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.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 30, 2014
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