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Gear Guy

Q:

What do you think of the Patagonia Hibernation Parka?

What do you think of the Patagonia Hibernation Parka? Philip Mill Valley, CA

What do you think of the Patagonia Hibernation Parka? Philip Mill Valley, CA

A:

I think the Hibernation Parka is just fine. How’s that? It’s a thigh-length, down-insulated, highly water-resistant jacket that works best as sort of a city-style commuter jacket for nasty winters. But...availability is rather limited, as Patagonia isn’t making it any more.

The Shotover Down Jacket

What Patagonia does offer now is the Shotover Down Jacket ($375). It’s clearly a jacket for enduring a winter in Chicago, not an alpine adventure on Mount Whitney. It’s cut long, and sandwiches 600-fill down between a tough polyester shell and a smooth polyester lining. Weighs a ton, metaphorically—four pounds.

Marmot’s Yukon Parka ($360) is very similar. A little better down fill (650) and covered with Marmot’s proprietary MemBrain fabric, a waterproof-breathable material with pores that open when you’re warm for better breathability, then close up when you cool down. I think it’s a little nicer-looking than the Patagonia piece, to be honest, and I assume fashion is a bit of a factor here.

If function is the target=, just get the Feathered Friends’ Helios Jacket ($240). Super-light (weighs a pound), really well insulated (800 fill down), covered in Epic fabric for good breathability and water resistance. Very nice!

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