The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is a tried and true classic down jacket that has just about everything you need and nothing you don't. It's not the warmest, lightest, or most compressible in our roundup, but the feature set is complete and very well designed, From the hood's single-pull drawcord to the soft microfleece-lined chin guard. We also think that this is the most stylish jacket in the review, making it an excellent choice for wearing around town without looking like you are trying too hard to be a famous alpinist. We have used this jacket everywhere from winter desert canyon trips to, most recently, a thru-hike of Vermont's Long Trail. Each time we wear it, we appreciate the all-around functionality.
Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Simple yet perfectly functioning features, stylish, backed by Patagonia’s ironclad guarantee
Cons: Does not use hydrophobic down, not the lightest
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Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody
|Price||$279.00 at REI|
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|$349.99 at Amazon|
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|$339.00 at Feathered Friends||$278.73 at REI|
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|$279.95 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Simple yet perfectly functioning features, stylish, backed by Patagonia’s ironclad guarantee||Great fit, warm, lightweight, packable, hydrophobic down||900+ fill down, warm, lightweight, incredibly compressible, competitively priced||Lightweight, stylish, high warmth to weight ratio||Water resistant hydrophobic down, great DWR coating, well thought-out features|
|Cons||Does not use hydrophobic down, not the lightest||Expensive||Hood a little tight to fit over a helmet, no hood adjustment||Expensive, not super durable||750 fill-power down is good but not as light or lofty as others|
|Bottom Line||A stylish and highly functional down jacket that has stayed true to a tested design.||This is our absolute favorite jacket for going fast and light when we need to be toasty at camp.||A great choice for folks looking to go fast, light, and warm.||An incredibly light jacket for your trips where weight matters.||Excellent for wet weather because it has all the features to ensure the down stays dry.|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody||Summit L3 Hoody||Feathered Friends Eos||Arc'teryx Cerium SL Hoody||Rab Microlight Alpine|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Patagonia Down...||Summit L3 Hoody||Feathered Friends...||Arc'teryx Cerium...||Rab Microlight...|
|Down Fill||800-fill Advanced Global Traceable Down||800-fill goose down||900+ goose down||850-fill goose down||750-fill goose down|
|Total Weight||15.8 oz||13.8 oz||13 oz||8.4 oz||15.7 oz|
|Baffle Construction||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through baffles||Sewn-through||Sewn-through baffles|
|Main Fabric||Recycled polyester ripstop, DWR finish||Pertex Quantum GL (10D x 10D nylon ripstop), DWR coating||Pertex Quantum||Arato 7 nylon||Pertex Quantum|
|Compression Method||Zips into internal chest pocket with clip-in loop||Zips into its own pocket with clip-in loop||Stuff sack||Included stuff sack||Stuff sack|
|Pockets||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest||2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Upon first receiving the new Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody, it was clear that it is still the best looking down jacket in our test, a feature that inspired us to wear it more often than any other when heading out on the town. While we like to focus our reviewing efforts on technical performance, we have to acknowledge, far more people are interested in finding a suitable warm layer for living their daily lives during the colder months than finding the best ice climbing jacket for their annual trip to Ouray.
When it comes warmth, the Down Sweater Hoody doesn't wow our testers. Frankly, it just isn't ultra-light or ultra-warm. Yet, it manages to keep the wind out and the warmth in for most non-bone-chilling environments. Its warmth-to-weight ratio is good when compared to many basic down jackets, but, when compared to the more technical selection in our grouping, it falls short. Regardless of its relative shortcomings, it is more than adequately warm for low to mid-altitude ski touring and alpine climbing as an outer layer.
This jacket uses a high quality 800 fill-power ethically-sourced down trapped in roughly average-sized horizontal sewn-through baffles to keep you comfortable when the temps dip. The fact that the hem has a cinch-able drawcord helps keep drafts from coming up from underneath, which is a problem that exists in some other "high quality" down jackets we have come across.
Our size large weighed in at 15.8 ounces, which makes it one of the heaviest in the roundup, but a high quality down hooded jacket with great features that weighs less than a pound is overall, not too bad.
If you are looking for the lightest jacket possible for when you haul everything on your back and ounces count, there are better options, but for use closer to the front country, this jacket does it all and isn't unreasonably heavy.
The 1.4-oz 20x30-denier 100 percent recycled polyester ripstop shell of the Patagonia Down Hoody has a good DWR treatment and, despite feeling super soft and pillow-like, does a surprisingly good job of shedding rain. In years past, we tested the Down Hoody on some stormy days in New Zealand, and it fared well when exposed to mixed the precipitation in the mountains of Arthur's Pass.
While very little has changed over the years in this jacket's construction, other companies have been upping their game by incorporating hydrophobic down. We found that in our side-by-side testing, the DWR coating performed well, with only tiny patches of areas around the front zipper where the DWR coating had worn off.
When it comes to fit, we feel that this jacket is one of the best. We experienced perfect freedom of movement throughout the shoulders and arms, something that we could not say just a few years back. Whether you choose to use this hoody as a mid-layer or an outer layer depends somewhat on the size that you choose to purchase.
From our experience, the Patagonia size chart presents a bit of a problem. However, we felt that Patagonia fixed the issue this year with what was obviously an adjustment to their sizing chart. We could make the complaint that the sleeves remain ever so slightly short, but in practice, this isn't much a factor. The fact is, this is one of the best fitting jackets in this review, leaving just enough room for a thin underlayer while staying snug enough to the body to not impede movement at all.
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 hard shells.
This jacket doesn't stash away super small when stuffed into its pocket. It more closely resembles a pillow (awesome for plane sleeping; we tested) and is cumbersome when clipped to a harness. That said, considering that a couple of the jackets we tested this year didn't have any means of compressing them at all and didn't even include a clip-in loop for attaching to a harness, we guess we should be happy. Despite feeling like it could have been compressed further with a more diligent design of the interior chest pocket, it was comparable to a few of the less-technical jackets in the test.
There doesn't appear to be anything super special about the features present on the Down Sweater Hoody unless you take it as a complete package. The standard features of a waist drawcord recessed into the hand pockets, and the wrist cuffs are made of elastic that fits pretty much perfectly.
A single back-of-the-hood pull-cord does a wonderful job of cinching up around the top of the head instead of putting the drawcord over the ears like on many other jackets, however, the hood lacks a complete seal around the face and drafts can get in and give the ears a chill when it's really windy and cold.
What makes the jacket so functional is some extra length in the torso and the fact that the front of the hood zips up over your nose when it's fully closed, giving you the extra touch of some soft micro-fleece to snuggle your nose against. It stuffs into its only internal zip pocket, and we couldn't help but wish it had some stash pockets buried inside of it as well, but alas, it doesn't.
This jacket has an about average price for a lightweight down jacket. Since we think it is such a great jacket, and it ranks so highly in this review, this presents a good value for most users. It is also backed up by Patagonia's ironclad guarantee, long known for being one of the most generous warranties in the outdoor industry, so it is hard to imagine not ending up happy with this purchase.
The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is not flashy, overflowing with gimmicky features, or coated in brand logos, which is exactly why we like it. This jacket is simple, highly functional, and backed by the very best of warrantees. We also love that it uses recycled polyester and traceable down. Its performance leaves us little to complain about, and as such, it was one of the higher-rated jackets in this review, and one that we wholeheartedly recommend.
— Adam Paashaus & Andy Wellman