This is hands down one of the best new shells for the 2011-’12 ski season. I’m not sure that you’d be able to find a better one and you’d be hard pressed to find one as good.
Patagonia definitely hit a homerun with their Men’s Primo Jacket. Yes, I could go on and on about how this jacket features a 3-layer recycled nylon shell with waterproof/breathable GORE-TEX® Performance Shell and a Deluge® DWR (durable water repellent) finish, all of the additional technical aspects of the jacket, and go into in-depth detail about Patagonia’s commitment to the environment, but you can easily find all of that info on their site. It’s clearly a technically superior shell. What makes this jacket truly special is the fact that every part of it performs in the harshest conditions, it fits great and looks awesome.
My major qualm with a lot of technical outerwear is that it’s too minimalistic, missing features I love, two slim fitting to be comfortable, loaded with features that don’t work well together and has a “mountaineering look.” Patagonia solves all of these potential problems with their Primo lineup. The cut of this jacket is baggier and more comfortable than many other high-end outerwear brands, the cut is perfect for mobility and the arms have more length than past Patagonia products that I’ve used in the past which helps people like me with longer gorilla arms.
I was super stoked that Patagonia included an iPod/iPhone pocket and headphone cable pull through which is essential if you’re like me and always want to ski with music. A few additional luxury features that I was amped on right away are the micro fleece inserts that are placed where your chin might chafe when the jacket is fully zipped and the additional one located behind your neck. I also really liked the patented Touch Point System that adjusts the hood in various places to ensure that you don’t lose peripheral vision while the hood is up, snow is kept out and heat is kept in. The only feature that this jacket is missing that I wish it had is wrist gaiters. I absolutely love wrist gaiters and hope that they’ll add them in the future.
With the Primo jacket, you won’t have to worry about getting wet, feeling cold or having parts of your jacket not work when you need them the most. At $499 you should require a lot from a piece of outerwear and I’m confident that the Primo will more than deliver. I pair this jacket on cold days with a good base layer and the Patagonia Ultralight Down Shirt and it’s perfect. This is the type of jacket that you buy once and you won’t have to replace it for a very long time. I highly recommend the Primo Jacket.