Saturday, January 3, 2009

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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