Last Updated: April 6, 2022

Patagonia Better Sweater Review


Patagonia Better Sweater

Made for the life of an adventurer, the Patagonia Better Sweater is perfect for all walks of life. Stylish enough for a trip around town or a casual day at work, while being technical enough for an underlayer while you're on the trail, the Better Sweater bridges the gap between daily life and time in the wilderness. View Latest Deal

When it comes to Patagonia’s outdoor wear, you always know you’re getting a well-made product with some of the highest sustainability standards around, plus an Iron-clad guarantee to boot. This makes Patagonia one of the best brands to support if you’re looking to ensure your money is going towards making the world a little better.

In this Patagonia Better Sweater Review, we take a deep dive into their do-anything all-around fleece jacket. The Better Sweater is designed for light outdoor activities along with being warm, comfy, and stylish enough to wear around town and at home.

The Better Sweater bridges the gap between day-to-day life and the outdoors, and we’re here to find out just how good it is.


  • Good looking and comes in a range of colors
  • Performs well on and off the trail
  • Durable and well made, it'll last for years
  • Made from recycled materials
  • 5 fleece-lined pockets
  • Great fit for a stylish look


  • The fleece lets a lot of wind through
  • Zippers are a bit stiff
  • Quite bulky for packing in your backpack

Product Rating

74Overall Rating
Materials & Durability
Weight & Packability
Weather Performance
Breathability & Comfort
Value for Money

Product Information

  • Best For: Casual Use
  • Materials: Recycled polyester knit fleece (bluesign® approved)
  • Fleece Weight: Medium
  • Hood: No
  • Back Length: Hip-length
  • Weight:1 lb. 6.5 oz.
  • Eco: Made from recycled materials, Fair Trade Certified™ sewing, meets the bluesign® criteria

Materials & Durability


Made from 100% recycled polyester knit fleece, the Better Sweater is about as Eco as a fleece jacket can get and this doesn’t mean a reduction in quality either.

The polyester used is excellent and to take it further, the heathered yarns are even dyed with a special process that reduces not only the amount of dye but also the amount of energy and water used in the process. Making the Better Sweater as low-impact as possible.

The fleece is medium weight, heavy enough to keep you warm but not so thick that you overheat or feel like it’s too bulky either.

The zippers are also top quality and do not fail. They are a little stiff though, but nothing you can’t handle.

When wearing the Quandary this winter outdoors, you will be glad that you chose to get this particular jacket.


The Patagonia Better Sweater is well stitched (Fair Trade) and designed to handle the rigors of daily life. All the components, from the fleece pockets to the exterior and zippers are made to last.

It’s not overly rugged on the outside, and I wouldn’t suggest wearing it rock climbing or anything like that, as a fall on a sharp shock is likely to damage it.

Overall, it’s fit for purpose though, as an underlayer on the trail or a warm fleece for errands about town.

Weight & Packability


Weighing in at 21.5 ounces (1lb. 6.5 oz.) the Patagonia Better Sweater isn’t a light technical fleece but it’s not designed to be either and is bout average in weight when compared to similar products like the Marmot Falir hoody.

The incorporation of multiple zippered pockets adds some extra weight to the fleece jacket, and despite being a little on the heavy side it’s about right when it comes to non-technical fleece jackets.


You’ll find that the Patagonia Better Sweater is a little bit bulky when you take it out for an adventure. The thicker mid-weight fleece combined with the zippers, pockets, and lining means it’s hard to wrap up into a small bundle.

You’ll likely struggle to squish it down into a small space in your day pack, but for use off the trail, it’s not overly bulky at all.

Weather Performance


The medium-weight fleece outer shell of the Patagonia Better Sweater is dense and does an excellent job of keeping you warm when it’s cold out.

The collar rises up to your chin for added warmth and protection, plus Patagonia included a wind flap under the zipper to ensure you retain as much heat as possible.

The pockets on the Better Sweater are fully fleece lined too and perfect for keeping your hands warm while you’re out and about running errands or going on a short day hike.


The dense outer shell of the Patagonia Better Sweater does a pretty good job of blocking some wind coming through but it’s not windproof by any means.

On windy days, you will feel the cold air rushing through it and you’d be wise to wear a soft or hard shell on top to ensure you don’t get chilly when spending extended periods of time outside.


The Patagonia Better Sweater is not water-resistant in any way, and it’s not made to be. It’s designed as an outer layer for dry days, so if there is any chance of rain, make sure to have a soft or hard shell with you.

Breathability & Comfort


Being a non-technical fleece jacket, the Patagonia Better Sweater is sacrifices breathability for its warmth and stylish looks.

This makes it a bit sweaty to wear while being active in the outdoors but when compared to other around-town fleeces, it does a pretty good job at letting heat out overall.


A fleece jacket made for daily life you should, above all things, be soft and cozy to wear.

The Patagonia Better Sweater has a soft interior and that is silky against your skin, and the exterior is just as cozy. Wearing the Better Sweater, you feel like you’re being hugged by a soft warm blanket.

One of the best features of the Better Sweater are the fleece-lined hand warmer pockets which are super for and excellent at ensuring your hands are kept nice and warm.

The only thing holding the Better Sweater back when it comes to comfort is the zippers. The zippers, all of them, are quite stiff, giving the fleece jacket quite a rigid structural feel overall, rather than melting around your body.

Fit & Layering

Fit & Style

Hip length with a slimming look to it, the Patagonia Better Sweater is a classy piece of clothing as far as fleeces go. The jacket hugs the lines of the body well and the heathered outer shell gives it a grown-up look, rather than a shiny technical one, ideal for roaming about town in.

Layering & Mobility

Being quite thick and slim-fitting, the Patagonia Better Sweater isn’t the best for layering. The materials are quite dense and aren’t stretchy, so when adding say and down jacket and a hard shell, you’re likely to experience some bunching around your armpits and the hem will most likely ride up leaving parts of your exposure to the elements.

On its own or with a baggy hard shell, the Patagonia Better Sweater’s raglan sleeves assist with mobility and reduce some bunching when you’re wearing a backpack.

But again, the non-stretchy dense materials will cause the fleece to ride up off your hips and get a bit uncomfortable under your arms on a long hike.

When it comes to wearing the Better Sweater off the trail and around it down, its mobility and ease of movement are perfect.

Patagonia Better Sweater Vs Nano Puff

When comparing the Patagonia Better Sweater with the Nano Puff, you have to remember that these are two different products for different situations.

The Better Sweater is a warm fleece jacket for daily life and the Nano Puff is made for extreme warmth and layering when doing alpine activities, although it is stylish enough for wearing around town too.

If you had to choose between one or the other, the Nano Puff, (despite being $60 more expensive) is the clear winner.

It’s just as soft, comfortable, and stylish as the Better Sweater while being warmer, more packable, more breathable, and with better mobility.

Value for Money

Retailing for around $139, the Patagonia Better Sweater is pretty expensive considering that it’s not all that great on the trail, and you might expect a bit more for your money when it comes to that.

However, if you consider that the Better Sweater is a non-technical fleece jacket that is full of style, warm, comfy, and is sustainably made to last a lifetime, then dropping $139 for it doesn’t sound so bad.


Scoring 74 on our rating system, the Patagonia Better Sweater has done pretty well. And to be honest, we are used to rating technical gear so we might have been a little harsh on it.

The Better Sweater lost most of its points due to its heavy weight, bulkiness, and lack of mobility when layered and worn on the trail.

But, when you look at the Better Sweater through the correct (daily-use) lens, its comfort, warmth, and style make it perfect for the job.


If you’re looking for a technical fleece jacket, then the Patagonia Better Sweater isn’t going to cut it. Its issues with layering, breathability, and packability will make it a nuisance on the trail.

But, for a non-technical fleece jacket for daily life and the odd hike, the Patagonia Better Sweater hit’s all the nails on the head. It’s warm, stylish, cozy, and perfect for running errands in, going to work with, or just snuggling up at home on a cold evening.