The Patagonia Untracked Jacket and Pants are a dedicated full weather protection combo aimed at skiers (and snowboarders) heading into the backcountry/offpiste terrain where freedom of movement and protection from the elements are paramount.
Patagonia say: “With a highly articulated fit, the Untracked Jacket is a warm low-bulk freeride jacket for hiking or powdery descent. Built with 3-layer GORE-TEX® fabric for durably waterproof/ breathable and windproof protection and a soft brushed tricot backer for extra warmth.”
I’ve skied a lot in the Untracked Jacket (and Pants) this winter, both on piste, off piste in places like La Grave and also on some day tours. It’s a great combo, which is well featured with everything the dedicated backcountry/offpiste skier could want.
It is designed with a roomy, relaxed cut for freedom of movement (and looking “rad”!). The 3-layer 100% nylon GORE-TEX® fabric with DWR finish is waterproof, windproof and breathable. It stops you getting wet from snow and rain, as well as stopping you getting chilled by the wind. When you’re skinning or bootpacking uphill however, the fabric breathes well and if you need extra venting there are pit zips and a main front zipper too. All external zippers are watertight. The cuffs are close by simple velcro clinchers and these fasten over the top of, or sit neatly underneath your chosen glove system.
Brilliant collar and superb hood! Dave Sharpe and I looking cheery on the La Grave lift.
In really bad weather the Untracked Jacket benefits from a high collar and awesome hood that fits brilliantly over a skiing or a climbing helmet and is very easy to adjust even with gloves on. The Untracked Jacket features an integrated powder skirt to stop the jacket filling up with snow on those deep days and this attaches to the Untracked Pants providing a secure, integrated system to seal out the snow.
The Untracked Jacket provides a number of storage options in the form of inner and outer pockets, a lift pass pocket on the left cuff holds your magnetic lift pass securely and means you can pass through the lift barriers without having to worry about where your pass is and ferret around in your other pockets for it. Just put it in there and leave it there. There are two zippered Hand Warmer Pockets and one zippered chest pocket which has a nice touch of secure internal phone or iPod pocket with internal cable routing and the hand warmer pockets have a nice brushed lining. The only minor gripe is that the hand warmer pockets do interfere with a climbing harness a bit and access is restricted if you are wearing one.
Inside the Untracked Jacket you get two pockets for storing goggles, gloves etc. The inner fabric is a brushed tricot backer which does add a little extra warmth and is nice to wear, but I don’t think the jacket can be described as insulated as such. But this gives the flexibility for you to layer as is necessary and dictated by the weather and conditions.
Going back to the fit and cut of the the Untracked Jacket. It is relaxed without being too baggy and able to accommodate enough layers to stay warm on some bitter days like those we found skiing in La Grave over the New Year period. It is not a cut you’d want for technical climbing but as I said, it is an out and out ski jacket, albeit with all the attention to detail you’d expect from a company like Patagonia.
All in all the Untracked Jacket from Patagonia is a brilliant ski jacket, perfect for those heading into the backcountry and requiring the highest levels of weather protection and functionality. It is perhaps a bit heavy (for my liking) for multi day hut to hut tours and better suited to day tours and hits off things like the La Grave lift or Aiguille Du Midi, than taking on the Haute Route, where I’d probably opt for a lighter soft-shell system.
Although certainly not cheap, I’d recommend this jacket to anybody who skis on piste or regularly heads into off piste terrain. It is high quality, fully featured, bombproof and well cut for skiing. Not the best if you are wearing a climbing harness e.g, when skiing steep couloirs or on glaciated terrain but does work fine. The hood is particularly good, fitting over a big ski helmet without restrictions.
Overall rating: ★★★★★
Climbing Gear Reviews are an independent reviewer of climbing, skiing and mountaineering equipment. Fronted by Kevin Avery, a trainee IFMGA mountain guide and former Gear Editor at UKClimbing.com, alongside Yorkshire based MIA Dave Sarkar, they provide completely honest and 100% impartial reviews. Click here to see their page.
Patagonia Untracked Jacket Features:
- 3 layer Gore-Tex
- Helmet compatible 2-way adjustable hood
- Pit zips
- Low profile cuffs go over or under gloves
- Low profile powder skirt
- 5 zipped outer pockets and 2 internal pockets
- Concealed Recco reflector
Colour: Underwater Blue
Full Patagonia Untracked Jacket description here.