When you’re out on the ocean, the occasional salty spray of rainy mist can be fun. But it’s not fun when you’re soaking wet for days on end, and that’s why folks who head out on the water have foul weather gear.

The Patagonia Big Water Foul Weather Kit consists of a waterproof jacket and bib that were built for the open ocean, and merges the brand’s 50 years of design knowledge from decades of building alpine, fish, and surf products into one very important, purpose-built kit.

Based in Honolulu, the Polynesian Voyaging Society has tested all the commercial sailing gear on the market throughout their nearly 50 years of open ocean crossings, yet nothing has met the demands of Hōkūleʻa, a traditional 62-foot, double-hull voyaging canoe with an abrasive epoxy-and-sand coated deck. The crew is currently on a 43,000-nautical-mile, 47-month circumnavigation of the Pacific Ocean, taking them to 36 countries and archipelagoes, nearly a hundred Indigenous territories, and 345 ports. On the Moananuiākea Voyage, the crew is sailing old-school, navigating by stars, wind, and waves.

In making a foul-weather kit that could both keep the crew protected from the worst possible weather and be durable enough to hold up while sailing the canoe, the team at The Forge—Patagonia’s advanced R&D facility on its Ventura campus—were challenged to deliver for the Polynesian Voyaging Society. They combined decades of technical know-how from their fly-fish, snow, alpine, and surf designs and the result blends full storm protection, unencumbered mobility, and high visibility reflectivity, for long and demanding water exposure.

The 4-layer H2No Performance Standard shell on both the jacket and bib is made of NetPlus 100% postconsumer recycled nylon ripstop with a slick jersey backer to manage moisture and enhance movement. The jacket has durable paneling across the elbows, forearms, and back hem to withstand years of abuse. The stowable hood has an integrated cordlock adjustment and a laminated visor. The 2-way, Vislon watertight, offset center front zipper reduces chin chafe. Two secure chest pockets with key clips and an internal drop in pocket provide dry storage, and reverse-entry hand pockets with micro fleece keep the elements out for rewarming hands. For high visibility, reflective strips are placed in strategic areas.

The bib’s adjustable suspenders allow for customized fit and the upper bib can be cinched closed to keep water. The deep center-front zipper makes it easy to get the bib on and off over other layers. Two secure pockets on the upper bib include key clips, and the right drop-in thigh pocket has a hook-and-loop closure to keep gear accessible. Durable cuffs are shaped to avoid rubbing or chafing and can be cinched down with a hook-and-loop closure.

Follow the Moananuiākea Voyage as the crew swings down the United States’ West Coast in the next few months, and see how well the Big Water Foul Weather Kit works for them. Both men’s and women’s versions are available. The jacket lists for $650 and the bib lists for $550 on the Patagonia site.


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