First Look Gear Review

Patagonia Leashless Jacket Review

   

Hardshell Jackets

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: July 30, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $239 - $399 | Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros:  Good materials.
Cons:  Heavy for an Active Shell jacket, PIT ZIPS are unnecessary, handwarmer pockets get covered by pack hipbelt.
User Rating:     
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 (4.0 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (2/2) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
Review by: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ August 22, 2013  
Overview
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.

Other Versions
The Patagonia M10 is our favorite hardshell for backpacking and our second highest rated jacket overall.


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Chris McNamara and Max Neale

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: July 30, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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 (4.0)

100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (3)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Jul 30, 2014 - 03:28am
Of course, all reviews are biased, but this one walks too far away from objectivity. Here's why. A little more context would be helpful for your readers.

Who is the "we" that determines that underarm zips don't add functional breathability? Not only would many people disagree with this, but you will also find no data/testing to prove it. In fact, any sort of testing would prove that they do help. Highly subjective on your part, if not irresponsible, for a review. Such obvious rationalization or pet opinions have no place in a review, unless acknowledged as such. I know many "fast and light" guys who value zips. And read the reviews of buyers and you will often see complaints about the lack of underarm zips in lightweight technical shells. The trend has been for manufacturers to increasingly add underarm zips to these offerings. Your only reasonable point about this "negative" feature is the weight trade off, which is very slight.

Your point about the lack of pockets for packs is valid. However, very few Active jackets have great pocket layouts. And, believe it or not, some people also wear these jackets without packs, and thus appreciate hand pockets where they are. Compare the Leashless with TNF's Alpine Project rain jacket (Active Shell) and several others that have no chest/higher pockets whatsoever or even an internal pocket. Yet Patagonia adds two additional pockets (one on the chest) and one internally and yet keeps the weight down and in line with TNF's Alpine Project, which only has two hand pockets.

What Patagonia has done is strike a remarkably good balance for those who want features (such as pockets) but who also need air flow, without sacrificing too much weight gain.

Finally, given that Patagonia offers the M10, wouldn't you frame your criticism in light of the overall product offering of a company. Patagonia is giving folks a light, high performance jacket, that doesn't need to be absolutely minimalistic and may not be designed to compete directly with the FL, for example.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Feb 4, 2014 - 06:16pm
wflan · Skier · Denver
Just my two cents - the pit zips aren't really a negative. I think they're a positive - maybe I just work harder when I'm wearing my shell. When skiing, hiking, and biking, it's nice to be able to quickly adapt and stay sweat free. Even though it's fairly breathable, you can still get too warm. For less than the weight of a granola bar, I'll take an extra month or two of versatility.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Patagonia Leashless jacket
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