Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Patagonia Piton Hybrid Hoody

 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
MSRP: $180
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.

It's not wool. It's plastic. All plastic, and I was prepared to be annoyed by typical plastic/fleecy steamy wet build up. But when it comes to wind, this jacket feels a lot like mid-weight wool: you can feel the wind coming in a bit, in that nice breathy way, which I've not felt with plastics before. I'm not sure what kind of secret magic is going on here -- and I'm sure it's related to the same kind of weird magic that makes magnets work -- but this jacket breathes.

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.
The money piece on this jacket is the hood. I discovered the beauty of integrated hoods about four years ago when I started using an Ibex wool hoody. Aside from the obvious convenience of having the hood at the ready, the neck warmth is what sells the whole deal for me.

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.

I wouldn't mind about another inch of hoody at my forehead to block a tiny bit more head wind.

All-in-all: a great all purpose jacket. And since it's Patagonia, it's made well and it will last.


Jay Dub said...

Turn some lights on in that room, then point the camera side to yourself, and use the mirror to frame the shot.

Michael said...

That bottom pic makes me think of The Killers From Space.

Stine said...

Looks like someone did a Photo Intervention. I'm digging that Saturday Night Fever one...

Anonymous said...

I like the look, but I need more arm positions in a bicycling jacket.

David Lee Goth said...

I have a jacket that's customized for free-climbing loose shale while singing "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" from La Traviata in falsetto.

It's still in the box.