The Patagonia Calcite Jacket is a lightweight and a very packable hardshell with a 2.5-layer Gore-Tex Paclite Plus breathable and waterproof membrane. And the best thing: the outer fabric is made from 100% recycled polyester. Read the review!
- Price: € 270.00
- Weight: 392.8 gr (measured Mens S, 411 gr M specified), ladies specified 371 gr M.
- Sizes: Men and women XS-XL
Patagonia and the environment
Patagonia is one of those brands that has been a leader in environmental design and production for many years. And at this California-based company, they even go one step further. The company slogan: “We’re in business to save our home planet” sounds bold, but with Pata they add butter to the fish. Patagonia sees a product as sustainable if it does what it has to do in the first place. In addition, they think it should last a long time and that it should be repairable. The fact that they use reusable and recycled materials for all of this, is only natural to Patagonia. But… how do they do that with the Patagonia Calcite Jacket?
The Patagonia Calcite Jacket is largely made from recycled polyester. Or – to be more specific – the outer fabric of which the jacket is made. But to fully understand this, you must know something about the construction of the breathable and waterproof material that has been incorporated into the jacket.
The breathable and waterproof material that Patagonia uses is the Gore-Tex Paclite Plus membrane. A membrane is a wafer-thin ‘sandwich bag’ with very small holes in it. These holes are so small that water vapor – sweat – can go outside, but the considerably larger water drops – rain – cannot enter. This membrane is like the white layer of an Oreo cookie trapped between the outer fabric and the ‘lining’. The word lining is deliberately enclosed in quotation marks because this inner layer is more of a protective layer than a lining in the Patagonia Calcite Jacket. If it were to be a real lining, I would speak of a 3-layer laminate. In the case of the Calcite, it is a 2.5-layer laminate.
The ‘annoying’ aspect of this construction is that recycling at the end of the life of the jacket still raises a question mark. But some nuance is in place here.
Gore-Tex – PTFE, or Teflon – has long been known to be environmentally unfriendly. In the meantime, experts have come back a bit. There are various reasons for this.
- Gore-Tex has proven to be very durable as a material. The exterior usually wears out faster than the Gore-Tex itself.
- In addition, PTFE is a material that reacts with nothing (inert) with which I do not mean that it is therefore environmentally friendly, but it never ends up in compounds with organisms. That is also the reason why PTFE is also used for, for example, artificial blood vessels and water treatment plants.
- And in principle Gore-Tex can be recycled and Gore has had programs for this in the past. Unfortunately, these died because we do not hand in our Gore-Tex gear for recycling. Back to the jacket itself.
The construction of the outer fabric and the Gore-Tex cannot be taken apart. When a jacket is at the end of its life, it can at most be used as a total material in another product – from jacket to bag – or dumped on the landfill or burned. The latter really is the better choice because it does not provide any harmful waste or pollution.
Patagonia Calcite Jacket PFC-free
A Gore-Tex membrane may then be used to make the jacket breathable and waterproof, there is still a so-called DWR coating on the outside of the fabric. DWR stands for Durable Water Repellent and is a layer over the outer fabric that ensures that water drops roll off the jacket quickly. The better this go’s, the less wet and heavy a jacket becomes and the breathability stays intact. Until a few years ago this DWR coating still often contained PFCs and PFCs are particularly harmful to the environment. Many brands have since switched to PFC-free coatings. Patagonia too. And to be honest: Gore makes the complete fabric including DWR coating for Pata. For so far the environmental background off the Calcite Jacket.
Fit and Comfort
The fit of the jacket is nicely sporty, but with colder weather there is enough room to wear a not too thick fleece under the jacket. The sleeves are pretty long and come just over the beginning of the hands. When climbing the sleeves turn out to be just long enough; no bare wrists when stretching. The cuffs are well closed with a Velcro closure. If you want to, you can wear the shaft of your gloves underneath the cuffs. The hooks of the Velcro do not damage the jacket. Because the Calcite jacket is equipped with Gore-Tex Paclite Plus, the inside of the jacket also feels comfortable on bare skin. The slightly bubbled structure is much nicer than the ‘old-fashioned’ or ‘normal’ Paclite that felt rather sticky.
The Calcite Jacket has an excellent hood. It is very nicely tightened around the head so that the hood moves nicely with the head when looking left and right. There is a lot of material around the neck which makes moving smooth. The hood can also be easily put on around the chin. This way you stay warm and you minimize the chance that rain will drip into the jacket. The flap of the hood is just stiff enough. The hood is also great for people who wear glasses. A helmet can be worn under or over the hood.
The jacket has two large side pockets on the front. In the pockets are the drawstrings with which you can pull the jacket tighter around the waist. The pockets are closed with a zipper. A flap must prevent water from entering it and usually does so. However, they are not completely watertight. The chest pocket – left side chest – is thanks to a waterproof zipper waterproof. The jacket has no inner pocket.
Of course I tested the jacket in combination with different backpacks; from daypacks to full 70-liter trekking backpacks. Positive is that because of the cut of the jacket there is nowhere double material or wriggles. The long back is also nice when rain threatens to flow from the cover of your backpack onto your buttocks. A 2.5 laminate is not the strongest combination if you want to walk with a heavy backpack for a longer period of time. Just occasionally. Use the jacket preferably with a backpack of 30 liters maximum. Gore states a weight of 6 kg. Downside of the jacket design is that the pockets are positioned so that they are hidden behind the chest strap and the hip belt.
Waterproof and breathable
To test the waterproofness and the DWR-coating of the jacket, I test a jacket under ‘controlled’ conditions and in practice. I always test the water repellency twice: if the product is new and after washing three times. The latter in particular is rather destructive for the DWR-coating. Not so for the Patagonia; after three washings, this DWR layer is still as new. In the shower and in practice, the Patagonia Calcite Jacket has proven to be waterproof. Including the waterproof front zipper. The 2.5-layer Gore-Tex is also breathable, but of course it depends a lot on the circumstances and the fitness of the wearer. I think it’s one of the better breathable jackets I’ve tested. And … the huge zippers under the armpit help ventilate when the weather is half-sun-half-rain where you are constantly putting on and taking off your jacket.
Patagonia Calcite Jacket Verdict
The Patagonia Calcite Jacket is an excellent breathable and waterproof jacket. It is comfortable to wear and the cut is sporty but with sufficient freedom of movement. The hood is a great and you can wear a helmet underneath or over it. It is light and packable so that it takes up little space in your backpack. Also in combination with a backpack, the Calcite does quite well only the pockets are covered by the chest strap and the hip belt. Also remember that the 2.5-layer Gore-Tex laminate is not designed for longer hikes in the rain with a heavy backpack. As a rain jacket in case of…. it is very suitable for hut-to-hut tours. The Patagonia Calcite Jacket gets 8.9 out of 10 points total.
- Material 100% polyester
- Membrane Gore-Tex Paclite Plus
- Construction 2.5-layer laminate.
- Washing instructions 40 ° C, ironing, you can also tumble dry
The trekking poles on my backpack are the Masters Sherpa Calu that I also reviewed.