SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

The Patagonia Ultralight Hoody is a Woman’s Best Friend on the Trail

Take it from a woman’s first-hand experience on the snowy trails, the Patagonia Ultralight Hoody lives up to its name.  While it is ultra light, it’s a non-bulky “puffy” jacket that’s not so puffy, which is a nice change of pace from what all the other brands are selling.  Have you seen Old Navy’s recent puffy jacket commercials?  I’m sure their puffy jackets are more about fashion than function.  The Ultralight Hoody is a form-fitting, stylish and feature-rich jacket; it’s also ideal as a primary and backup layer for the trails.

The Ultralight Hoody is made of a thin, lightweight nylon fabric that contains a high-compressible, 800-fill European goose down.  While most puffy jackets are over-engineered and/or are over-filled with goose down (or another synthetic fiber), Patagonia has found a way to keep the Ultralight Hoody versatile and conveniently feather-light.

While I love the colors – watercress, black and magenta – it really is a fashionable jacket that truly forms to a woman’s natural curves.  It does an exceptional job of keeping my body core warm – even more than my large heavy goose-down jacket that’s bulky and sometimes awkward.

The Hoody comes with a stuff sack so it can be easily stored in a backpack, glove compartment or drawer.  Funny enough, I loved stuffing the jacket away like a mini-sleeping bag – a feature I discovered by chance after reaching into the pocket to find the color-matching stuff sack.

Another point to make is that when I wear my large, bulky goose down jacket, I lose my figure.  I think a woman should look feminine while wearing outdoor gear and not have to sacrifice fashion for warmth.  The Ultralight Hoody shows off my curves and also keeps me toasty warm.

I look and feel like a woman when wearing this jacket, which is what Patagonia seems to understand when designing winter garments for women.  Its sewn-through construction allows for a tight channel pattern so the right amount of goose down helps increase its versatility for use in moderate temperatures and a diverse lineup of activities.

I feel attractive when wearing the Hoody, but I’m also inspired to be active in the snow – especially when snowshoeing.  It’s like this jacket was made for snowshoers, for both leisurely hikes and vigorous running.  Don’t be afraid to move and twist in the jacket.  You won’t experience bunching and shifting like most jackets with similar features.  In other words, get your shoes in the snow and have some fun exploring unchartered trails and off-road excursions.

If the conditions drop below freezing – and rarely necessary – you can couple the Ultralight Hoody with a shell to provide added warmth.  But, my suggestion is to wear a durable, wool base layer in conjunction with the Ultralight Hoody.  This jacket features Patagonia’s proprietary Deluge DWR (durable water repellent) technology.  It sheds the snow with ease and offers true water repellency, rather than water resistance.

Is this a no-brainer choice for women who enjoy snowshoeing?  Without a doubt.  And if it doesn’t fit the conditions, it’s easily stored out of the way and can be available at a moment’s notice, particularly when the snow starts falling and the temperatures drop.   

Additional features:

  • Two zippered handwarmers and one zippered chest
  • Drawcord hem helps keep in the heat
  • Low profile, adjustable hood seals out wind and seals in warmth
  • Adjustable hood
  • Drawcord hem seals in warm air and keeps out cold and spindrift
  • Shell and lining: 0.8 oz 10-denier, 100% nylon ripstop
  • 252 g (8.9 oz)

A note about Deluge DWR:

Patagonia’s proprietary durable water repellent fabric finish, Deluge DWR, lasts substantially longer than standard DWRs. Garments with the Deluge DWR finish have like-new repellency after years of extensive use.

To purchase the Patagonia Ultralight Hoody, click here.

For more information on the Patagonia Ultralight Hoody, visit http://bit.ly/vEAlDA.

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