The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is a simple and versatile jacket that makes for a great do-it-all piece. You can throw this puffy in your bag and be sure that no matter what the day has in store for you, you'll be warm and comfortable. It's not super specialized for any one activity, which is one of its primary selling points. With well-thought-out features and an athletic fit, this jacket continues to be one of our top picks, season after season. From cold desert nights to stormy days in the mountains, this down will keep you thriving.Editor's Note: We updated our review on August 31, 2022, to share information on updates to the Down Sweater Hoody.
Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Review
Cons: Heavy, minimal pockets, down is not hydrophobic
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Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody
$329.00 at REI
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$359.00 at Amazon
|$209 List||$119 List|
$119.00 at REI
|Pros||Stylish, comfortable, long torso provides good coverage||Incredibly light, compact, warm for its size and weight, effective hydrophobic down||Lightweight, stylish, high warmth to weight ratio||Inexpensive, fully featured adjustability||Lightweight, inexpensive, excellent for layering|
|Cons||Heavy, minimal pockets, down is not hydrophobic||No hood cinch, no chest pocket||Expensive, not super durable||Moderate warmth, noisy material, no internal zip pockets||No hood cinch, no hem cinch, loses feathers|
|Bottom Line||A classic model that does just about everything and does it all well||This high scorer offers high versatility, warmth, comfort, accommodation of movement, and light weight||If you are looking for a warm, light layer for a trip where ounces count, this is a great selection||This down offers the warmth and quality of more premium choices at an approachable price point||A good basic and affordable lightweight down jacket for moderately cold temperatures|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia Down Swea...||Mountain Hardwear G...||Arc'teryx Cerium SL...||MontBell Superior Down||REI Co-op 650 Down...|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Patagonia Down Swea...||Mountain Hardwear G...||Arc'teryx Cerium SL...||MontBell Superior Down||REI Co-op 650 Down...|
|Down Fill||800-fill goose down||800-fill goose down||850-fill goose down||800-fill goose down||650-fill goose down|
|Total Weight||14.9 oz||8.5 oz||7.6 oz||8.7 oz||10.4 oz|
|Baffle Construction||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles|
|Main Fabric||100% ripstop polyester||10D ripstop nylon||100% nylon||10D nylon||100% nylon|
|Compression Method||Zips into pocket||Zips into pocket||Stuff sack||Stuff sack||Zips into pocket|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest||2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand||2 zippered hands, 1 internal||2 zippered hands, 1 internal|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is an enduring piece of outerwear. Offering no gimmicks or flashy tech specs, it provides a commitment to a simple but functional design and high-quality craftsmanship, backed by a lifetime warranty. Whether you're looking for a new belay coat, an insulating layer for ski touring, or simply want a well-made puffy that will keep you warm on cold walks around town, this comfy and stylish down has got you covered.
Stuffed with 800-fill traceable goose down and sporting a shell fabric made from DWR-treated recycled ripstop nylon, this down makes a great first line of defense against the cold and wind.
When the weather turns nasty, the Down Sweater makes an excellent midlayer. A crucial element of a jacket's warmth is not only having adequate insulation but the ability to not let heat escape. This down has elastic wrist cuffs and a cinchable hood and waist. Being able to cinch down these openings keeps the wind out and helps trap your precious body heat inside.
While by no means horrible, the warmth-to-weight ratio of this jacket isn't exceptional and wouldn't be our first choice when planning for ultralight missions, where every ounce matters. While not the absolute warmest option in our lineup, this is a substantial down that falls on the warmer side of the spectrum.
Our size medium weighs in at 14.89 ounces, making it one of the heavier jackets we tested. The weight does come with additional warmth and features as compared to some of the truly lightweight options. The weight class of this jacket makes it less of a specialized ultralight piece and more of a generalist's jacket. Our testers found it offered a nice blend of weight, warmth, and features, making this a good choice for when you're unsure what the conditions will warrant.
If you're looking for an ultralight option for extended backcountry travel or light and fast mountain missions, this down might be a little on the heavy side. For everyone else, the weight of this jacket shouldn't be a hindrance.
The Down Sweater Hoody does not utilize any kind of hydrophobic down. Instead, it relies on the DWR (durable water repellent) coated ripstop nylon shell to keep moisture out. Our testers found that the nylon shell does a decent job of repelling light precipitation, but when the raindrops really start coming down, you'll need a shell to keep your coat from getting soggy — as with any down. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather when using this jacket, as getting caught in a severe thunderstorm in the Rockies would be disastrous with only this piece.
Patagonia as a company is trending away from chemically treating their outerwear, and as such, doesn't use hydrophobic down. While this is a tremendous commitment to more sustainable outwear, if you spend a lot of time in wet environments, you might want to consider an insulation layer that can better stand up to prolonged precipitation. Alternatively, you can opt to be prepared with a rain layer.
Most puffy jackets tend to be fairly comfortable to wear, and the Down Sweater sports the typical athletic Patagonia fit; it has room in the shoulders but tapers to a narrow and long torso.
The long torso keeps the coat from riding up above your climbing harness and generally offers more protection as it extends down to cover your bum. The arms are tailored with enough extra length to give you plenty of mobility, which means you're not swimming in extra material.
If you have a particularly short torso or shorter arms compared to your height, you might want to consider sizing down if you often are between sizes. Our testers with an athletic build found the fit was more or less ideal. It worked fairly well for climbing and moving about, making it a comfortable piece, according to our testers.
Sometimes we get overzealous with our hoods and end up in a layered, tangled mess. To avoid this, you may want to check out the Down Sweater Jacket. This hoodless version is perfect for those looking to layer with other hooded jackets, like insulating layers or hardshells.
While this jacket has a built-in stuff sack and features a clip-in point to attach to your harness, the compressed overall size is larger than something we'd want dangling from our waist. It felt a bit big and bulky when compressed.
It does not offer the compressibility that we would like to see when out on a multi-pitch climbing excursion. However, if you aren't heading out on any rock climbing missions anytime soon, the built-in stuff sack is great for maximizing space when packing or when you need a pillow on the trail, and it's more than ideal for backpacking or day hikes.
The Down Sweater does not have any out-of-the-ordinary features; however, the features it does have are well done and make this simple jacket an exceptional piece of outerwear. It is equipped with two zippable external hand pockets and one internal zippered breast pocket. The wrist cuffs are elasticized, while the hood and waist hem are cinchable, all to help keep cold air out and warm air in.
While not laden with tons of features, the ones it does have are practical and do not add a ton of weight or breakable parts to the jacket. We find the features make it an exceptional do-it-all jacket. If you are looking for something specialized, there might be better options; for general use, this jacket has everything you'll need.
The micro fleece surrounding the chin zipper makes this one of the comfier jackets to wear when fully zipped up. Given the weight of this jacket and it being ruled out of the ultralight class, a couple of internal drop pockets would have been a welcome addition.
Should You Buy the Patagonia Down?
The Down Sweater isn't the most affordable in our fleet, but it also isn't the most expensive. Given the versatility and high-quality construction of this jacket, it is a good value. It's a classic for a reason, and its simple design is functional and extremely comfortable. Whether you'll be taking it into the backcountry, the ski resort, or out on the town, this jacket will provide you the warmth and coverage you'll need to stay happy while playing or working out in the cold. The perceived value is even greater when you consider Patagonia's exceptional "Ironclad" warranty program.
What Other Down Jackets Should You Consider?
While not specialized for any one purpose, the Patagonia Down Sweater is a jack of all trades and is ready for a far-reaching number of scenarios. The Rab Microlight Alpine is similar in price and performance, but also offers a higher level of weather resistance — though no down jacket is ever truly weather proof.
— James Lucas & Buck Yedor
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