Is this the best down jacket ever made?£600, added Sep/2013, see all Outside Ltd or Patagonia news & reviews
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When it comes to warmth-to-weight ratios, you really cannot beat good old down as an insulating material. But it does have one significant drawback – get it wet and it becomes useless. Adding a waterproof shell can help, but it’ll still get wet from the inside, and drying takes an age. Synthetic materials do a pretty good job of staying warm even when wet, and drying quickly, but at the cost of not inconsiderable extra weight and bulk. For this reason, finding a way to make the down itself water repellent has been a bit of a holy grail for outdoor companies for decades. Patagonia have found the holy grail.
© Mikey Schafer
Encapsil™ technology uses safe, silicone-based chemistry, free of fluorocarbons. The down is sent through a vacuum and agitated with low-level radio frequency waves until the down’s molecular structure begins to shift. A tiny amount of siloxane is then deposited onto each plumule, adhering to its changed molecular structure in a virtually permanent synthesis to make it not only hydrophobic, but also adding strength to the delicate, complex tree-like structure of the down. What starts off as normal 800 fill-power down ends up repelling moisture and lofting to an incredible 1000 fill-power.
The very best down really needs a shell to match. The Patagonia Encapsil Down Parka features a super-light shell that is differentially cut (the inner is smaller than the outer to allow the down to loft fully) and fully baffled (no stitch-through at all, so no cold spots).
- Weight 518g (medium)
- Ultralightweight 100% nylon shell fabric with a polyurethane dry coating for excellent water repellency
- Helmet-compatible, baffled hood has a single drawcord that creates a small draft collar of down around the face
- Variegated baffles are smaller in high-compression areas, like the shoulders and the small of the back, to keep the down from shifting
- Double-baffle wind flap completely seals out cold and wind
- Exterior handwarmer pockets are independently insulated to retain precious warmth, even with the pocket zips open
- Pockets positioned high to keep them away from the harness line
- Large interior mesh pockets placed toward the back reduce bulk in front
- Flexible, low-profile cuffs sit soft on the arm and easily push up and out of the way
- Unique pull-system at hem lets you adjust drawcord from inside or out; drawcord won’t dangle or snag on harness, rocks or branches
- Mini snowskirt keeps out wind and snow from below
- Shell: 0.85-oz 10-denier Pertex® Endurance fabric 100% nylon ripstop with a polyurethane dry coat
- Regular fit accommodates layers
Included in the price is the NexWash™ cleaning service. Patagonia will safely clean your jacket for you, all you have to pay for is postage to Patagonia Europe, and they'll do the rest.
Only 1000 of these highly desirable jackets have been made, and we have just a handful online at Outside.co.uk.
See this product at the Outside Ltd shop
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