Expert Review: Patagonia Hi Loft Women's Down Hoody
This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2020.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2020.
The Patagonia Women’s Hi-Loft Down Sweater Hoody has kept me warm on the very coldest days. It is comfortable, durable, and folds up into its own pocket for easy storage or to double as a camping pillow. It is a great all-around jacket for all types of outdoor recreation on cold days.
About the jacket I own
- Model: Patagonia Women’s Hi Loft Down Sweater Hoody
- Size: S
- Fit: Runs large
- Height: 5’3”
- Weight: 115lbs
- Experience: 20+ years of backpacking, camping, and skiing
- When I bought this: January 2020
- Days tested: 50
- Where I’ve used it: Colorado, Utah, Idaho
- Seasons I’ve used it: Winter, late fall
- What I’ve used it for: Day hiking, climbing, skiing, backpacking
- Conditions I’ve used it in: Extreme wind, blizzards, snow, extreme cold
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was about to head out on a camping trip in late November in Moab, Utah, where it gets exceptionally cold in the winter. I realized I did not have anything that was going to keep me super warm. I wanted a seriously warm, puffy jacket that had a hood and room to layer underneath.
Why I chose this gear
I purchased this product because it fit me well and felt durable. I knew I would mostly be using this to wear around camp when I went winter or late-fall camping, so I didn’t want something that had the stiff feeling a rainshell has. I also didn’t need to drop $500 on a jacket that was intended for mountaineering. I decided on this because I already liked my Patagonia Down Sweater, and this one was the same style—just puffier and warmer. It was also only $299, which felt like a reasonable amount to spend.
What I love about it
- Range of Motion: I totally feel like a marshmallow when I am wearing it, but I don’t feel inhibited or like my range or motion is constrained at all.
- Design: The Patagonia Hi Loft down hoody does exactly what it is supposed to: keep me warm on the coldest days. It has warm pockets and a really thick hood with a cinch to tighten around my face. It’s also awesome that the jacket can stuff into one of its own pockets. I have had a few nights of using this as a pillow also. I love products that have dual uses like this.
- Quality of Materials: The materials in this jacket are top-notch quality. The shell is made from a recycled polyester ripstop with a durable, water-repellant coating; it is a bit abrasion and water resistant. Inside is 600-fill duck-and-goose down. It has stayed puffed up and insulating even through a few washes (I use Granger’s Down Wash and tumble dry on low/no heat to keep the down puffed up).
- Durability: Though I don’t use it as a daily jacket, it is the same outer material as the Patagonia Down Sweater, which I used as a daily jacket for many years. The Down Sweater lasted super well and only got a few tears after all the abuse I put it through (campfires, climbing, etc.). I have used the Hi Loft Down Sweater Hoody for probably close to 50 days and it still looks brand new. Patagonia also has an Ironclad Guarantee on all of their products. If anything were to go wrong—within reason—they will repair or replace their gear at no cost.
- Pockets: There are two zippered hand pockets on the outside and one zippered pocket in the inside chest. My hands stay toasty warm in the outside pockets. The pockets are a bit higher on this jacket in order to keep them functional when wearing a climbing harness.
- Warmth: I am generally a very cold person, and this has kept me warm in temperatures around 10℉ no problem. The hood has a ton of insulation, so it keeps my head warm when that is up, and there is enough insulation around the pockets that my hands stay warm when in the pockets as well.
- Weight: At about 16oz, this jacket is pretty on par with others of the same warmth.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Fit: This jacket fits a bit big. I normally am an extra small, and got a small in this because I wanted to layer under it. I wish I had stuck to the extra small because the small fits more like a medium.
- Style: I wouldn’t wear this jacket around for style. It is puffy, long, and a bit goofy-looking. That being said, I don’t think there are any extremely warm jackets that don’t look funny.
- Waterproofing: Though there is a durable, water-repellent coating on the outside of this jacket, if it starts to snow or rain more than just lightly and for a few minutes, the jacket starts to get wet. Given that it’s down instead of synthetic insulation, it does not retain heat and insulation value well when it gets wet.
- Breathability: This jacket is not intended to be breathable. It is basically Patagonias warmest down jacket intended for the coldest days. If I were looking for a jacket for mountaineering or aerobic activities in the extreme cold, I would get something a bit more technical.
Favorite moment with this gear
In late November, I went with three friends to Moab, Utah. It was terribly cold, and we all ended up sleeping in the same two-person tent to keep warm. This jacket did not come off almost at all until the heater had been pumping for an hour or so in the car on the drive back. One of our friends was doing a photo project and needed to shoot some brand content. A few times throughout the week, I had to take off the jacket to help shoot some content with him, and I was always impressed at how fast I would warm back up when it went back on. I ended up being so happy I bought this jacket because it was a total lifesaver during that trip.
Value for the money vs. other options
At around $300, this seems like an expensive jacket to most. But it’s actually a great deal. Most other jackets in this same category (extremely warm and intended for extremely cold temps) are closer to $500 (The Mammut Meron IN Jacket and the Black Diamond Vision Down Parka). Though the Hi Loft doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles such as a waterproof face fabric, it is just as warm as the others without the higher price tag. For those not doing any extreme mountaineering and in need of heavy-duty waterproofing on the outside of their mega-warm puffy, this is the best bang for the buck.
The Patagonia Women’s Hi Loft Down Sweater Hoody is a great, simple jacket that has kept me warm on some really cold days. I have used it for all sorts of outdoor activities from keeping warm while making breakfast at camp to belaying my friends at the climbing crag in late fall. It’s not the most practical or necessary for day-to-day use given how incredibly warm and thick it is, but I think everyone who recreates year round needs a jacket this thick to keep in the back pocket for those days that are freezing.