Patagonia Adze Hoody Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia Adze Hoody is a fantastic looking softshell that does its job. It is not a technical jacket with climbing ability, however. It is a casual jacket that is made of weather resistant materials. It is our favorite non-technical softshell we reviewed.
The Adze Hoody uses a 2-layer stretch woven fabric that is 90% polyester/10% spandex (its outer material). This fabric is treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) treatment, which allows water to bead off. We experienced good results from the outer layer as it blocked cold winds and kept light precipitation from penetrating the inner fabric. The heavy feeling material held up to a vigorous soaking almost as good as the North Face Apex Bionic 2 jacket, which employs a thick outer fabric and solid DWR treatment.
The large hood capably fits over a helmet and uses a 3-way cord system to tighten around the head and face, making it a reasonable choice for a spring skiing day at the local hill. Velcro closures on each wrist are secure and keep the cold and wet from getting in, even with gloves on. Though the hem around the waist has a drawcord to secure it, and the extended cut sits eight inches below the waistline, we could never get it as tight as we wanted, preferring a closer fit like that found on the Arcteryx Gamma LT.
We gave the Adze a score of 6 in breathability, behind top-scoring models like the ultra-breathable OR Ferrosi Hooded and the climbing-minded Rab Torque. This was the most breathable of the casual jackets we tested, however. The decrease in overall breathability is a result of the use of a grid fleece backing inside the 2-layer stretch woven fabric. The grid gives added warmth and wind resistance and supposedly aids in moisture wicking, but we found that these interior fabrics often trap the heat and make us warmer than we'd hope to be during high output activity. Patagonia bills this as a highly breathable jacket for high energy activity; we would trend towards one of the jackets mentioned above and intend to utilize this one for less aerobic activity.
The Adze jacket is one from Patagonia's climbing inspired line. While it uses materials derived from advances in alpine garments, it is not the jacket we would want to take on a climbing trip unless it was a stroll to the local boulders or crag. The 2-layer stretch fabric does not move with the body nearly as much as the Marmot ROM or the Ferrosi jacket, and the cut feels rather boxy and baggy. Patagonia nails it with many of their jackets, but this one fell short in overall movement ability. While reaching overhead the cuffs dropped two inches, and the hem rose five inches, allowing in drafts since the adjustable cord does not secure the hem as well as we would have liked.
Coming in with a weight of 1.6 pounds, the Adze Hoody is not a direct competitor to the award-winning jackets in our review, though it does not necessarily need to be. That weight is not as noticeable when you are wearing the jacket, and in cold and windy weather, on a trip to class, the store, or out on the town, you won't likely notice the extra bulk. For those looking for a jacket with better technical ability, though, the Arc'teryx Gamma LT is a much more capable garment at a lower weight and gives more features and protection.
The Adze Hoody is relatively simple in regards to features. It has most of the key features that we look for in a softshell like adjustable drawcords on the hood and hem, cuff closures, and zippered outer pockets, though they are subtle and are not flashy. The diagonal cut outer handwarmer pockets are easy to slide your hands into, but because of the angle, almost always require two hands to close the zipper. There is a single interior zippered pocket for a cell phone or wallet. The Adze has some of the best features of any of the other casual softshells we reviewed.
When we first picked up the Adze Hoody, we thought it looked like a full-zip sweatshirt, with its baggy fit and diagonally cut handwarmer pockets. It does not have the tight, trim fitting cut of the Arcteryx Gamma MX Hoody, though is a huge step up from The North Face Apex Bionic 2, a jacket which fits more like a potato sack than an outdoor-inspired garment. The Adze has taken an approachable, relaxed style and given it a modern twist with technically sourced materials. The result is good looking, regular fitting jacket that can be easily worn over a t-shirt or a sweater depending on the weather. It's also available in four soft colors that don't make you feel like a Skittle.
At $199, the Adze Hoody is reasonably priced when compared to most other jackets in this review. It is a more capable jacket than the more budget-friendly Columbia and The North Face models, though was outperformed in almost every metric by the similarly priced Rab Torque.
This simple looking softshell jacket is built with quality fabrics and will keep the weather on the outside where it belongs. It is best suited to relaxed occasions and activities, where extra mobility is not necessary. A good all purpose around the town jacket, the Adze is a better bet for shopping for an ice axe rather than using one.
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