This is an update I’ve been hoping to make for quite some time. My goal for the past few months has been to get my hands on an original model Patagonia Snap-T from 1985, and I’m fairly certain that I have now done so. This could easily have been a hand-me-down from someone’s older brother when I was in high school, but comes my way via a friend who found it in a thrift shop. I gladly forked over some money to get my hands on this piece of history…
What leads me to believe that this is an original is that it matches one of the original colors from the 1985 catalog. I don’t have the catalog, but thanks to The Snap-T Story (http://www.patagonia.com/us/snap-t-story), there is a picture of that page from the 1985 Patagonia catalog showing the colors available at the time. The original colors were: Cobalt Blue, Dark Peacock, Purple, Red, and Grey.
The original text from that catalog is quite illuminating as to the story behind the piece as well:
“The four-snap Synchilla Turtle is a clean beast with no bad habits. You can wear it next to your bare skin for animal gratification or layer it over another turtleneck, Patagonia Stretch Capilene underwear, or a light shirt. The snap neck allows easy climatic transitions. Contrasting Lycra tape trims the cuffs and waist to make layering easy. Y-Joint sleeves eliminate ride-up. Because the fabric is Synchilla, the turtleneck won’t pill, wear out or lose its shape. Made in USA.”
So yeah, this thing is pretty cool. I am 100% certain that this is either a 1985 or 1986 model Snap-T, and am still trying to narrow it down. It has the style #25541, which as I discussed in a prior post is the model number for the Snap-T prior to the addition of a chest pocket in 1988. The thing that is missing is the season code. Patagonia started doing this at least in 1988, so this is definitely pre-1988. The reason for thinking this is the original model year is the color. Patagonia doesn’t normally carry colorways over from year to year, so there’s a good chance that this was only made for one year. Gray with a navy blue trim is not a color of Snap-T that I have ever encountered before.
I have a 1986 catalog on the way, so hopefully that will help shed some more light on this subject!
Another note on these 30+ year old Patagonia fleeces… They fit small compared to newer models! This one measures smaller than a modern medium Snap-T!!
Here are the measurements for this size Large model: chest (22 inches across), sleeves (34″), length of back (25.75″). Compare those measurements to a recent (2015 model) lightweight Snap-T (size Medium) I sold on Ebay last week (23″, 35.5″, 28.5″), and you can see that the 1985 model is considerably smaller than its 2015 sibling, and it’s a “larger size”!