Patagonia Untracked - Women's Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
This burly hard shell jacket will keep you protected from all the elements when you're out there on storm days in any conditions whether it's cold smoke or elephant snot.
This 3-layer Gore-Tex fortress of a jacket is extremely weather resistant. When we wear this jacket on storm days it feels like nothing can get to us, no moisture is allowed in. The large hood fits easily over a helmet and stays there, even when we fall in a pile of powder or turn to look at our friend on the chairlift. We did not feel any drafts through the Untracked's zippers when sliding downhill at Mach speeds. This jacket is a great choice for warm, wet days on the mountain and is extremely water resistant. The Patagonia Primo Down - Women's is also a great choice in burly weather conditions, especially if it's cold out because it has an extra layer of down insulation that the Untracked does not.
Comfort and Fit
The Untracked has a relaxed fit, and we think it fits true to size, even though it may feel a little baggy — that's how it's supposed to look. It was large enough to put several layers on underneath when temperatures dipped. One of our testers who is especially style-conscious and fits a medium well says she would have sized up for an extra steezy, loose fit. This jacket moved well with us, and we didn't think about it at all when we were skiing downhill. Its thick shell material is slightly more stiff and heavier than the Arc'teryx Sentinel - Women's, and so it scored slightly lower in this department.
This jacket has immediate steeze appeal. It has a long, relaxed fit that is so hot right now. We like the Untracked's contrasting zippers, and the yellow color we tested grew on us — although we wish Patagonia had a few more color choices. Bi-colored jackets are all the rage this season, and the Untracked comes in a two-tone "Elwah Blue" color we like. We think the Flylow Billie Coat is a slightly more stylish ski hardshell and also comes in a bi-colored design. If you want an even flashier jacket, the Armada Stadium has some steeze appeal too.
We scored all three of the shell jackets we reviewed the same. None of them, including Patagonia's Untracked Jacket, are insulated and can not be evaluated in the warmth department.
The Untracked has great ventilation. It has interesting pit-zips that slash diagonally under your arms. These pit-zips are longer than both the Flylow Billie Coat and Arc'teryx Sentinel, and can be opened very wide for maximum venting. The Gore-Tex shell material seems to breathe relatively well, we only noticed slight moisture inside from condensation after a day of working hard on the slopes. A more permeable material like on the Orage Nina seems to breathe slightly better.
The Untracked has all the ski features a girl could need, with some subtle bells and whistles. It has goggle and pass pockets as well as an interior media pocket with a headphone gasket which is great for times when we want to switch up our tunes but don't want to open up our jacket. The snow skirt may be the best of the bunch. Since the jacket is long, the skirt starts out lower than most and has a low profile grippy rubber band that holds it in place, and the material is super thin so doesn't add bulk around your behind. It's still not perfect, and it eventually rides up and pulls up layers like all the rest, but you can solve this by connecting it to your Untracked pants. We prefer jackets with removable snow skirts like the Billie Coat but this is a close second.
We love the Untracked's large hood and think its drawcord system is intuitive and easy to use. Similarly, the hem drawcord system that is stashed in the pocket and has easy release buttons are great. This jacket also comes equipped with RECCO avalanche technology, which may save your life in an in-bounds avalanche and is pretty standard in high-end ski clothing. Many of the jackets we tested have RECCO including the Arc'teryx Tiya.
The fact that the Untracked is an un-insulated shell makes it a very versatile jacket. It can handle all kinds of weather from wet and warm to cold and dry as well as gale force winds. You'll just have to choose what you wear underneath! This is a great choice for resort skiing and short side country and backcountry missions. It's a bit on the heavy side at 1.5 lbs so it wouldn't be our first choice for longer ski tours.
The Untracked retails for a whopping $650. We were a bit shocked to discover this price tag and think it is overpriced. For $100 more you can get the down insulated Patagonia Primo Down - Women's, which we think is a much better value. The least expensive shell jacket we tested is the Flylow Billie Coat, which retails for a few hundred less and is a great value.
We think Patagonia's Untracked jacket is a high quality, high functioning ski shell. It performs great on the slopes and kept us protected from the elements. It is stylish and comfortable. We wish that Patagonia hadn't put such a high price tag on it.
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