Some of the most iconic “outdoorsy” jackets are fleece jackets, but the Patagonia Piton Hybrid is a great example of what can be done with modern hybrid construction and more advanced fleece fabrics from the folks at Polartec. Let me just say that this is not your daddy’s fleece jacket — it’s my kind of fleece jacket.

Patagonia Piton Hybrid Jacket Features

  • Polartec® Wind Pro® with Hardface® Technology and a Deluge® DWR finish protects your front torso from wind, moisture and abrasion
  • Polartec® Power Dry® fabric provides superior stretch, warmth and moisture management in the arms and back; durable, smooth jersey face slides easily beneath layers
  • Warm brushed-fleece interior moves moisture quickly to the fabric face
  • Microfleece-lined collar, chin guard, cuffs and hem
  • One zippered chest pocket and two zippered handwarmer pockets are pack- and harness-compatible
  • No shoulder seams for pack-wearing comfort
  • Front panels: 7.9-oz Polartec® Wind Pro® 90% polyester (50% recycled)/10% spandex with Hardface® Technology and Deluge® DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Back and side panels: 5.9-oz Polartec Power Dry® 94% polyester (54% recycled)/6% spandex
  • 323 g (11.4 oz)
  • Color and size tested: Nickel, Medium
  • MSRP: $169

Patagonia Piton Hybrid Jacket

The Piton is My Kind of Fleece Jacket

Once upon a time there were fleece jackets. Quaint little jackets that were made from, of all things, recycled soda bottles.  People snapped them up in droves and began wearing them as insulation or even outerwear. While they kept their wearers warm when wet, they were not well-suited for athletic pursuits or as proper outerwear when the weather turned south.

Then, thankfully, product designers and fabric mills started mixing up fabrics and materials — even adding hardface fleece materials and DWR to body-map the weather protection and insulation. These hybrid jackets quickly won the hearts of those who push the limits and demand more from their jackets. It’s with that spirit that Patagonia delivers the versatile Piton Hybrid — a mixture of Polartec Power Dry and Wind Pro to give the ultimate in soft and cozy versatility.

One of my staple rugged pieces to this day is a first-generation Polartec Wind Pro jacket from Marmot. The fabric still looks new — in spite of repeated abuse over 10+ years. So, going into the trenches with the Piton Hybrid, I had an inkling as to just how it would go down.

Materials and construction have greatly improved over the past 10 years and the Piton Hybrid is a great example of that. Body-mapping the materials in just the right places and a proper alpine fit are two of the hallmark characteristics of this piece. As an insulating layer and an outer layer for aerobic activities such as trail running or backcountry skiing, it’s hard to imaging anything better. It breathes well and moves moisture away from your body.

Patagonia Piton Hybrid Jacket Review

Occasionally, a brisk wind will penetrate the areas where Power Dry is used and it reminds you that it’s still not quite a proper outer layer against Mother Nature’s worst. That said, its coverage and warmth remains outstanding as a mid-layer for both athletic activities and more sedentary adventures.  I will say that the DWR treatment on the Wind Pro fabric does shed light moisture, so you’re not completely left hanging should you get caught in some weather.

The collar diameter and height are just about perfect for a mid layer. There’s just enough wiggle room to wear a lightweight zip turtleneck collar underneath and the height provides extra coverage when needed. I did find that the height was just a tad tall and the zipper irritated the underside of my chin just a bit, but primarily only while trail running (all that bouncing I suppose).

If you want maximum warmth, the Patagonia R1 is a better choice, but the Piton Hybrid offers moderate warmth combined with improved weather protection.

SIZING/FIT NOTE: I’m 5’11” and 170 lbs and opted for the size medium. As such, this was an athletic cut that fit me perfectly, but only left enough room for a light base layer underneath. Sleeve length and hem length were perfect. 

The Good

  • “Just Right” performance fit with enough room to comfortably wear a lightweight LS base layer
  • Easy to pull on without bunching up base layers
  • Tall collar adds to protection
  • Easy-to-use zipper pulls
  • Simple design with nothing extra to cumber the performance
  • Good mix of breathability and wind/water protection
  • Flatlock seams reduce bulk/chaffing

The Bad

  • Collar height might be borderline too tall as it can dig into the underside of my chin
  • Brisk winds can penetrate the sleeves

The Bottom Line

The Piton Hybrid really is a fantastic jacket to have around. It works extremely well as a mid layer and also as an outer layer for cold conditions. Both combinations of fabrics offer excellent breathability, protection and durability and this jacket should last a long, long time.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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