The Patagonia Down Sweater is a long time favorite at OutdoorGearLab, and in this review, it certainly didn't disappoint. It is an excellent jacket that has been popular, for good reason, for a long time. It was very close to earning an award in this review was edged out by some pretty serious competition. It's still a very worthy jacket that will please nearly all who buy it.
The Down Sweater, versatile and comfortable.
The Down Sweater is one of the warmest in this review. It's roomier than our award-winning jackets, which translates to a bit more airspace. The higher loft and larger baffles, however, make up for this, and it boasts an exceptional amount of warmth for its size and weight.
We loved the chest pocket.
The outer fabric is windproof, which helps keep cold gusts from giving you the chills. The hood is well designed and fuzzy fleece, where the jacket meets your face, adds significant warmth. We ordered a size small for our lead tester and found that this model is sized bigger than other brands, which allows us to comfortably add layers underneath.
Love Patagonia's Down Sweater, Not the Hood?
Patagonia's got you covered if you love the Down Sweater but are looking for something without a hood. The Women's Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket
still has everything you love about the Down Sweater, without the bulk of a hood.
The Down Sweater weighs 9.5 ounces; this is a reasonable amount of weight, earning a spot in our climbing and backpacking packs. While it isn't as lightweight as the ultralight award winners in our fleet, it's important to note that it's also quite a bit warmer, which is an important tradeoff to keep in mind. Depending on your warmth needs, the Down Sweater might be a better bet.
The Down Sweater is made of 800 fill power Advanced Global Traceable goose down, which is highly compressible. It stuffs into an internal chest pocket and has a loop that can be clipped to the back of a harness.
Not the smallest jacket, but still relatively compressible.
It is not the smallest in this review but is undoubtedly an excellent choice for backpackers, hikers, rock climbers, and mountaineers who want a good, durable, warm jacket that is light and compressible enough to stuff into a pack or clip out of the way to the back of your harness. The Down Sweater is reasonably compressible for its size and weight.
First, we appreciate how Patagonia has led the charge in setting a new standard for the ethical use of down in outdoor jackets. Several years ago, Patagonia was the only manufacturer advertising their ethical sourcing practices—this year, about half of the jackets we reviewed boast responsible sourcing. (That's awesome.) Patagonia was above average and competitive with its simple features on the Down Sweater, which include an adjustable hood, center front zipper, an adjustable hem, and two handwarmer pockets.
The hood, comfortable, adjustable, and can handle a helmet well enough.
Boasting 20D and 30D recycled polyester ripstop fabric, the Down Sweater is durable. Not only that, but it's inspiring in this metric, and we had no qualms about scuffing it up against rocks here and there. This is a jacket meant to be used, abused, and well-loved.
The adjustable bottom hem keeps cold gusts out.
Like most jackets in this review, the Down Sweater features a durable water repellent (DWR) finish, which helps prevent the down from wetting out when you get unexpectedly caught out in a storm. This will buy you some time while you scramble to get your shell jacket on over your down jacket, but ultimately you will want to be sure you have a shell over this jacket in rainy weather or otherwise wet conditions.
The Down Sweater has an iconic look to it; it's simple, straightforward, and offers a variety of colors. This year, the color offerings are simple, and you'll find black, birch, light purple, and navy. Patagonia has placed smaller baffles on the sides for improved mobility, but they also look sleek. And of course, there is always the appeal of wearing something from the famed company, whether for looks or the ethics they stand for.
Stylish varied baffle design.
Patagonia is never the cheapest option out there, but as we know, you often get what you pay for. With Patagonia, you also can feel good about your purchase because the company consistently paves the way to new ethical standards, raising the bar for other outdoor manufacturers to follow, and that's awesome. That said, this jacket is still a great deal for the high-quality craftsmanship and durable design, as well as the versatility. It may not have gotten an award this time, but we're sure you'll love it for a long time to come.
Patagonia's Down Sweater never disappoints. It is a comfortable, warm, versatile jacket with many applications, but it is not the highest scorer in any one particular category. It's a great layer for cold weather rock climbing, and an exceptional choice for mountaineering and ski touring in milder climates - when used in conjunction with a heavier fleece or other insulating layers. The Down Sweater is highly adaptable and always comfortable. And due to the street credibility of Patagonia, we think you'll look pretty cool sporting this jacket around town, too.
Patagonia sets the bar high, once again, with this great jacket.