Patagonia’s Galvanized Pants, released as part of their High Alpine Kit (video review link), are my absolute favourite ice and alpine climbing pants: waterproof and stretchy, with a soft, quiet, hand — plus they fit great.
So carrying the same name, I was similarly expecting a lot from the Galvanized Jacket. The membrane is Patagonia’s own H2No 3-layer, which is as waterproof and as breathable as any other shell I’ve used. It is the same fabric and membrane as that used in the Pants, but for some reason on the Jacket it feels a bit thicker.
Also, for reasons I do not understand, the Jacket is not as quiet as the Pants and the fabric gets really loud and crinkly in cold temperatures. So much so, in fact, that just moving my head inside the hood will obscure anything my partner is saying — not ideal. I can’t explain the difference given that the fabric in both is supposed to be identical!
Fit is great through the shoulders, arms, upper chest and the hood is excellent. There’s no binding through the shoulders for me when climbing, and the sleeves stretch enough that my wrists stay covered and tucked in even when reaching high overhead. The hood is also excellent, with great coverage and no restriction on movement when cinched down over a helmet. But, the lower section of the torso is a bit too roomy, and the front tends to bunch up when tucked into a harness. The hem is also quite loose and even when cinched tight with the stretch drawcord it has a tendency to flap around, and doesn’t seal as well as I’d like.
I know Patagonia can put together a superbly cut jacket, such as the M10 Anorak, so it’s disappointing to see the Galvanized doesn’t follow the athletic and trim fit of its lightweight sibling. They are both labelled as ‘Slim Fit’ so I can’t explain why the Galvanized Jacket is bulky through the waist and torso while the M10 Anorak is pretty much perfect.
Feature-wise, there are two hand pockets, situated high up and above a harness or waist belt. The zippers are a bit tough to open, and I often find myself having to hold the upper section of zipper with the opposite hand to get it unzipped. The jacket can be self-stuffed into the left hand pocket; it’s a bit bigger than a 1L Nalgene, but is still quite compressible.
There’s also a left-side chest pocket, which appears to be completely waterproof, both from the inside and out. The zipper isn’t watertight, but the protective flap is generous so I don’t hesitate to put a phone or other moisture-sensitive electronics in there, and have yet to get them wet.
The cuffs have simple but effective Velcro tabs for closure, with small rubberized patches to keep them from riding up when reaching overhead (this only works some of the time, depending on the gloves I’m using). Thanks to the stretch through the shoulders the sleeves don’t feel too short, however.
The stretchy fabric also deals very well with scuffs and rocks and I’m constantly amazed I have yet to put a hole into it despite a few instances where I was sure I was going to poke a dry branch through a sleeve while bushwhacking— instead, I bruised my arm but the Galvanized Jacket stayed intact.
All the drawcords use Cohaesive cord-locks, which are press-button releases embedded inside the hem or edges of the jacket. This system works great at the lower hem, however the cord locks for the hood are located at the chin in such a spot that when the main zipper is all the way up and the hood is over your helmet, the Cohaesive bumps protrude into the inside of the jacket and rub against my chin/lips — not overly comfortable.
Though it isn’t perfect, the Galvanized performs as well as I would expect of a modern breathable-waterproof hardshell. If anything, it is stretchier than any other hardshell jacket I can think of using in the past few years. Fit, for me, is not ideal, especially through the lower torso where the cut is looser than I would expect of a ‘Slim Fit’ jacket. Otherwise, however, it’s hard to fault. Weight for my Men’s Medium is 468 grams, and in this age of near-thousand-dollar shells, the Galvanized is practically a bargain at $399 USD or $469 Canadian.
Recommended, and highly recommended if it fits you better than it does me.
Climbing photos at Haffner Creek, BC, taken by Veronica.