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Patagonia Upstride Jacket Review

This thin and svelte softshell is ideal for mild weather skiing and doubles as a shoulder season town jacket
patagonia upstride jacket ski jacket review
Credit: Patagonia
Price:  $299 List
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 2, 2022
52
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 17
  • Warmth - 20% 2.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 2.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 20% 7.0
  • Ventilation - 15% 10.0
  • Style - 15% 7.0
  • Features - 10% 4.0

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Upstride is a thin and slim-fitting softshell jacket that is great for spring skiing or light touring, but not warm or protective enough for most ski days. The jacket is made from a stretchy and thin softshell material that barely provides any warmth. The fit is snug, making this a good layer to wear over a base layer for spring skiing or aerobic uphill travel, but it doesn't allow enough room for layering in cold weather. Since the shell isn't waterproof, it's only usable on fair weather days. That said, the material is breathable, and the jacket looks good in both warm ski situations and around town during the spring and autumn. But the lack of versatility, even for backcountry skiing, prevents this jacket from being a must-have.
REASONS TO BUY
Super breathable
Lightweight
Comfortable
Stylish
REASONS TO AVOID
Not warm or weather resistant
Can't layer underneath
Minimal features

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards   Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $164.45 at Backcountry
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$259 List
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$300 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Super breathable, lightweight, comfortable, stylishInexpensive, warm, comfortable, good featuresWeather resistant, good vents, plenty of featuresInexpensive, moderately weather resistant, warm enoughInexpensive, warm
Cons Not warm or weather resistant, can't layer underneath, minimal featuresNot that stylish, compromised weather protection, doesn't breathe wellHanging liner makes it a bit warm for a shell, fit isn't perfectBland style, poor ventilation, generic fitDoesn't look good, minimal features, no vents, poor fit
Bottom Line This thin and svelte softshell is ideal for mild weather skiing and doubles as a shoulder season town jacketThis jacket packs lots of performance into an inexpensive package, creating great valueA high-performance shell at a great priceAn average-performance ski jacket with decent features at an affordable priceThis incredibly inexpensive jacket lacks the performance of most others on the market
Rating Categories Patagonia Upstride... Obermeyer Foundation REI Co-op First Cha... REI Co-op Powderbou... Moerdeng Waterproof
Warmth (20%)
2.0
8.0
4.0
6.0
8.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
2.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Comfort and Fit (20%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
4.0
Ventilation (15%)
10.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Style (15%)
7.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
2.0
Features (10%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Patagonia Upstride... Obermeyer Foundation REI Co-op First Cha... REI Co-op Powderbou... Moerdeng Waterproof
Main Fabric 100% polyester 45% Repreve Polyester, 55% Polyester 2-layer Gore-Tex Nylon 100% polyester
Insulation None 100g synthetic body, 80g sleeves, 40g hood Recycled polyester lining 60g polyester sleeves, 80g polyester body Synthetic with fleece lining
Pockets 2 zippered side, 1 zippered chest 2 zipppered chest, zippered pass pocket, interior electronics pocket 2 handwarmer, 2 chest, 1 internal chest, 1 sleeve 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest, 1 sleeve, 1 internal zippered chest, 1 internal mesh 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest
Weight (size large) 1.02 lbs 2.62 lbs 1.76 lbs 1.81 lbs 2.40 lbs
Water Resistance DWR HydroBlock Pro with critical seams sealed Gore-Tex 2-layer waterproof breathable laminate Unknown
Hood Adjustable Adjustable and Removable Adjustable Adjustable Adjustable and Removable
Pit-Zips Side Vents Yes Yes Yes No
Cuff construction Elastic Velcro, inner sleeve with thumb loop Velcro Interior wide hook-and-loop adjustments and external velcro Velcro
Powder skirt No Yes Yes, removable Yes No
RECCO Yes No No No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

This jacket breathes very well and is comfortable to wear on its own during warm weather.

Performance Comparison


patagonia upstride jacket ski jacket review - the upstride on the groomers during early season testing in cold...
The Upstride on the groomers during early season testing in cold Colorado weather.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Warmth


The Upstride consists of nothing but a thin soft shell with no insulation. The shell material has very little insulation value, and this jacket doesn't provide any warmth on cold winter days. It feels more like a windbreaker for urban athletics than a ski coat. Additionally, the fit is snug, so it's hard to wear insulating layers underneath during cold weather. As such, this jacket is only useful for spring skiing in warm, sunny weather or during aerobic workouts where the body is responsible for generating any necessary heat.

patagonia upstride jacket ski jacket review - a thin softshell material is all that stands between you and the...
A thin softshell material is all that stands between you and the winter chill.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Weather Resistance


Other than Patagonia's excellent DWR finish and critically-taped seams, the Upstride isn't waterproof. The soft shell material resists liquid water, but it doesn't completely keep it out. Over time, the DWR coating wears off, and the shell material can get soaked. That said, we found that the DWR coating lasts a long time, and in our shower test, no water got through this jacket. Important seams are sealed, preventing water from getting in between fabric panels. We would wear this jacket in a light spring storm, but if major precipitation is in the forecast, we'd rather wear a hard shell.

patagonia upstride jacket ski jacket review - the hood provides nice coverage to a helmeted head, but the soft...
The hood provides nice coverage to a helmeted head, but the soft shell fabric isn't enough to keep winter weather at bay. It is, however, enough for spring skiing.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Comfort and Fit


The Upstride is made from a soft supple material that is very comfortable against the skin. It feels more like a windbreaker or tracksuit than a stiff ski jacket. The fit is athletic but very well tailored, and Patagonia shows off its experience making great casual, comfortable clothing. This jacket is comfortable enough to be worn to the office, to the bar, and around town on errands. During exertion, the panels stretch with the body and make athletic movements easy.

patagonia upstride jacket ski jacket review - the upstride has a snug fit, and although it moves well, it doesn't...
The Upstride has a snug fit, and although it moves well, it doesn't allow layers to be worn underneath.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Ventilation


The Upstride lacks armpit vents, but the shell material is so breathable that it doesn't need any. This jacket breathes better than any other ski jacket out there, mostly because it isn't built like any other ski jacket. With a short hem, open wrist cuffs, and a loose chin fit, there is plenty of room for air to escape, even when the user is as bundled up as could be. This design allows excellent breathability when the user is skinning uphill or slamming slush bumps while spring skiing, but it also means that users will be cold in most winter temperatures if they are not actively moving.

patagonia upstride jacket ski jacket review - no pit zips? no problem. the soft shell fabric breathes plenty for...
No pit zips? No problem. The soft shell fabric breathes plenty for uphill athletes.
Credit: Jeff Dobronyi

Style


This jacket looks great. From the uptrack to the closing day party, the Upstride's form-fitting and athletic yet refined look is a winner. We have taken to wearing this jacket around town on errands and out to dinner. We even know people who think this jacket looks formal enough to wear to work. With such versatile looks, the style here can't be ignored.

patagonia upstride jacket ski jacket review - the upstride looks great on the slopes, and also doubles as a...
The Upstride looks great on the slopes, and also doubles as a stylish town jacket.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Features


Keeping weight to a minimum, the Upstride is light on features. There are two external handwarmer pockets and one external chest pocket, and that's it. No internal stash pockets and no ski pass sleeve pocket. When you're skinning uphill at your aerobic limit, this isn't a problem. But if you want to wear this jacket to the ski resort, you better not bring too much stuff with you. This jacket is geared towards movement, not storage.

patagonia upstride jacket ski jacket review - no pockets in here to slow you down on the skin track.
No pockets in here to slow you down on the skin track.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

Should You Buy the Patagonia Upstride?


This is a niche jacket for serious uphill skiers who want a shell layer to protect them from wind and snowfall during light-and-fast backcountry missions. It is also a good spring ski jacket that can double as a town jacket in temperate autumn and spring weather. Considering this limited scope of use, the Upstride is pretty expensive, so we don't recommend it to most skiers. But if you want a good garment for these specific activities, this jacket will serve you well.

patagonia upstride jacket ski jacket review - skiing groomers in the patagonia upstride.
Skiing groomers in the Patagonia Upstride.
Credit: Jackie Kearney

What Other Ski Jackets Should You Consider?


If you are looking for a light shell for backcountry skiing but need a little more weather protection, the Mammut Aenergy Air employs Gore-Tex to fend off the weather and is our top pick for ski mountaineering and spring skiing. If you want an even burlier shell for the backcountry, the Arc'teryx Rush is an excellent choice, but it is much more expensive. On the other end of the spectrum, the REI Co-op First Chair GTX is an affordable shell for everyday use.

Jeff Dobronyi
 
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