Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $152 - $229 | Compare prices at 7 resellers
Pros: Stuffs into pocket, light and warm
Cons: Fabric is not very durable
Best Uses: Alpine climbing, belaying, backpacking, around town
The Patagonia Down Sweater narrowly misses getting the Editors' Choice award because its main fabric is not as durable as the material on The North Face Catalyst or the MontBell Frost Smoke. It is made with recycled materials, so if you are an Earth-conscious consumer, this is a plus. Patagonia has a well known and dependable warranty program, which could convince someone to go with the Down Sweater instead of another option because it is a good investment. However, this jacket is expensive, and other jackets give you more for the price.
The Down sweater is very similar to other jackets we loved, such as theMontBell Alpine Light Down Parka – Women's and The North Face Catalyst. If you are looking for a lightweight down layer to bring with you into the mountains, one of these jackets will do the job. It comes in a hooded or non-hooded version and stuffs into an interior pocket for easy packing.
Check out our complete Women's Down Jacket Review to see how this compared to others.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
A classic lightweight down jacket, the Down Sweater is versatile, stylish, and comfortable, but comes up short in durability.
Comfort & Coziness
This jacket is so light, comfortable, and warm that we used is as our go-to jacket every time we headed out in the cold. It was packed it on a chilly month-long float trip down the Grand Canyon in November and it became an indispensable piece for camping outside for that length of time.
Compactness & Weight
The Patagonia Down Sweater weighs in at 11.3 oz, which is the next lightest jacket after the Mountain HardWear Nitrous. For only 1.3 ounces more weight, the Down Sweater has the added features of zippered hand pockets and an interior mesh pocket that the jacket can also stuff into rather than a separate stuff sack.
800 fill goose down provides an excellent warmth to weight ratio.
After a lot of use we easily tore a hole in this jacket and was disappointed in its durability, but like everything, it has its tradeoffs. The fabric is light and stuffs easily, which are major plusses of this jacket, but the lightness makes it more fragile. The Down Sweater is made with a recycled polyester material that seems to be slightly less durable than the Pertex Quantum material on The North Face Catalyst or the Ballistic Nylon on the MontBell Alpine Light.
Style & Construction
The Down Sweater uses sewn-through construction to keep it lightweight. It has a flattering fit and attractive baffles. We like the look of this popular piece.
The material is not very water resistant and is susceptible to moisture soaking through.
This jacket is so light and packable it can be used for any kind of outdoor adventure from long backpacking trips to clipping on your harness for a multi-pitch climb. It can be used as a mid-layer or an outer layer. It is also stylish enough and comes in many fun colors so it could be your every day winter jacket.
At $200 for the non-hooded version and $250 for the hooded version, the Down Sweater is average in price for a lightweight 800 fill down jacket. Patagonia guarantees their products with a fantastic warranty, I have a friend who sent her Down Sweater back because the zipper started failing, and she got a brand new jacket sent to her. With a quality promise like this, it makes buying an expensive Patagonia product virtually risk-free.
The Patagonia Down Sweater, is the men's version of this jacket and also retails for $219. The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody - Women's, $280, is a similar version of this jacket, but is hooded. The Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody - Women's, $350, is for people that love the baffle style and light weight. If you want more warmth for you money, get the down sweater (reviewed).
The Footprint Chronicles: Patagonia Down Sweater
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: December 13, 2012
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