There are hard, crusty types who still go teary-eyed and sentimental when you mention Patagonia’s classic Cagoule jacket-a bulletproof piece of rainwear, circa 1972, that covered nearly every inch of its owner’s body and was famous for keeping out the kind of precipitation that had old testament characters rushing to build big boats and load them with two beasts of every kind.
The Fogoule is a new take on that classic piece of apparel-similar aesthetics married to modern materials. The Fogoule doesn’t offer quite as much coverage as its predecessor; its parka-length and reaches mid-thigh, whereas the Cagoule stretched to your knees. That said, it keeps the bulk of me bone dry without feeling too restrictive, which is still something of a mystery to me…in a good way.
The jacket’s two-layer outer is constructed entirely from 100-percent, recycled polyester fabric with a DWR finish that meets the company’s H2No performance standard. The inside of the coat gets a polyester, plain-weave liner that’s also been waterproofed to keep sweat from saturating the shell. What’s more, all of the Fogoule’s seams are fully sealed and that goes for all of the jacket’s zippers as well. Sleeve gaskets keep water from ever making its way up your sleeves and the voluminous hood is fully adjustable, as is the jacket’s hem. In short, it’s watertight.
Does it breathe? It depends, to a degree, on just how hard you’re working. For hard-charging, aerobic sports? Not so much. But then again, you generally don’t reach for a jacket that makes you look like a commercial crabber when heading out for a trail run. Patagonia has given the jacket mesh-lined cape and pit vents. It’s the kind of “passive ventilation” that works well at hiking speeds. If, on the other hand, you’re seeking the lightest, most-breathable rain jacket out there for moments when you’re flirting with your VO2 max, you’re probably better served with something like Patagonia’s Storm Racer.The Fogoule is perfect for all-day hikes and has become my go-to-garment on those days where I spend hours in the drizzle, trying to persuade salmon to bite something they’re generally too smart to bite.
I live in a part of the country that gets the kind of rain that deters big chunks of the population from even wanting to visit. Much of the time, I’m looking for a jacket that’s waterproof, burly, covers most of my body and has plenty of pockets to stow all the crap I lug around. The Fogoule ticks off those boxes and, unlike a lot of performance rainwear, it refrains from frantically screaming “I’m athletic!” at every passerby. Instead, Patagonia has created something understated, effective, and reliable-kind of like the jacket that inspired it.
$212 – BUY