Oh, so perhaps now is the appropriate time to shed light on how I acquired this jacket….
In January, I googled "Encapsil down jacket" and a listing on for "Patagonia Encapsil Down Belay Jacket" Altrec popped up as the top result.
I quickly went to Patagonia.com to chat with LiveHelp and tried to learn more about the jacket. All I they could tell me was that it was coming out in March. I asked if anyone else there knew anything about it and later chatted with someone who was their for the unveiling of the jacket. he told me it was made with 1000fp down, $699 in paintbrush red and only in limited quantity. He then sent me an image of the jacket and asked if I wanted to purchase one. I was shocked, I didnt think he was serious, so I looked around for a gift card I had lost in my room a few months ago (I still beat myself up over it). Alas, no gift card. I chatted back in and purchased the jacket on my CC (with the intention of reviewing the jacket [with the tags] and then returning it).
My card was charged, I received a tracking # and I received my jacket the next week (still mid January). I then posted about this jacket on BPL which was then later taken down.
I paid for the jacket, and reviewed it, and them my post was taken down. I was then contacted by RJ who got me in touch with some (rather senior) folks at Patagonia, who asked me to refrain from posting about the jacket and later offered to refund me for the jacket in exchange for not wearing it in public or publishing any reviews until after the jacket was released. I took my YouTube videos off line until 3/1.
Is this jacket worth $700?- I don't think so, but then again, people pay FAR MORE for FAR LESS INNOVATIVE garments (I have family who work in haute couture, and I find that stuff absurdly overpriced and obscene- with no innovative textiles or designs).
I also don't pay retail for really any of my gear (although, I did pay FULL RETAIL for a Patagonia Hooded Down Sweater and found it worth every penny, until it was stolen…)
I am a huge proponent of support in US manufactured goods, and it bums me out to see this jacket made in China. I think at this price point, consumers would be MUCH happier to pay an extra $100 for a US manufactured garment.