(Last Updated On: December 22, 2016)
This season, I was given the Patagonia Refugitive Jacket for an extended, season-long review. This jacket has been my primary go-to jacket in the backcountry all season long. Inbounds, I tend to prefer jackets with just a touch of a lining, so I didn’t use it for that purpose. In the backcountry, my preferred jacket is a light, packable shell with Gore Tex or another waterproof breathable fabric. While I’ve used extremely streamlined jackets with no/ few pockets or other features, I do find that a few pockets and other features are worth the slight weight penalty. The Patagonia Refugitive fits that description well.
As I started to discuss, this jacket has just the right features, at least for me. Two roomy hand pockets plus a chest pocket round out the options on the outside, while the inside has a small zippered pocket and a large mesh pouch. I’ve noticed that a lot of jackets, including this one, keep the inside zippered pocket on the same side as the exterior zippered pocket. I’ve never understood that, since if you put an item in each, they overlap each other. If the mesh and zippered pockets were reversed, it would make a lot more sense.
The drawstrings utilize the newer “press-button” style, which is a really easy and clean way to go. I didn’t need to use the hood much, but it worked fine when I needed it.
I really like the fit of this jacket. I’m skinny and this jacket fits right in the middle for me- not Euro tight, but not new school baggy either. The other thing I noticed was the GoreTex C-knit, which makes this jacket feel far less “plasticky” and “noisy” than other shells I’ve used. The Patagonia Refugitive has a great feel to it, no doubt about it. The GoreTex itself proved to be both water resistant and breathable, as advertised. Just last week, I had a great chance to really put it to the test in a freezing rain/snow/sleet mixture. This is my “I can’t believe we’re skiing here right now in this weather Blue Steel face”.
Outside of switching the inside pocket layout, I’m not sure that there is anything that I would change in this jacket. I have a good number of days in the jacket, and it has been holding up well so I suspect the durability of this jacket should be considered good. Action shot from one of my favorite descents of the year, the Dead Squirrel couloir:
Check out the Men’s Patagonia Refugitive Jacket: