This jacket has long been a favourite choice for backcountry campers, day hikers, climbers, skiers and general outdoor adventure enthusiasts. That’s why we had to conduct this Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody review to see if it lives up to the hype. Patagonia has been the go-to choice for years for this type of jacket and having owned and used this Patagonia hiking jacket through all 4 seasons, it is easy to see why it is the preferred choice of many!
Price: $279 USD/$349 CAD
Weight: 428g (15.1 oz)
Fill: 800-fill-power traceable goose down
What we like: The best all round down jacket on the market and our favourtie jacket in terms of style
What we don’t like: Doesn’t use hydrophobic down and is heavier than many of its competitors
You can buy the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody at the following retailers. Click the buttons for more info!
The simple yet excellent design, comfort, fit and styling all add up to make this our favourite packable down jacket on the market. There are some warmer and lighter jackets out there, but as an overall package this definitely gets our vote.
There are two versions of this jacket, one with the hood and one without. The hood adds on 57g in weight but other than that, these packable Patagonia jackets are identical. This means our Patagonia Down Sweater review covers both versions of this jacket.
Our Patagonia Down Hoody review will walk you through everything you need to know about this jacket and what to consider when buying a packable down jacket. In our opinion this is the best Patagonia jacket and we are 100% confident in recommending it. Read our full review for all the reasons why!
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Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Review
This Patagonia packable down jacket is filled with 800-fill-power advanced global traceable down (the birds that supply this jacket are not force-fed or live-plucked) which is designed to keep you warm in cooler temperatures. If you are spending time in the alpine or temperatures below freezing, then this jacket makes an excellent mid-layer with a shell jacket over the top.
There are a few jackets that are slightly warmer than the Patagonia Down Sweater but there are no complaints from us in terms of warmth for this jacket. While it might not be the absolute warmest jacket out there, for most situations it proves more than adequate.
I have spent countless winter days in the mountains around British Columbia and almost always wear this as my main outer layer with no issues, only needing an extra layer when the temperatures really start to drop or the wind picks up. While this jacket does offer some wind resistance, I do find this is only to a moderate level and when the wind is stronger it can get cold wearing this jacket.
The adjustable hem, elastic cuffs on the sleeve, and single-pull adjustable hood all help you to seal in the warmth for those colder days as well. We gave this a 4/5 for warmth as it could be slightly warmer, but for most conditions, it will keep you pleasantly warm.
This Patagonia packable jacket weighs in at 428g (15.1 oz) which puts it right in the middle of the pack, if not slightly on the heavier side, of similar packable down jackets. While you can look at something like the Patagonia Micro Puff that weighs 337g (11.9 oz) but you will sacrifice warmth and wind resistance for this type of jacket.
A jacket that offers similar warmth but weighs just 305g (10.8 oz) is the Arc’teryx Cerium Hoodie, although it is considerably more expensive as you would expect for Arc’teryx gear. It is often a trade-off between weight, warmth, and cost. The weight you are willing to carry for a down jacket really boils down to how determined you are to shave weight off every ounce of gear. For those looking for the best ultralight down jacket, this may not be the best choice.
Having said that, we spend a considerable amount of time backcountry hiking and camping (check out our top tent recommendations) and I find this a perfectly reasonable weight to carry in my pack. While the slight weight difference for some may be a deal-breaker, for the majority of people the extra weight will not be a problem.
As the above weight would suggest, this is also not the smallest jacket when you pack it down. The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody packs into the inside chest pocket which has a two-sided zipper to keep it packed away. Once you have the jacket zipped into the chest pocket there is a small loop so you can clip it onto the outside of your pack.
Once packed the jacket measures approximately 10.5 x 8.5 x 5 inches. This is one area where we would like to see improvements on future versions of this jacket. When it is packed into the chest pocket, the overall size is average (3.5/5 stars) compared to other packable jackets in this category. So if you are really looking to find the smallest and lightest jacket for your backcountry adventure there may be better alternatives.
Overall, most hikers and fellow adventurers won’t have an issue with the size of this jacket once it is packed. We specifically looked for a packable down jacket that would fit in our backpacks for overnight camping trips. While it may not be the smallest option, it can still easily be packed into an overnight hiking backpack to be a part of your backcountry setup.
The good thing about the rectangular shape when it is packed is that it makes a comfy pillow which is great for backcountry camping trips or flights. When backpacking with a smaller pack you may find the need to clip this on the outside of your bag to save space. Alternatively, it does still compress further when it is in the chest pocket so you can squeeze it into some smaller spaces than you may first expect.
Similar to your sleeping bag, you won’t want to store the jacket when it is packed into its chest pocket for long periods of time. This will cause the down fill to clump and compress and it will reduce the loft and longevity of your packable Patagonia jacket.
Water and Wind Resistance
When choosing a lightweight insulated down jacket it is good to bear in mind that it is not really designed for particularly wet and windy weather. We took this into consideration for this section of our Patagonia down jacket review. You will want a shell jacket to protect you from the elements when the weather gets really bad. However, this down sweater does offer quite good weather resistance.
The durable shell fabric and the lining are both treated with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish which does quite an impressive job in mild conditions. In mist or light rain, you will see the water droplets beading on the surface of the jacket rather than being absorbed.
This jacket is only designed to be water-resistant, not waterproof so when the rain gets heavier it will soak through the jacket relatively quickly. The down in this jacket is not hydrophobic and will clump when it gets wet which greatly reduces the warmth.
As mentioned above, this jacket is made from windproof material and handles light to moderate wind quite well. But once the wind really starts to blow, it passes through the jacket. On a couple of particularly windy mountaintops, I have found it can get cold.
To reiterate, this is not the main function of this jacket. For optimum water and wind resistance, you will need a dedicated shell jacket. The Patagonia sweater actually does a very good job at protecting you from the elements up to the expected level and has pleasantly surprised us on several rainy occasions.
This Patagonia puffer jacket isn’t built to be full of features. Instead, Patagonia has really taken the less is more approach for their down sweater. We think it has all of the main features you would need or want in a Patagonia down puffer jacket without adding in anything unnecessary. The main features of this jacket are:
- 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
- 800-fill-power traceable down
- Two hand warmer pockets
- Internal zippered chest pocket which converts to a stuff sack with a carabiner clip-in loop
- Adjustable hem – pull the cords in the hand warmer pockets
- Single-pull-adjustable hood
- Elastic cuffs on the sleeves
The long and short of this list of features is that you have everything you need to keep you warm when wearing the jacket plus the easy ability to pack it away when you take it off. The elastic cuffs, adjustable hem and single-pull-adjustable hood all allow you to block as much of the cold and wind as possible and we always like being able to stuff a jacket back into its own pocket so we don’t have to carry an extra bag around.
One extra little touch on this jacket that I LOVE is there is a “zipper garage” at the chin with an extra soft lining on the inside so when the jacket is fully zipped up it doesn’t rub uncomfortably on your face. This is a very nice touch on those colder days when you want to bury your chin into your jacket to stay warm and I appreciate how comfortable this is for the Patagonia insulated hoody versus some of the other jackets I own.
Fit and Style
This is the area where we feel that this jacket really excels versus the competition. While overall functionality is obviously key, you will also want to wear a jacket that fits great and looks good. In fact, while you will wear this jacket on all of your adventures you will probably end up wearing it more often than not as an everyday jacket as well. Because of this, you will want to make sure when you buy a nicer jacket like this that you actually enjoy wearing the jacket and like the way it looks.
This jacket fits close to size, but we have found that it does fit slightly larger. I am often in between a small and a medium so I originally ordered a medium size however it fit quite loosely. I exchanged it for a small and the overall length and fit was much better. With this type of jacket you will want it to fit relatively snug as this will help to keep you warm, especially on colder days.
I find in general that Patagonia sizing fits slightly larger, so if you are in-between sizes I would recommend choosing the smaller size. Even with a snug fit, there are zero issues in terms of movement, especially across the back and shoulders where some jackets can feel tight.
We personally think that Patagonia makes the nicest looking jackets in this category, although this is of course a subjective view. But it is one of the most popular jackets you will see out on the trails as so many hikers agree that this is the best Patagonia jacket for hiking. Wearing this jacket will allow you to blend right in, whether you are out in the backcountry or wandering around the city. We really appreciate that this jacket, while offering excellent technical performance, looks good enough to wear every day.
Durability and Patagonia’s Ironclad Guarantee
For our Patagonia Down Jacket review, we weren’t expecting too much in terms of durability but we have been very impressed so far. As you would expect, Patagonia uses a mix of recycled and sustainably sourced materials for their clothes, the overall feel of the jacket is great, and it has a really nice soft-touch finish.
The shell is made of 1.4 oz 20×30-denier 100% recycled polyester ripstop with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. The lining is made of 1.4 oz 20-denier 100% recycled polyester ripstop with a DWR finish. This gives it a very nice soft finish but makes it slightly more delicate than similar jackets in this range.
While the jacket isn’t designed for any major wear or tear, you still want to make sure that it will survive brushing up against rocks and trees etc. when you are out adventuring. This jacket has already come on countless adventures with us and after lying on rough rocks, doing some bushwhacking, and generally putting it through its paces it has held up really well with no rips, tears, or scuffs.
When I was looking for a packable down jacket I wanted to make sure I got something that would last and that could take a bit of a beating out in the backcountry and so far this jacket has stood up to the test. The solid build on this jacket means that it doesn’t lose many feathers which will keep it warmer for longer.
Patagonia is renowned for its “Ironclad Guarantee” so you can feel safe that you are getting a great product. If you are unhappy for any reason you can return it to the store you bought it from for repair, replacement or refund. Damage due to normal wear and tear can be repaired at a reasonable charge.
One of the things I like about Patagonia is its commitment to the environment and sustainability. As we mentioned, they use recycled and sustainably sourced materials for their clothing, but they also make a big commitment to repairing the gear you already have. So whenever the inevitable does happen and you damage your gear, you can take it into your local Patagonia store to be repaired and save yourself spending hundreds of dollars on a brand new jacket.
While the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is our favourite jacket on the market in this category we do recognize that there are some other great alternatives out there.
|Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody||428g (15.1 oz)||800-fill-power down||$279 USD / $349 CAD|
|Arc'teryx Cerium LT Hoody||305g (10.8 oz)||850-fill down + Coreloft synthetic||$379 USD / $450 CAD|
|Patagonia Micro Puff||264 g (9.3 oz)||PlumaFill synthetic||$299 USD / $375 CAD|
|Patagonia Nano Puff||337 g (11.9 oz)||Primaloft||$249 USD / $315 CAD|
|MEC Radiator Lite Down Hoodie||364g (12.8 oz)||850-fill-power down||$224.95 CAD|
|REI Co-op 650 Down Hoodie 2.0||482g (17 oz)||650-fill-power down||$99.95 USD|
One of the closest competitors to the down sweater is the Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoodie. This is one of the most premium packable down jackets out there, with 850-fill down, Coreloft synthetic down added in areas prone to moisture and overall excellent build quality. This is an awesome jacket but the premium features come at a premium price. The Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody will set you back roughly $379 USD/$450 CAD.
Patagonia offers some similar jackets with different features and slightly different prices. The Micro Puff and Nano Puff jackets both use synthetic down which is lighter and better in the wet than genuine goose down but not quite as warm.
The Patagonia Micro Puff uses PlumaFill synthetic insulation which makes this the best warmth for weight ratio for any Patagonia jacket. It weighs just 235g (8.3 oz) and does pack smaller than the down sweater. The synthetic insulation, which is noticeably thinner, will perform much better in the wet however you won’t get the same level of warmth. For those looking to shed some weight for a true ultralight jacket that don’t mind losing out on some extra warmth, this is a good alternative. It does cost slightly more than the down sweater though.
The Patagonia Nano Puff is a great choice if you are looking for a slightly cheaper jacket. It uses Primaloft insulation which isn’t as light as the PlumaFill in the Micro Puff but still does a great job. While some people prefer synthetic down we can’t look past the warmth to weight ratio of real down insulation.
MEC makes what is effectively their own version of the Patagonia Down Hoody and it is called the MEC Radiator Lite Down Hoodie. It uses 850-fill-power goose down that is also sustainably sourced. The MEC hoodie isn’t up to the same standard in terms of quality and fit as the Patagonia sweater, but it is a cheaper option that will still keep you warm while out on the trails.
Likewise, REI offers their own version of a packable down jacket, the REI Co-op 650 Down Hoodie 2.0. It uses 650-fill-power down so isn’t quite as warm as the Patagonia sweater and it doesn’t come close in terms of fit and quality either. Overall this is still a quality jacket and is by far one of the cheapest alternatives available.
This Patagonia Down Sweater jacket review was quite an easy one to write as we really love this jacket. It’s simple but functions exactly how you want it to by keeping you warm while you are out on your adventures. You can also wear it around town just as easily as it looks and fits great. While there may be some room for improvement in the size and weight of the jacket especially, we are more than happy to recommend this jacket and we are sure you won’t regret adding this awesome piece of kit to your wardrobe.
Is there anything that you feel we missed in our Patagonia down hoody review? Or is there a jacket that you would choose over the Patagonia Sweater? Let us know in the comments.
You can buy the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody at the following retailers. Click the buttons for more info!
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