Reviews You Can Rely On

Patagonia Galvanized Review

This stretchy, waterproof shell is a good choice for alpine and ice climbing and a unique entry to the hardshell category
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Patagonia Galvanized Review
Credit: Patagonia
Price:  $350 List
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Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Jack Cramer ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 8, 2020
  • Weather Protection - 30% 7.0
  • Weight - 20% 5.0
  • Mobility and Fit - 20% 8.0
  • Venting and Breathability - 20% 6.0
  • Features and Design - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

Patagonia brings some stretch into the Hardshell category with the Galvanized jacket, a waterproof model with the mobility of a softshell. The Polyester/spandex shell fabric of this jacket feels a bit different than the usual nylon, triggering skepticism amongst our testers concerning its waterproofness. Testing revealed that the combination of Patagonia's H2No waterproof breathable membrane and DWR treatment can keep you bone dry inside the jacket. However, the shell fabric wetted out faster than traditional nylon shells, reducing its breathability when wet. Still, the impressive mobility and weather protection it offers leaves the Galvanized well-suited for ice climbing or mountaineering.
Excellent mobility
"Wets out" more easily than other models
Slower to dry than other models
Especially when the DWR treatment begins to wear off
Environmental Updates
Since we tested the Galvanized, Patagonia has made some eco-conscious revisions to the jacket. It's now certified Fair Trade sewn and utilizes polyester fabric that is 100% recycled. It sports some new colors and has dropped in price, but otherwise boasts the same design and feature set as the version we tested. See the updated Galvanized jacket above.

Our Analysis and Test Results

Unique in its stretchiness, the Galvanized shares a similar weight and set of features with the Black Diamond Sharp End. Although its competitors proved to be slightly more weatherproof, none could match the Galvanized in terms of mobility. While jackets like the Arc'teryx Beta AR can crossover for sking, we feel the Galvanized performs best for alpine climbing.

Performance Comparison

patagonia galvanized - due to the supple, stretchy fabrics, this was one of the more...
Due to the supple, stretchy fabrics, this was one of the more comfortable shells we reviewed, especially when wearing a backpack or a climbing harness.
Credit: Matt Bento

Weather Protection

Thanks to a long torso length and a generous cut through the shoulders supplemented by stretch, the Galvanized provides plenty of coverage. In our shower testing, testers remained completely dry, despite some wetting out around the seems and housings for the drawcords. The wetting out concerns us in terms of breathability (more on that later), but in terms of weather protection, this jacket is a solid choice for ice climbing (its intended purpose) but works for ski touring and even some resort skiing as well. The hood keeps snow out of your face with or without a helmet on.

patagonia galvanized - when the dwr treatment is new and the jacket is clean, water beads...
When the DWR treatment is new and the jacket is clean, water beads up and falls out the jacket.
Credit: Matt Bento

Weight and Packability

At 17 ounces for a men's large, this jacket has nearly the same weight as similarly featured hardshells like the Black Diamond Sharp End. While not as attractive to ounce-counters as the 11 ounce Arc'teryx Alpha FL, it's respectably lightweight considering its full supplement of features, and speaking of, the Galvanized stuffs easily into its left-hand pocket, a feature found on few hardshells, scoring it an extra point for packability. Unfortunately, Patagonia didn't include a clip-in loop, which seems like a no-brainer to pair with the stuff pocket feature. Hopefully, they'll include one in future versions.

patagonia galvanized - this jacket is the only hardshell model we review that stows away...
This jacket is the only hardshell model we review that stows away into its own pocket, taking up a little less space than a football. A clip in loop would have been a nice addition.
Credit: Matt Bento

Mobility and Fit

A little stretch gives this model a considerable advantage in terms of mobility. Even with an insulated jacket layered underneath, we had complete range of motion to reach high above our heads, even with a pack on with the waistbelt cinched down. This is awesome for any type of climbing since the stretch lets you move around without causing the sleeves or the hem to ride up, exposing your vulnerable flesh to the stinging cold. Patagonia says this jacket has a “slim fit”, but we had no trouble layering it over a fleece and an insulated jacket. There is more space in the Galvanized than the same-sized Arc'teryx Alpha FL, but it doesn't feel baggy like the REI Stormbolt.

patagonia galvanized - the stretch of this jacket adds some durability, making it less...
The stretch of this jacket adds some durability, making it less likely to shred against abrasive granite and brush. Sometimes the photo isn't worth crawling up lichen-covered kitty litter choss.
Credit: Matt Bento

Venting and Breathability

Two 15 inch pit zips ensure that the Galvanized is up to the venting standard for hardshells. The three-layer H2no membrane seems comparable to Gore-Tex, and during our breathability testing, we didn't feel like we were wearing a trash bag. However, we do have some concerns about how easily this jacket wets out in areas where the DWR is wearing off. If moisture from sweat is on the inside of the jacket, it won't diffuse to the outside if the face fabric is entirely soaked.


This jacket features two big ol' handwarmer pockets, strategically placed high on the torso to limit interference from a waistbelt or a climbing harness. It also has an external chest pocket that seems nearly waterproof from the inside and out, making a safe space for phones, batteries, and lighters. For keeping out the cold, the Galvanized has Patagonia's creme de la creme of assorted drawstrings and cord locks, three for the hood, and one for the hem. The hood has a rear drawstring for securing the hood and two more in front underneath the chin for positioning the hood around the face.

patagonia galvanized - the hood is large enough for a low profile climbing helmet but to...
The hood is large enough for a low profile climbing helmet but to tight for a larger ski helmet. It provides excellent weather protection thanks to the stiff brim and three point adjustment system.
Credit: Matt Bento

These cords are located on the outside of the jacket, so you don't have to risk exposure with internal drawstrings like the internal design on the REI Stormbolt GTX. Them hem cinch is located inside the lefthand pocket, ensuring that any slack from the cinched drawstring stays out of the way doesn't get caught on branches or carabiners on your harness.

patagonia galvanized - with a fresh dwr treatment, this jacket easily sheds the first wet...
With a fresh DWR treatment, this jacket easily sheds the first wet, heavy snow of the season.
Credit: Matt Bento


The price of this shell actually isn't that bad, considering that there are more expensive options from Arc'teryx and The North Face. Patagonia keeps the price down by using their own proprietary waterproof breathable membrane instead of a Gore-Tex membrane, circumventing a more expensive R&D process, and going with a membrane that's less breathable but equally waterproof. The stretchy material allows the shell fabric to give a little when it gets caught on a branch or brushed against sharp rocks, making this jacket less likely to rip, and adding some value in terms of longevity.


Our testers love the stretch factor of the Galvanized. Though it's not our favorite piece for ski touring or alpine climbing, you could still use it for those purposes, and you won't have to spend an arm and a leg.

Jack Cramer