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Product Review The Stretch Triolet Jacket from Patagonia®

By Marco Johnson
Reprinted from The Leader, Fall 2000, Vol. 16, No. 1

Wet weather is part of our job description when working in the field. While I believe I can suffer with the best, there is a direct correlation between my enjoyment of the field and how wet my body is. Drying out wet or damp layers is work and crawling into still damp layers is just not that exciting, no matter how good your mood is. Drier is better!!

From May to September of this year I have worn a Stretch Triolet Jacket from Patagonia®. I have used the jacket in Alaska and Wyoming for 90 field days in conditions ranging from 0 degrees F with blowing snow to 60 degrees F and pelting rain. The bottom-line, I was drier.

The jacket is made with H2NO® Storm HB (waterproof/highly breathable) material. I was pleased with how waterproof the jacket is while still allowing for some sweat/moisture to breathe out of the jacket. In the conditions that I experienced, the jacket performed better in the colder temperature range. H2NO® Storm HB is as waterproof as any Gore-Tex® that I have used though it does not have as good an overall ability to breathe as Gore-Tex®. (Patagonia® Mountain Book 2000 pg. 22.)

Because the Stretch Triolet breathes less than Gore-Tex, it makes for a warmer layer. Warm enough that I was able to leave a layer of poly-pro home. When the jacket got overly warm I would vent using the pit zippers and the zippers on the front of the jacket. This worked well. Two things I have concerns about are; the lack of a zipper pull on the bottom front zipper, (This has been addressed with this year's model) and being unable to unzip the pit zippers while wearing a pack. I never seemed to be able to zip or unzip the pit zippers fully while my arms were through the shoulder straps of my pack. I would have to remove one of my arms from a shoulder strap to reach the opposite zipper to open or close it.

So far the jacket has held up very well. I have seen no wear and the jacket performs as good after several washings as it did out of the wrapping. In terms of weight, the Stretch Triolet is on the heavier end of their jacket line. If you are shaving ounces you might want to look at another jacket, if you are looking for a solid and dependable workhorse for just about any condition this is your jacket.



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