Perfect Balance of Form and Function
After going on a trip to Utah in the late fall utterly unprepared, I had a little bit of a cold weather clothing obsession. I soon found the Wanaka and became highly interested. First, the jacket really looks nice. It's been a drag in the past to have to sacrifice style for comfort, but this jacket truly shines in every way. I have the black in medium, and I'm about 6'1" 170-175 pounds. I actually ordered both the medium and large because I had no idea which would fit better. My dad, who's the same height as me, fit the large better, but I fit the medium. He's a bit more burly than I am. I recommend this method if you're ordering the jacket online and you're on the cusp of sizes. You can return the other jacket to any Patagonia store no problem. Now to the actual review...
Like I said, the jacket looks great. It has a nice amount of down but is hardly a rugged jacket. It's actually quite light, which is not what I expected. Pictures can be deceiving, and I thought that each quilt in the provided photo was like a thick pillow filled with down. Not that there's no down, but to me the picture made is seem as if it had much more loft. I was disappointed at first, but I now realize how versatile the jacket is. It's quite compressible and can fit in surprisingly small places--perfect for traveling. The hood has an amazing feature where you pull a cinch cord and it somehow "hugs" your head as if it was a hat. It has additional cords to
close the opening around your face. Combined, these two features make a huge difference. The waist cinch cords also work well to seal out the cold wind. I went on a walk in a Chicago suburb a few days ago--it was 15 degrees and I wore the jacket with just a t-shirt and a synchilla fleece under. I was warm, and I tend to get cold easily. I may have even been overdoing it with the fleece... The fleece pockets are nice, and I'd almost prefer not to wear gloves on a cold day just so I can "stuff my cold hands into the fleece-lined pockets of this urban down jacket..." The jacket zips up a lot, and has a bit of fleece on the upper end of the zipper area for chin comfort. Great quality all around, as to be expected with Patagonia. Definitely seems to be waterproof. I don't know exactly how to gauge it, but keep in mind that the jacket has both the H2No as well as the DWR (durable water repellent) finish. It is my understanding that the outer layer is not the waterproof one, but rather there's a layer under it that won't let water penetrate. The DWR-treated outer layer will repel water, not keep it out 100%. That's what the H2No layer is for. Water WILL
"bead-up" as it should to a certain extent, but in consistent rain water will appear to flatten, if you will, as if it's absorbing into the jacket; the water won't just roll off the jacket. I've been told that this is normal, as there is still the waterproof barrier under the outer fabric, so I'm not too worried. Bottom line: You won't get wet if you wear this in a rainstorm. Just be sure to spray it with water repellent every few years if you want the cool water beading to occur. A few criticisms and points to consider:
For a $350 jacket, I think it'd be fair to increase the quality of its down fill. I don't know how much better 700- or 800-fill down is than 600-fill, but still... I think even increasing it to 650 would improve its performance by quite a bit. Just because it's not a performance jacket doesn't mean it shouldn't be of the best quality. Another tiny criticism: It doesn't have pockets that are on the inside of the down. If you have any electronics or anything that needs to stay warm, the jacket only has pockets on the outside and objects will get cold (even the internal zipper pocket is on the exterior side of the down layer). Also, it will leak some feathers. Be prepared. All down products will leak at some point. Last note: This is an awesome jacket. While there are more performance-focused jackets out there, the Wanaka is king when it comes to looks. Yes, there are large parkas that will keep you warmer, but you'd look silly walking around a city in such a heavy garment. If performance is your goal, perhaps the Wanaka isn't your best bet, but even the previous reviewer used it as a ski jacket, so perhaps I'm wrong! If you like the Wanaka and can afford it, enjoy the good looks and great warmth!
Fantastic Jacket..Bit Expensive/Worth Every Cent!!
Been looking for years for a new winter jacket. I really wanted something stylish BUT also very comfortable and effective in cold and wet weather. Unfortunately, most of the Patagonia jackets I was attracted to looked more appropriate for scaling K2 than taking the "F" Train. My reality though is I do need protection from the long cold and wet winters in NYC where I live. Pleased to say my search has ended with the Wanaka! Patagonia really nailed EXACTLY what I was looking for - a great Patagonia winter jacket BUT in a very stylish package with absolutely no sacrifices. From my POV there were absolutely no trade-offs I had to deal with. To be honest, I was hesitant to get a down product in a wet/cold climate like NYC in the winter even though I really wanted one. My fears were unfounded, they nailed it! You know well what I mean...those 32 degree days with the heavy, blowing rain that typically goes right through you. Well, those days are now over for me. I am now officially toasty warm and bone-dry with this on AND without looking like Nanook of the North . Case closed. Thanks Patagonia! BTW, IMHO they run a tad small - especially across the hips. This is important because they are cut short - which incidental is a positive because it both aids in comfort and is a much more stylish. So, you may want to go up a size if you are close to the cut-off point between two sizes. As always though, YMMV.
warm, waterproof, wonderful
I survived 4 Boston winters and 3 new york winters with my Patagonia Fleece and a lot of sweatshirts. But, this year I decided to call it quits and get myself a real jacket. I bought a Columbia coat that was similar, but returned it after a few days 'cause it just didn't cut it. here's why i spent the extra $$$ on Wanaka: SNAPS, not velcro... it's a sleek jacket, but only if you are able to close the front flap without getting your scarf/gloves/hat/clothing stuck to it. FLEECE POCKETS... i wear gloves in the snow and if i have to carry something, otherwise i don't need to. keeping my hands in the pockets feels great! CONVENIENT OTHER POCKETS: wallet in front zipper pocket for easy access to subway pass, ipod in front, left snap pocket for easy access and short distance to my ears, and nice big inside zipper pocket for anything else i want to keep safe... and tissues. DETACHABLE HOOD: worked great in the past snowstorm, but generally i don't like having a hood attached. this removes and has a clean, finished look when you don't want the hood. EXTRA SMALL: I'm small. and a small size can sometimes be too big. especially with a coat which can be bulky if it's even a tiny bit too big, this was crucial.
4 stars 'cause i know that Patagonia will do R&D with this design and find something to make it better. maybe magnets instead of snaps?
So far, so good
The jacket is great for our UK winters, which tend to be wet and windy rather than have extended period below 0C. It is very windproof and waterproof (so far). I use it a lot when I watch football games so am sitting still for 90mins. With a warm medium layer underneath it is great.
The pleasant surprise about it is that you can work quite hard in it and not get sweaty. I also like the look of it as you don't look like you're heading for the hills so it's just at home in pubs or walking around town.
My only small, long-term concern is the fleece chinguard that extends right around the neck, which I think will start pilling long before the rest of the jacket begins to look 'tired'. Oh, and I really like the hood - it works well - your head doesn't feel restricted in it and it doesn't blow down in a strong wind. Yeh, overall I give it a thumbs up and recommend - would have given 5/ 5 if it wasn't the fleece.
I needed to replace an old jacket and I stumbled upon this Wanaka jacket at a local store. It was on sale but I was bummed they only had a medium. I usually wear a large in most coats and sweaters. I think I even have a size large Patagonia fleece jacket. But when I tried it on it was perfect. I'm 6'0" 160 lbs. I have long arms and these are just fine. I can't imagine wearing a large in this jacket, but I didn't have one to compare to. I use on early morning boat rides where it is often 20 - 40 degrees F at the dock and with the wind chill of the open boat at 35 mph it can be a bit chilly. With the zip up neck and the wind flap and the shell material and the quilted down interior, it is nice and warm. I am stoked to have found this jacket and it looks like it is built to last a long time.
I got this jacket years ago when it first came out & we've been through snow storms and hurricanes. Only now is the DWR starting to show signs of wear around the cuffs and shoulders. The H2No technology is excellent; waterproof, breathable & does a great job of blocking the wind.
My only gripe is the slight bulkiness of the jacket. If you have a silm build you might want to size down. But for those with broad shoulders/torsos, your upper half is going to look ever slightly buffer because you'll probably have to go with your normal sizing for fear of it being too tight if you down-size. And if you're like me, who's vertically challenged (5'4) and broad shouldered, order the XS, look like michelin tire man and love the jacket =] because it's excellent at what it does.
Moral of the story: Make sure you try it on in-store not only to find the right sizing, but also to determine if you like the slight bulk this jacket has.
Jacket of the Year, Hands Down
What can I say about the Wanaka Down Jacket? It's by far the best jacket I have ever owned and should certainly win a "Jacket of the Year" award, if such an award existed somewhere. Lets start with the basics: STYLE
-The clean, simple cuts on this jacket make the red stitching accents that much more striking.
-Single breast pocket is a throwback to utilitarian style roots.
-The extra back-end cut gives it a stronger, more masculine silhouette.
-Get so many compliments from inquisitive ladies and jealous men. FUNCTIONALITY
-Handwarmer pockets ensure warm and welcomed handshakes from friends and strangers alike.
-Fitted hood works well with helmets and coifs of hair.
-Working the slopes, trekking up snowy hills or hitting the city streets are all equally simple due to the versatility of the jacket. OVERALL
-Again, it's tough to say that this isn't the greatest jacket I've ever owned. Solid through and through. If you don't have one yet, go and buy one now. I created an account just to write this review. Amazing.
Armored Winter Rain Coat
I'm 5'7" 155 athletic build, and the Small fits perfectly. I seriously can't figure out why this jacket rocks so hard! It's only 600fill, not heavily stuffed, and it's super warm. I've done so much research and read so many reviews on other wither coats and I'm so glad I bought this jacket. I got caught in winter rain at 35 degrees all day in downtown Chicago, I was warm and bone dry and compared to my NF wearing buddies. Oh, I almost forgot, I forgot my gloves, and my hands were toasty warm and dry thanks to the super thick fleece lined pockets. This is the only winter jacket I will ever own and ever buy in the future if this thing every breaks down. The sweet thing about this jacket is that 20 years from now it will still look cool and still be able to kick old man winters rear end. Thank you Patagonia, this is my favorite item from you.
Nice but a few problems
I tried on a bunch of Patagonia jackets and settled on this one. Its a great jacket. Its very warm, its snow and water proof and looks great. I have three problems with it though. 1) The sleeves are too long. 2) The collar is big but too tight when zipped up all the way. 3) The bottom of the sleeves is too big and slides over your hand. Even though it has 2 buttons to make it tighter its still too big on the tightest button. I had to get a third button installed to make it really tight and now the sleeves do not push past my hands. This last one was almost a deal breaker but I got the snap button installed and now it fits, so I didn't have to return the jacket. Try it on first before you buy it is my advice.
Great jacket. I'm not a hardcore hiker... but I do travel to cold parts of the US with work (alaska, Montana, New York, New England, and live in Maryland) and this coat keeps me warm! I purchased the large and the sleeves are a taaaaaad bit long, but the chest and neck fit very nicely (I am a broad chested 5 foot 9 in male, 210 lbs.) I can comfortably wear the jacket with or without a hoodie underneath. The down is extremely warm, wearing the jacket with a hoodie will actually make you very hot even in 25 degree weather (tested and proven!) I would suggest this jacket to anyone needing a very comfortable and efficient cold weather coat. You really get what you pay for (400 bucks!) I have owned jackets that were equally as warm, but they were much bulkier.