The Patagonia Guide jacket is a great mid-weight softshell. It is neither windproof nor waterproof. However, it is highly water-resistant and keeps out all but heavy winds.
What this jacket does well is allow just enough air to move through the fabric to help sweat evaporate when you are active in cool to cold conditions.
Rain beads up (it has a top-of-the-line DWR); however, the jacket is sewn and is not seam taped, so heavy precipitation will eventually seep through.
The outer fabric is pretty burly. It easily resists abrasions. It also provides plenty of stretch. The inner fabric has a light nap and a soft hand. It feels smooth and warm against the neck.
The pockets are set perfectly for using a pack, plus they are large enough to carry necessary items (e.g., keys & wallet around town, ski skins & a snack while in the back country).
I've found the jacket cozy in 40s and upper 30s with a layer or two underneath, provided that I'm only lightly active. It requires less layering (only an R1 or Capiline layer), if I'm really working up a sweat.
Compared to a jacket with Power Shield fabric, or another non-windproof fabric, I believe this is a better value. That said, jackets like this will all perform similarly, so I recommend going with the cut and design that you like best, at the best price.
Love this jacket. Warmth without weight. I've used it around town and I've used it at base camp. It fits beautifully (athletic build, 6 feet and 170 lbs./12 stone, & I have the medium). It has enough room to allow me to layer, but is not baggy if just over a t-shirt. I tried the small; it is snug.
The outer fabric is sheer. "Downproof", like any other down sweater fabric, but it won't hold up against abrasions or heat. So, don't go bouldering or playing near the camp fire while wearing it.
I've tried other down sweaters and jackets and I simply prefer the design of this one best. The collar isn't too tall. The fit isn't blocky or bulky. It packs down into its own pocket. It is really well thought out.
As others here have mentioned, it's a great jacket. Plus, it comes with the Patagonia Ironclad guarantee - the only guarantee that rivals Backcountry's.
This is a great jacket. I've had mine for a few seasons and it has held up beautifully.
It does exactly what I need it to do - keep me dry and comfortable while skiing or enjoying other back-country pursuits.
It is super packable. Stuff it in the pack, pull it out when necessary. It takes up so little space.
The fabric seems thin, yet my jacket has help up against various abrasions and a few falls on ice (while skiing).
It was designed to be high tech, without the bells and whistles. That's exactly what it is.
I got this before the Troll Wall (and other Marmot Pro 3L ski shells) came out. So, I wish that I had at least one jacket with a powder skirt. The Troll Wall appears to be this jacket with the powder skirt.
However, if you don't need the extra bells, this jacket is a great choice.
Still, like all jackets at this level, it isn't cheap.
It is pricey. However, I've had this jacket for a few seasons now and love it. It is as good, if not better, IMO, than the GoreTex Pro Shells (I've got one of those, too).
This jacket stretches (as the name implies). It is abrasion resistant, but the fabric is not as burly as many others out there. It feels light, yet it has held up to back-country pursuits (skiing, climbing, etc.). The details are well thought out, too; e.g., I love the interior goggle pocket. Add to that, the jacket is welded (at least, mine from a few seasons ago is). Keeps everything light and adds to the waterproof design.
It does not have a powder skirt - which would be a nice addition, but would add weight and isn't always necessary.
Pit zips work beautifully.
Water-proof zips throughout.
Very adjustable hood. Will fit over a helmet.Tough abrasion zones.
And the Patagonia "Ironclad" guarantee.
This is essentially the Marmot Genesis jacket (minus the hood). I have the Genesis, so here are my two cents.
Tough, but smooth, outer fabric. A little stretchy. Extremely resilient and abrasion resistant. Sheds wind and water. Yes, this is a soft-shell jacket; however, because the fabric is waterproof and the jacket is welded together (not stitched) and the zippers are "waterproof", it is fully waterproof (and thus, windproof). In my experience, it performs better than a Windstopper jacket.
Pit zips allow for venting. Outer pockets will not aid in venting much, if at all. It is considered an M1 soft-shell in the Marmot lineup - meant to be warm and highly resistant/impervious to the elements.
As to warmth, the inside is a thin fleecy layer bonded to the jacket. It is Marmot's driclime (a thin, but fuzzy polypro, with thickness between a Capiline 2 and 3). It traps heat and feels nice against the neck and chin, but it is not a thick fleece layer. The fit (standard, not athletic) allows for layering.
The jacket wicks and breathes, but does not breathe well enough for highly aerobic activity (hence the pit zips), unless the temps are very low or you run really cold.
Pockets are high enough to use with a pack.
Absence of a hood does not bother me, especially considering that the Genesis hood has limited adjustability and is a bit floppy without a helmet.
No other bells and whistles; however, it is an excellent 3-season jacket. I have used my Genesis for skiing, hiking, and around town. A friend uses his when skiing or climbing.
That said, it is not inexpensive. Yet, it performs as well as any Arcteryx or other high-end, windproof/waterproof soft-shell.
+1 on the below response/recommendation. The R4 (or lightweight version) is a good choice. However, depending on conditions, you should also consider the R2 and R3 jackets. They are not windproof, and will breathe better than the R4s will. That's relevant if you are wearing this as a mid-layer piece. Another piece to consider is the Patagonia Nano Puff Pull-Over. It will fall between the R (regulator fleece) jackets and the down layers in warmth, breathability, and utility, but will exceed them (read: outperform them) in weight and compressibility.
This is a fine sweater/jacket. it is fairly thin. Seems well made and looks like it will hold up. Simple features - e.g., no zippers on hand pockets, which makes it easy to stash. I'd recommend this to someone who wants a basic down sweater for the hut or a thin jacket for around town and who likes a loose fit.
Unfortunately for me, the medium wasn't a great fit for me. This jacket is roomier than the Patagonia down sweater, which I prefer.
These gloves do an admirable job keeping me warm and dry. The leather has been durable for the past two years. I wish they were doubled on the palms (like the Marmot Work Gloves or the Black Diamond Guide Gloves); however, they are Pittards goat skin and still look almost new. The fit can be dialed in with the wrist adjustment and the gauntlet cinch works smoothly. They are a bit slimmer than my BD Guides, which might make them a touch more dexterous, but that's because they have half as much Primaloft in them (5 oz. vs. 10 oz.); thus, the BD's keep me warmer. That said, they're still great gloves. I use them aggressively and know that they'll be with me for many more seasons to come.
I forgot to mention that (in my opinion) Marmot has adjusted their sizing over the past couple of years. The medium Cerro Torre is almost the same size as an old Marmot Annapurna size large. If you plan to wear this with a heavy fleece or down layer underneath, then you should be alright ordering your regular size. If you plan to wear it with thin to medium layers underneath, then you may want to order one size down.
I picked up this jacket for my brother and he raves about it. It's essentially an updated Pillar jacket, but with a few improvements that make a big difference. The fabric feels really tough, yet has a soft hand. It's very well designed - even some of the same details that they've had for a while are just a little nicer - improved map pocket/"flash pocket", thinner storm flaps, improved pack pockets, etc. They've even added a wire to the brim that makes it shapeable. The only complaint (from me, not from my brother, mind you) is that the pit zips are single-sliders vs. double-sliders. It isn't a big deal, but it can't save much on weight, so why lose the option. Lastly, we use our gear for serious outdoor pursuits - mountain climbing, skiing, and (my brother) with the local Search and Rescue team. He's used it a bit this fall, but he really looks forward to using this jacket this winter.
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