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Patagonia Adze Hoody - Women's Review

The Adze Hoody is an affordable and warm softshell that, despite being stiff and heavy, is a viable option for many cold weather activities.
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Price:  $199 List | $129.97 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Good wind resistance, adjustable cuffs, helmet compatible hood, internal zip pocket, durable
Cons:  Heavy, stiff, boxy fit, not very breathable
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 26, 2017
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63
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Weather Protection - 30% 9
  • Breathability - 30% 5
  • Mobility - 20% 5
  • Weight - 10% 5
  • Features - 5% 7
  • Style - 5% 5

Our Verdict

We liken the Patagonia Adze Hoody to a trusty snow boot — it protects against inclement weather but is too bulky for running or jumping. This jacket is almost the heaviest in our review at 25.3 ounces. While the two-layer material and fleece-grid lining protect against wind and cold, this jacket is also far less breathable and flexible than other models we tested. That said, the weather protection that the Adze offers is decent for the price point. If you are looking for a protective and versatile jacket for cool weather, this is a viable option.

Color Updates — Patagonia updated the colors for the Adze Hoody, but the rest of the specs, fit, and design features of the jacket remain unchanged.

If money is no object and you want better mobility and breathability, we recommend looking at our long-time Editors' Choice, the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody. It's not quite as warm as the Adze, but it's much more pleasant to wear, especially if you're moving much. If it's warmth you're after, we love the Outdoor Research Ascendant Hoody, our Top Pick for Warmth. While it's not the most durable, it's super cozy and offers excellent mobility.


Our Analysis and Test Results

An affordable shell with excellent wind protection, the Patagonia Adze Hoody doesn't quite stack up against the majority of other jackets in our review. It's heavy, stiff, and the fit is a bit awkward. However, it's still a good shell for the price, offering a helmet-compatible hood, adjustable cuffs, and admirable weather protection. For the right person and activity, it could be a good match.

Performance Comparison


Despite freezing wind and blowing snow  our testers were able to stay warm and protected in the right kind of softshell.
Despite freezing wind and blowing snow, our testers were able to stay warm and protected in the right kind of softshell.

Weather Protection


This softshell is constructed with a 2-layer, 9.3-oz stretch woven fabric comprised of 90% polyester and 10% spandex. It has a fleece grid backer and a DWR finish for added insulation and protection. Of all our rating metrics, weather protection is where the Adze rises to the top, blocking out wind and cold like a champ. However, the thick fabric and fleece make it more stiff than soft and not very breathable. We also noticed that water seeped through all those layers in a relatively short amount of time during our water tests.

And though we were warm in high winds and low temperatures, we found the fit on the Adze to be a bit boxy and awkward. There simply isn't much stretch, and the material around the chin isn't very soft and doesn't come as far up the face as other models. While we happily recognize the ability of this jacket to keep the weather at bay, the subpar fit lessens what could otherwise be a very cozy experience.

The Adze Hoody was a bit stiff and boxy  but the fleece lining and heavy weight of this shell did indeed keep us warm and protected on a frigid day hiking through alpine glaciers.
The Adze Hoody was a bit stiff and boxy, but the fleece lining and heavy weight of this shell did indeed keep us warm and protected on a frigid day hiking through alpine glaciers.

Breathability


In our experience, the Adze Hoody is more than adequate in the weather protection department, but as a trade-off, it struggles with breathability. The interior of the jacket is lined with a gridded fleece that lightly insulates and assists in moving moisture away from the skin, but the exterior material does not allow as much heat to escape as some of our more breathable models. This can, however, be offset somewhat with ventilation through the hand pockets. If these pockets are left open, some of your hot air can escape out the jacket. And, of course, when we wore the Adze in very windy and cold settings, we didn't mind that it held in our heat. It all depends on how you plan to use your softshell.

The fleece backer on the Adze kept us warm but didn't breathe very well. If you look closely here you can also see where some water has soaked through from the outside after our water test.
The fleece backer on the Adze kept us warm but didn't breathe very well. If you look closely here you can also see where some water has soaked through from the outside after our water test.

Mobility


Unfortunately, the Adze Hoody's heavy material is less flexible than many of the other soft and supple shells that scored higher in our review. We could certainly still swing ice tools or push with poles comfortably, but this jacket doesn't melt onto the body like the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody or the super stretchy Black Diamond Dawn Patrol. We just didn't feel that the Adze moved particularly well, finding the fit to be boxy and movement slightly more restricted than many of our other tested models.

The Adze Hoody kept us warm while playing in the snow and practicing self arrest techniques  but it wasn't particularly flexible or stretchy.
The Adze Hoody kept us warm while playing in the snow and practicing self arrest techniques, but it wasn't particularly flexible or stretchy.

Weight


At 25.3 ounces, this model is the second heaviest in our review. It's also quite warm and decently affordable, but you can get these attributes and more in other jackets that weigh less.

Features


The Adze keeps things fairly simple yet functional. It has a drawstring hem that adjusts from inside the hand pockets which are zippered and lined with the same gridded fleece as the interior. On the inside, there's one zippered chest pocket and two simple drop pockets that don't zip. The hood is two-way adjustable and helmet compatible, though it does run a smidge tight with certain helmets. Without a helmet it's a great size, easily providing excellent protection from wind and weather.

The cuffs are adjustable with velcro, and the underarms are gusseted for better mobility, though overall this jacket still felt quite stiff when compared to other super soft jackets in our review. But in general, we feel like the Adze has the perfect lineup of softshell features, everything a serious model should have for time spent hiking or climbing in the backcountry.

The adjustable hood on the Adze cinched down nicely for great weather protection without a helmet. With a helmet  head movements felt a little impeded through the neck area.
The adjustable hood on the Adze cinched down nicely for great weather protection without a helmet. With a helmet, head movements felt a little impeded through the neck area.

Style


The Adze Hoody has a technical yet fairly classic look that is available in appealing colors, though the cut is boxy. Still, it can move seamlessly from the hiking trail to the grocery store, especially if you live somewhere outdoorsy like Colorado.

Best Application


The Adze performed the best in cold, windy conditions. When we hiked through strong winds and freezing temps to an alpine glacier, we easily felt protected. It was easy to stay warm if we kept moving. However, this jacket is not the best choice for high-exertion aerobic activities in milder temperatures where breathability is key, or for things like climbing where you need to be able to move unimpeded.

The Adze has a decently stylish look  though we did find both the look and the feel a bit boxy.
The Adze has a decently stylish look, though we did find both the look and the feel a bit boxy.

Value


$199 for the weather protection this shell offers is a pretty solid deal. You have a lot of options in this price range though, so try to consider what activities you think you will be engaging in the most. If you need a durable jacket for cold weather activities where you won't be sweating too much, the Adze is a good one to consider. But if you will be super mobile and upping your core temp we suggest looking at some of our stellar award winners for a better fit.

Conclusion


A solid option for cold days and activities where breathability isn't the top concern, the Adze Hoody is a durable and well-featured jacket. This is a good layer to have while out in the mountains for most situations. However, we were less than thrilled with the overall fit of the jacket and feel it could be better with a few tweaks. There are simply better fitting and more comfortable options in our review, some for more money, but also many for less.

The Adze Hoody wasn't a favorite in our review  but it shouldn't be discounted - it's still a solid choice for a cold weather softshell.
The Adze Hoody wasn't a favorite in our review, but it shouldn't be discounted - it's still a solid choice for a cold weather softshell.


Penney Garrett