If you’re a climber, you have a puffy coat.
That’s a given—the best climbing days usually give way to cold nights and mornings. I tend to run on the cool side, and for years I’ve been trying to find that perfect puffy, one that both keeps me warm, but is also easily tucked away when the temps rise and I quickly strip down to a t-shirt.
Enter the Patagonia, Fitz Roy Down Parka.
I got one of these coats in the late fall, just as sending temps were getting perfect, and the nights were getting chilly. As I often do in my gear reviews, let me give a disclaimer that I’m just a good old fashioned rock climber, and I rarely set foot in the alpine. So, for the extent of this review I wore this coat in the Indian Creek desert, and around my little mountain town of Durango, Colorado.
The first thing I realized about this coat was the minute I put it on my friends knew exactly what coat I was wearing—as with many Patagonia products the reputation proceeds itself. Enough said, right?
The second thing I noticed about the coat was the warmth to weight ratio. The Fitz Roy Down Parka uses 800 Fill Power Goose Down, and checks in at 19.2 ounces.
Note: the jacket uses traceable down to ensure that the material is not live plucked, and the geese are not live fed. It’s also third party certified.
The other incredible feature, for alpine climbers and rock jocks alike is how compactly the coat packs into a stuff sack. I imagine this would be handy on the namesake peak of Fitz Roy, but its also practical for climbing at the crag. More than once, I found myself packing this coat into my backpack for the end of the day, or a cold belay.
Speaking of belays, I couldn’t imagine a more ideal puffy. The baffled hood fits perfectly over a helmet, with a single pull adjustment, and an internal heat-locking, high-loft chamber on the back of the neck. It’s easy to wear over the harness, with a convenient two-way zipper. There are also high hand warmer pockets.
Materials used in the coat are: lightweight and durable 100% nylon Pertex Quantum fabrics throughout, a high-sheen Pertex Quantum built with Y-shaped filament technology on the hood, and the shoulders and arms have interlocking Y-shaped nylon fibers to enhance durable water repellent (DWR) performance.
All things considered, this is now my go-to puffy. It keeps me warm when I need it, whether I’m belaying or chillin’ at camp, the materials are ethically sourced, and it packs away nicely when the days warm up. In short, a perfect puffy.
The Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Parka (on backcountry.com)
In the vertical world, quality gear is as important as good weather or the right partner. At the Climbing Zine, we review gear that we put to the test in our personal climbing pursuits, over months of use. If we like it we’ll tell you, and if we don’t we’ll tell you. That’s our policy…If you have gear for us to consider for a review please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About us: The Climbing Zine was started in 2010 by Al Smith III and Luke Mehall. It continues to the day with the mission of representing the true essence of climbing. Our crown jewel is our printed version, but we also do the interweb thing, and Kindle.
We have also published four books: American Climber, Graduating From College Me, A dirtbag climber grows up, The Great American Dirtbags and Climbing Out of Bed, written by publisher, Luke Mehall.