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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Patagonia Down Sweater Full Zip Hoody > Owner Review by Gail StaisilOwner Review:
Patagonia Women's Down Sweater
December 4, 2010
Name: Gail Staisil
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 145 lb (66 kg)
Email: woodswoman2001 AT yahoo DOT com
Location: Marquette, Michigan USA
For the last two decades, backpacking has become a passion. I am a four-season backpacker and an off-trail navigator. Although I do take yearly trips to the American West or Southwest, the majority of my trips are in Michigan and Canada. My pack weight varies considerably, but my base weight is under 14 lb (6.35 kg). I am primarily a tarp camper who averages over 50 nights a year backpacking in a huge variety of weather conditions including relentless rain, wet snow and sub-zero (0 F/-18 C) temps.
The Patagonia Women's Down Sweater Full-Zip Hoody is a lightweight garment that has a water-resistant and windproof shell that is insulated with 800-fill-power goose down. The shell is fabricated with 100 percent recycled polyester ripstop (1.4-oz 22-denier) with a Deluge DWR (durable water repellent) finish. The manufacturer claims that the fabric has a high-tear strength.
The goose down is held in place by sewn-through quilted construction between the shell and lining. The main body of the hoody has wavy-patterned horizontal quilting approximately every 2 in (5 cm). The sides of the hoody have elongated-diamond patterned quilting. The inside front of the hoody has an additional layer of lining over the quilted sections.
The hoody is currently available in a variety of colors as noted in the chart above. The color of the hoody that I own is sort of a Turquoise color with a light Aqua Blue lining. Although the shell is similar to the current shade of Volcanic Blue, it is much darker. The hoody is available in many women's sizes as well as those for men.
I have owned a Patagonia Down Sweater for several years. I loved it and I still do but it was without a hood....a feature that I wear frequently on most all upper-body outdoor garments. I decided to purchase the hooded version almost a year ago. I was able to wear it during the winter as well as all seasons since then. The hood provides perfect warmth to my head worn alone or over a light hat. In fact, there have been many times when I have slept in the hoody without using my sleeping bag hood.
The hooded version of the down sweater is taken on my cold weather trips which means winter, spring and fall here in this climate (I alternate between the hoodless and hoody versions in the summer months (depending on the predicted conditions). I also wear it for active day trips involving hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing (it usually gets stowed after I get warmed up). My down hoody has been worn at least several dozen times for all of the above adventures.
The hoody is also my go-to garment for any time I need a bit of warmth. I've even worn it in my house during the winter months as I rarely keep my house temp about 60 F/16 C (trying to save on resources).
Backpacking trips taken with the hoody were in the states of Michigan, Colorado and California, USA. Most of my area of travel covered hilly boreal and deciduous forests, frozen lakes and mountainous terrain out west. Elevations ranged from 600 ft (183 m) to 13,000 ft (3962 m) and temperatures ranged mostly from below zero (-18 C) to 70 F (21 C).
The Patagonia Women's Down Sweater Full-Zip Hoody is designed with an average cut (Thank you Patagonia!). Although it is not trim fitting, it can be easily layered under a shell jacket or a bulkier down jacket. I have worn it those ways extensively and when I get into camp I layer on the down hoody as fast as I can.
During the spring and fall months I usually top it with a shell but during the winter months I layer a thick down jacket over it to retain my body heat. Sometimes an anorak is placed over those layers as well. I couldn't be more toasty! Underneath the hoody I can easily wear a couple of light layers.
I love the fit of the hoody as it is not restrictive and is very comfortable to wear while doing activity as well as doing camp chores or sleeping. The hood can be adjusted by means of a toggle on the back of the hood. This adjustment will either decrease or increase the width of the hood.
The edges of the sleeves are encased in stretch nylon binding. This soft binding is very comfortable on my wrists and it accommodates nicely any layers underneath it
There are three pockets on the hoody. Two are roomy handwarmer pockets on the front of the hoody while the third is a large mesh pocket inside the hoody which can be used to store the highly-compressible hoody. There is a carabiner clip-in-loop inside the pocket too. While I have used the latter on occasion, I prefer to just stuff the hoody inside a larger storage sack inside my pack.
The bottom edge of the hoody features a toggle to adjust the fit of the hem. The loop of elastic that is funneled through this toggle is further secured by a loop that is sewn into the side seam of the jacket. This prevents the loop from just dangling beneath the hem of the down hoody. This is an example of the attention-to-detail attributes that I can count on from the manufacturer.
Needless to say, the full-zip hoody is an incredibly comfortable garment. It is non bulky but very warm for the weight. The lack of bulk makes it an attractive and versatile hoody to wear at any time.
The down hoody is easy to care for. I've only had to hand wash it a few times with down-specific soap and that is not because it looked soiled but rather that I thought it just needed cleaning. Unlike some other brands of down clothing that I own, I have not noticed any down coming through the tightly woven fabric. The fabric of the shell has also held up well with no abrasions.
I can't say enough about the merits of the Patagonia Women's Down Sweater Full-Zip Hoody. Although I would consider this garment to be expensive (even though I bought it at a reduced price), it has brought me so much warmth and comfort that it is worth it. In fact when people ask me what is the piece of gear that I can not live without on any backcountry trip, I always reply "a down sweater". The fact that it has a hood is a true bonus for me and it now has become my favorite down sweater.
Read more gear reviews by Gail Staisil
Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Patagonia Down Sweater Full Zip Hoody > Owner Review by Gail Staisil