in.
Both the men’s and women’s Patagonia Nano-Air jackets some in a huge range of amazing colors and numerous sizes (XS-XL + XXL for men). The women’s is also built with a pleasing feminine silhouette for added comfort and aesthetics.
If you need a jacket to get your through weekend camping trips or function as a layer in super cold weather the Nano-Air would be a great investment. For the latest prices and discounts, check here.
When you are dealing with bitterly cold temperatures involving wet and windy weather few jackets can keep you as toasty as the Patagonia DAS Parka.
Patagonia absolutely outdid themselves when they made this parka. Not only is it visually a very sleek, attractive jacket but it also the warmest jacket the company provides. This parka will take you through extremely cold temperatures, especially if used in conjunction with other layering pieces like the R3 Fleece mentioned earlier. Many people find that on its own it can be even too warm!
The shell of the DAS Parka is made of a super lightweight but incredibly durable Pertex Endurance ripstop nylon treated with a polyurethane and DWR coating to make it repel water and stop the wind. There are two types of insulation used- PrimaLoft Silver Insulation Hi-Loft and PrimaLoft Gold. The PrimaLoft Silver contain numerous denier fibers which improve heat conservation. This insulation is throughout the entire jacket. The PrimaLoft Gold is added to the core of the jacket (chest, back and abdomen) for additional thermal efficiency.
Like other Patagonia jackets, the DAS Parka is surprisingly thin and compact for the warmth it provides. If you do find that the weather changes and gets too warm, you can easily remove the parka layer and bundle it up to fit into a very small compartment of your backpack or gear bag.
Since this jacket is designed to be used for outdoor activities the large, roomy hood is designed to allow the use of a helmet for skiing, snowboarding, climbing, etc. For further wind protection, the hood has a drawstring to cinch the hood closed. The center zipper has a wind flap as well.
Despite having a high collar, the combination of such a soft material plus a fold-over zipper means your neck will be comfortable. Overall this entire parka is super comfortable and flexible- a real plus for those people who hate the stiff material and “mummy effect” that so many parkas designed for the frigid temps’ cause.
Both men and women have DAS Parkas available. Unfortunately, both models only go up to an XL which may be troublesome for some larger men or those who really layer a lot and need a bigger jacket. Like all best Patagonia jackets, this jacket is specifically designed for each gender’s anatomy which ensures a perfect fit, especially for women.
If you need a seriously warm jacket for everyday use in harsh winters or plan to participate in outdoor activities/sports, you can rely on the DAS Parka to keep you warmer than you thought would be possible. For the latest prices and discounts, check here.
This seems to be the never-ending debate. I’m constantly bombarded with questions from friends about which brand I prefer. Both brands have gone mainstream at various points, well beyond the “camping and hiking” crowd.
The main difference – on the surface – is marketing. Patagonia actively tries to limit consumer culture and sells a more “environmentally conscious” brand experience.
Still, the truth is that both companies have some solid offerings. If you want to check out what North Face has to offer, see this guide for the top 3 jackets.
Check out our list of the top lightweight rain jackets here.
Who doesn’t love a good fleece? You can check out my top 3 favorite fleece jackets here, one of which is a Patagonia entry!
Regardless of the climate, you live in and whether you are a huge outdoor junkie or just a casual weekend backpacker, Patagonia will have the right jacket for what you need. New customers are constantly surprised at just how thin yet how warm and durable their apparel is.
As if the sheer quality of Patagonia apparel isn’t reason enough to love the company, they are eco-friendly and environmentally conscious. On top of their own consciousness of caring for the planet, they even donate a percentage of their profits to preserving and restoring the earth. This is certainly a win-win for everyone involved and even more reason to invest in their incredible gear.
[Reminder] My Final Take: Personally, I really like the DAS Parka available at this listing. It’s comfortable, durable, and flexible (doesn’t feel like a straight-jacket).
Check out these related guides if you are looking for some different Patagonia alternatives:
Sam Hardy is an outdoor enthusiast with a penchant for survival skills. He writes about the great outdoors and his favorite equipment here.