Do you like to be constantly cuddled as you walk through the forest? Do you want to feel like a warm cloud hanging low along the tree-line of a mountain? Whether it’s an extreme winter or a casual, cool night’s walk, the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody will provide superior comfort, keep you warm in almost all scenarios, and look good the whole freakin’ time.
At just under a pound and made with 800-fill Traceable Down goose feathers (a program pioneered by Patagonia itself) the Down Sweater Hoody does everything a down jacket should do. Also, it’s warm. Really warm. Like, warmer than other down jackets of equal cost.
These hot features (get it?) make the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody the Classic Pick for three of our personas: Wilderness Backpacker, Car Camper, and Day Hiker. We think it will perform excellently for all of those activities because cost, style, long-lasting materials, and sheer usability are what one hopes for in a Classic Pick.
Learn about the unparalleled wonder of down in our comprehensive down jacket guide, and see why we recommend the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody below.
|Feature Type||Feature Specs||What This Means|
|Insulation Quality||800-fill power||In the upper echelons of down.|
|Insulation Type||Traceable Down, goose down||Animal-rights friendly goose down.|
|Fill Weight||3.0 oz.||Standard for down jackets.|
|Shell Fabric||20D x 30D 100% recycled polyester ripstop||Super burly and environmentally sound.|
|DWR Treatment||Yes||Water repellant sprayed all over it.|
|Number of Pockets||3||Two hand warmer pockets and an internal chest zip.|
|Stuffs Into Itself||Yes||Into the internal chest zip.|
|Hood/Jacket Option||Yes, both||Get one with a hood, or without. Your call.|
|Adjustable Hood||Yes||Single pull at the back of the hood.|
|Adjustable Waist||Yes||Inside hand warmer pocket. Stay toasty!|
|Average Weight||14 oz.||A respectable weight. The burly fabric is a bit heavier.|
|Gender||Male, Female||Options for all.|
|Sizes Available||XS-XL||Runs true to size.|
|Manufacturer Warranty||Ironclad Guarantee||Gnarly lifetime warranty, the best in the business.|
|Retail Cost||$279.00||A solid price for a solid down jacket.|
Origins: Easing You In
I took the P. Hoody (shortened for reading pleasure) on a Pacific Northwest excursion, putting it through the wringer in The Goat Rocks Wilderness of Washington. My friends and I set out on the trail around 9 a.m. The forest was cold and foggy — I tackled the inclement weather with four layers despite carrying a 35 pound pack. Why? Well, I’m from Southern California, where 90% of the year we get heat, and only heat! Anything remotely cold is addressed with “MAXIUM EFFORT!”
The clothing went on as such: base layer, long sleeve wick-away shirt, the fabulous P. Hoody, and my newly acquired waterproof jacket. Everything layered seamlessly, even the P. Hoody, which was a size too large for me. The weight after layering wasn’t noticeable at all — though the decently heavy pack might have distracted me from the four layers. My body temperature was nicely regulated (cozy) until about two miles into the hike. We were past the trees and finally in the sun — I was ready to be free of at least two of these layers for the rest of the hike.
It wasn’t until I was at the peak of Old Snowy that I placed my jackets back on, and once again fell into the marshmallow warmth of the P. Hoody. The Goat Rock Wilderness is reported to have some of the most epic views of the entire Pacific Crest Trail. Old Snowy sits in the middle of Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mr. Rainier — kind of a who’s who of stunning mountains. You get this amazing 360 panorama of epic volcanoes.
Throughout the evening the weather developed harsher winds and, as the sun started to set, the temperature dropped. The snow we passed on the way up made a lot more sense now, and I realized I’d never fully considered Old Snowy’s name — it’s not “Old Warm Mountain-y” for a reason.
The wind picked up and I had to put rocks on any of my gear so it wouldn’t fly (there are no do-overs on a mountaintop). I had to cover my face because I already felt the wind burns developing. Mother nature was giving us a taste of what happens on top of a real (extinct) volcano. With my face covered I noticed that, despite the howling wind and icy air, my body temperature wasn’t affected. The P. Hoody kept me incredibly warm, and the hood added more protection then my beanie could (along with my medusa-like hair).
Revelation: The Moment I Knew
The ultimate test! During the day most gear is fine, but at night it’s a different story — especially for a warm mid-layer. The whole game changes once that sun is gone and the weather is free to unleash it’s full fury!
I was getting to know a whole new environment as well as it’s weather patterns, and was somewhat concerned when I looked over at Mt. Rainier and saw grey clouds coming in fast. I huddled in my bivy sack, which is basically a body bag with an air mattress and sleeping bag. I had all my layers on, inside my sleeping bag, and felt super snug, like a bug, you know, in those rugs.
Mist, maybe a little rain, kissed my face. After a few minutes, it was gone. After a few hours the winds died down, making for a restful night. Well, it would have been restful but I really had to pee and I was not getting up in the middle of the night to do that. It was still freakishly cold! I tried not to think about it and let my mind wander. I kept thinking one of those white mountain goats was gonna sneak up on me — also, spiders. Spiders looking for a warm place, that place being my sleeping bag! I tend to overthink things, which leads to fear. In this case, I was so warm that worrying didn’t stand a chance, and soon I drifted off.
I woke up at some point and felt sweat around my neck, and that was the moment I knew the P. Hoody was a keeper. If it could make me sweat at the top of Old Snowy, Patagonia was doing something right. This jacket acted as a constant sleeping bag (even more so inside an actual sleeping bag), and provided it’s most important function all night: warmth.
The P. Hoody really earns its place in my kit. Despite it being a size too big, I still found the fit to be perfect. I enjoy something that shows off the shape of your body, instead of just a straight rectangular shape that hangs off you. This contour fits the women’s physique well, and the quilted horizontal baffles (those rectangular lines) get tighter on the arms and side panels, giving more warmth in those areas. Women have different areas that get cold compared to men, so Patagonia’s attention to detail makes me give it high marks on this part!
The P. Hoody’s treated exterior and internal recycled polyester fabric gives this jacket more versatility in it’s uses, including fending off a light dust of mist. This means you’ll pretty much make it your default jacket every time you go out into the wilderness. Lastly: it’s packable! Life in the wild is so much easier if I can stuff something into a tiny, self-contained ball.
I felt like a walking pillow! Every single goose feather worked it’s magic to keep me warm, despite all the snow.
I took it to the top of Old Snowy, slept at the summit, and sweated through it in the night. Next morning it performed exactly the same.
I may be a walking sleeping bag, but a really good looking sleeping bag. The loud colors it comes in are just icing on the cake! I happen to really enjoy loud colors (and cake) — it’s the photographer in me that looks for a focal point in photos. These jackets stand out perfectly!
Given the awesomeness of the P. Hoody, I don’t have too many issues. One thing I remember bugging me during my trip was the whole “packable” aspect. While it’s a great feature, it should be able to pack down much smaller than it currently does. The end result is a pretty big ball, and I know it can pack down smaller. I love jackets that are small enough to fit in one of my side pockets (normally reserved for a water bottle or small tripod).
This jacket will take you as far as your fear will let you go and even push you past that! It lets you focus on the task at hand, paying attention to the terrain, not on the weather.
The women’s version of this jacket was used for the review; a men’s version is also available. You can purchase both of those below. Patagonia also offers this in a non-hooded version: the Patagonia Down Sweater for Men and the Patagonia Down Sweater for Women. They are the same in every aspect, minus the hood. You can see all of these below.