In collaboration with GORE-TEX and Bionic, Patagonia just released a jacket that’s raising the bar … on multiple levels. Not only is it one of the most sustainable pieces of high-performance apparel on the market, but it’s also one of the warmest jackets the brand has ever made — the Stormshadow Parka. And, it comes with an ultra-high price tag.
Bionic supplied the recycled and reclaimed plastic-based textiles, and GORE-TEX laminated them with its latest sustainably designed membrane. Then Patagonia pulled all of that together into a burly cold-weather companion; one that’s wind- and waterproof, and designed to deal with severely cold weather.
“We are so proud and excited to finally reveal the result of years of hard work and collaboration,” said Mark Little, Patagonia’s global product director for men’s clothing. “This product could only be made possible by all parties coming together and bringing their respective expertise and resources to the table to pursue a shared goal of turning waste into opportunity.”
GearJunkie got its hands on Patagonia’s latest parka to get a first look at what this Stormshadow hype is all about. And we can safely say that this parka proves that the highest-quality outdoor gear can be sourced from recycled and reclaimed materials. That’s great news for the planet — as long as consumers are willing to pay for it.
- Weight 1,182 g (2.6 lbs.)
- Fill 700-fill-power 100% recycled duck and goose down
- Shell material 100% recycled polyester GORE-TEX, partially made from marine and coastal plastic
- Finish PFC-free DWR
- Designed to be as eco-friendly, sustainable as possible
- Extremely warm with 700-fill duck and goose down
- Very comfortable for its weight
- High-quality, thought-out design
- Heavy jacket that doesn't pack easily
- High price point
Almost every aspect of Patagonia’s Stormshadow Parka was designed, at least in part, with sustainable materials. The 700-fill duck and goose down insulation is 100% recycled and reclaimed from down products. The body and lining are coated with PFC-free DWR.
Perhaps most notable, though, is the jacket’s GORE-TEX ePE shell. This special membrane was designed by GORE-TEX as an alternative to its other, less environmentally friendly laminates. Patagonia’s Stormshift ski jacket was the first product brought to market to use ePE.
The ePE membrane is PFC-free, has a much smaller carbon footprint than GORE’s traditional waterproof membranes, and was engineered so it could be bonded with recycled backers and face fabrics.
That’s where Bionic comes into the picture. In 2020 the recycled textile company announced a partnership with GORE. The two companies were going to collaborate to develop new high-performance textiles made from recycled coastal and marine plastic. GORE also made investments in Bionic’s facility in Cóbano, Costa Rica, where recovered plastic is diverted from the ocean and sorted before it’s turned into fabric.
With the Stormshadow Parka, for the first time, GORE-TEX’s new ePE membrane was used on a recycled textile from Bionic. From there, Patagonia’s product development team took the reins making one of Patagonia’s warmest and most sustainable coats ever.
Patagonia Stormshadow Parka: First Look
Luckily, the weekend I received the testing sample of the Stormshadow, Colorado got its first real winter storm. I took the Stormshadow out on a chilly hike and almost broke a sweat walking along the gentle creek trail. It was 28 degrees outside.
Besides the parka’s warmth, the first thing I noticed was how comfortable the Stormshadow felt. The 2-ounce 100% polyester stretch taffeta lining is buttery soft and made from 70% recycled materials — it feels like a sleeping bag on the inside.
A two-way watertight YKK front zipper allows you to modify the airflow if you’re getting too warm or too cool. Snap buttons hold a storm flap across the zipper teeth, preventing drafts. And comfortable storm cuffs serve the same purpose on your wrists, holding out cold air and easily accommodating gloves.
There are two large polyester-lined hand pockets on the outside. Inside each of those, pull-tabs tighten an elastic cord around your middle. That helped customize the parka’s fit to my body and held my body heat in more effectively. There is also a small zipper pocket under the storm flap on the left, for fast access to small items. And internally, there is another small zipper pocket and an elastic stash pocket on the right side.
Like all good parkas, the Stormshadow is long enough to cover your butt. It’s mid-length, so you don’t feel like you’re wearing a gown or a trench coat, but you can still sit on a bench in winter without freezing your behind off. The oversized insulated hood is also helmet-compatible.
Patagonia Stormshadow Parka: Who Is It For?
The Stormshadow would make a great belay parka for ice climbers. It would also suffice for day-to-day Arctic living. But I can also easily see this heavyweight parka being worn casually around ski towns, urban centers, and everywhere in between. It’s stylish and has the added benefit of being made from recycled, reclaimed, and/or eco-friendly materials.
Honestly, anyone who can afford this parka will love to own it. That’s why GearJunkie crowned it “Best Overall Winter Jacket” in our roundup of Best Winter Jackets of 2023-2024.
Patagonia hopes the Stormshadow will set a precedent — not just for its brand but also for the industry as a whole.
“We hope to lead, educate, and inspire others to change the way they approach product creation,” Little told GearJunkie. “Make it to last, make it timeless, and make it with the most responsible, low-impact inputs you can without compromising quality and performance.”
The Stormshadow Parka is tangible proof all of that is possible, Little said.
So, expect to see more products from Patagonia featuring GORE-TEX’s ePE membrane, and Bionic’s ocean plastic textiles. While the Stormshadow Parka is Patagonia’s first jacket to include all these elements, it certainly won’t be its last.
“We are always working to find materials that have the smallest environmental footprint and, ideally, don’t require extracting new raw materials from the Earth,” said Little.
The Stormshadow Parka is available on Patagonia’s website for $900. It’s a high price point, but hopefully, you get what you pay for — in both warmth and environmental impact.