September, 2015: The Mixed Guide Hoody is DiscontinuedJust like peanut butter and chocolate combine as two different substances, one sweet and one salty, to create a single excellent taste, this jacket combines materials with two different functions to create a unique performance piece. The Patagonia Mixed Guide Hoody uses strategically placed hardshell and softshell materials in an effort to create a high-performance alpine climbing shell. Patagonia's proprietary three-layer H2No waterproof/breathable hardshell covers the hood, shoulder, and chest areas while Polartec Power Shield softshell covers the back and stomach area. By combining these two fabrics the Mixed Guide Hoody provides both the waterproof protection and the breathability ice climbers and backcountry skiers need in high output yet occasionally wet (from dripping ice or falling snow) alpine environments.
Though the combination means this jacket is neither an outstandingly breathable softshell or a completely waterproof hardshell, we give this our Top Pick award for ice climbing because it serves a unique purpose and does its job well. We find a use for it in our quiver of outdoor clothing.