Patagonia Simple Guide Hoody ReviewJuly 22, 2012
- 91 percent recycled fiber content.
- Abrasion and pick resistance.
- Excellent balance of weather resistance and air permeability.
- Super versatile—equally at home on the mountain and at the pub.
- Hood is too small for some helmets, lacks adequate adjustability.
- Hemline is too crowded (with cordlocks, seams, pockets) to layer comfortably under the hip-belt of a larger pack.
This is a solid, predictable jacket that is considerably more than the sum of its parts—a great choice for everything from rock climbing to spring skiing to snowshoeing.
The Simple Guide is aptly named: this jacket sports no frills and few notable features, but packs a big performance punch. The ideal balance of weather protection and breathability is a constantly moving target, but for stop-and-go activities in variable weather, the Simple Guide kept me comfortable through an impressively broad range of conditions.
Woven with entirely recycled polyester fiber (plus 9 percent non-recycled Spandex), the Guide’s fabric scored a bonus point for “green-ness.” Roll your eyes if you must…I think it’s awesome. If the stretch-woven poly showed signs of distress after a few days of J-Tree offwidthing, or left me steamed on a steep approach hike, I’d feel much less generous…but it didn’t, and I don’t.
The lighter-gauge-than-expected main zipper wasn’t a liability, but could’ve been a bit more burly. That little nitpick aside, the YKK zippers were just as I expected they’d be: fobbed for ease of use, garaged for enhanced weather and/or snag protection, and generally flawless.
Just a bit too small and a bit too light on adjustment to really lock down over a climbing helmet, the Simple Guide’s hood was blown back off my head a few times when gusts exceeded 30 mph. When worn without a helmet, however, the simple single-pull adjustment was sufficient to achieve a comfortable and secure fit.
Finish and Initial Quality
Simple but sophisticated, it’s the little things—a stiffener laminated into the main zip’s windflap, potentially annoying seams flatlock-stitched out of the way—that made this jacket so easy to wear. Nothing flashy, and everything in its right place.