Patagonia will never be faulted for having a lack of jacket options. Up and down the line, there is a jacket for every purpose and season. For Fall 2010, the all-new Patagonia Untracked jacket takes aim at skiers and snowboarders in constant search for freshies–inbounds or in the backcountry.
Untracked Jacket Features:
- 3-layer H2No stretch fabric with Deluge DWR on hood, shoulders and cuffs
- Lightweight stretch-woven polyester fabric with Deluge DWR on back panel and underarms
- Fixed, helmet-compatible hood with single-pull adjustment
- Pockets: Single chest pocket with MP3 compartment and headphone port, two handwarmer pockets, double mesh interior pockets and one interior zippered pocket
- Powder skirt with webbing attachments for Patagonia pants
- Articulated sleeves
- Weight: 21.1 oz
- Colors: Black, Bali Blue, Grey/Mustard/Natural (tested)
- MSRP: $ 349
Patagonia Untracked Jacket Review
A cool mix of two types of stretchy hardshell/softshell materials (strategically-placed 4-way and 2-way stretch), the Untracked jacket offers a slightly-different twist on the classic shell. With the mixture of materials, the underarms and back panel is built using a lighter-weight 2-way stretch material to enhance breathability while the remaining comfortable.
Since most of my ski days are had in the backcountry, this jacket has been tested on multiple backcountry ski tours. Most of the time, a shell isn’t needed while touring until it’s time for the down, but I was able to take the Untracked jacket on a variety of tours, including one where I wore the jacket throughout the entire tour (Read: Toledo Bowl to Little Superior).
When ascending up the skintrack or breaking trail, you can really work up a serious sweat, so breathability is paramount. I’ve found the Untracked to breathe extremely-well. While it lacks pit zips, that doesn’t stop it from breathing well–nice work. This is due to the thinner and more breathable back and underarms. Thinking about it, you’re going to be wearing a pack most of the time, which essentially acts like a layer, so it has been nice to have the lightweight back panel. Yes, it lacks pit zips, but this jacket seems not to need them as it breathes extremely-well (kind of like the Backcountry.com Stoic eVent jacket).
The collar height and diameter is absolutely perfect. Sometimes you get a collar that’s too short or too small in diameter–not so with this jacket. Adding to the comfortable collar, the attached helmet-compatible hood is easily adjusted with a single-pull.
While I don’t often use a jacket with a powder skirt, the skirt provided with the Untracked Jacket is superb and a nice addition without too much of a weight penalty. I don’t think it’s a must-have, but a nice-to-have that is welcome indeed.
Weather protection is as-expected with excellent sheltering during harsh windy and sideways snow conditions. The single-pull hood was my salvo from the storm as I skinned up to a wicked-windy ridgeline in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Additionally, you’ll find a plethora of pockets for your gadgets and, very importantly, your climbing skins (two, deep interior mesh pockets are perfectly-sized for skin storage).
The only major downside to this new jacket is with the sleeves and cuffs. I would like to see the Velcro extended a little further to allow a tighter cinch without having the tab hanging off–ready to be pulled apart. As it was, it wasn’t detrimental, but I’d like to see that improved for a little tighter glove/jacket connection. The sleeves are pretty bulky and could be tapered down slightly while still allowing a nice puffy to fit comfortably underneath.
NOTE: This jacket was an early-production model, so some of my gripes about the sleeve fit may very well be corrected come mass production time.
Good Untracked Jacket
- Lightweight, stretchy fabric
- Very breathable
- Wears well with a pack
- Makes a bomber stormshell
- Excellent collar height and comfort
- Single-pull hood adjustment offers excellent fit and coverage
- Built-in snowskirt
- Pockets galore… including interior stash pockets for skins (a plus)
- iPod stash with headphone port (for those addicted to their tunes)
- Sleeve cuff tabs extend beyond Velcro when cinched properly, exposing them to get pulled open
- Sleeves could be cut just a tad slimmer
- All the extra pockets and such add to weight and reduce packability
- No pit zips (may not need them, but still)
Bottom Line: Patagonia Untracked Jacket
If you’re looking for a versatile inbounds and backcountry jacket, the new Untracked Jacket should be a solid choice with breathability and storage galore.
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