An affordable softshell with excellent wind protection, the Patagonia Adze Hoody didn't quite stack up against the majority of other jackets in our review. It was heavy, slightly stiff, and the fit was a bit awkward. However, it's still a good shell for the price, offering a helmet-compatible hood, adjustable cuffs, and admirable weather protection.
Despite freezing wind and blowing snow, our testers were able to stay warm and protected in the Adze Hoody.
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 rose to the top, blocking out wind the best of all our tested models except the windproof Gore-tex Apex Flex GTX by The North Face. However, the thick fabric and fleece made it more stiff than soft and not very breathable, and it still allowed water through in a relatively short amount of time.
Though we were warm in high winds and low temperatures, we found the fit a bit boxy and awkward. There wasn't much stretch, and the material around the chin wasn't very soft, nor did it come up as far up the face as other models. While we had to recognize the ability of this jacket to keep the weather at bay, the subpar fit lessened what could have been a cozy experience. We felt just as protected but considerably more comfortable in our Top Pick for Warmth, the Ascendant Hoody and our Editor's Choice, the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody.
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.
In our experience, the Adze Hoody was more than adequate in the weather protection department, but as a trade-off, it struggled 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; the exterior material did not allow as much heat to escape as some of our more breathable models like the our Top Pick for Rock Climbing, the Arc'teryx Gamma LT Hoody or the thin but durable Ferrosi Crosstown Hoody, our Best Buy on a Tight Budget winner.
The not-particularly-breathable quality of the fabric itself can 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 when we wore the Adze in very windy and cold settings we didn't mind that it held our heat in.
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.
Unfortunately, the Adze Hoody's heavy material was less flexible than many of the other soft and supple shells that were our favorites. We could certainly still swing ice tools or push with poles comfortably, but this jacket didn'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.
At 25.3 ounces, this model was the heaviest in our review. It's also quite warm and decently affordable, but for $14 less, you can get our Best Buy winner, the Marmot Moblis, which is fully windproof and offers better mobility. And for an outstanding combination of warmth, mobility, and breathability, check out the Ascendant Hoody which barely tipped the scales at 11.5 ounces.
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 a bit stiff when compared to other super soft jackets in our review like the Arc'teryx Gamma MX Hoody and the Black Diamond Dawn Patrol. 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 Adze Hoody has a technical yet fairly classic look that is available in appealing colors, though the cut is a bit boxy. Still, it can move seamlessly from the hiking trail to the grocery store, especially if you live somewhere outdoorsy like Colorado. If you prefer a more casual urban look, we recommend the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Crosstown Hoody which is probably the most casual of all the pieces we reviewed, but it's also not nearly as serious of a layer as this one. Both of the Arc'teryx pieces we tested, the Gamma MX Hoody and the Gamma LT Hoody had noticeably more flattering tailoring.
The Adze has a decently stylish look, though we did find both the look and the feel a bit boxy.
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 the most important feature; our Editors' Choice, the Gamma MX Hoody would be a better choice for this in chillier temps or the Gamma LT Hoody for milder ones. Bottom line, we think this piece is best-used hiking, alpine and ice climbing, shoveling snow and splitting wood, camping, and snowshoeing.
$199 for the weather protection this shell offers is a pretty solid deal. This is the same price as The North Face Apex Flex GTX which, though fully wind and waterproof, had a smaller hood and even less flexibility. The Black Diamond Dawn Patrol was also $199 and it offered the best mobility in our test suite, plus excellent breathability. While perhaps not quite as wind resistant as the Adze, it was also easier to layer under.
Our Best Buy award went to the Marmot Moblis which was similar to the Adze Hoody in that it is fleece-lined and quite warm, but it had a better fit and is fully windproof. The point here is that you have a lot of options in this price range, 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. We just think the Moblis is a bit better. We would like to make a note of the fact that, in keeping with Patagonia's environmental commitment, the Adze Hoody is Bluesign approved, a certification for sustainable textile production. For those that appreciate this sort of thing, it definitely ups the value.
A solid option for cold days and activities where breathability isn't the top concern, the Patagonia 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 were simply better fitting and more comfortable options in our review, some for more money, but also some 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.