Initial Take on the Patagonia M10 Anorak
I will come out and say this right off the bat, the Patagonia M10 Anorak is a pricey piece of gear! Will it be worth it? That might depend on who you ask, but the technological advances are top of the line. This jacket is marketed towards the pretty hardcore outdoorsman and climber, and for good reason. If you simply want a good rain or wind jacket, there are plenty of other options at a more affordable price. On the flipside, if you truly intend to take this piece of gear and push it to its limits, the Anorak may be right up your alley.
I run and climb mountains for fun, exercise, adventure, and the sense of freedom it gives me. If you want to feel humbled, and awed at the same time, please come visit the great State of Colorado and attempt one of our mighty 14-ers. This is a term that you should know if you want to hang out in the Rockies. There are 54 official peaks over 14,000 ft. None are easy because of the length and altitude which will affect everyone to some degree. The different Class systems designate each and every route up all the peaks. Class 1 and 2 are quite manageable for the average outdoor enthusiast. The next step up is Class 3, and gets into bouldering, scree, 1000 foot drop off exposures, as well as some pretty steep grades. Class 4 requires some serious equipment and ability. And lastly, Class 5 is that near vertical stuff that can land you on the cover of a magazine with the right photographer documenting your climbs. That’s beyond me, but I appreciate a good piece of gear to make my life more enjoyable out in nature.
Going extreme or simply going for a hike in the mountains, one can certainly benefit from having the Patagonia M10 Anorak along. The lightweight, durability, pack-ability, and ability to keep you dry are only the beginning.
Fit of the Patagonia M10 Anorak
This Patagonia jacket is designed, built, and marketed as a slim fitting piece of outerwear. Know that going in, or make sure you try it on at your local outdoor retailer. My physique is on the average to lean side, and I found it to be a perfect fit for me (I tested a Medium at 6′-1″, 165 pounds). This does make the layering process and planning key because the thicker mid layers will probably not work underneath. The advantages are that there is not a lot of fabric to get in the way of gear, packs, harnesses, as well as freedom of movement.
Benefits of DWR and Ultrasonic welded Seams
If you are into detailed technical lingo then this is for you. The Patagonia M10 Anorak is designed and constructed with a 3 layer, ultralight, H2No® Performance Standard that is not only waterproof but extremely breathable. With strenuous exercise when it rains or snows it does make body temperature regulation a bit tricky and challenging. The DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish is a fantastic outer layer to keep out any moisture. When I exert myself I usually start sweating profusely. Being able to ‘dump’ my sweat through the micro pores of the Anorak is critical. The fabric is made built with a nylon ripstop which will hopefully prevent any tears or snags as venture out. Mine has survived the initial attempts at some rock scrambling and climbing thus far.
Testing the Patagonia M10 Anorak
The welded seams are positioned strategically for minimal overlap to avoid bunching. There are also no seams on the back and shoulders which help in reducing points of failure. The Patagonia M10 Anorak has a pretty deep zipper to allow for venting. Being that it is a pull-over, it eliminates any zipper interference with harnesses and straps. Personally, I kind of like a full zip, but I totally see why Patagonia went this route and I’m sure many will really love this feature.
The fall season here in Colorado has been absolutely amazing with minimal moisture and warm temperatures. I bring my jacket on each and every trip into the mountains. Unfortunately, I’ve only had to use it a few times. A late October trip and hike were perfect for testing as the temperatures dropped with a front moving in. Conditions can change on a dime in the mountains. Our hike that started in warm temperatures, ultimately climbed above tree line and provided a perfect platform for testing the Patagonia M10 Anorak. As we ascended, the need to layer up became necessary. We kept up a pretty good pace, so I was never truly cold. I do make it a point of selecting a couple of good base/mid layers on my hikes, and appreciated the ability to release my perspiration as the effort intensifies. We finally did make it above tree line, and a storm had dumped some snow a few days prior. This made for some slightly challenging terrain and climbing, but we managed to make it through just fine. With the elevation gain, the wind picked up and I really appreciated my Anorak. The gusts did not penetrate the shell to avoid that bone chilling effect.
My experiences in the mountains are starting to trend more towards the technical spectrum, and I’m wearing a helmet more often. The Patagonia M10 Anorak is very compatible with a climbing helmet. The hood itself has one single-pull strap adjustment on the back, and is easily reached. Pretty simple to pull and tighten when you are on the go. It is also positioned so that it did not interfere with the helmet.
Technical Specifications and Details
- Ultrasonic-welded seams are reinforced with narrow seam tape for superlow bulk
- Exterior left chest pocket with coated, watertight zipper; jacket self-stuffs into chest pocket with carabiner clip-in loop
- Ultra-minimal cuffs seal out weather; single-pull drawcord hem
- H2No® Performance Standard shell: 3-layer, 2-oz 12-denier 100% nylon ripstop with a waterproof/breathable barrier and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
- 198 g (7 oz)
The zipper is solid and does the job without being too big. The zipper or neck stop comes in handy to prevent the zipper from catching facial hair. I think they could have gone a little bit larger as the zipper does not really nest naturally into that pocket.
The one and only pocket on the coat is the zipped chest pocket. Big enough to hold some snacks, and yes, the larger iPhones! You can obviously wrap the Patagonia M10 Anorak around your waist or stuff it into your pack. The cool thing is that the entire jacket can be stuffed in the aforementioned chest pocket. Zip it up and clip it onto your pack for easy access should you need it again.
Final Thoughts on THE All-In-One Inclement Outdoor Adventure Weather Jacket
If you have the means and are looking for top of the line technical gear and equipment, then the Patagonia M10 Anorak is an essential piece of gear. It practically weighs next to nothing, is wind and watertight, and stows away super tiny. The benefits of such a minimal piece are tremendous. The MSRP is $379, which I do find to be on the upper end of what I would usually feel comfortable spending. Can it be justified? Sure! To each his own, but if you do go with the Patagonia M10 Anorak, you will not be disappointed in its performance.
My test subject came in a Campfire Orange (great name) which is a bonus for being highlighted on that epic climbing shot. On a more serious note, the visibility will help if something were to go wrong. Search & Rescue could easily spot you if it comes to that.
For this Patagonia M10 Anorak and other quality jackets please visit: www.patagonia.com