Extremely Warm + Versatile Jacket
- Familiarity: I returned this product before using it
- Fit: Runs large
- Size Bought: Small
- Very Warm 700-Fill-Power Down
- Adjustable, Insulated Scuba Hood With Good Visibility
- No Layering Needed
- Gusseted Sleeves With Storm Cuff
- Below Hip Length (at 5ft 3in)
- Heavy-Duty Materials and Build Quality
- No Drawcord Hem
- Adjusting The Hood And Neck May Not Be Intuitive
Patagonia boasts that their Frozen Range are the warmest coats they have ever made. Now that I have tried their Jacket and their Parka, I can tell you--they are indeed instant warmth!
The Parka is the warmest of the two--covering me from my head to my knees. The plush down coat inside the Parka also hugs my body comfortably (like a cozy sleeping bag) without feeling tight or movement-restrictive. The Jacket in the same size (Small) feels more open in the body. It still delivers the same amount of warmth as the Parka but the difference in the feeling of the interior is noticeable.
In addition to the body, I also found that the hips were just roomy enough to allow drafts into the Jacket. There is NO DRAWCORD on the hem so the Jacket depends the lower portion to be snug enough against your body to keep out the cold. Because of that (if I do not want to wear layers) I would SIZE DOWN to an X-Small. (And if you are taller than me (5ft 3in), the hem might hit you higher--naturally sealing out drafts. So choose your size with the hem in mind.)
The Jacket kept me extremely warm--nearly breaking out into a sweat in my 74F house. (And comparing it to my current down coat that I have shoveled snow in -10F wind chill, it is much warmer than that.) I would not recommend wearing the Jacket with layers due the warmth it kicks out. But I did try the Small on with a long sleeve shirt and a Fjord Flannel. The jacket fit comfortably over the layers. But when I bent my arms I could feel the flannel tugging. Even so, I would stick with the Small (if I was layering). So I guess, Size Down without layers and stay True To Size with them.
Aside from its excellent warmth, the big selling point for me was the Scuba Hood. Designed to block out the wind, it hugs your face while still managing good visibility. When you get the Jacket, you will need to adjust the hood or else you will be as baffled as I was when the hood was floppy, blocked my vision, and completely exposed my neck. Use the toggle in the hidden flap on the back of the hood to cinch a halo cord around your head. This will fix everything and make the hood fit like it does on the model. (BONUS: You can also wear the hood like a Turtleneck with the hood laid back and the neck zipped all the way up. It actually covers the lower half of your face and the upper back of your head. Top it off with a Buffalo Wool hat in frigid temps and this might be the next best thing to a built-in balaclava.) Best Hood Ever.
Heavy-duty zippers pull smoothly. Pockets are at a comfortable height and include small mesh inner pockets. (My hands keep trying to go into them but I will get used to it. They seem handy.) The sleeves reach just over my wrists and the gusseted storm cuffs form a nice seal. The buttons do slow me down from getting in and out of the Jacket quickly (vs the Parka snaps) but I also like how the Jacket looks all buttoned up. The Jacket is also waterproof and with the scuba hood up, I would be completely comfortable and confident wearing this in a downpour.
The Verdict: I would recommend the Frozen Range Jacket to anyone needing extreme warmth without the layers, the easy fit and mobility of a jacket, and a cozy, versatile hood. Just be aware that you might need to size down for a good hip fit.