Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket Review

Posted in Bike Commuting, Bike Gear, Gear Reviews, Outdoor Gear, Running, Trail Running by Eric Miller - 02.28.2013

I’ve been itching to test out some Patagonia trail run gear. This past winter Patagonia gave me the opportunity to test the Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket, their lightweight, minimalist running and cycling jacket.

Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket Features

  • Extremely breathable 3-layer GORE-TEX┬« Active fabric is durably waterproof and windproof
  • Self-fabric stand-up collar is lined with lightweight mesh for comfort
  • Upper arm zippers can be unzipped to facilitate air flow through the jacket toward the back venting system
  • Comfortable articulated sleeve with fold-over cuff converts to mitt for wet/cold weather protection
  • Small waterproof pocket at center back holds essentials
  • Low-profile drawcord at hem
  • Reflective logos at left chest and center-back neck
  • Deluge┬« DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • Fit: Athletic with articulated sleeves
  • MSRP: $279

Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket Review

Off the hanger you can tell that the Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket is packed with Patagonia quality and style. It features an athletic cut and fit, smooth seams and stitching, and is lightweight.

The Light Flyer is made with 3-layer GORE-TEX Active and weighs in at a scant 9.1 ounces. It offers full weather protection, laughing in the face of the storm. It sheds rain, wind, and snow with ease.

It features an athletic cut for optimal movement while running. Articulated sleeves help with comfort while running or riding the bike. The cuffs are cut long over the hands for some extra protection and also feature a fold-over mitt for even more protection. The Light Flyer also features a drop-tail, giving you extra protection when riding in wet conditions.

In terms of fit, I am 6 feet tall, weight 180 pounds, and have a positive ape index (arms are long). I typically wear a size large for the body but need an extra-large for sleeve length. The Light Flyer in large fit my perfectly. Snug enough to not be annoying when moving with just enough extra to not restrict movement, even with a midweight layer on. The sleeves were plenty long but I did find the fold-over cuffs to be very snug. For someone without long arms they likely would be fine.

GORE-TEX Active, as you can guess, is GORE’s most breathable technology. It did perform pretty well from a ventilation standpoint. To help with ventilation the Light Flyer features two long, vertical back vents that are always “on” and zippered vents in the upper arms. The back vents are a nice touch but I was let down with the arm vents. First, the zippers were extremely stiff. I wasn’t able to unzip them one handed, even after months of use. Next when running they almost always folded shut. It’s due to the natural curve of the fabric over my arm but they almost always stayed closed. The only times they stayed open was when there was wind, either from the wind or when riding.

The Light Flyer features a single pocket on the small of the back. Good placement for running, bad placement for biking if you ride with a pack. I found that the zipper would get pressed into the small of my back which was very uncomfortable. The pocket is small, literally big enough for an iPhone 4 (the iPhone 5 or a Samsung Galaxy S II wouldn’t fit) OR a single key and a gel. With the pocket being so small the utility of it was very low.

As a daily bike commuter, I always love to see reflective detailing. The logos on the front and back of the jacket are reflective. It’s not a lot, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have that extra visibility in low light.

Overall I have been impressed with the Light Flyer. Sure there are some smaller features that could be better but overall the jacket is fantastic.

The Good

  • Athletic
  • High performing
  • Great weather protection

The Bad

  • Single pocket is too small to be useful
  • Arm vents are hard to unzip and don’t stay open

Bottom Line:

For top performance and full weather protection for running and riding, pick up the Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket.

Buy Now: Pick up the Patagonia Light Flyer Jacket

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