Patagonia’s most breathable snow jacket in the line specially designed for ski touring and splitboarding is the Men’s Reconnaissance Jacket. What makes this jacket super unique is the fact it blends a soft shell jacket with a hardshell for the ultimate in comfort, durability and incredible functions while touring in the backcountry.
Reconnaissance Jacket Review
As mentioned above the Patagonia Reconnaissance jacket blends the best of a soft shell touring jacket with the toughness of of a 3-layer hardshell. So why did Patagonia blend 2 jackets together into one? Breathability! The Patagonia Reconnaissance Jacket is hands down the best way to dump heat while touring in the backcountry, and the jacket doesn’t even have pit zips.
I spent 8 hours touring in this jacket at a temperature of 0 Fahrenheit (-17 Celsius) with -31 to -41 degree windchill with only a light weight baselayer and Patagonia Capilene midlayer underneath. As long as we were moving I kept warm and comfortable while everyone else started the tour in heavy puffy jackets. When it was time to stop the Patagonia Men’s Fitz Roy Down Parka was the perfect way to stand around in the cold thrown over the Reconnaissance Jacket.
Patagonia’s Reconnaissance Features
The DWR finish on the jacket keeps moisture out, as it’s reminiscent of Gore-Tex without that crinkly feeling moving against your body. Instead the double-weave soft shell fabric is articulated to move with you the way a traditional soft shell would function. Yet the jacket can take a beating as the shoulder, hood and arms are all made with a stronger 3-layer material.
On the outside of the Patagonia Reconnaissance Jacket there are 5 zippered pockets. Two traditional pockets down low, a pass pocket on the left sleeve, sleeve and 2 deep chest pockets, which works great for storing small gear that you might want easy access to while touring like a inclinometer, compass, sunscreen, snacks and more. And on the inside of the jacket there is one deep pocket.
One of the coolest features on Patagonia’s Reconnaissance Jacket is the way you can synch the lower part of the jacket and hood. It use a minamilist Cohaesive® cord-lock management system. Basically it’s similar to the way you have tightened gear in the past by pulling on the tabs however to release there are these fun buttons that you push to open the jacket back up.
What can be improved?
This jacket is just about perfect, the only thing that could make it better would be a powder skirt. Also I did have some issues with the main zipper from time to time. It’s not some cheap zipper, so you actually have to give it a good tug to zip or unzip. This is likely due to the waterproofness and long term durability of the zippers.
The Patagonia Men’s Reconnaissance is the jacket I plan to wear touring throughout the year when not testing other gear. Who is this jacket designed for? Someone that spends most of their time splitboarding, ski touring or hiking. As for resort riding I would pair this jacket with a thicker insulation piece underneath as it is thin. With taped seams, incredible waterproofness and breathability it will be hard to find a better touring specific piece of outerwear currently on the market.
Patagonia hit a home run with the Reconnaissance jacket which is not only a hit with us, it’s one of the Patagoinia teams favorite jacket too. Toss in Patagonia’s Ironclad Guarantee and this jacket should be on your wish list or better yet buy it via the links below for only $399.00