Whether you plan to be out in the rain, snow or in high-wind conditions, the Patagonia Refugitive Jacket is a shell that is sure to keep you dry, comfortable and unstoppable. This jacket is loaded with tons of awesome features which I can’t wait to show you! Today, I will be reviewing their Drifter Grey color.
Let’s kick this review off with the zippers! The exterior zippers of this jacket are YKK AquaGuard zippers. If you are unfamiliar with the AquaGuard technology, it is essentially two pieces of rubber that create a seal when zipped together. Whenever I am looking for a jacket that will keep me dry in harsh rain conditions, I always make sure it is equipped with AquaGuard or some type of rubber to seal the zippers. If the AquaGuard zippers happen to fail, Patagonia was smart enough to extend the fabric behind the zipper for a double layer of protection. In short, there is no need to worry about any water or snow getting through the zippers of the Refugitive.
On the left and right side, you get two hand-warmer pockets which are nice and big. These are actually a little higher above the waist than normal to allow space for a harness if you plan to be climbing in this shell. For me, these pockets are a little awkward to access due to them being higher up.
Moving to the armpits, you are equipped with pit zippers. These are perfect for dumping heat fast. I love how Patagonia equips you with two zippers per pit because it allows you to control how much heat you let out. Just like the main zipper, these are equipped with the YKK AquaGuard for a complete protection from water.
The last pocket on the exterior of the Refugitive is the chest pocket. This is the only exterior pocket that doesn’t have an AquaGuard zipper. I wouldn’t worry about rain or snow getting in since the material extends to conceal the opening of it. This also gives the jacket a super clean look.
On the left inside of this shell, you get a rectangle pocket. It is made of a super soft and stretchy material. I was a little sad because my phone was too big to fit in here. I have an iPhones 6s Plus which is a bigger phone than normal which might explain why. If you have a normal sized phone such as an iPhone 6, I think you will be just fine.
On the right interior, Patagonia gives you this large slip pocket. This pocket is great for placing your goggles, sunglasses, energy bars or anything that you might need fast access to.
If there is one thing to note about the Patagonia brand, it’s that everything they make is durable and is built to last for a very long time. One huge example of that on this jacket can be seen in the picture above. Throughout the interior, Patagonia has placed these circular patches over the seams to reinforce them. These patches are placed in areas where the most stress will be put on the jacket. Not only is this genius of them to do, it shows that they care about their customers and don’t want them to have to buy a new jacket every season. I absolutely love their thinking!
The last feature I’d like to mention on the interior of the Refugitive is the elastic strap. It is located in the back and can clip on to any pair of Patagonia snow pants and select pairs of their alpine pants. It is great for anchoring your jacket to your pants when doing intense activities such as backcountry skiing.
The next feature is without a doubt my favorite feature on the Refugitive shell. It is the button cord locking system located at the waist. Also called, “Cohaesive® embedded cord-lock system.” I love these because they allow you to easily tighten the hem of the jacket using only one hand. That’s not all! When you want to loosen the hem, all you have to do is press the button with one finger and it loosens. It’s as simple as that! Just as Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication.”
Not only will you find those handy cord locking buttons at the waist, they’re on the hood as well! Yippee! This allows for fast and easy tightening of the hood around your head, helmet or beanie.
I really love the way Patagonia cut out the front sides of the hood. Unlike most hoods, the hood on the Refugitive allows you to use your peripheral vision without any sides blocking you. This is super great when skiing or snowboarding because you can see who else is coming down the mountain without having to turn your head very much.
The last part I’d like to talk about is what makes this jacket perform as well as it does. It is made out of a 3-layer GORE-TEX® fabric. If you are unfamiliar with GORE-TEX, GORE-TEX is, in my opinion, the best of the best when it comes to breathable, waterproof and windproof technology. It’s not cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for. If you haven’t noticed by now from the pictures, there is this dark grey fabric that is on the upper-back and extends to the backs of the arms. This is a slightly stretchier waterproof fabric. Not only does this allow for a wider range of mobility, but it also plays a huge role in the design of this jacket. Let’s be honest with ourselves; If this jacket was all one tone of grey, it would look very boring and not near as clean as it looks now. Lastly, the Refugitive is equipped with a Recco Reflector. Recco is a technology used in many jackets by many different brands. The reflector is woven into the fabric and makes you searchable in the event of an avalanche. You can think of it as a tracking device. If you happen to get stuck in an avalanche, it gives you a much better chance of being found by a rescue team.
All in all, I have been extremely pleased with my experience with the Refugitive jacket. This jacket is very lightweight considering all of the awesome features it has. Aside from its lightness, it’s super packable which makes it a breeze to travel with. The 3-layer GORE-TEX® works as promised and keeps you completely dry while giving you great breathability. As I mentioned before, my favorite feature of all is the cord locking system located at the waist and on the hood. It’s extremely easy to use and always makes me happy when I can operate features on my jacket using only one hand. My one and only complaint is how small the left interior pocket is. Other than that small mishap, I really find it hard to complain about the Refugitive. As amazing as this jacket is, I don’t think it is necessarily for everyone. It is for people who truly love the outdoors and don’t want to let the weather stop them from doing their favorite activities such as running, climbing, hiking or skiing. I say this because there would be no need for a jacket like the Refugitive to walk from a parking lot into a store. It would be a little overkill and you could easily get by with something cheaper such as their Houdini Jacket. In conclusion, if you are someone who loves doing outdoor activities and doesn’t want to let the foul weather keep you from doing what you love, I’m positive you will be more than satisfied with the Refugitive Jacket from Patagonia.