Patagonia Women’s Untracked Anorak Jacket Review
Untracked Anorak Jacket Fabric
Patagonia utilized 3-layer standard GORE-TEX® fabric throughout the Untracked Anorak Jacket. The fabric is waterproof, windproof, and breathable, three key features I look for in a versatile ski jacket. The seams are taped and then covered with a brushed tricot backer, which is soft, easy to layer with, and provides extra warmth without adding much weight. This jacket has been my go to no matter the conditions, as I simply add layers beneath according to the expected temperature or activity level, riding the lift vs. touring. The jacket starts out a bit stiff during the first few wears, however it loosens up after a few days on the slopes.
Features of the Untracked Anorak Jacket
Patagonia’s Untracked Anorak Jacket is filled with skier friendly features. Starting at the top of the jacket and moving on down; the hood is truly helmet compatible. I tested the jacket out with a variety of helmet sizes and styles by Smith, Salomon, K2, and Bern. They all fit with some room to spare and allowed me to turn my head and keep my neck in a neutral position, without hunching, etc. The hood features three Touch Point System™ embeds cord locks, one in the rear of the hood and one on each side. This system allows the user to adjust the hood with a single hand or pull on the cord, while loosening the cord is achieved by squeezing the hidden cord locks. This system means no loose cords or snaps flapping in your face while you are headed down the slopes. If you are not wearing a helmet (hopefully, only when you are touring and not ripping down the slopes), the hood features a structured brim to help keep the water and snow out of your eyes.
As the name suggests, the Untracked Anorak is an anorak or pull over styled jacket with a twist. The 12 inch long zipper on the right side of the jacket plus the extra long center front zip, which runs down about 75% of the jacket, together these zippers make getting the Untracked Anorak off and on a cinch, no matter how many layers you have on underneath. Each one of these zippers are not only watertight, they are also housed beneath a flap of fabric to help seal out the elements. The center front zip features soft micro fleece in the chin region. This is a nice touch, however just to the right of the chin guard is a snap and some pretty rough fabric. When the chin area gets wet from snow/sleet, this area has a tendency to freeze and rub your chin raw. Perhaps, Patagonia could extend or add a bit more fleece in this area.
The Untracked Anorak jacket has plenty of pockets to stash your must haves. On the left forearm there is a small zippered pocked that is ideal for your season pass, which is convenient if your mountain utilizes RFID technology. There are two hidden pockets at the left chest: one pocket features a waterproof horizontal zip and is accessible from the outside of the jacket. Just behind this pocket, is a vertical zip pocket that is integrated into the center zip flap; this pocket has a smaller pocket within and a media port. If you have a small phone or your phone lacks a waterproof case (unlike mine), then you may be able to fit it within this media port compatible pocket. If not, simply pipe your cord via the 2nd pocket. If that wasn’t enough storage already, Patagonia has also included two hand warmer pockets near the waist, which remain accessible even when wearing a backpack with hip and sternum strap in place. I felt that the hand warmer pockets were a little on the small side and did little more than hold my liner gloves/mitts and a small snack. If you are doing laps in the backcountry and like to throw your skins in your front pockets, you will not be able to fit even the smallest of skins in these pockets. All of the mentioned pockets feature the super soft brushed tricot backer, to keep your valuables warm.
On warm days, pit zips are a must. Combine the generous pit zips featured in the Untracked Anorak plus the deep center front zip, and you can really ventilate with this jacket. The pit zips are easy to operate with one hand and feature two separate two-way zippers on each side to allow you to customize the amount you ventilate; the zipper tracks are also waterproof.
The Untracked Anorak Jacket is designed to handle the demands of touring in the backcountry, with excellent moisture management. When you find your powder stash, you will be thankful that Patagonia included a powder skirt. The powder skirt is super simple to utilize and is not bulky at all, which is a huge plus in my book. The skirt is easy to snap into place and can be connected to your ski pants with the provided snap. Unfortunately, I haven’t needed to use this feature yet in Colorado (fingers crossed!) The powder skirt is stretchy-lightweight-and moves with you when you turn, without riding up thanks to rubberized grippers along the bottom hem. There is also a lower drawstring along the bottom hem of the jacket that can also help to seal out cold drafts and snow.
Last but not least, the Untracked Anorak Jacket also features RECCO® avalanche rescue reflector. RECCO is hidden at the rear of the jacket, just below the based of the neck. This adds a bit more peace of mind, without altering the clean lines and colors of the jacket.
Fit and Sizing of the Untracked Anorak Jacket
When it comes to Patagonia products, I tend to stick with size small for base and insulating layers, including down and synthetic pieces. When it comes to shells our outer layers, I size up to medium. I asked the folks at Patagonia to help me out a bit with the sizing as the size guide places my specifics into a size small; they warned that the Untracked Anorak Jacket features a more women’s specific cut and that they were recommending that folks order a size up. I am glad that I listened to their advice and feel that the Untracked Anorak has a more narrow cut through the shoulder and hips then other shells I have tested. With the size medium, I am able to wear a lightweight down sweater and additional baselayers with some room to spare. The jacket is available in size XS to XL.
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