Reviews You Can Rely On

Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T - Women's Review

A comfy standalone model that's warm, great to hang out in, and comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns
patagonia lightweight synchilla snap-t for women fleece jacket review
The relaxed Synchilla is a comfortable model for casual wear.
Credit: Maggie Nichols
Price:  $129 List
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Maggie Nichols ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 29, 2022
68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 13
  • Warmth - 25% 8.5
  • Comfort - 25% 8.5
  • Versatility - 20% 6.5
  • Breathability - 15% 4.5
  • Layering Ability - 15% 3.5

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T is a classic of comfort and warmth. Its relaxed fit is baggy and cozy, with a casual vibe we love to lounge in. Made of recycled polyester, this roomy fleece is more wind resistant than many — though not very breathable. A tighter bottom hem helps to hold in warm air and creates a bloused appearance but leaves more of our bums exposed than others. It's also challenging to layer over the top of this baggy pullover. The chest pocket isn't particularly large or useful, but it looks great and accents the myriad colors and patterns the Synchilla comes in. Though it doesn't pack as much high-tech performance, we still love spending cold days cuddled up in the Synchilla.
REASONS TO BUY
Very warm
Impressively wind resistant
Casual look and feel
Plenty of color options
REASONS TO AVOID
Chest pocket isn't overly useful
Not breathable
Difficult to layer over

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Very warm, impressively wind resistant, casual look and feel, plenty of color optionsVery stretchy and comfortable, cozy and warm, breathable, comparatively compactSoft interior, pockets are high enough for hip belts, robust wind guards on zippers, easy to layerVery stretchy, comfortable thumbholes, extended coverage, packable, very breathable, great warmth-to-weight ratioInstantly cozy, soft and fluffy, affordable, lots of color options
Cons Chest pocket isn't overly useful, not breathable, difficult to layer overSlim fit doesn't work for everyone, not very windproof, fuzzy exterior collects debrisShorter torso and sleeves, less stretchy, stiff zippers and wind guard make hood awkwardChest pocket looks bad, oddly long cut, light colors are see throughNo pockets, challenging to layer, not breathable, less wind resistant
Bottom Line A comfy standalone model that's warm, great to hang out in, and comes in a wide variety of colors and patternsAn extremely versatile fleece with lightweight breathability and stretchy comfort combined with midweight warmth and protectionA simple and lightweight sweatshirt-like jacket that's comfortable to wear, if lacking in a few detailsThis lightweight fleece features good technical performance and coverage, a great warmth-to-weight ratio, and a reasonable priceA simple pullover with a classic design that's cozy, relaxed, easy to love, and affordable
Rating Categories Patagonia Lightweig... Patagonia R1 Air Fu... The North Face Cany... Outdoor Research Vi... Columbia Benton Spr...
Warmth (25%)
8.5
7.5
7.0
6.0
8.0
Comfort (25%)
8.5
9.0
7.0
6.5
7.5
Versatility (20%)
6.5
8.0
6.5
7.0
6.0
Breathability (15%)
4.5
8.5
7.0
9.0
4.0
Layering Ability (15%)
3.5
7.0
7.5
7.0
4.0
Specs Patagonia Lightweig... Patagonia R1 Air Fu... The North Face Cany... Outdoor Research Vi... Columbia Benton Spr...
Type Midweight Lightweight Lightweight Lightweight Midweight
Main Material Recycled Polyester Recycled polyester 96% recycled polyester, 4% elastane 94% polyester, 6% spandex Polyester
Cuff Construction Spandex binding Quick-drying woven binding Elastic cuff Same fabric as jacket Elastic cuff
Weight 12.3 oz 10.7 oz 10.6 oz 8.9 oz 10.4 oz
Hood Option? No Yes Yes No No
Number of Pockets 1 chest 2 hand, 1 chest 2 hand 1 chest None
Features Extended collar, comfort stretch Off-shoulder seams, no armpit seams, moisture wicking Chin guard, elastic hood hem, full length wind guard Thumbholes, flat seam construction, UPF 30, moisture wicking, off-shoulder seams, no armpit seams, chin guard Comfort stretch, extended collar

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T is a hoodless midweight pullover. It's made of polyester and has a single snap-closure chest pocket. It features stretchy fabric and an extended collar.

Performance Comparison


patagonia lightweight synchilla snap-t for women fleece jacket review - hanging out with a mug of piping hot tea on a cool fall evening is a...
Hanging out with a mug of piping hot tea on a cool fall evening is a great way to appreciate the comforts of the Synchilla.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Warmth


The Patagonia Synchilla is one of the warmest midweight fleeces we tested. Its polyester fabric is more wind resistant than most, and its fitted bottom hem and cuffs help hold in your body heat. It doesn't have a hood or thumbholes, yet is one of our favorites to snuggle into on a cold day around base camp or at home. The extended collar adds warmth when snapped all the way up, and it's actually enjoyable to wear this way. While most fleeces cover at least part of the tops of our butts, the smaller waist hem holds the Synchilla up above, simply blousing over rather than covering.

patagonia lightweight synchilla snap-t for women fleece jacket review - wearing the synchilla fully snapped up is easy, warm, and comfortable.
Wearing the Synchilla fully snapped up is easy, warm, and comfortable.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Comfort


The main fleece fabric of the Synchilla isn't as buttery soft as some of the sweatshirt fleeces we tested, but its fuzziness is still plenty soft and comfortable. What really makes the Synchilla so comfortable to wear is its baggy fit that reminds us of an old sweatshirt that's been perfectly broken in. Its loose fit is much more accommodating to diverse body shapes than most, as it's made to sit above your hips and has lots of room inside. A single snap-closure chest pocket is large enough for a few credit cards, some cash, and a lip balm. The sides of this pocket flap are sewn down — this keeps them looking nice but makes accessing the small pocket that much harder. Though with its size and placement, we didn't find ourselves using it much.

patagonia lightweight synchilla snap-t for women fleece jacket review - the interior side of the synchilla has lower fuzzy pylons than the...
The interior side of the Synchilla has lower fuzzy pylons than the outside.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Versatility


Though the Synchilla isn't made to be weather resistant, it still manages to be slightly so. Like nearly every fleece we tested, a light mist is quickly soaked up by this fabric. However, this midweight fleece takes longer than average to eventually transfer that rain through to our skin. It's not windproof, but it is more wind resistant than many other visually similar fleece pullovers. The size Small we tested weighs 12.3 ounces. This is on the high side among models we tested, but not the heaviest. It's quite bulky, though, and it doesn't pack well — it's far more preferable to wear than to pack.

patagonia lightweight synchilla snap-t for women fleece jacket review - though not designed to withstand the elements, we love hanging...
Though not designed to withstand the elements, we love hanging around in the comfy Synchilla.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Breathability


Unfortunately, the polyester body of this fleece isn't particularly breathable. Its loose fit helps to allow a bit more airflow, avoiding egregious hot and cold spots. But a morning spent stacking firewood or a strenuous hike up a nearby mountain left us sweaty and without good ventilation. The cuffs can be pulled up the arms, though their circumference is much smaller than the sleeves, leading to discomfort over time as they dig into your forearms. Unsnapping that top quarter section obviously helps, but a lot of warm air is still trapped by the hem. All the features that make this warm work against it when it comes to breathability.

patagonia lightweight synchilla snap-t for women fleece jacket review - though we appreciate the idea of having a pocket, this one ends up...
Though we appreciate the idea of having a pocket, this one ends up more fashion than function, with ends sewn down and a very small interior.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Layering Ability


With such an oversized, baggy fit, this is one of the easiest fleeces to pull on over other layers — plenty of space. As you might expect, its loose pylons of fluffy fleece can catch against some fabrics. The only real downside to layering other garments underneath is that with such a truncated torso section, whatever you're wearing may hang out the bottom. Trying to layer over the top of this fleece is exactly as problematic as you'd think. It's quite bulky and baggy, and the fleece is piled high for catching against other fabrics and debris. If you have an oversized coat, you may do just fine, though the tendency for the bottom of the Synchilla to lay doubled over adds another layer of bulk to your midsection.

patagonia lightweight synchilla snap-t for women fleece jacket review - the way the synchilla blouses over makes it difficult to comfortably...
The way the Synchilla blouses over makes it difficult to comfortably wear a coat over.
Credit: Maggie Nichols

Should You Buy the Patagonia Synchilla?


The Synchilla is a bit expensive for a non-technical fleece, but it's unique in our lineup for its style and fit, and if that's what you love about it, its price may be worth it. It's a great choice for a standalone pullover that does best in casual situations — hanging out with friends or relaxing at home — but not a great choice for a technical adventure layer.

What Other Fleece Jacket Should You Consider?


The Patagonia Synchilla is a comfortable, warm fleece that begs to be lounged around in. If you like the pullover vibe but want something a little less baggy and a lot less expensive, the Columbia Benton Springs is a good choice. If you like the idea of being very comfortable and warm but want a little more technical performance from your hoody, the Arc'teryx Kyanite is our favorite sweatshirt model that still has a ton of features we want in the field.

Maggie Nichols
 
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