Hands-on Gear Review

Patagonia Down Sweater - Women's Review

Patagonia Down Sweater - Women's
By: McKenzie Long ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 10, 2014
Price:  $229 List  |  $229.00 at REI
Pros:  Stuffs into pocket, light and warm, now made with traceable and ethically harvested down
Cons:  Fabric is not very durable
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
  • Warmth - 25% 7
  • Weight - 20% 8
  • Water Resistance - 15% 5
  • Compressibility - 15% 9
  • Style - 10% 8
  • Durability - 10% 5
  • Features - 5% 7
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Our Verdict

The Patagonia Down Sweater is made with recycled materials and 100% traceable down, 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.

More Review of Hooded Version
Below is our review of the 2014 Down Sweater which has since been updated. We have a much more recent review of the newest Down Sweater Hoody here.. The Hoody uses the same materials and construction as the down sweater, it just has a hood and is more expensive. See how the Hoody compares the other top down jackets.

The Down Sweater is very similar to other jackets we loved, such as the MontBell Frost Smoke Down Parka - Women's. It comes in a hooded or non-hooded version and stuffs into an interior pocket for easy packing.

Our Analysis and Test Results


A classic lightweight down jacket, the Down Sweater is versatile, stylish, and comfortable, but comes up short in durability. Now made from ethically harvested down and recycled polyester, this is an environmentally friendly option for winter warmth.

Performance Comparison

Trish McGuire sporting the Down Sweater Hoody on Christmas Day summit of Cathedral Peak.
Trish McGuire sporting the Down Sweater Hoody on Christmas Day summit of Cathedral Peak.


Patagonia has redesigned all of their down products to use 100% traceable, ethically harvested down. It is now third party verified that it comes from geese that were never force fed and never live plucked. Still made with high quality 800 fill, it provides an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio. 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. We packed in along 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.


The Patagonia Down Sweater weighs in at 11.3 oz, which is one of the lightest jackets. It has zippered hand pockets, which add a little weight. This jacket also comes in a hooded version, which will be little heavier but add warmth and protection.

Water Resistance

The Down sweater is not made with hydrophobic down and does not have any notable water resistant properties. Keep it dry to keep yourself warm.


This jacket stuffs into an interior chest pocket rather than a separate stuff sack. It gets fairly small and is easy to pack and carry.

Style & Fit

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.


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 materials of other jackets we tested.


To keep this jacket lightweight, the features included are minimal. However, it has exactly the features we find useful in a light down jacket: 2 hand pockets and an interior chest pocket that doubles as a stow pouch.

Best Application

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 $229 for the non-hooded version and $279 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, which adds to the value. With a quality promise like this, it makes buying an expensive Patagonia product virtually risk-free.

McKenzie Long

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: November 10, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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Average Customer Rating:  
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50% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (1)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 33%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Person Icon

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   Dec 13, 2012 - 12:33pm

For four years I have been wondering why this Patagonia product gets such stellar reviews from women. I have an average slim fit with broad shoulders and regular length torso for someone 5'7". Like a lot of Patagonia women's clothing, the cut tends to be boxy but this jacket takes the boxy look to a whole new level. The air space around the armholes is colossal thus losing lots of thermal efficiency. Just take a look at people wearing this piece on Zappos. In addition the cut of the older jacket is very short (don't know if they have changed the length on recent versions but to me it still looks short). My lower back always feels cold. For the price and weight I had hoped to get lots of use out this piece but unfortunately it is seldom used. Love Patagonia's philosophy, quality and environmental activism.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.


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   Nov 27, 2012 - 03:39pm
Trish · Climber · Bishop, CA

Overall this has been the best jacket I've ever worn. It's so versatile from long days in the mountains, to chilly belays or just around town. I personally prefer jackets with hoods, but love all the versions including the vest, which all stuff into the inner pocket which is super convenient to clip onto your harness while climbing.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

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