Patagonia's Northwall jacket in Polartec Power Shield Pro and a grid fleece interior
As unlikely as I might have thought you'd ever see a virtual Patagonia ad on Cold Thistle..here goes :) The editorial content is really suppose to be a well deserved Polartec ad/public service announcement but I can understand the confusion. I am just as enamored with all the pretty colors, so what the hell :).
16 months ago I was lucky enough to get early samples of two different Polartec fabrics Patagonia was going to be using to great effect. Obvious now, Patagonia has decided to expand on that effort in their alpine climbing line. Great decision I think.
I'm generally not a big fan of the Patagonia patterns as they haven't fit me very well. The current generation of garments are better. Not an "Arcteryx fit" yet but much better than in the recent past I think. Call fit a work in progress at Patagonia. It doesn't happen often but I just spent some of my own money on gear at the local Patagonia store so it is good enough! And some of what I bought is very, very good I think. Thanks for the extra help there Travis!
What isn't a work in progress is the two fabrics that Patagonia is using.
Polartec Power Shield Pro
Polartec Power Shield Pro with the Regulator high-loft grid fleece interior.
Both are amazing fabrics for my intended purpose, which is alpine and ice climbing in cold environments. And to some extent, alpine skiing, BC and lift served.
Interior fleece on the Northwall jacket
My first thought with the Polartec Power Shield Pro w/ fleece interior was, "just add Neoshell". And "I REALLY gotta have pants in this stuff!" Then we would REALLY be rocking! From the few I have heard of using the Neoshell/ Power Shield Pro combo so far, the feedback I have heard is "best pant I've ever used!".
I think that pretty much "covers it" from my perspective as well. Much more to come on that in a future review or two.
Polartec Power Shield or Power Shield Pro is used in all these garments from Patagonia. Costly and hard to justify the price, may be, but well worth a look. I think these garments and the various versions of Polartec's Neoshell are the cutting edge for performance fabrics at the moment.
Mixed Guide Hoody is a hybrid hard and soft shell combo.
Green is a hard shell, technology, the blue is stretchy and tough Power Shield soft shell. Not the Power Shield Pro material. But there is only a slight difference in the laminate used and virtually none in actual use outdoors that I can tell. Check out the listed stats of both stats in the comments section below.
soloing in a Frontpoint
The first jacket I used with similar (almost exactly the same) hybrid construction to the Mixed Guide was the now discontinued Eddie Bauer Frontpoint. The Frontpoint is still a bench mark in performance and weight for me. And a go to piece for my own climbing even now. Although a bit heavier by 4 oz in a size large (and likely more durable as well) the Mixed Guide will likely replace the Frontpoint for many projects.
The Patagonia Northwall pant pictured above. Much as I really wanted to LUV these pants, for me the fit was terrible. Which was a huge bummer. But the Patagonia 100% customer satisfaction guarantee was rock solid, so no worries. Patagonia is expensive in comparison to some other soft goods companies but also really easy to deal with if a problem does occur. I'm always impressed by that. At similar price points, let me know how far you get with Arcteryx for example on repairs or a warranty issus? My experiences there have been bleak. The Patagonia Northwall pant was truly an eye opener for the potential performance of Polartec Power Shield Pro with the Regulator high-loft grid fleece interior.
Men's and woman's versions of the Northwall jacket. The Northwall is a very warm soft shell. If you run cold this jacket may offer the option of a a warmer, and still very durable soft shell.
The 2nd color choice on the Mixed Guide...hard to be bashful in either of these.
And the same jacket I'm using in the mast head photo on Carlsberg. Now one of my all time favorite climbing shells, the Patagonia Knifeblade, made from an uninsulated version of Polartec Power Shield Pro.