The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Patagonia Downtown Parka Review

A casual, yet flattering knee-length parka that offers ample warmth and a unique neck buff/hood.
Patagonia Women's Downtown Parka
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $379 List | $378.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Stylish, long cut, neck buff/hood, warm, form-fitting
Cons:  Hood doesn’t detach, heavy, small pockets and zippers
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Liz Williamson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 21, 2017
  • Share this article:
75
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Warmth - 30% 9
  • Weather Resistance - 25% 5
  • Style - 20% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 8
  • Durability - 5% 6

The Skinny

Stylish, warm and comfortable; the Patagonia Downtown Parka is a win-win for many applications. It's both flattering and functional which can be a difficult balance to strike. Treated with a DWR (durable water repellant) coating, this jacket is water-resistant, but not waterproof. After an extended period of time in heavy rain and snow, the jacket did become saturated.

Updated
The new Downtown Parka, displayed above, is updated in terms of style and more. See the particulars below.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The latest Version of the Downtown Parka aside its Predecessor


The latest iteration of the Downtown Parka looks quite a bit different than its muse. Aside from the obvious baffle styling switch-up, Patagonia chops 2.5 inches from the hem, increases the amount of down, and banishes the shawl collar feature. See the two models below with the latest parka on the left and the model we reviewed to the right.
Patagonia Women's Downtown Parka
Patagonia Downtown Parka

Here's a full list of the updates:
  • New Baffle Style - The Baffles in the new model are chunkier and puffier giving the jacket a whole new look.
  • Length — The most current model drops 2.5" off the length.
  • No More Shawl Collar — The Shawl collar option is no longer a feature of the Downtown Parka.
  • Increased Down — The latest iteration features increased down by weight which means it should be warmer.
  • Increased Overall weight — The weight of the current Downtown Parka is 33.3 oz (compared with 32.8 oz)
  • New Colors — New colors include Smolder Blue and Carbon.

As winter approaches, we're hoping to give this new version of the Downtown Parka a full testing. Until we do so, the review below is referencing the prior model.

Hands-on Review of the Original Patagonia Down Parka


The Patagonia Down Parka is a knee-length down parka weighing 2.2 lbs, and is insulated with 600 fill-power-down. The exterior polyester fabric has a satin look with a DWR coating for water-resistance.

One of the most stylish parkas we tested. Insulated with 600-fill-power traceable duck down  this jacket maintains a form-fitting look  despite being insulated with cozy  warm down. Being outside was enjoyable on super cold days.
One of the most stylish parkas we tested. Insulated with 600-fill-power traceable duck down, this jacket maintains a form-fitting look, despite being insulated with cozy, warm down. Being outside was enjoyable on super cold days.

Warmth


Cozy and snug, we had a hard time taking the Downtown Parka off. A knee-length cut, insulated with plush 600-fill-power traceable duck down, it felt like we were wearing a sleeping bag. It's form-fitting style trapped heat in, and cold air out; this jacket is seriously warm. We had no issues watching sunsets on cold days or hanging by a fire. In fact, it was enjoyable being outside in this jacket. The elastic wrist cuffs help keep heat trapped in, but they don't work as well as the cuffs on the Marmot Montreaux or the Columbia Mighty Lite.

The neck buff kept us cozy and did a good job keeping cold air. The hood is warm and insulated with an ample amount of down, but it's almost a bit too big and there isn't any way to adjust the size of it. In windy weather, it didn't stay on that well; wearing a beanie underneath helped keep the hood on and added more warmth.

Unlike any other jacket we tested  this one offers a neck buff/hood. It did a great job keeping us warm  and trapping heat in. It stormy weather we unzipped it  and used the hood. A great option for days when a hood isn't necessary.
Unlike any other jacket we tested, this one offers a neck buff/hood. It did a great job keeping us warm, and trapping heat in. It stormy weather we unzipped it, and used the hood. A great option for days when a hood isn't necessary.

The Downtown Parka and the North Face Miss Metro Parka are comparable in terms of warmth. One issue we had was that the bottom of the jacket has a bell shape. When we would walk in it, a small amount of cold air leaked in, causing a small draft. It's wasn't enough to make us uncomfortable, and our core remained toasty. The bell shape at the bottom did offer better mobility than The North Face Miss Metro Parka and it was not as warm as the plush down of the Marmot Montreaux. The Downtown wasn't far behind in terms of warmth.

Weather Resistance


The DWR coating on the polyester fabric held up fine in light snow, but this jacket isn't waterproof and will become saturated over time. If you are set on a down jacket, but live somewhere that is a wet climate, check out our Best Buy award winner, the Marmot Montreaux, which is insulated with water-resistant Defender Down.

Style


Extending all the way to the knee, this form-fitting parka is very appealing to the eye. The sewn-thru quilted stitching, and satin look of the polyester fabric adds a flattering and feminine touch. It also emphasized our curves.

Casual enough to wear on a walk; we also had no problem throwing on some cute shoes  and wearing this jacket to dinner. The form-fit emphasized our curves  giving this jacket a feminine and flattering look.
Casual enough to wear on a walk; we also had no problem throwing on some cute shoes, and wearing this jacket to dinner. The form-fit emphasized our curves, giving this jacket a feminine and flattering look.

Not your typical "puffy" jacket, we never felt like the down was overwhelming, or restricting. Compared to the plush and super thick down of Marmot Montreaux, we felt that the Downtown Parka offered better mobility. If you are in the market for something a bit more short and sweet, check out the form-fitting, lightweight and mid-thigh length of The North Face Thermoball Parka or the Canada Goose Camp.

Subtle  but striking  the polyester fabric has a satin appearance and is treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating.
Subtle, but striking, the polyester fabric has a satin appearance and is treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) coating.

Comfort


We found ourselves having trouble taking this jacket off; it was that comfortable. Considering it's insulated with thick down, it didn't feel heavy when we we're wearing it. It's not as lightweight and compressible as the Arc'teryx Nuri, but it's also not as warm. The exterior pockets are fleece-lined and deep. Unlike the Marmot Montreaux, that has fleece-lined pockets on both sides, the Downtown Parka is one-sided, though they still did a great job keeping our hands toasty on cold days. The hood is comparable in comfort to the Canada Goose Kensington Parka, but surpasses the small hood on The North Face Miss Metro Parka and seriously outperforms the lack of insulation on the outer shell of the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka - Women's.

Despite being insulated with plush down  this jacket didn't feel heavy while we were wearing it. We loved the way the down hugged us. It almost felt like we were wearing a sleeping bag.
Despite being insulated with plush down, this jacket didn't feel heavy while we were wearing it. We loved the way the down hugged us. It almost felt like we were wearing a sleeping bag.

Features


Unlike any other jacket we tested, this jacket has a unique stowaway one which turns into an oversized neck buff. The hood itself is warm and insulated, and there is plenty of room to fit a beanie underneath. It isn't adjustable, and we had an issue with it staying on in windy or stormy weather. If neck buffs aren't your style, check out The North Face Miss Metro Parka. It offers a detachable hood, and is almost comparable in warmth.

The double-sided zipper allowed us to have better mobility and access from both ends. This came in handy on cold days when we had to access our pant pockets  and we wanted our core to remain warm.
The double-sided zipper allowed us to have better mobility and access from both ends. This came in handy on cold days when we had to access our pant pockets, and we wanted our core to remain warm.

If you're looking for a jacket that's even warmer with a detachable hood and faux fur ruff, the Marmot Montreaux may be the best option for you. The exterior pockets are fleece-lined and very warm, while the exterior pockets are deep and very functional; however, we had an issue with the zipper snagging on the fabric. There is an interior media pocket with a zipper, specially for securing valuables. We liked that this jacket offered a double-sided full zipper for better mobility and warmth, compared to The North Face Miss Metro Parka's zipper, that stopped above the knee and offered a button snap at the bottom to help trap heat in.

The neck buff turns into a hood. We found it pretty oversized  and there was plenty of room to fit a beanie underneath. It isn't adjustable  and in windy weather it didn't stay on that well.
The neck buff turns into a hood. We found it pretty oversized, and there was plenty of room to fit a beanie underneath. It isn't adjustable, and in windy weather it didn't stay on that well.

Durability


The polyester fabric isn't as durable as the Canada Goose Kensington Parka or the Helly Hansen Long Belfast, but it's more durable than the Arc'teryx Nuri and The North Face Thermoball Hooded Jacket. Just be aware that the fabric on the Downtown could snag. The zippers on the exterior pockets are very small, and quite annoying to use. The main full zipper is heavy duty, compared to the pockets, while the zipper on the stow-away hood is also very small. We had some issues with zipping the hood back into the neck buff; you have to zip it carefully or else it can get stuck in the fabric. We did notice some down feathers escaping from the seams, but this seemed to be a common issues with most of the jackets we tested. We also noticed this happening slightly with the down layer of the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka.

We loved that the exterior pockets are fleece-lined  but the zippers on the pocket are very small. We found this a bit odd  and we had a hard time using the zipper with gloves on.
We loved that the exterior pockets are fleece-lined, but the zippers on the pocket are very small. We found this a bit odd, and we had a hard time using the zipper with gloves on.

Best Application


Intended to keep you warm even on super cold days, we had no issues wearing this jacket outside for an extended of time. It's perfect for someone who wants to enjoy the outdoors, or stay warm on their commute to work. Keep in mind this jacket is only water-resistant, not waterproof. If you live in a climate that gets primarily rain, this may not be the best option for you. Check out our Top Pick for Wet Climates, the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka.

We felt warm  toasty  and stylish walking around Lake Tahoe on some seriously blistery days. The perfect jacket for someone looking to enjoy their time outside in winter.
We felt warm, toasty, and stylish walking around Lake Tahoe on some seriously blistery days. The perfect jacket for someone looking to enjoy their time outside in winter.

Value


This is a warm and dependable jacket for $379. It performed well for the price and we don't think you will be disappointed if you choose this jacket for your warm endeavors. $80 cheaper, and a warmer option, the Marmot Montreaux is bulkier than the Downtown Loft Parka, but if you are looking to save some money, you may want to check it out.

Conclusion


Overall we were impressed with the Patagonia Downtown Loft Parka. Form-fitting, flattering and super warm? Yes, please. It's a great jacket that is fit for going on a cold winter walk, or attending a fancy dinner. If you are in the market for something just as warm, but with a more water-resistant shell, check out our Editors' Choice award winner, the Canada Goose Kensington Parka.


Liz Williamson