The Cleanest Line

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    From the Trenches - "Why don't you give temperature ratings?"

    TrenchesOur Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are our front line of communication with Patagonia fanatics far and wide. The crew here at our Call Center in Reno, NV are at it seven days a week, taking orders, helping with returns, and most importantly, answering the astonishing range of questions our customers fire at us. Like flocks of swirling swallows or shimmering schools of tropical fish, our customers swoop in with mysteriously synchronized concerns and questions on a regular basis, prompting the need for ready answers. Times like these, nothing would be more handy than magically beaming knowledge out into the ether. Our very own Old School is here to do just that. He's stepped back from the front lines to answer some of these popular questions, straight from the trenches. ____________________________________________________________

    "Why don't you give temperature ratings on your jackets?" It's a simple question, but like most things in life, there's a lot more to it than first appears. Fiona

    The primary reason we don't give ratings for our outerwear is that they're too subjective. Not only is everybody different, conditions at any given temperature are different as well. Factors such as humidity, wind, sun, and clouds all affect how cold a given temperature feels. And let's face it, some of us just don't handle cold as well as others so the first variable is whether you run cold or hot.

    Consider the number of variables in something as seemingly straight-forward as downhill skiing:

    Continue reading "From the Trenches - "Why don't you give temperature ratings?"" »

    From the Trenches - "How much down is in your jackets?"

    TrenchesOur Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are our front line of communication with Patagonia fanatics far and wide. The crew here at our Call Center in Reno, NV are at it seven days a week, taking orders, helping with returns, and most importantly, answering the astonishing range of questions our customers fire at us. Like flocks of swirling swallows or shimmering schools of tropical fish, our customers swoop in with mysteriously synchronized concerns and questions on a regular basis, prompting the need for ready answers. Times like these, nothing would be more handy than magically beaming knowledge out into the ether. Our very own Old School is here to do just that. He's stepped back from the front lines to answer some of these popular questions, straight from the trenches.
    ___________________________________________________________

    "How much down is in that jacket?" That’s a pretty common question here in Mail Order, so I compiled a list of down weights for all our down coats. These weights are for size Medium and are in grams (1 ounce = 28.35 grams). The fill-power of the down used in each of the jackets is also listed. For an broader overview on down, see my previous post here.

    Hibernation Men's Lifestyle Jackets

    Men's Hibernation Parka - 205g (600 fill) If your pooch is like mine and demands a walk no matter how cold or blustery, this is your coat.

    Nanuq Jacket - 250g (600 fill) Another cold weather special in a bit shorter length.

    Stealth Downer Jacket -145g (600 fill) An everyday down jacket that won't make you look like you just stepped off the Grand.

    Women's Lifestyle Jackets

    Women's Ina Down Parka -170g (600 fill) A waterproof/windproof down coat for the coldest andFiona wettest climes.

    Women's Fiona Parka - 105g (800 fill) A long length down sweater, but even cuter.

    Women's Down With it Parka -167g (600 fill) If you're not down with cold weather, try this jacket.

    Women's Upside of Down Jacket - 105g (600 fill) Street-smart looks combined with backcountry warmth.

    Continue reading "From the Trenches - "How much down is in your jackets?"" »

    From the Trenches - "How do I take care of my waterproof shell?"

    TrenchesOur Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are our front line of communication with Patagonia fanatics far and wide. The crew here at our Call Center in Reno, NV are at it seven days a week, taking orders, helping with returns, and most importantly, answering the astonishing range of questions our customers fire at us. Like flocks of swirling swallows or shimmering schools of tropical fish, our customers swoop in with mysteriously synchronized concerns and questions on a regular basis, prompting the need for ready answers. Times like these, nothing would be more handy than magically beaming knowledge out into the ether. Our very own Old School is here to do just that. He's stepped back from the front lines to answer some of these popular questions, straight from the trenches.
    _________________________________________________________________________

    One of the most common questions we get here is “How do I take care of my shell?” Normally, we get this question after a customer has worn their jacket in the rain and they find that it is getting soaked on the outside (in outdoor-speak, "wetting-out"). 

    Water_beads Modern waterproof/breathable shells most often used layered construction, consisting of an outer face fabric (what you see), a waterproof barrier stuck to (aka "laminated") inside of it, and a coating or fabric lining on the inside. On the surface of all this is a chemical treatment called "Durable Water Repellent" or more commonly, DWR. This is the stuff that makes water bead up and roll right off your shell. Keeping the water beading off your shell is not just cosmetic, it also keeps your shell breathing at its optimum level. We receive a number of returns from folks who claim their jackets are leaking. Most often, the outer fabric of the jacket is wetting-out and perspiration is condensing on the interior of their shell instead of passing through the membrane like it would if the DWR was working properly.

    Unfortunately DWR doesn't last forever so it does need care and maintenance to keep it working properly. 

    Continue reading "From the Trenches - "How do I take care of my waterproof shell?"" »

    From the PCT to MVTR

    Pct_3 In 1974 a friend and I celebrated our high school graduation by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. Of course we weren't suspect of our gear at the time, but looking back I can’t believe how much of it was really ill-suited for the job. Near the top of that list was rainwear. For those of us who remember the pre Gore-Tex™ era, it’s hard to believe that urethane-coated nylon was really all we had to keep dry back then. (Well, there was Foamback, but that’s a whole other story).

    Because it was the lightest raincoat I could find, I took a Trailwise Coated Anorak (if you remember Trailwise, you’re really dating yourself). I often wondered as I plodded along in the rain if I would be drier if I just took it off. But since this was also before Capilene® and even polypropylene, I was wearing the uniform of the 70's hiker: a cotton t-shirt and jeans. Getting those things wet was something to be avoided at all costs.

    Ken_pct_start_2 Just 3 years later in 1977, my PCT partner Tony and his brother Jon set off on the Continental Divide Trail. They were the proud owners of perhaps the first incarnation of the Gore-Tex™ shell, The Early Winters Gore-Tex™ jacket. After they finished I asked what they thought of this new fangled Gore-Tex™stuff.

    [Top: High along the PCT in the North Cascades. Bottom: Not-So-Old-School getting ready for the hike of a lifetime. Photos, Old School]

    Continue reading "From the PCT to MVTR" »

    From the Trenches - Why don't you carry larger sizes?

    Trenches Our Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are our front line of communication with Patagonia fanatics far and wide. The crew here at our Call Center in Reno, NV are at it seven days a week, taking orders, helping with returns, and most importantly, answering the astonishing range of questions our customers fire at us. Like flocks of swirling swallows or shimmering schools of tropical fish, our customers swoop in with mysteriously synchronized concerns and questions on a regular basis, prompting the need for ready answers. Times like these, nothing would be more handy than magically beaming knowledge out into the ether. Our very own Old School is here to do just that. He's stepped back from the front lines to answer some of these popular questions, straight from the trenches.

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Why don’t you carry larger sizes?

    This is one of the most common questions we get, along with the corollary questions like why don’t you carry ___(circle one: taller, shorter, smaller, petite)__ sizes. The answer rests in the laws of supply and demand, statistics, and what the clothing trade refers to as "minimums."

    [Patagonia Reps fielding your calls right here in the good ol' U.S. of A. Photo: localcrew]

    Continue reading "From the Trenches - Why don't you carry larger sizes?" »

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