Patagonia Wind Shield Hybrid Soft Shell Pants Review
If you are in the market for a new pair of fall/winter running pants, take a look at the Patagonia Wind Shield Hybrid Soft Shell Pants. These lightweight running pants are made to keep you active through the cold and wet winter months. With a “hybrid” of polyester fabric and strategically placed Capilene 4 panels, the Wind Shield keeps you warm while allowing for a bit more breathability out of a winter option.
Fabric and Features
The body of the Patagonia Wind Shield Hybrid Soft Shell Pants are made of a 20 denier, 100% polyester which is laminted to a polyurethane film. The fabric has a DWR (durable water repellant) finish to keep water out on rainy days as well as add some protection against wind. This is a lightweight and stretchy material, as would be expected from a running pant.
The pant includes several breathable panels, which are located behind the knees, along the outer thigh, and around the back of the waist. The Capilene 4 panels are comprised of 92% all-recycled polyester and 8% spandex, and include Polygiene odor control (which prevents bacteria from multiplying on your clothes, thus reducing odor). This material is also treated with a DWR finish, which keeps the outer fabric from getting saturated and allows for enhanced breathability.
The Patagonia Wind Shield Hybrid Soft Shell Pants have one zippered pocket at the back waist, which include an elastic key loop. This pocket will easily fit a credit card and ID, but you will have difficulty getting a large phone inside. I have managed to stuff my iPhone 5 in and still close the zipper, but not comfortably. The pants have an elastic waist with drawcord, and a few minor areas of reflectivity. For night runs, I would pair this with a jacket or gloves with larger reflective elements to stay safe.
Fit and Performance of the Patagonia Wind Shield Hybrid Soft Shell Pants
I have a 32″ waist, and a size medium of these pants fit great. They stay tight on the waist, relatively snug along the thigh, and loose but not baggy below the knee. They also work great as a baselayer beneath ski pants.
As for performance, I was happy with these pants throughout various weather conditions. While this is a lightweight pant, they were warm down into the high 20s (and not quite warm enough in the single digits). The pants were also comfortable up into the 50s, but as a runner you would probably opt for shorts at those temps. However, if you’re heading out for a long day, the Capilene panels will help keep you cool during the warmer parts of the day.
Speaking of the panels, they are the biggest differentiator when compared to other running pants. I could actually notice the difference in these sections of the pants and even felt a cool breeze on some days, which was great. And unlike yoga pants, they are not see-through (except for when I wore my pink and yellow polka-dots; well, I actually don’t own anything like that but maybe that would add some visibility). It is my hope that other brands will take a hint from Patagonia and add strategically placed breathable fabrics in new models.
When running into the wind, the fabric held tight against my thighs, and did not have the “flappy wings” that is common on loose fitting pants.
One thing to consider: this is definitely a running pant. It is not a “cross-over” that fits in naturally at happy hour after a run. There are plenty of pants out there that claim to do double-duty, but this one succeeds in Patagonia’s intentions: to create a running pant that blocks wind, stays dry, and adds a little extra breathability.
Read more at Patagonia.com.