Patagonia Upstride Jacket Review
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Patagonia Upstride Jacket
|Price||$164.45 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
$259.00 at REI
$299.00 at REI
$199.00 at REI
$39.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Super breathable, lightweight, comfortable, stylish||Inexpensive, warm, comfortable, good features||Weather resistant, good vents, plenty of features||Inexpensive, moderately weather resistant, warm enough||Inexpensive, warm|
|Cons||Not warm or weather resistant, can't layer underneath, minimal features||Not that stylish, compromised weather protection, doesn't breathe well||Hanging liner makes it a bit warm for a shell, fit isn't perfect||Bland style, poor ventilation, generic fit||Doesn'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 jacket||This jacket packs lots of performance into an inexpensive package, creating great value||A high-performance shell at a great price||An average-performance ski jacket with decent features at an affordable price||This 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|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Comfort and Fit (20%)|
|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|
|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|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This jacket breathes very well and is comfortable to wear on its own during warm weather.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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