Arc'teryx Patera Parka Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Athletic fit, comfortable, stylish, temperature regulating, waterproof
Cons: Sleeves and hem can be chilly, finicky zipper, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
A head-turner, the sleek knee-length Arc'teryx Patera Parka is a unique winter jacket meant for people on the go. While it's warm and waterproof, its strategically placed down and synthetic insulation is intended to keep you from sweating through layers while you dash between appointments or sprint to catch your train. Pull it on to shovel the driveway in a snowstorm or hang out by a bonfire.
This jacket stays plenty warm in mild winter or when you're on the move. Fluffy 750 fill down wraps around your core and covers the tops of your arms to hold in heat where you need it most. Arc'teyx used Coreloft synthetic insulation everywhere else, where they thought moisture is likely to build-up. This includes the underside of your arms, along your sides, and in the bottom eight inches of the coat. It works for its intended active uses but doesn't make for the warmest winter jacket.
The generous hood is insulated and easy to cinch down around your face in a storm. You can also fit a hat underneath for extra warmth. While our head and core never got cold, our arms did catch a chill in snowstorms and frigid temps, and the pockets are uninsulated. A wrist gasket keeps drafts from coming up our sleeves, but the minimal insulation underneath our arms let too much heat out.
The synthetic insulation in the side panels and bottom eight inches of the jacket is thin. The zipper stops where the synthetic insulation starts, letting cold air in as well. Some online reviewers complained that their legs get cold while wearing this coat. We didn't but understand where they're coming from. The knee-length does stop most wind and rain though and holds in some heat.
We understand the logic behind the technical insulation design. Down loses loft and heat when wet, even from sweat. Synthetic insulation does not, but it doesn't trap as much heat as down does either. Arc'teryx calls this Down Composite Mapping. Thanks to a generous cut, you can fit thicker warmer layers beneath this jacket to make it work in colder temps. If you run hotter, live in a milder climate, or just constantly run around, this could be the right winter coat for you.
Tested in snow, rain, and wind, the Patera kept us dry and protected. The durable shell, complete with a storm flap that snaps over the zipper, offers exceptional protection in windy conditions. The flap's small snaps are spaced oddly though. There are two around the collar, two tightly spaced in the middle, and two towards the hem. This reduces awkward gapping but did allow water to rush through the zipper in the four-minute shower test.
Other than some splashing along the zipper line, this jacket is impenetrable. The face fabric has a durable water repellent (DWR) finish and covers a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane. It's completely waterproof and cuts the wind. The DWR doesn't bead the rain for long, but even when the outer fabric looks saturated, no moisture is making it through. This jacket is an excellent option for wet and sloppy weather conditions.
The satiny down baffles glide effortlessly over sweaters and feel pleasant and cloud-soft all day. The cut works well for a range of body types. It's one of the few winter jackets tested that is not tight in the shoulders, even when you're wearing layers. We also appreciate the extra mobility we get since the two-way zipper ends mid-thigh. It never feels heavy or bulky, thanks to the thin synthetic panels at your sides. This is one of the most comfortable jackets in our review.
The hood fits nicely and is adjustable, which means you can keep it out of your eyes. Fleece lines the palm side of the handwarmer pockets. They are comfortable but uninsulated. They can be chilly, and sitting down with anything in them is awkward. There is also fleece on the collar, which is helpful if you have short hair or wear it up often. This jacket's polyester outer shell is soft to touch. In all, the Patera is cozy and keeps you comfortable.
The Patera impresses with its clean, unfussy style. This parka has an athletic fit. The thin side panels create a trim and flattering silhouette. There's nothing bulky about it. Thoughtfully placed snaps keep the storm flap from gapping, and the front pockets never interrupt the jacket's simple lines.
The satin finish on the plush down interior doesn't hurt either. We had a hard time pealing this jacket away from our most fashionable testers, who coveted its sophisticated look and technical features. We've received a steady supply of compliments on the slim fit and straightforward good looks.
The Patera proved highly durable during the daily grind of commuting, hiking, and dog walking. The polyester fabric is smooth, clean, and impenetrable. Unfortunately, the main zipper can be hard to operate, raising longevity concerts.
It often stalls when you first get it started and is stubborn about coming apart. At least one online review mentioned that it unzipped from the bottom spontaneously. We haven't run into this but don't like that someone else has.
Insulation mapping aside, this is a straightforward winter jacket. It has two front pockets large enough to hold your hands or phone. An interior chest pocket zips and is big enough for most modern smartphones. We appreciate the two-way zipper and the fact that it stops eight inches above the hem to allow maximum mobility. Though it does sacrifice some warmth, a lower button placement lets you close it tighter in frigid conditions.
The hood is roomy with easy-to-use pull tabs for strong winds. The hood doesn't detach, but we don't mind. We don't like to be out in unpredictable cold weather without one.
This parka has a lot to offer — but at a high price. It's probably only worth the money if you want what it has to offer, a sleek, weatherproof winter jacket that will keep you warm while you move. We often overheat when running around a city — from transit to the coffee shop, through the weather, and to the office before repeating the whole process to get to dinner. We appreciate that Patera is built with daily life in mind.
The Patera is an excellent choice for an active winter jacket, particularly in wet climates. Durable and dependable, we don't mind getting stuck in bad weather in this bad lady. The generous but flattering cut allows for extra layers when temperatures plummet. With its Gore-Tex waterproof fabric and optimized warmth and breathability, the Patera is loaded with technical features while maintaining a smooth, sleek appearance.
— Clark Tate