Gear Review: Figure 4 Jacket from Patagonia

When Mother Nature starts adjusting the temperature downward, it’s all about the layers that keep outdoor athletes in tip-top shape. Thinsulate, down, wool and even cotton liners are commonplace in work out gear. Patagonia has come up with the best friend of an outdoor exercise enthusiast – layers. The jacket you need depends on what you will need it for and no single jacket will be the answer for all activities. A good place to start is the new Figure 4 Jacket from Patagonia. This company has a whole line of products to meet a variety of needs so that you can layer, stay comfortable and keep fit.

The Figure 4 is highly water-resistant and breathable which are essential to ensuring a comfortable workout in inclement weather. The soft shell encourages a full range of motion with its superior stretch, articulates the elbows and has a contoured fit. Tight, but with enough room in the right places. The Centaur Cuffs keep the wrists warm, but without the bulkiness in front. The soft, lined neck collar closes to your chin with a stretch-woven, gasket-type seal to block spindrift. There are two external, semi-roomy hand pockets and an inside zippered chest pocket to store the essential during your workout. The woman’s jacket has side panels with a contour fit. The jacket comes in Radar blue, Pandora red, and black and has a range of sizes from XS to L.

I took this jacket out for a morning run just as the temperatures were starting to drop here in Chicago. In a city where the wind can make it feel ten degrees colder, I found the Figure 4 helped to keep me warm while dispersing excess moisture and heat. Now that we are having our first snow flurries, I added an outer shell and found it still worked well as an inside layer. The contour fit helped to keep the bulk down as I added on extra layers.

This isn’t a stand-alone jacket for all seasons, but is meant to be part of a complete interchangeable system to meet a wide range of outdoor needs in cold weather months. This jacket can set you back as far as the wallet is concerned, but like all things from Patagonia; you get what you pay for. In this case, the quality and flexibility make the jacket worth the price. Not only can you use this as an outer layer, but with pockets and breathable fabric, this can also be used to layer as the weather temperatures drop. The versatility and fine detailed construction will offer the serious outdoor enthusiasts a great addition to their wardrobe.

About the author

Judy Nugent

Judy Nugent is a freelance writer and outdoor enthusiast from Chicago. In addition to snowshoeing, Judy enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, and exploring the Wisconsin wilderness. Her articles and photography can be found in several regional publications.