Does Patagonia know how to make a great jacket? Did I really ask that? We all know the answer to that question, so when they entered into the mountain bike market with their new Dirt Craft Shorts and matching Dirt Craft Jacket, there was little question as to how it would perform.
Patagonia Dirt Craft Jacket Features:
- Lightweight and stretchy nylon/spandex ripstop fabric (Bluesign approved)
- DWR treatment to repel water
- Vision® zippers with cord pulls
- Secure zippered chest and hand pockets
- Velcro® tabs for cuff adjustment
- Single-pull hem adjustment
- Drop tail for extra coverage on the bike
- Weight: 11 oz. (large, actual)
- MSRP: $129
Versatile for MTB or trail running
With tons of jackets on the market, this one still manages to carve out a little slice of the pie. What’s interesting with the Dirt Craft Jacket is that it is multi-purpose use. Patagonia intends it to be a crossover piece for both trail running and mountain biking. Most of the time I’ll try to use my cycling jackets for running just to see how they perform, but this one is the first one that says it can do both and actually does both.
The cut of the Dirt Craft is certainly standard (a.k.a. generous). At first I thought that the size large would be too big for me (I’m 5’11” / 170 lbs.). Admittedly, I think I’d go for the medium if this was a dedicated runner, but the extra sleeve length and hem coverage rounds out the versatility of this design. Heck, it is stylish enough to wear around town — say that about any other dedicated running or cycling jacket you own.
The stretch nylon/spandex fabric certainly isn’t the softest fabric out there and does feel a little rough on bare skin. But, the subtle stretch makes for an unrestricted fit. While this jacket is great for mountain biking, I primarily used it for trail running. At tempo, the outer fabric breathes quite well without becoming overwhelmed. And, when it does rain, the DWR handles everything short of a downpour.
The zippers are nice and easily-pulled, but I’d prefer more than just a simple rope pull. And, the sleeve cuffs are really unnecessary on a jacket like this and stiffen the cuff. Simple elastic cuffs would drop weight and simplify this jacket.
After a few runs, the jacket needs washing. So, keep that in mind if, like me, you toss it in the back of the Subaru and re-use for weeks — things might start smelling a little ripe.
- Versatile design that can work for MTB or trail running
- Durable fabric features excellent water/wind protection
- Single-pull hem
- Roomy enough for variable layers underneath
- Good collar height/diameter
- Fabric is rough on bare skin
- Velcro sleeve cuffs add unnecessary weight and bulk
The Bottom Line: Patagonia Dirt Craft Jacket
For early mornings or shoulder season, the Patagonia Dirt Craft Jacket is a lightweight and versatile choice for both mountain biking and trail running. While a dedicated cycling or running jacket would be more specialized and performant for each, this one does a great job of meeting the needs of both activities.
Buy Now: Available at Patagonia.com
The Patagonia Dirt Craft Jacket risks being a "Jack of all trades and master of none" but in the end does so quite well. If you want a versatile jacket that can be used for mountain biking, trail running or casual outings, the Dirt Craft might be just the ticket.