Monday, January 14, 2013

Gear Review - Mammut Parinaco Jacket

I love jackets.  I am a jacket connoiseur and whether it is a light wind shirt or a heavy duty down parka I love trying on jackets, feeling the fabrics fit and cut and seeing all the features.  I really can't get enough of them and now that every outdoor company is throwing in outrageous colors it is even better!  Softshells are definitely my favorite and a good shell is hard to come by, but for my money Mammut has some of the best outerwear you can find.  From Haglofs and Patagonia to Mountain Hardwear and Marmot no one has a better pant than Mammut's Castor Pant for ice and alpine adventures and now I have found a jacket that might be at the same level and is rivaled by only a select few.  I was skeptical about the Parinaco from Mammut at first because of the hybrid fabric mix, but the Mammut Parinaco jacket is extremely comfortable, protective and warm.

I have always loved softshell jackets.  They just seem to be fit for almost any activity from running to ice climbing to skiing.  The fabrics are incredibly breathable but can still be waterproof and windproof and they stretch to fit any activity and for ice climbing I believe softshells are the end all be all, save for maybe high alpine summits and Everest type conditions.  I was always against hardshells for just cragging because they are loud, don't breathe quite as well and typically don't stretch as well as a softshell.  The Parinaco from Mammut has taken almost every problem I have with a hardshell and used Schoeller C_Change fabric to better the jacket where typically only a softshell would do for the job.  First, Mammut's DryTech waterproof fabric is impressive.  The fabric is technically hardshell, but stretches slightly and is windproof and waterproof.  The fabric is a little heavier than most, but it is supple and moves with the body during active times like hiking or ice climbing.  The fabric also seems to be a bit more durable than the typical Gore-Tex Proshell or Activeshell outerwear.  I thought at first this might be an issue because I would still need to layer, but the bulk of the Parinaco was unnoticeable with just a couple base layers underneath and the jacket was especially warm.  The Schoeller C_Change fabric supplements the DryTech fabric by being more flexible and much more breathable for controlling body temperature more accurately.  The C_Change panels on the jacket are very stretchy and they are placed precisely where you need that stretch.  C_Change also does its job very well in regards to warmth.  I was dumb founded, as i have used a dozen different jackets to ice climb, both days I have been out ice climbing with this jacket the Parinaco has been the warmest one I have ever worn, hands down.  I didn't think it was really possible for a hybrid shell jacket to accomplish this without insulation, but it has.  I was very impressed with the warmth of the jacket.

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The features on this jacket are impressive as well.  Two front pockets (chest high above harness) and a bicep pocket round out the outside storage of the jacket and a removable powder skirt is on the jacket as well.  The cuffs can be adjusted and the front main zipper is two way.  The hood is large enough to fit over a helmet and there are two pull tabs to adjust the hood.  There is also a pull tab at each outside hem that let you cinch down the bottom of the jacket.  The Parinaco also has two way zipper pit zips.  The only gripe I have would be that the Parinaco does not have any traditional side pockets.  The only pockets are the front chest high slash pockets.  These are plenty big and perfectly functional, but you don't have two pockets that you can just put your hands in.  Kind of strange.  Also, the jacket i have is a large and I am 6' 2" 185 lbs.  It fits great.  All in all the feature set for this jacket is very nice and the quality construction is impressive.  I would recommend this jacket to anyone looking for a very warm and durable ski or ice climbing jacket.

Final Say:
Whether you are climbing WI5 in the Canadian Rockies or running dawn patrol in Colorado this jacket has everything you could want or need.


Thanks for the post. What pants are you wearing in the pics, and what are the select few comparable jackets you mentioned early in the article?

I use the Mammut Castor pant. I think it is the best softshell pant out there. I have a review on this site for them. The few comparable jackets i would recommend would be the Haglofs Eryx Hood, Mountain Hardwear Trinity (review on my site), Mounntain Hardwear Kepler, and Patagonia Mixed Guide Hoody. Westcomb makes some good stuff too. They have a great softshell jacket.

Oh, but Black Diamond has some sick apparel coming out in the next few months. I think it actually launches late summer. I would check that out too.

Thank you, sir. Will check out these other jackets you mentioned, and thanks for the heads-up about BD.

Hey Bryan, just got the mammut jacket. Do you know which part is drytech and which is the schoeller c-change? what is the funking looking waist/hipbelt panels made out of? thanks

Good choice on the jacket. I think the C_Change is the body part of the jacket and the Drytech is the upper. Where the color changes slightly is where i think the change is. The dotted part of the jacket are ceramic dots for durability and stretch. They put them at the waist for pack carrying and harness waist belts.

Hi Bryan, I think this jacket is superb in many ways. My only concern is the tighter and narrower cut around the armpits. My shoulders seem ok but the jacket is really high up on my pits. From your experience, does that tight feeling go away with movement? Does it restrict movement or performance in any way? thanks!

Honestly i have not noticed this at all. I think maybe it will break in and this will go away for you. Not positive, but because i haven't noticed it i think you will not notice it soon enough. I am also 185 lbs. and 6'2" tall and have the Parinaco in a large. Not sure if your dimensions are different, but this might cause the effect you are describing.

This jacket is superb! I didn't test it climbing, but did use it this past week downhill at Whistler Blackcomb. With high-output activity, I did not notice the slim cut at all. In fact, this jacket excels at high-output activity thanks to its slimmer European cut. No complaints here! Going downhill, I did not even notice any wind or cold, wet snow.

Glad you like it Khang. I figured once you got out to use it the fit wouldn't be an issue. I have enjoyed it the last few times I have been out. I really have to recommend Haglofs though as well. They make some incredible stuff. I will probably have some reviews up sooner than later on that stuff.

Where is that ice climb on the cover of the current Sierra trading post sports & outdoors catalog?

Haha! Nice Mike. I dumped some climbing photos in our stock folder at work. Didn't even notice it until now.

We should get back up there. You can get to the parking lot now and hike into the cirque. Can't wait for November and December, ready to climb.

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