We tested this jacket during one of the snowiest winters on record in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Our objectives included a lot of ski days in inclement weather, both on and off-piste. We loved its weather protection, mobility, and breathability, not to mention its low weight.
Let 'er rip! This jacket breathes on the way up and offers top notch protection in inclement weather.
Hands down, the Patagonia Galvanized provides the best weather protection of any jacket we reviewed. The outer material is a 3-layer waterproof breathable fabric called H2No, which is treated with a DWR finish to help it bead off water if you are hiking, climbing, or skiing in the rain or snow. The seams are taped, like a hardshell jacket, to make it incredibly water resistant. The larger fit allows for complete coverage of the waistline, and the adjustable hood easily fits over climbing and ski helmets.
Under snowy skies, we felt warm and dry behind the enclosure of this jacket.
All of the zippers are coated with polyurethane, ensuring a watertight closure, and the oversized cuffs are easily secured around bare wrists and heavy gloves alike with a velcro strap.
The Galvanized jacket is a hybrid and is somewhere in between a hardshell and a softshell. With a 3-layer shell, we would have expected it to breathe about as well as a black plastic garbage bag, at least when compared to such breathable models as the Rab Torque, but we were quite surprised at how well the stretch woven shell performed when working hard on steep uphill climbs.
Long underarm zips held to get rid of unwanted heat and perspiration.
This jacket certainly does not have the same air permeability as the Arc'teryx Gamma LT, but the underarm zippers open wide to dump heat out when you are overheating. Unlike most hardshell jackets, which we cannot stand exerting ourselves in, we found that we kept the Galvanized on our backs more often while ski touring, rather than keeping it in the pack until precipitation got too intense.
Mobility & Fit
While many of the softshells we tested have an athletic, trim fit that does not allow for much more than a base layer underneath, we were happy that the Galvanized has a roomier fit. We could comfortably fit a fleece base layer and a light or medium weight insulated jacket while still feeling mobile and unrestricted. We would describe the fit as being more freeride-skier inspired than fitted alpine climber inspired, so consider sizing up or down depending on how close you would like your jacket to form to your body.
Working hard on a skin track, the added room and stretchy material in this shell gave us plenty of mobility.
Weight & Packed Size
With a verified weight of 1.06 lbs, this jacket is in the middle of the weight range of the models we tested. At nearly the same weight as the Marmot ROM and Rab Torque, this one has much more weather protection to offer, providing very appealing usefulness to weight ratio.
This jacket is rich with features, most of which will appeal to all potential users and a couple of which are specific to the skier crowd. The full-size hood has 3-way adjustments and fits over even the biggest helmet. Two large handwarmer pockets and one chest pocket give you lots of room to stuff energy bars or sunscreen, and long underarm zippers give you options to customize your ventilation.
Big cuff openings and glove-friendly velcro closures made this a favorite for colder weather days.
The more unique feature is the concealed Recco reflector, a small passive tab that aids ski patrollers in recovery in the event of an inbounds avalanche. While quite common in ski clothing, this is the only jacket we reviewed that has a Recco sewn in.
The Recco chip is concealed on the upper back and does not interfere with use or add any unneeded weight.
Offered in three solid colors, the Galvanized is a good looking and stylish coat that has an adventurous look but would not feel out of place standing in line at the coffee shop on the way to work.
This pro-level hardshell/softshell hybrid jacket is our favorite choice for heading out into the mountains with a marginal weather forecast, on an objective where weight is critical and we want the benefit of breathability and mobility, but are unwilling to sacrifice wet weather protection. Built for alpinists and backcountry skiers, the Galvanized handles those conditions well, but also is a good option for hikers and trekkers who have more fickle weather like the Pacific Northwest.
This is no place to be worried about your layering choices - take the all-in-one Galvanized and cover all your bases!
This jacket definitely costs a bit more than the average jacket in our review. It offers breathable waterproof construction with top-notch features, plus it's backed by Patagonia's Ironclad guarantee. For the alpinist in need, we think it's worth the price.
This protective layer is both softshell and a hardshell at once. It has great breathability as well as waterproofness, a combination that is not easy to find. This is a jacket we would not hesitate to recommend if you are up against challenging weather and don't want to question when your softshell is going to soak through.