The Cloud Ridge from Patagonia didn't earn an award but was a favorite among reviewers. This jacket is not quite as versatile as others in this review, but if you're looking for a colder weather hardshell, this could be a great one for you. The simple, streamlined features keep this jacket lightweight enough to earn a spot in our backcountry skiing and alpine climbing backpacks. The fabric is a little thicker and less breathable, so this restricts the jacket's usefulness to cooler weather adventures. We also always appreciate the nod to the environment from Patagonia; this jacket uses 100% recycled polyester.
Patagonia Cloud Ridge - Women's Review
Compare prices at 4 resellers Pros: Great value, durable, recycled, comfortable, simple
Cons: Not ideal for warmer climates
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Patagonia uses their own proprietary H2No three-layer shell fabric. This includes 30 denier recycled polyester ripstop, a durable fabric, plus a waterproof/breathable barrier and backer and the standard Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish that sheds snow and rain to keep the breathable pores of the jacket from getting clogged by precipitation.
The Cloud Ridge has a helmet-compatible hood to keep out the elements on an alpine climb, and the stiffened brim helps keep precip out of your eyes. There is a cinching flap under the brim which closes the hood more securely around your face.
For the burliest weather protection in this review, check out the Arc'teryx Alpha SV or the Mammut Nordwand Pro HS. Or for lightweight weather protection, check out the Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid.
The Cloud Ridge is very comfortable for a variety of activities. We were impressed by how well it performed on ice climbs, allowing full range of motion. The jacket is spacious enough to allow some warmer layers underneath without feeling cumbersome.
For our favorite hardshell jackets in terms of movement and activities, turn to either the Arc'teryx Beta SL or the Hybrid version, or the Norrona Trollveggen, an excellent and versatile alpine climbing shell jacket.
The Cloud Ridge is a little thicker than some of the jackets in this review, boasting slightly more durable 30 denier polyester. It is also made of Patagonia's proprietary H2No fabric. We find this to be less breathable than products made with lighter weight Gore-Tex Active 3-layer fabric. This jacket also doesn't have pit vents, so, while this seemed like a good fit for the lighter REI Drypoint GTX jacket, it limits this jacket to colder temperatures or lower output aerobic activities.
For the most impressive jackets in Breathability, scope out the Arc'teryx Beta SL Hybrid with its lightweight, breathable fabric plus pit vents. And if breathability is what matters most to you because you need a running shell, check out The North Face HyperAir GTX Trail.
The Cloud Ridge is like a slightly burlier REI Drypoint GTX. These two jackets are very similar in style and price, but the Cloud Ridge is just a little heavier with its 30 denier fabric. If you like the simplicity of the Drypoint, our Best Buy winner, but you need something with a little more grit, the Cloud Ridge might be the answer.
The Cloud Ridge is a very simple and streamlined hardshell jacket. It has a helmet compatible, adjustable hood with a nice brim and cinching stretch material inside to close the hood around your face. The bottom hem has adjustable toggles to keep out drafts. The two hand pockets are high enough to allow you to access them when wearing a backpack hip belt or a harness.
Patagonia also added a hook to the hood drawcord so you can roll the jacket up into the hood and stretch the cord around the bundle. This could be clipped to a harness in a pinch (though it's not the best design for that); otherwise, it is a nice way to store the jacket in a protected manner. We love the addition of microfleece to the neck and collar—those small details, when they don't add significant weight, go a long way toward promoting comfort when the going gets rough.
For a similarly streamlined and straightforward jacket made of lighter weight and more breathable fabric, we like the REI Drypoint GTX.
The Cloud Ridge is made of 30 denier polyester ripstop, making it above average for durability in this review. The features are simple, and we encountered no durability issues testing this jacket in a variety of activities around town and on ice climbs.
For the most durable jackets in this review, you'll likely want to turn to our expedition-ready jackets, the Arc'teryx Alpha SV or the Mammut Nordwand Pro HS. These are your best bet for serious weather when a sturdy shell is an immensely important piece of safety gear.
The Cloud Ridge is less versatile than many jackets in this review. This largely stems from the use of slightly heavier fabric with no pit vents and restricts the utility of this jacket to colder temperatures or lower output aerobic activities.
The Cloud Ridge is most suitable for colder temperatures and low output aerobic activities; it was useful on mellow hikes and ice climbs with the appropriate layering scheme underneath. It was relatively easy to fit some light layers on under this jacket, confirming the usefulness in colder temperatures.
The Cloud Ridge is an excellent jacket, boasting recycled polyester and thus a smaller footprint than other jackets in the industry. Patagonia products are often well worth the cost, as they are durable and well made. The only thing that reduced the value of this jacket in our testing was the limited temperature range in which we felt it was the right type of layer. It's just a little bit thick for milder temperatures, and it doesn't have pit vents, just core vents on the front of the jacket which tend to close when we're moving briskly forward. If you're looking for a jacket for cooler temperatures and which is easy to layer warmer clothing underneath, this might be your jacket.
The Patagonia Cloud Ridge is an excellent hardshell for cooler temperatures and/or lower output aerobic activities. It is simple and streamlined with just two hand pockets that double as vents. It is a thicker, durable jacket, suitable for mountain use, but limited in its ability to shed heat in a hurry in more moderate temperatures. We always appreciate Patagonia's ethics, and in this jacket, they use recycled polyester. If this jacket suits your needs, we think you'll love it!
— Lyra Pierotti