Patagonia Maple Grove Parka Review
Cons: Poor weather resistance, bulky feel
Our Analysis and Test Results
When we first picked up this jacket, we knew we were holding a high-quality contender. It is warm, durable, looks great, has a full set of features, and is relatively comfortable to wear. Unfortunately, the shell fabric isn't waterproof, which detracts from its overall performance.
The Patagonia Maple Grove Parka is filled with plenty of high quality, 600-fill power down insulation that has been recycled from other down products. This insulation is very warm and durable, and fills every corner of the jacket, including an insulated neck rib to take up some room in this critical warmth area. This jacket has a good amount of insulation to keep users warm on most brutal winter days, but those who live in truly arctic climates would want to consider a warmer jacket.
Unfortunately, the Maple Grove is not fully waterproof, due to its mostly cotton shell fabric. Patagonia treats the outer shell with its excellent DWR repellent finish, but this treatment eventually wears off, and when it does, the parka won't be waterproof. Down insulation is highly susceptible to moisture, losing its loft, and thus its insulation capabilities, when wet. This means that if water soaks through the outer shell fabric, not only will the user get wet, but they'll also get cold as the down becomes ineffective. Users who live in wet winter climates should not consider this jacket suitable for everyday winter use.
When you first put on this jacket, you notice its weight. The shell fabric is burly and heavy, and there is tons of down insulation to keep the user warm. However, the jacket is remarkably comfortable to wear, despite the apparent bulk. The down baffles lay pleasantly against your skin, and the jacket cut doesn't leave any bulk hanging off the body awkwardly. The hood is comfortable as well. That said, the outer shell is canvas, and feels like it.
Our testers like how the Maple Grove parka looks. It has sharp features and an urban look without being a full trench coat, with large cargo pockets and open handwarmer pockets on the front waist, and a button flap that covers the front zipper. The jacket features clean lines and the classic small Patagonia label on the front lapel. The jacket's style is decidedly casual, yet refined and classy.
The Maple Grove Parka features two open handwarmer pockets that are located directly underneath the two large front cargo pockets, which snap closed with two buttons each. There is also one external zippered chest pocket on the left side, and one internal zippered chest pocket on the right side. Our favorite winter parka design also includes interior stash pockets for storing gloves and other winter accessories, but the Maple Grove is still very well-featured.
The Maple Grove is built to last. The canvas external shell fabric is thick and can take a beating. All of the stitching seems very solid, despite our best efforts to pull the jacket apart at the seams. Patagonia makes good clothing and this jacket seems like no exception. We did not run into any durability issues during our testing period. Plus, Patagonia has excellent warranty and repair programs should you run into any issues.
This jacket sits squarely in the middle of the pack in terms of price, while delivering slightly above-average performance. The big issue for us is the lack of a waterproof membrane in the shell, rendering this jacket less useful for users in moist winter climates. And since winter typically brings rain and snow, not just sunny skies, we can't recommend this jacket for users looking for one winter jacket to wear every day, no matter the weather. It could suffice for people who spend most of their time inside and expect to have very limited exposure to precipitation.
This jacket kept our testers warm and looking good, and it is durable enough to withstand rugged outdoor use. We are disappointed that Patagonia did not decide to include a waterproof shell fabric, which would make this jacket much more useful in climates where winter storms are a part of life. That said, if you are looking for a winter jacket to keep you warm in a cold and dry climate, the Maple Grove is an excellent choice.
— Jeff Dobronyi
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