Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody
When I was planning my move to Colorado, people kept saying things like, "oh you must like the snow" or, "I hope you like the cold." And while I do like the snow and I do love the cold, I knew I was going to have to get a new winter coat - the one that I used for midnight sledding in Radford wasn't going to cut it for snowshoeing in -5° weather. I'm a sucker for brand names (I think all these gear reviews are doing is revealing what a consumer I am...), so I knew I wanted to look at Patagonia for my coat. After talking with a classmate (thanks, Glenn!), I was pretty much sold on the down jacket.
Rocking the Down Sweater Hoody in Moab - it gets cold in the desert in the spring!
I'll go into tech specs first, and then talk about why I love it. So it's made with a 100% recycled polyester ripstop fabric that has a DWR finish. The lining is also DWR finished, which I personally think is a nice touch. The down is 800-fill traceable down. This is something that's become more important to me as I've gotten more into outdoor gear, but the fact that the down inside my jacket is certified to be from birds that were never force-fed or live-plucked is amazing. It does have women's contouring, which usually I hate because it makes me feel claustrophobic, but this is subtle and nice because I don't feel so bulky in it. The hood is amazing - it's huge and comes up high to protect your neck and chin from the cold and wind. The chest pocket can be converted into a stuff sack (which in turn can be used as a pillow!), and it fits in nicely every time. Also, it weighs a whopping 13.1 ounces - so you hardly notice it's there!
So, now the fun part: why I love this jacket. For one thing, it is unbelievably durable. I've had it for two years and wear it for everything. From skiing to snowshoeing to Rapids games to work to camping to hiking to the movies and everything in between. The only wear and tear it shows is some dirtiness on the sleeves (that I'm sure would come right off if I washed it). It gets stuffed inside my backpack and tossed around in the back of Logan's car and snagged on branches and I would still classify it as something between "like new" and "gently used" (I feel like I should add a disclaimer that I do take care of my clothes, I just also use them).
If you're skeptical about the DWR finish and it not being classified as outright "waterproof," you should know that I make snow angels in this jacket, I've worn it through snowstorms in Aspen, and I get sweaty while wearing it hiking, and it has held up beautifully. I've never had the problem of water soaking through or messing with the down, and I always stay ridiculously warm while wearing it.
And perhaps the best part of the whole thing? It is insanely comfortable. The fabric and the down and the puffiness all combine and make me feel like I'm being hugged by a heated cloud. Like, it's comfy enough that I'm in the process of saving up for the down sweater pullover so I don't look as weird wearing it all the way zipped up everywhere I go. It also transitions nicely from mountain life to city life, and I think sometimes that's an underrated part of gear.
I honestly can't think of anything I would change about it's design, either. I guess Patagonia knows what they're doing. Now if they could just make it socially acceptable to live in this jacket, I'd be set.
NOTE: the views and opinions in this post are mine alone, and I did not receive any compensation to make this post.
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