The folks at Patagonia sent me this hoody about three months ago. Buddy Bill tried it for about a month, and even though it was too big for him, he fell in love with it, making it his go-to house coat. He keeps his house brisk and he often works in his basement, so this hoody worked well for him as a wake-up-and-do-stuff single piece. So, I took it back.
Better pics: Piton Hybrid Hoody
Made in Columbia
Did I buy it? -- Nope.
First off, it's a climbing jacket, not a cycling jacket. And in the gear world of hyper-specialization, the climby-ness of the design might turn some cyclists off. If you're going to pay $180 for a cycling jacket, you may miss a rear pocket here and I think that's all it needs to make it a home run cycling jacket. Otherwise, this jacket rocks. Ever since I got used to the snug fit a bit over a month ago, I've lived in this.
I'm a size L and I'm a big L, but not quite big enough for XL, so an L that is made to be "form fitting," is downright snug on me. But this is happy stretchy snug which makes for a great middlin' layer.
Which is why it's a great middle layer for cold. Standard layering is: thin wool, this jacket, then outter as needed (vest, rain jacket, or shell vest).
I've done a bunch of commuting in this jacket over the last 1.5 months as the weather has gone from cool (40 F-ish) damp evenings to miserable cold (30's) and wet to snow. My commute is 20 miles on the way home, and I often take the High Drive trails on the way home, so I'm getting ample opportunity to work this jacket out in highly-aerobic conditions. I've also done a bunch of mountain biking in this jacket. You can see it in action on Pat's blog -- the jacket was great for our bike/hike yesterday to the top of Antoine.
In winter's past, I've always used a wool gaiter to keep the neck and chin area from freezing in sub-freezing temps. Gaiters are great, but they add yet another item to the long-winter-list of fussiness and really jack up the headphones and helmet strap interface something fierce. With this hoody, you get the same warm functionality with a bit less fussiness.