First Look Gear Review
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Pros: Good materials.
Cons: Heavy for an Active Shell jacket, PIT ZIPS are unnecessary, handwarmer pockets get covered by pack hipbelt.
We've been waiting several years for Patagonia to come out with a Gore Active jacket for climbing and hiking. The forthcoming Spring 2014 Leashless is it. But we are not at all impressed. The jacket has two low-lying handwarmer pockets that get covered by a pack's hipbelt, only one chest pocket, and PIT ZIPS.
Through testing more than 20 top-tier hardshells we've found that pit zips are unnecessary (and therefore a drawback due to their increased weight) on highly breathable lightweight jackets, like the Leashless. The jacket weighs 13 oz., which is heavy for a Gore Active jacket.
The Leashless' main competitor is the Arc'teryx Alpha FL, which weighs 2 oz. less, and (starting in spring 14) uses a more durable Gore Pro membrane--we much prefer this jacket to the Leashless. If you want a jacket with handwarmer pockets we highly recommend either the Arc'teryx Beta FL or Patagonia Super Pluma, both of which (we are confident) perform much better than the Leashless for all-purpose use and climbing. You can compare these models, and all others tested, at the Hardshell Jacket Review.
The Patagonia M10 is our favorite hardshell for backpacking and our second highest rated jacket overall.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 30, 2014
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