Are you going hard today, or taking it easy?  Going long, or just out for a quick spin?  Sticking to the trail, or venturing into the backcountry?   No matter where you’re headed, Patagonia’s Traverse should be along for the journey.

Patagonia Traverse Jacket Features

  • Stretch-woven recycled polyester soft shell
  • 70 denier 4-way mechanical stretch fabric
  • Deluge DWR finish for weather protection
  • Mesh-lined stand-up collar
  • Two zippered hand pockets
  • Small bicep pocket with media cord opening
  • Gathered cuffs with elastic openings
  • Weight 314g (11.1 oz)
  • MSRP $99

Patagonia Traverse Jacket Review

You’re heard of “one size fits all” … now say hello to “one style does all.”  The Traverse is one of those jackets that’s versatile enough to wear for virtually any outdoor activity, and durable enough to handle whatever conditions you encounter.  I’ve used it primarily for trail running, hiking, and mountain biking, but it would be equally suited for bouldering, XC skiing, or any other activity where you want comfortable protection from the elements that doesn’t impede your natural movement.

Comfortable before and after sunrise

Part of this jacket’s versatility is thanks to its shape.  Patagonia’s slim fit cut is loose enough to layer underneath but close enough to stay out of your way.  The collar sits just tall enough to keep the wind off your neck when it’s zipped up, but low enough to stay below your jawline.  Pockets are where you’d expect them to be, and the cuffs are gathered with simple elastic.  The backside has a slightly dropped tail for good coverage on the bike.

More importantly, however, is the material construction used on the Traverse.  The breathable recycled polyester shell – which, in true Patagonia fashion, is composed of used soda bottles, second quality fabrics and worn out garments – is woven with 4-way stretch fabric to provide extended range of motion in all directions.  The material has a slightly coarse exterior finish, but the interior surface feels very comfortable against the skin.  A very nice bonus feature I’ve discovered is that that the Traverse has outstanding odor protection; I’ve worn it for multiple days in a row, logging upwards of 50 consecutive miles between washings, and I never noticed the “fourth workout in 4 days” funk that many of my other jackets acquire.

My favorite run thus far was a 10-miler on hilly trails on a cold, intermittently rainy early morning two weekends ago.  Pushing the pace up the climbs, the Traverse breathed well enough to keep me from overheating, and kept me nicely insulated whenever the wind picked up.  The DWR coating held the rain at bay with each passing cloudburst, and the jacket never became baggy from taking on water.  Instead of returning to the house cold and shivering, I finished the run feeling like I could easily go another 10.  That’s my kind of jacket.

Comfort in the rain

Since I’ve previously reviewed Patagonia’s Nine Trails jacket here, a brief comparison is in order.  The Traverse is heavier, warmer, and provides better wind and water resistance, while the Nine Trails is more lightweight and easier to stuff into a bag or wrap around your waist when the day gets warm.  Temperature-wise, wearing a short-sleeve baselayer underneath, I typically wear the Nine Trails for temps from high 40s to high 30s, and the Traverse for low 40s to low 30s.  The Nine Trails may be my preferred choice for high-intensity trail running, but the Traverse is my clear favorite for multi-use activity.

Good Traverse

  • Solid wind resistance for breezy days or MTB riding
  • Super comfortable fit and feel
  • Excellent versatility for multi-purpose use
  • A good value

Bad Traverse

  • Feels slightly heavy if you’re really pushing the pace

Bottom Line: Patagonia Traverse jacket

Patagonia’s Traverse jacket is one of the most comfortable and versatile jackets I’ve tested this winter.  If you have to pick a single jacket for a wide range of off-road endurance activities, the Traverse is an outstanding option.

Buy Now: Search for the Patagonia Traverse Jacket

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.

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