Expert Review: Patagonia Women's Down Sweater

This review is my honest opinion of the jacket which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.

A woman at the top of a rock climbing route smiling and doing something with ropes.

All photos courtesy of Hunter Reed

Published on

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.

My Take

The Patagonia Women's Down Sweater Jacket is a versatile, warm option that is great for wearing under a ski shell on cold days, on camping trips in the spring and fall, or just around town in the winter months.

A woman holding a cup and wearing a jacket reaching into a car.

About the piece

  • Model: Patagonia Down Sweater
  • Size: S
  • Fit: Runs Small

About me

  • Height: 5’3”
  • Weight: 110 lbs.
  • Experience: 20+ years

Test conditions

  • When I bought this: December 2021
  • Days tested: 100
  • Where I’ve used it: Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado
  • Conditions I’ve used it in: Cold windy days, snowy and wet days, Apres, around the home, casual days or nights out.

How it performs

Breathability
4/5
Comfort
5/5
Durability
4/5
Style
5/5
Warmth
5/5
Waterproofing
2/5

What I was looking for

I was looking for a day-to-day puffy jacket that would last for a long time. I wanted something that was down and would be really warm for a mid-layer while I was skiing, but could also be used for camping, hiking, climbing, and just wearing around town in the winter.

Why I chose this gear

I chose the Patagonia Down Sweater because it’s very versatile and a well-known, quality product. I had already owned one previous to purchasing this one in 2021 that had lasted me maybe 8ish years. I still have the other one and although it has a lot of holes and the down isn’t as puffy in the arms as it once was, it's still a great backup jacket to keep in the car in case I ever get into an emergency situation. I knew that I liked the fit of this jacket and I had looked around for something similar, but nothing quite compared. I also like Patagonia’s repair and warranty program and knew that even if the Patagonia Down Sweater was a bit pricey, it would last forever and if anything were to happen I could always get it repaired.

A woman in a jacket is walking through a slot canyon. There is a happy dog in front of her.

What I love about it

  • Range of Motion: The jacket is very versatile and can be worn in a wide array of activities such as skiing, hiking, camping, climbing, fishing, or walking the dog around the neighborhood. No matter the activity I am doing in it I have never felt like my range of motion is restricted.
  • Design: It's really functional, there are two pockets on either side and a larger pocket on the inside. The jacket can also stuff into one of the pockets and it serves as a stuff sack—which is a nice feature as it makes it easy to pack along on camping trips. This feature also makes it an awesome choice to bring instead of a pillow for camping since it’s roughly the same size packed up as a camping pillow would be.
  • Style: I liked that this women’s down jacket wasn't as tight-fitting and did not flare out at the bottom as much as many other similar designs from other brands do. It annoys me that so many of them are tight around the waist and flared at the bottom instead of just the classic cut. It makes it hard to layer underneath and just looks awkward on me. I liked the shape of the Patagonia Women’s Down Sweater as it was a looser, non-form-fitting cut.
  • Quality of Materials: The down is really high quality and if it’s taken care of properly, will stay puffy and warm for a long time. I have washed mine with down wash detergent and dried on low heat and only after about 8ish years did my other one finally start to feel not as puffy, and that was only in the arms which are the highest wear areas.
  • Warmth: The Down Sweater is incredibly warm. I don’t like to use this jacket skiing on spring days because I know I will overheat, but on those days that it's hard to get in the car because I know it’s going to be freezing on the mountain all day, I can put this puppy on and know that I will be warm and comfortable all day.
  • Weight: Since it’s down instead of synthetic insulation, it is really lightweight and easy to toss in a backpack as an extra layer.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Waterproofing: It has a durable water repellent on the jacket, but it is not waterproof. In light rain or snow, the moisture will bead up, but anything heavier and it will soak through. It’s also worth noting that because this jacket is down instead of synthetic insulation if it does get wet, it will not keep wearers very warm. For those who usually hike/ski/camp in really wet conditions, a synthetic option would be better since the synthetic material will retain some of its warmth capabilities even when it’s wet. That being said, for those planning on keeping it dry and using a shell over it in downpour/heavy wet snow situations, it will do well.
  • Durability: It is a softer face fabric so it does rip more easily than some other jacket faces might. I try not to wear it if I am going to be bushwhacking at all because I am worried it will rip.
Three people starting a fire outside in a fire ring.
A hand next to a packed up jacket.

View when its rolled into its pocket/stuff sack. Hand for scale - great size for a camping pillow!

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with this gear was on a backpacking trip in Colorado. It had been really rainy and terrible weather all day and my boots and pants were soaked. It was a lot more hiking than we had anticipated and had kind of been a rough day terrain-wise. I had brought this puffy just in case I needed an extra layer, not anticipating everything would be soaked and that it would be so cold. I pulled it out just as the rain stopped and unzipped it from its stuff sack pocket. It was totally dry since it had been in my pack and was able to warm me back up even though I had been freezing from being wet all day and thought I would never feel warm again. I wore it through setting my gear up and making dinner, and the next morning the weather got better. I think if I had not had this with me, I might have had a bit of a meltdown just from being cold and uncomfortable, so I am so glad I had ended up tossing it in my pack!

Value for the money vs. other options

It’s a classic jacket that Patagonia has really dialed in. The warmth and fit are top-notch, especially in a women’s jacket as I mentioned above in the style section. When thinking about other options I was mostly checking out men’s options in other brands because I hate the tight-waisted, bottom flared cut that so many women’s down jackets similar to this one have. But, overall, men’s jackets are wider in the shoulders so not a good fit for me either. The Patagonia Women’s Down Sweater is really the perfect mixture of classic women’s jackets but without being too form-fitting. It is also really high quality and I like the peace of mind that comes with knowing Patagonia has an awesome warranty and repair program. It’s really versatile so I get a ton of use out of it and with how long my first Patagonia Down Jacket lasted me, I am happy to purchase another one as I know it’s an investment that will last me a very long time.

Final verdict

The Patagonia Women’s Down Jacket is pretty hyped up, but with good reason. It is one of the most versatile pieces one can get that will be there for them through all their skiing, hiking, climbing, and camping adventures. It’s really easy to throw in a backpack as an extra layer due to its packability and low weight and can double as a camping pillow. Overall, it’s one of the warmest jackets I own and I would be happy to purchase one over and over again, though I know I won't need to for many years to come since they last for so long.

Selling Patagonia on Curated.com
Patagonia Women's Down Sweater Insulated Jacket
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Written By
Hey there! My name is Hunter and I grew up in Ogden, Utah - one of the most underrated places for skiing IMO (but shh don't tell your friends). I considered leaving the state for college for all of five minutes until I realized the access to skiing, climbing, etc. in Utah is unparalleled. So I just...

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