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Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Review

  • Car Camper

Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Overview

The Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T is a casual and cozy layering piece you can wear basically anywhere — at home, at camp, at the grocery store, or on a mountain. This fleece contains only the basics, and doesn’t come with a hood, zippers, or drawcords. There’s just one small chest pocket and a few buttons to open or close it at the chest and neck. As per the Patagonia way, this piece is made up of about 80% recycled materials and, as of 2017, is Fair Trade Certified. Thanks Patagonia!

Due to the burly and simple nature of this fleece, we’ve awarded it our Classic Pick for the Car Camper. If you’ve done much car camping, surely you’ve seen this comfy fleece in the wild. It’s a tried and true gold standard for lounging around the fire.

Check out our comprehensive guide to fleece jackets for a breakdown of what fleece best fits your needs, and keep reading for the full Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T review.

Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Specifications

Feature Type Feature Specs What This Means
Weight 12.8 oz (363 g) A moderate weight for a fleece this cozy. You won’t be able to compress it much, but that’s not what this jacket is about.
Fabric Weight Midweight Fleece is typically made in three weights: light, medium, and heavy. Despite having “lightweight” in the name, this jacket is a midweight fleece. It’s quite warm, but not overwhelmingly so. More on fleece fabric weight in our Guide.
Fabric Material Polyester Synchilla Fleece, solids 85% recycled, heathers 80% recycled There are a few different fabric materials in this jacket, but the bulk of it is fuzzy synchilla fleece, exclusive to Patagonia. It is made with roughly 80% recycled material. There is also some nylon in the placket and pocket. More on fleece material in our Guide.
Fit Casual This fleece is sized to hang loosely off of you, unlike other Patagonia products. This allows for layering.
Number of Pockets 1 chest pocket Just one chest pocket, and a small one at that. Some people love this simplicity, others want more storage.
Thumb Holes No This is not a technical fleece, so no thumbholes.
Hood/Jacket Option Just Jacket Patagonia only offers this in a jacket version — no hood. It does have slightly different versions with full and 1/4 zippers, but the button version is the original.
Zipper None Instead of a zipper, this fleece comes with a 4-button snap closure on the collar. A classic, style-based choice by Patagonia.
Adjustable Waist No This is not a technical fleece, so no adjustment points.
Gender(s) Men, Women We tested the women’s version of the jacket, but it’s offered in men’s as well.
Sizes Available Men: XXS-XXL, Women: XXS-XL This is a popular piece for Patagonia and offered in basically every size you could want. The fit is not standard for Patagonia, so if you order your normal size, it will feel big.
Manufacturer Warranty Ironclad Guarantee Patagonia has an outstanding lifetime warranty. It is subject to manufacturer defects and workmanship, but if something fails they will repair or replace your jacket.
Retail Price $119 A high price for a relatively feature-less fleece. But the cozy factor is hard to beat, and the style allows for the high price tag.

Gear Review of Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T

Revelation: The Moment I Knew

I am no stranger to Patagonia fleece and had high expectations for this lightweight version of the classic Synchilla. So I took the Snap-T on a road trip! I started in northern New Mexico where the mountains are big, deserts are dry, and the temperatures vary from 20 degrees to 80 degrees in late Fall. And ended in the High Rockies of Colorado near Silverton, a chilly little spot located above 10,000 feet. I don’t think the warmest day there went above 40 degrees.

As it turns out, it is rarely the wrong time to wear a fleece like this, and I wore it for much of my trip. From cold mornings, to chilly afternoons, to freezing evenings and even as a layer for sleeping above 10,000 feet.

Patagonia-Lightweight-Synchilla-Snap-T-review-with-dog
Is there a bad time to wear the Lightweight Synchilla? The dog thinks not.

This layer is comfortable and easy. It’s straightforward. Think of it as your most cozy sweatshirt — the one you want to do everything in — only it’s a fleece. This means you can wear it everywhere and it looks a little more polished and is a lot more versatile than cotton. (This depends of course on the pattern you select, but the one I tested was fairly understated for Patagonia).

Lately, when I give a recommendation to people looking for a do-it-all fleece, this is the one. It’ll keep you warm and stylin’. The perfect thing for that perfect Instagram shot. Don’t deny you’ve imagined it.

Patagonia-Lightweight-Synchilla-Snap-T-review-reading
Sometimes you need outdoor gear to read in the house.

Digging Deeper

Comfort

All in all, the Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T is very comfortable. I’ve lived in this piece for the past month and a half and have enjoyed a couple other versions of the Synchilla line over the years. So I declare myself an expert. The hem and sleeve openings have a bit of spandex that I find delightful. Especially compared to some other long sleeved fleeces that have Velcro or snap cuffs and hems. Those can be a little uncomfortable!

Patagonia-Lightweight-Synchilla-Snap-T-review-elastic-sleeves
Elastic cuffs allow for maximum comfort.

There are no scratchy tags, no hood to get in the way, and it has a loose fit. All good when looking for a comfy fleece. It transitions from adventure to straight up chillin’ without missing a beat.

Warmth

I mentioned that spandex hemming at the waist. Along with comfort, that adds warmth. It seals up places where heat would normally escape. This is especially nice for car camping when you crouch near the fire — no cold air can crawl up your lower back. The Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T is a midweight fleece, so you can wear it as a stand alone or layer it up depending on the conditions you’re in. I found the warmth to be just right. Goldilocks style.

Patagonia-Lightweight-Synchilla-Snap-T-review-button-collar
The fuzzy material is warm, and the four snap buttons seal up the coat at the neck if you need it.

Fit

This is a loose fit kind of fleece. I typically sport a size small in most things, and I received this in a medium. Which was cool. Because it absolutely made this piece a little comfier.

Patagonia-Lightweight-Synchilla-Snap-T-review-nature-shot
The sleeves extend past the hands, and, for Patagonia, the Lightweight Synchilla is certainly a baggier fit if you order your standard size.

I own a small Synchilla (different model) and it fits well, but the medium worked beautifully as a fleece to layer over a wool baselayer. There have been reports of these fleeces being “way too big”, but that seems to be because Patagonia products typically fit so tight. This fit is true to size for me. If you plan to wear it alone or as a tighter jacket, order your true size. If you want to have some extra room for layering, order up. Both situations will serve you well.

Style

Ahhh Patagonia. All the cool kids are wearing it, all the experienced and accomplished outdoor athletes wear it. Some city moms wear it, too. The thing that Patagonia knows is style with substance. It seems that anything this company creates is timeless — best exemplified by the Synchilla Snap-T, a style that has changed very little throughout the years. The Lightweight Synchilla can be worn for adventure and then transition easily to a brunch in the city.

Patagonia-Lightweight-Synchilla-Snap-T-review-close-up-and-worn
If you like the Patagonia style, you’ll like the Lightweight Synchilla. In fact, it helped to define what “Patagonia style” was way back when.

Grievances

Comfy, yes, warm, yes, but I do have one big complaint with this fleece. It irks me. It irks me pretty hard, guys.

When you wear this fleece in a vehicle, the actual fleece rubs on the seatbelt and gets little balls of fleece everywhere. These balls are nearly impossible to get rid of and will get on everything they come in contact with for many months. No matter how many times you wear or wash this fleece it sheds, and this creates a mess. Some people probably don’t care at all, but I can’t stand those little balls of fleece collecting in my car!

Patagonia-Lightweight-Synchilla-Snap-T-review-in-the-car
See those tufts of fleece on the seatbelt? The Synchilla will do that. It’s annoying.

Final Word

The Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T allows you to stay comfy in camp and extra lazy in public. You can spill all over it and stay dry and warm; sweat it in and somehow not stink. If I could only choose 10 items of clothing to wear for the rest of my life, this would probably be one of those items.

Where to Buy Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T

We tested a women’s Medium of the Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover. This has four buttons, no zippers, and one chest pocket. The men’s version is exactly the same except for fit.

Patagonia also offers this jacket in a non “lightweight” version — called the Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover. However, at the time of writing, it’s only offered in men’s. We’re not sure why. This is the original synchilla jacket and is a heavyweight fleece. This means warmer, heavier, and bulkier.

Patagonia also offers variations of the synchilla fabric in 1/4 zip, full-zip, hooded full-zip jackets, and in vests. While these are all nice, we find the original, lightweight design to be best suited to camping and lounging.

Compare Patagonia Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover prices below.

Deirdre Denali Rosenberg

Deirdre Denali Rosenberg is a photographer, writer, mountaineer and adventurer based in a tiny cottage in the middle of the high Rockies of Colorado. She believes every human has a wild spirit and nature connects everyone. She aims to inspire the masses to get outside, conserve our beautiful land and live an epic life. You can find her work at Let's Play Instead and on Instagram.

Review Policy: We do not accept payments or gifts from brands and vendors, and strive to provide unbiased, independent advice. Brands typically provide review samples which we return, and in some cases we purchase the item so we can keep using it long after the review. Affiliate Policy: We support the hours that go into our reviews and testing through affiliate commissions on purchases made through links in this article. These don't effect the outcome of our reviews or selection of gear, as per our Review Policy.

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