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Pack the Patagonia Northwall Jacket when you are planning a trip to Big Sky country. The mountains up there in Montana were not made for the weak of heart, and damn it gets chilly and windy. The Northwall is lined with R2 fleece to provide high warmth-to-weight ratio so you can scale the major peaks.

  • Water-resistant Polar Tec Pro fabric provides protection from wet weather and extreme mountain winds and provides great stretch for making the next big move
  • The grid design of the Regulator R2 fleece provides warmth and wicks sweat
  • Sonic welded seam construction with reinforced stitching eliminates bulky seams
  • Two-way adjustable helmet-compatible hood with a laminated visor to direct rain and snow away from your face in inclement weather
  • Modified Y-joint sleeve construction for overhead mobility without jacket lifting at the waist
  • Cord locks in the hood and hem to seal out rain and snow
  • Recyclable through Patagonia’s Common Threads Garment recycling program
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

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The best fabric?

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:True to size

Add a lwt pile to Polartech Powershield Pro and you have one of the best fabrics available for a lightly insulated soft shell. This jacket and the pants are a very good combo for cold weather climbing. No layering required other than a belay jacket. Great set up for lift skiing as well.

Warm with a good fit

    The Northwall Jacket is my go-to softshell jacket for winter climbing. It has a durable, soft outer to resist abrasion and rips from hooking ice tools and scumming your back in corners on mixed routes. The two Napolean pockets work well for stashing a camera or snacks and keeps them above the harness, but I'd rather see them as high normal pockets, because it would be more feasible to warm your hands in them. The fit is a regular cut, so it fits a bit larger than other alpine climbing softshells, though the size is still true to other Patagonia products; I'm 5'9" 140 lbs. and the small fits with layering room (I wear my R1 Hoody and Windshirt underneath, and will add a synthetic pullover if the temps really drop). The insulation is the high-loft fleece and feels both warm and comfortable.

    Great Soft Shell.

      Polartec Power Shield Pro is some amazing stuff. I rock and ice climb in this jacket and have yet to permanently scuff or mar it. Light drizzle and snow can't seem to penetrate it. Line the Polartec with fur and you have a really great cold weather jacket, though gusty wind will blow right on through. Otherwise the Northwall tends to be a much warmer soft shell than a lot of people are used to. The fit is slim and trim. At 165lbs. 5-10, the medium fits me very nicely, though the sleeves are a bit long. BUT, I will take too long sleeves over too short sleeves any day.
      This jacket is a great stand alone piece for active days in the cold. Stand still too long and your heat will leak out. The hood cinches down nicely and tends to stay put, even though the toggles and cords that hold the hood in place seem weak.
      Worn as a heavy base layer - the hood (which fits really well by itself) is too bulky to work under a shell (IMHO).
      Over all I'm digging this jacket.

      Great Soft Shell.

      John,how do you typically layer with this for your ice and alpine pursuits?
      I am having a really hard time deciding on the M versus the L. The M will be snug ( room for a Cap 1 silk-weight + R1 and that's it) at my current weight. And the large will be roomier to accommodate a solid few layers.( unfortunately the sleeves will end up being way long) I am leaning towards rocking this quite snug. I am 10 lbs heavier than you same height. I just think that using this for its intended purpose (alpine) i will over heat with a bunch of layers anyway. thoughts appreciated by all.

      Tester - I suppose we would have to know what constitues "wind".

      Azrockclimber - I usually wear a thin merino layer underneath and that's it. I would think of this as a jacket to layer over, not under. When you're moving, you won't need anymore insulation. But when you stop, you'll want something to hold your heat in.

      Sorry for the vague and general question....

      Sorry for the vague and general question. Where are the major differences, in uses, between the Knifeblade and Northwall jackets? Do I need both in my arsenal, i can totally justify it if I really wanted, Hi my name is Eric and I'm a gear whore.


      I have both and I (generally) go with the Northwall at temps<20*F or for a lower level of activity. The Knifeblade and Northwall both seem to breath quite well for me. I do prefer the fit of the Knifeblade under a climbing harness, FWIW.

      Not R4 Fleece! According to Patagonia, the...

      Not R4 Fleece!
      According to Patagonia, the Regulator fleece on the Northwall is closer to the R2 variety.
      Just an FYI for you folks that are taking a look at this item.