Patagonia Down Sweater
I actually bought my Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody earlier this year for a long trip we are doing around Europe. I did not know when it would get cold, but we hike in the mountains a lot and were heading as far north as the North Cape in Norway.
Since I bought it in February it is always with me. It is pulled out when it gets cold and otherwise sits well packed and small, ready to go in my hiking pack.
As you may know, Patagonia is known for its dedication to the environment and the world. Their ethical practices are some of the best in the clothing market, especially in the outdoor clothing market. When you buy Patagonia, you know your money is going into something good for the world, and we both like that a lot. Plus, with Patagonia’s guarantee, you’re getting a product for life.
The down sweater has been around for years and years. All kinds of outdoor adventurers from hikers, to surfers and climbers, have loved this jacket to death, and they probably still own and love it. It is the benchmark of down jackets, and every jacket since then is now compared to it.
The Down Sweater is so versatile that you’ll use it to stay toasty on windy summer nights and use it as a mid-layer while skiing in winter. It’s pretty stylish too and does a great job at moving off the trail and into town.We have limited clothing on our trip and wear it all the time in towns when it gets chilly. It looks that great.
In this article, we take a deep look at why it’s so popular. We’ll be looking at key categories and pulling out the dirty details to find out why Patagonia’s Down Sweater might just be for you.
When it comes to down jackets, you never quite know how the goose was treated while making the feathers for your jacket. Some geese are treated terribly, are force-fed, and live-plucked in order to make a down jacket. If it was me I’d find it hard to walk around in a jacket that I didn’t know where the down came from.
The 800-fill-power goose down found in Patagonia’s Down Sweater is 100% traceable. This means that Patagonia can show and prove that every single piece of down in their jacket came from a happy goose, that had a great life, and was plucked after its death, and not before.
As well as the fill, the outer shell is made from recycled polyester and other bluesign-approved fabrics, reducing the product’s negative environmental impact. It’s also fair trade certified. So when you buy this jacket or any Patagonia product for that matter, you know that the environment and every animal, human in the process was treated well.
I don’t know about you, but I love doing the right then when it comes to buying gear.
We both have a Patagonia Down Sweater actually, and swear by its warmth. It is our go-to jacket when it gets cold, windy or both. Sometimes our Gore-tex doesn’t even need to come out to protect us from the wind. Despite being down and not windproof, the down sweater does an amazing job of keeping both of us warm, even in the far north of Norway!
You can also feel how warm it is going to be from the puffiness of the jacket. It is filled with high-end 800-fill-power goose down. There is 3.5 oz. of 800 fill in Patagonia’s Down Sweater, which is about average for a jacket. You need both a combination of high fill and a good amount of it to create warmth. A jacket with 3.5 oz. of 500 fill will be nowhere near as warm.
For us, this down jacket does the trick every time.
As I mentioned above, we carry our down sweater jacket around constantly. It sits at the bottom of our packs and we almost don’t notice it. Not with all the food and water we carry while hiking anyway!
Patagonia’s Down Sweater weighs 13.1 oz. and when compared to other jackets on the market it’s pretty lightweight. The Down Sweater holds its head high in the middle of the performance down jacket market, being warm comfortable, and durable. There are lighter versions out there, but you will sacrifice warmth and durability for them.
Take it from us, a down jacket is not where you need to save weight.
The Down Sweater is pretty amazing at stuffing down to a packable size. You can easily get it down to around 9.5 x 7.25 x 4.5 inches, so it’ll slip into your backpack without any worries. Trust us, we jam it down the bottom, out of the way constantly. And when it is out of our packs, it goes in a deep corner of our van cupboard.
This down jacket actually packs into the inside pocket easily. Or you can just fold and roll it into the hood if you choose that model. That is what we do.
Pro Storage Tip: Remember to take out and un-stuff it occasionally or the down will lose its effectiveness.
As I have already harped on about above, we wear our Patagonia Down Sweater in the wind all the time. If you have ever been to Norway you will understand why!
The Down Sweater is excellently designed and made and you’ll barely feel a breeze inside of it. One reason is that the outer stitching doesn’t penetrate all the way through to the inside, so the air doesn’t either. There is also a seamless lining on the inside that stops any airflow from getting in.
On top of this, there is a cinch cord on the waist (a must if you ask me), that is adjusted through an elastic in the pockets. And, there are also elastic cuffs to keep it tight around the wrists!
So, if it gets windy, the Down Sweater will keep you toasty warm for sure. We have tested it, a lot.
Personally, I love my Down Sweater with the Hoody. You don’t have to wear it all the time, but it still looks stylish enough at the back. But, when the wind really picks up and it gets super cold you can pull it up.
Not only that, it has a cinch cord on the back so you can close it up tight.
Of course, if you want the extra style of a jacket with no hood, that is also a great option and looks a lot less sporty. It just depends on what you want it for.
Just remember that if you use it truly for warmth and outdoors, the Down Sweater Hoody is the way to go.
Ok, so you should not rely on a down jacket in the rain, however, if it is only lightly raining it still works well in our experience.
Why? Because the shell and lining of the Down Sweater are treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating. This ensures that light rain beads and falls off the Down Sweater, which is great.
But, it] does not mean the Down Sweater is made as a rain jacket. We always throw on our Gore-tex jacket if the rain really starts to come down.
If you’re in the rain with the Down Sweater on for a prolonged period of time, the down filling will get and wet and start to clump. When this happens, down loses all of its insulating power and you’ll end up being one cold bunny.
Don’t use this jacket in severe wet weather without a rain jacket on top. It’s not a mistake I want to make twice!
Patagonia also doesn’t skimp on quality, and we can certainly see that in our jackets. The construction of the Down Sweater is top-notch, from the outer shell, the inner lining, to the down filling.
The horizontal stitching keeps the down from shedding over the years, and this means the jacket will continue to perform and keep you warm, for a long time. Plus it means the geese that did their job don’t have to see their kids do the same so quickly.
The blend of 20x30D polyester used on the Down Sweater means the outer shell is going to handle most things you can throw at it. It handles daily wear and tear without any concern. The interior of the jacket has a separate, sewn-in 20D liner that will handle underlayer zippers catching too.
The zippers are big and ready for anything, they don’t catch and will work for years no matter what weather they are in. Even though they look actually way too tiny, I never have a simple issue zipping them up when the wind picks up.
My only beef with down jackets is that if you wear them while hiking you have to watch out for any branches or thorns. Any down jacket can rip easily, not just a Patagonia one. I have had enough of them to know.
I find the Down Sweater is soft to touch, from the outer shell to the inner lining. There are also little features like the small flap of fleece found on the top part of the zipper, so your face does not get scratched by the zipper. It’s smart little additions like these that have made the Down Sweater so popular.
In terms of fit, this jacket fits well. It gives you great freedom of movement no matter the activity nor the season. Though whether you want it as an inner-layer or outer-layer may affect which size you buy.
Mine is actually a bit too big for me, and I am on the slim side, but not overly. The upside is you can layer up easily in the cold. The downside is it is not as stylish. So, Anna got hers more on the slim side!
But for most people, these jackets fit perfectly with a single thin underlayer beneath while still letting you move freely. It’s also not overly baggy, or bulky, but has more of a chilled casual look rather than sporty.
When we talk about value for money we usually think about what we are paying for something and if it’s worth it for ourselves. Sure, Patagonia is not cheap, but it is also not as expensive as some brands like Arcteryx for example either.
However, we also look at it from a different perspective. What is your money doing for the world when you buy something. Is it supporting good practice? Is the product made responsbily? Do the workers get paid well?
When you look at value for money through this lens, it means a lot more. And when it comes to Patagonia, they hit every nail on the head.
The Down Sweater is one of the most responsibly made jackets out there. The workers are well paid, the down is responsibly sourced, and it’s backed by Patagonia’s iron-clad guarantee. It’s a jacket for life that keeps you warm and looking cool, almost forever.
Oh, one last thing. The Patagonia’s Ironclad Guarantee. They stand by their product, want you to be happy and even if you damage it yourself (on a branch like I mentioned) they will repair it for a crazy cheap price.
A friend of mine got a panel replaced on his down jacket for $30 in Switzerland. And if you know Switzerland, that is insanely cheap. I thought he would have to replace it. What a deal!
So is it great value for money? Yes, absolutely. For what you get in total
With a score of 90, the Down Sweater has nailed our rating system. It performs exceptionally well in all categories as far as we are concerned. Yes, it is not the best for rain or wet weather, but a down jacket is not designed for that, so this wasn’t included in the ratings. It’s super warm, light, packable, and comfy. And it does all that standing on its head.
The Patagonia Down Sweater is simple and effective. It does the basics well, and that is all that matters when it comes to warmth and comfort. It’s ethically made, will most likely last for ever, and some happy geese helped make it. If you need a down jacket, why woulnd’t you own this one?