Gear Review

4 5

Great style, fairly functional

Bought this jacket in TNF black when it was on sale, and I'm glad I did. Had purchased a Patagonia Guide and found it way too loose and not particularly functional in regard to wind/water-resistance. I had also tried on the Apex Bionic at a local store before purchasing the McKinley. The McKinley is definitely my favorite of the three. It's cut much narrower than the Guide, plus the fabric is much more water-resistant. Compared to the Bionic, the difference is mostly looks - the sealed pockets and upgraded zipper drawstrings look deluxe, and the TNF black with welded chest pocket look very sweet as well. The fit is fairly similar to the Bionic, and while I was hoping this one would be warmer, I don't think it is. I'd say it's good down to 45 degrees with a long-sleeve baselayer, but beyond that, it won't do much good without an insulation layer. The fabric is definitely much stiffer than the Guide and a bit stiffer than the Bionic. I'm sure this helps with water/wind, but it takes it one step closer to a hard-shell, without being a heck of a lot warmer. I bought this mostly for around town - my Patagonia hard shells serve hiking, boating, and skiing duties. One other thing - the wrist closures are pretty poorly designed - there is no "slack" built into the wrist itself, so when you cinch it closed, the wrist folds over on itself, which is pretty darn uncomfortable. I think this is similar on the Bionic...it's not a problem on the Guide, because the Guide doesn't have adjustable wrists! This was a selling point for me on trading the Guide for this, but in retrospect, TNF doesn't really have it right either.