Saturday, January 3, 2009

Patagonia Sales

I know that after-Christmas sales are big, especially in this economic climate.  Retailers are looking to grab some customers and are dropping prices to do so.  I've noticed that while other brands are cutting prices on some of the outdoor gear sites, most Patagonia clothing is staying full price.  

If you are aiming to pick up some Patagonia jackets, bags, baselayers, and gear but don't want to pay the premium prices, I know that the Patagonia Winterfest Sale usually takes place in early February each year.  That means we're probably only five or six weeks away from some good deals on Patagonia gear.  If you can hold out until then, you'll probably be glad you did.  Stay tuned to the Patagonia Community blog because I'll be posting anything and everything I hear about the Patagonia Winterfest Sale as soon as I find anything out.
(Image above from



PAT COM REVIEW: The Patagonia Capilene 3 Zip-Neck

Because I'm on a pretty tight budget, I usually plan my purchases quite carefully.  And when buying Patagonia stuff which is definitely on the more expensive side, the planning is even more involved (saving and saving and eBay-ing and saving some more).  Sometimes though, circumstances dictate a quick, last-minute purchase.

Such was the case this past week as we decided to take the kiddos on a quick trip to the snow.  I grabbed some gear from the local REI (more about all of that later) including boots and jackets for the family.  I also grabbed the Patagonia Capilene 3 Zip-Neck for myself.  There were some other options including a Nike Dri-Fit zip neck that had reflective tape which would be perfect for my running and a North Face zip neck that was more fleece-y.  But I decided to take the Patagonia route even though it was $50 compared to the sale-priced Nike ($44) and North Face tops ($34, down from $65).  
I really like that it's lightweight, thin for the warmth it provides, and has a perfect base-layer fit for me.  The material is comfortable and the seams are flat-knit which reduces and practically eliminates any scratchy discomfort.  Below: the stitching along the underside of the left sleeve.
The plastic gripper-tip on the end of the zipper is a nice touch too.  I wore the Capilene 3 during our sledding and snow-ball fight time and it kept me dry and comfortable.  There was no B.O. afterward as far as I could tell (though don't they say you can't smell your own?) and that must be due in large part to the Gladiodor treatment that Patagonia gives their Capilene stuff.
The Patagonia Capilene 3 Zip-Neck definitely isn't a wind-blocking piece.  I walked outside today while it was a cool 46 degrees and a little breeze hit me like a Yeti.  I'm also wondering how it will do with pilling.  Will it look like my dad's navy blue acrylic sweater, circa 1981?  I noticed that in a customer review on the Patagonia site of the Stretch Velocity Full Zip Jacket, a customer said it was great except for the pilling after only a short amount of time.
For now though, the Capilene 3 is a winner.  Yes, I could have chosen the less expensive options (and did recently when it came to buying a shell; more to come on that later), but what would I have blogged about?
Learn more about Patagonia Capilene base layers here.

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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year from Patagonia Community

Just wanted to send a big Happy New Year to the Patagonia Community readers out there.  I'm shooting to blog with even more frequency in the coming year, especially about Patagonia sales and deals (look for a new "deals" feature soon, among other things).  

Wishing you a terrific 2009.
-Patagonia Community



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Patagonia Service Center Clogged Up

(Above:  Inside the Patagonia Service Center in Reno.  Photo from
I had to send my faulty Patagonia Critical Mass Bag back to the Reno, Nevada service center.  I sent it UPS so it was insured and it had tracking.  According to the UPS site, it was delivered to Patagonia on December 23rd.  I hadn't heard anything and hadn't been refunded according to my bank website so I gave them a call this morning.  

The helpful customer service representative, "Elle," kindly informed me that they were only now processing returns from--are you ready for this--December 9th.  Yikes!  Either everyone's sending their Critical Mass Bags back or they need to hire an extra person or two.  So with a little bit of simple math, they should be getting to my bag on...January 20th?



Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kinks and New Features on Patagonia Community

I'm not a tech-wiz by any stretch of the imagination so adding new features to the Patagonia Community blog is an adventure to say the least.  To make the blog a bit more friendly for you, the reader, I'm trying to add some keyword labels so that you can search the blog more efficiently and effectively.  I've added some on the right and will be adding more soon.  Notice there's no heading for that stuff yet.  Probably something a tech-wiz could figure out.
(Image at top of post: from

A MASSive Problem

(Above: The Fall 2008 Patagonia Critical Mass Bag in "gravel". Photo from
Uh oh.
With bags, it doesn't matter how great the features of the bag are, how indestructible the fabric is, how beautiful its design is. If THE STRAP doesn't work well, that bag is about as useful as an iPod with a broken click-wheel.
Folks, the strap on the newest version of the Patagonia Critical Mass slips! When adjusted, the locking clamp that keeps it in place...doesn't! Here's a picture from Patagonia's The Cleanest Line blog in an entry about the Critical Mass:
And I'm not hauling heavy loads around. I thought that perhaps it was just my bag that did this, but I saw that the Patagonia product page for the Critical Mass has a customer review in which the person reports the same thing. This is really disappointing. I reviewed the bag here on Patagonia Community and was quite happy with it, the only exception being the lesser fabric they're now using. But this latest development is a deal-breaker. Back to Patagonia it goes. And it puts me back on the trail in search of a solid work bag.