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In my area, the cold has finally arrived. I know this because when I walk outside there’s a piercing, obnoxious wind and my eyes start tearing up immediately. It’s an adjustment in spirit and, quite honestly, my attitude. Winter is sneaking up slowly on us, so it’s time to break out the winter gear. Part of the fun is wearing a jacket that provides a protective shell against the elements and makes me want to hike further in the cold.
My jacket of choice is the Patagonia Jackson Glacier Parka, which is like wrapping yourself in a warm glove. I’ll confess to being slightly annoyed by winter arriving so early but pleasantly surprised by the jacket. It is insulated with 700-fill recycled down and has a water-resistant coating. In my tests, it stayed warm and repelled sleet and snow easily enough. The removable hood is lined with 700-fill down as well. I liked how the sleeve has an inner jacket lining that protects you from the wind.
This is not a puffer jacket, even if it might look bulky in the pictures. It felt trim and close to the body. On several hikes, the padding in the arms and down around my waist helped keep me warm even as the wind picked up. I felt more mobile because unlike normal parkas, the Jackson Glacier stopped at my thighs instead of going down to my knees.
So, about the quality: Patagonia is known for making products that last, and I’ve used this jacket since last winter with no signs of aging. The zipper still connects with a click which tells me it won’t wear out after hundreds of zips. I’ve bumped up against car doors and the side of my garage and never thought the jacket would easily rip or tear. Points to Patagonia for making a warm parka that is meant to last through many seasons. And, extra points for going Fair Trade and using recycled materials from couch cushions, bedding material, and other jackets. It’s a smart way to make a new product.
I love the parka and plan to keep wearing it all season. It’s warm, provides nice mobility, and uses recycled materials. I even like the subdued colors, available in black, green, and navy blue. I feel ready for winter, even if I’ll probably still complain about it.
Jackson Glacier Down Parka
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