Patagonia, a staff favorite, has done some really exciting things in the past couple of seasons, especially with their technical alpine clothing and some of the casual jackets. This season is particularly rich with new Patagonia jackets that are worth a closer look, and we've chosen 10 to highlight here for you. These are in no special order, and only represent a small fraction of the new Patagonia clothing styles available this season, so consider this "top ten" a good starting point!
Patagonia Better Sweater Icelandic Hoody (women's)
Every time the Patagonia Better Sweater line expands, we like it more and more. Here is a classic hoody with patterned top and a heathered look... except it's made from the popular Better Sweater polyester fleece, meaning you can sport the classic look without freezing to death when you need to head outside and figure out where the dog ran off to this time.
Patagonia Mixed Guide Hoody (men's)
Patagonia Mixed Guide Hoody (women's)
This is truly a fantastic idea -- it's a hardshell on top where you need more weather protection and abrasion resistance, and a breathable softshell material everywhere else. Maximum mobility without exposing yourself to the elements on ice climbs, alpine treks or backcountry ski trips.
Patagonia Classic Retro-X Cardigan (men's)
Patagonia Retro-X Cardigan (women's)
This fleece jacket is so fantastic, I worry that we'll run out long before the holidays. Don't wait! Windproof, super-plush and available in a couple of patterns (like the one pictured) in addition to solid colors. It goes without saying, if you know any Rock/Creekers, but the Retro-X line is a staff favorite.
Patagonia Nano Puff Hybrid Jacket (men's)
Here's another one from the "seriously great idea" category: this slim-fitting hybrid mid layer is a Nano Puff on top and an R2 on the sides and bottom. Pair this with the Mixed Guide Hoody for the ultimate system when earning your turns in frigid weather; this is a real step forward for mountain sports in the dead of winter. Also available in black, but we're digging the blue-green!
Patagonia Bivy Down Jacket (men's)
A little like a Slingshot Down Vest with arms, sans western design cues and extra pockets. This is a classic, lofty down jacket ready for anything you can throw at it; metal snaps on the wind flap are a great touch. Our pick as a great everyday jacket for those who live in the mountains, and deal with cold weather every day, but don't want to dress like a cattle rancher.
Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket (men's)
Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket (women's)
A waterproof trail running jacket with the new GORE-TEX Active shell fabric, it's lightweight and breathable for long runs in really nasty conditions. Brilliantly-placed vents on the upper arms draw in cool air to keep you from overheating and vent out the back. This is what we'll be running in this winter.
Patagonia R1 Hoody (women's)
Patagonia R3 Jacket (women's)
I know what you're thinking: these already exist, right? Well, no, not in women's versions. The R1 is a shoulder-season classic -- a favorite year-round here in the Southeast -- add the hood and thumb holes and it becomes a versatile technical piece, too. The R3 is really warm, really soft, and now hoodless.
Patagonia Low Sky Parka (women's)
The Low Sky Parka is an especially-green (100% recycled shell, 90% recycled insulation) and synthetic alternative to the popular Fiona Down Parka or Down With It Parka, with feminine baffling and a high collar that lays flat when open. Length is above the knee, with a two-way zipper and handwarmer pockets. Lightweight and warm; flattering, contoured slim fit.
Patagonia Better Jacket (men's)
Just look at how manly this is. It makes me want to go outside in the snow and chop wood. Like the better sweater, this has the look and feel of heathered wool but is lighter and more breathable. Clean and stylish enough for dinner with your girlfiend's parents, but still predisposed toward impromptu lumberjackery. That may or may not be a word, I didn't check.
Patagonia Black Hole Pack
A great utilitarian pack made from the same water-shedding materials as the popular Black Hole Duffels, this is burly enough to masquerade as a crag pack and shines when carrying a laptop and a change of clothes on the bike commute across town. Multiple zippered exterior pockets, compression straps,internal organizer and laptop (or hydration) sleeve.
See anything you really love? Pin it to our Pinterest wall, or visit us on Facebook and tell us which Patagonia clothing you're planning to buy in Fall 2012. In the meantime, here are a couple of Patagonia videos that help explain some of these styles:
Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket
Patagonia Softshell Technologies (used in the Mixed Guide Jacket, Alpine Guide Jacket, etc)