Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka

Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka

Down is a wonderful thing. It’s miraculously lightweight and extremely warm, but it’s not the easiest material to work with. Patagonia just released a limited edition down parka they’re claiming is the best parka ever made. After we checked out the specs on the new Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Parka, we tend to agree with them.

The Encapsil Down Belay Parka is an uncommonly beautiful work of design, engineering and function. A 100% independently baffled, differentially cut parka without a single shortcut or “cheat,” it’s the first of its kind. Weighing in just north of 18 ounces, it’s insulated with Patagonia’s proprietary, plasma-treated, water-repellent Encapsil down that carries an unprecedented fill-power of 1000. Ultralightweight 100% nylon shell fabric with a polyurethane dry coating gives the Belay Parka excellent water repellency. A helmet-compatible, baffled hood has a single drawcord that creates a small draft collar of down around the face, and variegated baffles are smaller in high-compression areas, like the shoulders and the small of the back, to keep the down from shifting. Add to that a double-baffle wind flap that completely seals out cold and wind, and you can see why Patagonia smartly claims that they’ve created the best parka ever.

To round out the parka’s design, Patagonia tailored every inch to facilitate ease of movement and activity without sacrificing insulation. Exterior, independently insulated handwarmer pockets retain precious warmth, even with the pocket zippers open, and their high position keeps them away from the harness line. Large interior mesh pockets placed toward the back reduce any bulk in front while flexible, low-profile cuffs sit soft on the arm and easily push up and out of the way. A unique pull-system at the hem lets you adjust a drawcord from the inside or out, and the drawcord won’t dangle or snag on your harness, rocks or branches. The parka even features a mini snowskirt to keep out wind and snow from below.

It’s clear that Patagonia considered every detail in the design and construction of the Encapsil Down Belay Parka. The only question is, why would they only offer it in a limited edition run?


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