4/5 | Overall Rating
The Patagonia Down Sweater is our pick for the Best Lightweight Down Jacket. Being the down jacket that all others are compared to, the Patagonia does not disappoint.
Created with 800-fill power down and 100% recycled ripstop shell and lining, with a quilted construction, the jacket is exactly what you would expect of the Patagonia brand. Warmth, durability and water-resistance, with a touch of style – the sweater is comfortable, and looks good too.
The internal zipper contains a stuff sack, and being only 13oz (37grams), the sweater packs up small and won’t be an extra burden. There are also two external, zippered pockets, which can also serve as handwarmers while hiking. Patagonia is a dependable brand, and the fabric used for the shell is tear and abrasion-resistant. This means that if your hike leads to you scrambling over rocks or fallen tree limbs, your jacket is unlikely to become damaged.
The one unfortunate aspect of this is that it is a sweater and not a hoody. You will need to ensure that there is no precipitation expected before you go hiking without a hood, or you could take an extra hooded jacket or single woollen cap along.
Finding the correct down jacket for hiking and adventures at altitude for your needs and budget can be a tricky task and sifting through the troves of reviews can be time consuming and confusing. To make things easier, check out our expert review on the five Best Down Jackets for Hiking.
The Patagonia Down Sweater is a classic down jacket, with 800-fill power and a 100% recycled ripstop shell and lining. While it does not have as much down power as the Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody, it is warm and well insulated for winter adventures.
The sweater has elastic cuffs (nylon-bound), along with a drawcord hem, which seals in warmth and prevents drafts from entering. The drawcords for the hem are inside the two exterior zippered pockets, which means that you won’t need to remove your hands from the warmth of the pockets to tighten or loosen your hem.
Many winter jackets allow chilly air to enter through the zipper, when wind blows directly at it. This is not the case with the Patagonia Down Sweater. The front zipper of the sweater has an interior stormflap that would prevent direct wind from entering through the zipper, and which seals in warmth better than most other down jackets. The one fault with this jacket is that it has no hood, and as such, provides no warmth for the head.
Even though the Patagonia Down Sweater weighs 13.1oz (37grams) and there are others that are lighter, it is our pick for the Best Lightweight Down Jacket. Most of the weight obviously comes from the 800-fill power down, which is to be expected, although ripstop fabric used as a shell and lining will account for some of the weight as well. The sweater is light enough that it won’t bother you while hiking, and it compresses into its stuff stack nicely, ensuring that you can fit it easily into you backpack, without taking up too much space.
The ripstop shell is coated in durable water resistance (DWR), which will shed light moisture easily. Although, since this is a sweater, and not a hoody, we would advice you to avoid wet conditions as much as possible, or, if the temperatures are frigid, use the down sweater as a second layer, with a hooded jacket over it.
The shell and lining of the sweater are made with ripstop fabric (100% recycled), which is a common and very reliable fabric used for the creation of down jackets. The shell may feel a little thin, but it will withstand high-end use, and even more hands-on hiking.
The quilted construction of the sweater ensures that it is breathable and will hold true to the Patagonia standard that we all expect. As one of the go-to brands, Patagonia rarely disappoints, and this down sweater is no exception.
When hiking during winter, you always want to ensure that you have the best equipment, including a jacket that will keep you warm and remain dry if it rains. The 800-fill down ensures warmth and insulation, while the DWR coated ripstop shells ensures that your sweater will shed light rain.
Patagonia always factors high in the comfort department. The fit is always right, and the construction is impeccable. The drawcord hem can be adjusted to your frame and build, and along with the elastic cuffs, it also seals in warmth.
The front zipper has an interior stormflap and zipper garage at the top, not only for comfort, but also to prevent drafts from entering through the zipper (such is the case with many jackets). However, there is no hood on this down sweater, and that can make things a bit uncomfortable in chilly conditions.