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Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Review

This classic down has a comfortable fit, excellent style, and plenty of warmth making it a reliable choice
patagonia down sweater hoody down jacket review
Credit: Patagonia
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $329 List | $329.00 at REI
Pros:  Warm, well-fitting, excellent styling
Cons:  Poor weather resistance, slightly heavy
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By James Lucas & Buck Yedor  ⋅  Nov 9, 2022
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 13
  • Warmth - 30% 8.0
  • Weight - 20% 6.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 5.0
  • Comfort - 15% 9.0
  • Compressibility - 10% 7.0
  • Features - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Down Sweater is a hard-to-beat option in the world of down jackets. With its classic look, excellent down, and comfortable fit, the Down Sweater offers significant warmth, great features, and good compressibility in a piece that can be worn in between pitches in Indian Creek, on chilly fall hikes in the Flatirons, or out on the town going to the new ski movie premiere.

Editor's Note: We updated our review on August 31, 2022, to share information on updates to the Down Sweater Hoody.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $329 List
$329.00 at REI
$243.75 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$359 List
$359.00 at Amazon
$209 List$46 List
$21.90 at Amazon
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Pros Warm, well-fitting, excellent stylingLight, great compressibility, strong warmth to weight ratio compactLightweight, stylish, high warmth to weight ratioInexpensive, lightweight,Fit allows for layering underneath, soft inner liner, inexpensive
Cons Poor weather resistance, slightly heavyLimited features, little adjustabilityExpensive, not super durableSweater weight warmth, moderate adjustabilityThinner outer shell, less durable, not as warm as premium brands, not that compressible
Bottom Line This classic down has a comfortable fit, excellent style, and plenty of warmth making it a reliable choiceA mountaineering jacket with high quality down and lightweight, this piece stands out for its functional simplicityIf you are looking for a warm, light layer for a trip where ounces count, this is a great selectionThis 800-fill jacket offers quality down at a reasonable price and little weightA down jacket alternative that uses synthetic insulation that won't break the bank
Rating Categories Patagonia Down Swea... Mountain Hardwear G... Arc'teryx Cerium SL... MontBell Superior Down Amazon Essentials L...
Warmth (30%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
Weight (20%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Water Resistance (15%)
5.0
6.0
5.0
4.0
5.0
Comfort (15%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Compressibility (10%)
7.0
9.0
10.0
8.0
6.0
Features (10%)
9.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Specs Patagonia Down Swea... Mountain Hardwear G... Arc'teryx Cerium SL... MontBell Superior Down Amazon Essentials L...
Down Fill 800-fill goose down 800-fill goose down 850-fill goose down 800-fill goose down 100% polyester
Total Weight 14.9 oz 8.5 oz 7.6 oz 8.7 oz 11 oz
Baffle Construction Sewn-through baffles Sewn-through baffles Sewn-through baffles Sewn-through baffles Sewn-through baffles
Main Fabric 100% ripstop polyester 10D ripstop nylon 100% nylon 10D nylon Nylon
Compression Method Zips into pocket Zips into pocket Stuff sack Stuff sack Stuff sack
Pockets 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hands, 1 internal 2 zippered hand
Hoodless Option? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Patagonia revised the Down Sweater Hoody since we last purchased it. Carrying on their tradition of sustainability, Patagonia used Net Plus, which is a 100% postconsumer recycled nylon ripstop made from fishing nets. The pockets also feature "hidden" zippers, and the cut of the jacket and baffle design changed slightly. Above, the left photo shows the version we tested, and the right photo is the updated Down Sweater Hoody. We're linking to the updated model in our review.

Patagonia created an excellent down jacket with the Down Sweater. The 800 fill down gives this jacket a strong warmth-to-weight ratio. The hood and handwarmer pockets provide the essential features you'd want in a jacket and the piece has a top-tier fit. Warm, comfortable, and with all the features that anyone would want while out hiking, climbing, or skiing, the Down Sweater has the quality one would expect from Patagonia.

Performance Comparison


patagonia down sweater hoody down jacket review - the patagonia down sweater uses high-quality down that is beneficial...
The Patagonia Down Sweater uses high-quality down that is beneficial on cool spring evenings.
Credit: James Lucas

Warmth


Patagonia stuffed 800-fill down into a DWR (durable water repellent) recycled ripstop nylon outer to create this jacket. Down's fill quality is figured out by filling a cylindrical container with one ounce of down and then compressing it for a minute. After the sixty seconds, the amount of space filled is then considered the fill so 600 cubic inches of down equals a 600 fill. 900 fill down is as good as it gets and so the 800 fill comes in at a very high quality. The warmth of a jacket is then measured in not only the quality of the fill but also the amount of it. The Down Sweater has a decent amount of fill, making it an excellent mid layer piece.

Additionally, the jacket has some features to help trap warmth. Elastic wrist cuffs, a cinchable hood, and a drawcord at the waist help trap the heat inside of the jacket and prevent wind from getting in.

patagonia down sweater hoody down jacket review - all zipped up, the jacket offers light weight warmth.
All zipped up, the jacket offers light weight warmth.
Credit: James Lucas

Overall, the Down Sweater offers a good amount of warmth and is more than suitable for active outdoor adventures in the cold.

Weight


Our size medium weighs in at 14.89 ounces, making it one of the heavier jackets we tested. This translated into a slightly warmer jacket but the weight to warmth isn't amazing in this piece. The jacket's features add a bit to the jacket and make it heavier.

While the weight of this piece isn't the best jacket for alpine missions where every ounce counts, it is a great piece for general use in the backcountry, out at the crag, or for staying warm around town.

patagonia down sweater hoody down jacket review - the hood on the down sweater cinches down using a tab on the back...
The hood on the Down Sweater cinches down using a tab on the back. It felt a bit tight around our tester's face when pulled too hard but it helped keep the weather out.
Credit: James Lucas

Water Resistance


Patagonia treats its jackets with a DWR (durable water repellent) that helps bead off the initial drops of water during a rainstorm or afternoon thunderstorm. Our testers wore this while climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park and in Rifle Colorado. They found the DWR to be adequate but would start to get wet after heavy or prolonged weather.

As with most down jackets, this piece needs to be coupled with a hard shell or rain jacket if the precipitation becomes heavy or long-lasting. If the jacket does get wet, the down isn't treated so it tends to clump and offers significantly less warmth. Make sure to check the forecast to be prepared.

patagonia down sweater hoody down jacket review - our testers wore this primarily in cold weather, avoiding it when it...
Our testers wore this primarily in cold weather, avoiding it when it rained. While the DWR coating helped, a shell was needed when further weather came in.
Credit: James Lucas

Comfort


The Down Sweater jacket has a slightly athletic fit. While it's not as tapered as some of the pieces reviewed, it also stays away from the boxy style of many larger down jackets. Our bigger, more athletically built testers enjoyed the jacket for the freedom of mobility it offered, liking the long torso and lengthy arms, which prevent the jacket from riding up.

patagonia down sweater hoody down jacket review - our testers liked the long arms and comfortable fit of the down...
Our testers liked the long arms and comfortable fit of the Down Sweater.
Credit: James Lucas

The fleece against the inside of the jacket also felt nice against our tester's skin when they needed to zip the hood up. The overall feel of the jacket was one of the most comfortable that our testers tried. The jacket layered well with other pieces over and under it too making wearing it nice.

No Need For A Hood?
Sometimes we get overzealous with our hoods and end up in a layered, tangled mess. To avoid this, you may want to check out the Down Sweater Jacket. This hoodless version is perfect for those looking to layer with other hooded jackets, like insulating layers or hard shells.

Compressibility


This jacket fits inside the interior chest pocket. The dual-sided zipper makes closing it easier and the clip-in point attachment allows for it to be hung from a harness or outside of a backpack. While the quality of the down helps with the compression, overall this piece ended up being a bit large.

While this jacket has a built-in stuff sack and features a clip-in point to attach to your harness, the compressed overall size is larger than something we'd want dangling from our waist. It felt a bit big and bulky and some of our testers struggled to fit it into the interior zipper pocket. But stuffing into itself felt better than having to carry around a separate stuff sack.

Overall, this jacket had decent compressibility compared to the other jackets in this review.

patagonia down sweater hoody down jacket review - while we wouldn't want to necessarily want to clip this to our...
While we wouldn't want to necessarily want to clip this to our harness, it packs down small enough to easily fit in a day pack.
Credit: James Lucas

Features


The Down Sweater focuses on simplicity. The two zippered hand warmer pockets provide ample space for storing a phone and gloves. The internal chest pocket has a solid amount of space to store keys and a wallet.

The jacket's hood has a single pull at the back to adjust it. The waist hem cinches as well as the elastic wrist cuffs help further batten down the hatches, preventing warm air from escaping and keeping cold air out. Microfleece around the chin zipper adds to the warmth by making it comfortable to zip up the hood.

patagonia down sweater hoody down jacket review - the fleece lining saved our tester's chins when the weather came in...
The fleece lining saved our tester's chins when the weather came in and they needed to keep the hood up.
Credit: James Lucas

These features, while not super technical, give the jacket a simple, functional feel. While a pair of drop pockets inside the coat for gloves or a more brimmed hood would have helped, the jacket's features provide everything that a generalist would need in the mountains or while hanging out after skiing.

Should You Buy the Patagonia Down Sweater?


The Down Sweater falls in the middle of the pack in terms of price. The jacket's versatility in both being a layer over and under other garments makes it exceptional for time in the mountains. The style, warmth, and comfort of the jacket make it a classic piece. Patagonia's quality assurance adds to the value making this an exceptional jacket and a worthwhile investment.

patagonia down sweater hoody down jacket review - patagonia's high quality assurance meant our testers could spend...
Patagonia's high quality assurance meant our testers could spend more time staying warm and staring at their skin between send burns than worrying about their jacket having issues.
Credit: James Lucas

What Other Down Jackets Should You Consider?


While not specialized for any one purpose, the Patagonia Down Sweater is a jack of all trades and is ready for a far-reaching number of scenarios. The Rab Microlight Alpine is similar in price and performance, but also offers a higher level of weather resistance — though no down jacket is ever truly weatherproof.

James Lucas & Buck Yedor
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