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Fifty Sense: Common Sense Ideas for Thriving after 50
Fifty Sense: Common Sense Ideas for Thriving after 50

Review: Patagonia

Fifty Sense Seal of Approval

Patagonia offers a many products in a line of sports clothing ensuring that your experience is not hindered, but heightened through comfortability and functionality.

Alpine Houdini

You never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at you when you head out on the river, rock, or trail. This featherweight, emergency storm protection this is perfect for those without adding weight or bulk. It is emergency rainwear for climbing, hiking, backpacking, and canoe trekking that also blocks wind and traps your heat. It packs into its single internal chest pocket (with clip-in loop) and seals up with elastic wrist cuffs and a single-pull drawcord waist. I wore this ultralight waterproof/breathable membrane on It provided protection from the elements without sacrificing comfort or mobility. Great piece to also throw in travelling- stow it in your purse- you never know when you’ll need it, but you’ll be happy you have it when you do!

Kamala twist Dress

A seemingly simple tank dress, this little gem has a twist- literally! The twist detail in back gives this basic V-neck tank dress visual interest. It features side ruching and a shirttail hem that is incredibly flattering on a woman’s figure. The organic cotton/Tencel wears soft and light and has a smooth drape making it a perfect go-to for those hot summer days. Great for travel and every day wear!

Black Hole Duffel 45L

If ever there was an all-purpose bag this is it! Utterly indestructible this duffel is made from a denier polyester with a TPU-film laminate and a deluge DWR repellent. Patagonia’s proprietary durable water repellent fabric finish, Deluge DWR, lasts substantially longer than standard DWRs, showing like-new repellency after years of extensive use.

Because it is waterproof the uses for this bag are endless. We used it through the snowy winter months as a ski boot bag. The U-shaped lid allows quick access to the main compartment, making it really easy to insert and arrange the boots, while the two zippered internal mesh pockets and the zippered exterior pockets kept my gloves, hats, hand warmers, etc. organized and offered easy access.

It even stood up to the airline test! We were headed out to Utah skiing and I am always weary of checking my boots after seeing how the baggage gets handled. But I already had a carry-on, and the Black Hole Duffel has a padded bottom panel that adds structure and helps cushion the load, so I crossed my fingers, put my new boots in the bag, and said a little prayer. The bag, and the boots, faired beautifully, which is more than I can say for myself after the long flight!

Women’s Stride Short

These shorts are perfect for the trail, whether your purpose is running, backpacking. Hiking, or walking. They are super lightweight and dry incredibly fast, perfect for high octane activity or intense heat. The waist sits a lower on the hips and the covered elastic waistband and internal drawcord secures the fit.

The no-chafe brief is extremely important and the wick moisture fabric dries in a flash. The length of the short and amount of fabric will not constrict your movement or inhibit your flexibility. I wore these all summer long on the trail in the record setting heat we experiences and I was glad to have such a lightweight, no chafing, fast drying pair of shorts!

A cool fact- Patagonia recycles used soda bottle, unusable second quality fabrics and worn out garments into polyester fibers to produce many of their clothes!

Women’s Overhead Bra

We don’t have to settle for a sports bra that offers support by simply squishing you anymore! We can have comfort and support! This formfitting racerback sports bra won’t bind or chafe and stays put without putting pressure on shoulders. No kidding! The fabric is super soft and provides incredible airflow and wicking for quick-dry comfort.

Men’s Updraft Jacket

This is one of the most versatile and surprising pieces I’ve reviewed. On the surface, it appears to be a mild-mannered little monochrome rain jacket for urban wear and travelling. Dig deeper and you find a lightweight, waterproof/breathable 2-layer GORE-TEX Paclite nylon shell ready for any and all foul weather. There’s a stowable hood, hook-and-loop cuff closures, adjustable waistline and waterproof zippers throughout. It doesn’t scream technical – it just is! There’s even a microfleece-lined back collar for increased comfort. At only 12.6 oz, carry it everywhere and wear it often.

Kamala Dress

A beautiful summer dress perfect for travelling, the farmer’s market, or simply relaxing, the Kamala dress is as stylish as it is practical. It is a V-neck halter dress made of an organic cotton/Tencel lyocell knit blend that drapes smoothly creating a flattering silhouette and has a shelf bra for support. The straps crossover and tie at the back making it adjustable to fit exactly the way you need it to. It has an ankle length hem with slits for mobility. The Sonora Curacao has the stripes that are SO flattering around the mid section and thighs that it is flattering on every body type! I suspect once you put this dress on you may never want to take it off!

Women's powder bowl ski pants

These insulated pants are tough enough to survive the roughest ride and wear while keeping you warm and dry. They offer the highest level of waterproof/breathable performance with 2-layer polyester shell that’s bonded to a Gore-Tex membrane. To add to the durability and increase abrasion resistance, they are finished with DWR (durable water repellent). This is important- especially is you are learning to snow board and spend a lot of time flying down the slopes on your knees, and butt!

The gaiters with gripper elastic and scuff guards protect the hem from ski edges and postholing abuse. You can beat these pants up for multiple seasons and they still look great! They also have a nice slimming fit, definitely not bulky. I also really loved how the brushed tricot lining manages moisture as well as gliding smoothly over underlayers. No one like bunching in their bottom layers!

Women's Insulated Powder Bowl Jacket

This jacket performed amazingly! Whether skiing the fresh powder on a 30 degree sun shining day in Utah or on frozen slopes in Michigan, this jacket did exactly what it was supposed to do- keep me warm and dry, while allowing for a full range of movement.

It is a waterproof/breathable 2-layer Gore-Tex performance shell bonded to an ultra-durable 100% polyester shell, which is treated with DWR, a durable water repellent. There is NO chance of snow, rain, drizzle, or slush getting through this jacket! Add in the powder skirt and you will stay dry all day.

Even with the Gore-Tex and DWR treatment, the jacket breathes extremely well. Patagonia seems to have figured out the perfect amount of insulation in combination with the 2-layer shell to keep you warm but won’t overheat. My body stayed a comfortable temperature in 30 degrees and in 10! If you are exerting a lot of energy and feel it heating up, there are pit zips to quickly release the heat.

One of the things I really liked about the jacket is that even though it is an insulated shell, it is not big and bulky. It had a much slimmer fit than any other insulated jacket I have used, without sacrificing the performance and function. It allowed me to get more aggressive on the slopes and really get into the movement.

This jacket not only performs well as a technical piece- but it is a great overall winter jacket. I had the unfortunate opportunity to test it standing in the cold in the dead of winter in Michigan for 2 hours after being in a car accident. All were ok, and I stayed warm and dry!

Borderless Pant

These are the perfect pair of adventure pants! I started off by wearing them on a 15-hour car ride. They were very comfortable and didn’t push or tug or bunch up at the places we hate the most. The stretchy nylon made was great around the waist.

Next step on the journey was a 10-mile strenuous hike up to Ramsey Cascades in the Smoky Mountain National Park. This hike forces you to do a lot of maneuvering and climbing rock steps. The pants moved right with me and I never felt constricted in my movement. There were a few water crossings and alight rain and thanks to the DWR (durable water repellent) finish they stayed dry the whole time.

They were so comfortable during the hike that I never took them off once we got back to camp. The pants are also protected with a UPF 40 guard and that was very important the next day travelling since it was bright blue skies the entire day and we had little shelter.

They were very light so they travelled well and did not wrinkle. Definitely a pant on would take on cooler backpacking excursion. One of the most comfortable travel pants I have ever owned.


Everyone needs that external layer that you carry with you no matter what. The down sweater by Patagonia is just that piece you have been looking for. It provides warmth without giving you that bulky look and takes up practically no room in your travel bag.

The down sweater is superlight, weighing less than 11.3 oz, and compresses down into it's own mesh stuff sack, complete with a caribiner clip-in loop. Thanks to these features, I carry mine with me no matter where I am headed.

It performed fabulously in cold weather, with the elastic cuffs, and drawcord hem keeping the wind and cold from reaching my body.

The exterior is extremely durable, being high tear resistant. It is windproof water resistant utilizing Patagonia's durable water repellant fabric finish, which lasts substantially longer than standard repellants.

This jacket is also made of recycled used soda bottles, unusable second quality fabrics and worn out garments, thus significantly reducing its footprint on the environment – and who doesn't love that?!

Not only is this jacket highly functional, it looks fabulous on! The shape is contoured enough that you don't look or feel like you are wearing a down jacket!

When participating in outdoor activities or on your travels, you never know what mother nature is going to throw at you. This piece is perfect to throw in no matter what you are doing, without adding weight or bulk!

Who doesn't love fleece? It feels incredible while keeping us feeling warm and cozy. Unfortunately, when the wind picks up, this is where we realize the downfall to our beloved fleece. So what if you could have your fleece and wind resistance too? The R3 fleece jacket by Patagonia does just that for you.

It has a super-plush high-loft grid providing incredible warmth, while at the same time giving you moisture management. It is nonlaminated which makes it more breathable.

The R3 fleece is warm and highly breathable, with a dense Polartec WindPro face for wind-resistance. It combines a dense velour face that helps stop the wind, while the superplush grid interior adds wicking and warmth.

I received this jacket in the spring, and so far it has been a staple through every season, even into the winter months alone or as a layering piece!

R2 Fleece

The stretchy variegated-knit polyester of the R2 Fleece Jacket has superb breathability, warmth and compressibility, along with minimal weight. With an easy-to-use regular-coil zipper front, welded-in zippered pockets, and forward-set shoulder seams for pack-wearing comfort. Stretchy R1® fabric (made with polyester that's 60% recycled) inside the collar and cuffs enhances skin comfort, and the pliable R2 body fabric affords unrestrained movement.

The Micro Puff Jacket is a water- and wind-resistant jacket with high-loft insulation that stays warm when wet; made with recycled content. The tough, windproof Deluge® DWR (durable water repellent) shell houses warm-when-wet synthetic insulation that's compressible but won't clump, separate or drift.

The Down Sweater delivers lightweight, minimal bulk and high-loft warmth. The sharp-looking polyester shell, is water repellent, tear-resistant and windproof and made from polyester that's 50% recycled.

Wool 2 baselayer
While in Idaho we encountered temperatures that hit both extremes and had to be prepared for whatever mother nature had in store for us. With the Wool 2 Baselayer I was not only prepared but extremely comfortable.

Made from soft 4.4-oz merino wool with an extra-fine-gauge yarn and a durable jersey construction for a luxurious hand, it insulates even when wet, naturally resists odor, and stretches with your every move.

Made with an 18.5 micron wool fiber, it is the softest wool I have ever felt!

I found that I wore this piece on and off for a week straight. It was enough warmth to take the chill off without overheating.

Not only is it comfortable and warm, but all merino wool baselayers are chlorine free - safe, and irritant free!

Rain Shadow

Backpacking in the Sawtooth mountains brought on every kind of weather one could imagine. I was very happy to have the Rainshadow jacket in my pack. Very lightweight, it provided peace of mind without bulking up my load. It isfully seam-sealed and is waterproof/breathable, made from a tear-resistant nylon fabric.

Not only did this product stand up to the rain test, I found that it was functional as a layering piece to take the chill off during the windy, cool days.


...Fiftysense Product Review Panel

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