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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Patagonia Womens Down Sweater > Owner Review by Frances Penn

PATAGONIA DOWN SWEATER
BY FRANCES PENN
OWNER REVIEW
December 23, 2011

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Frances Penn
EMAIL: fpenn AT sbcglobal DOT net
AGE: 55
LOCATION: Costa Mesa, California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

I have been backpacking for four years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with one- or two-week long trips per year in the Sierras. My daypack weight is usually 15 lb [7 kg] and my backpack weight is usually 28-30 lb [13-14 kg]. I am a tent camper and have experienced snow camp once, all night rain twice and heavy winds but mostly fair weather.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Patagonia, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.patagonia.com
MSRP: US$200.00
Listed Weight: 11.3 oz (320 g)
Measured Weight: 11 oz (312 g)
Other details:
Color: Cerise [bright pink] [Current colors available: Deep Plum, Black, Fennel, Lagoon, Pearl, Mango, Bougainvillea]
Materials: Lightweight, windproof and water-resistant 1.4-oz 20-denier 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell with a high tear-strength DelugeŽ w/DWR (durable water repellent) finish filled with 800-fill power premium European goose down.
Size: Women's Medium [Size XS-XL available]
IMAGE 1
Fran Wearing Jacket

Description: The cerise color I own is similar to the Bougainvillea currently available but a few shades lighter. There are two zippered handwarmer pockets, and one interior zippered stretch mesh pocket which doubles as a stuff sack and has a carabiner clip-in loop. The nylon-bound elastic cuffs and drawcord hem seal in warmth. This jacket can be worn as an outer layer or mid-layer in colder climates. This jacket does not come with a stuff sack. The back pocket is intended as the temporary stuff sack. Patagonia advises the jacket should not be stored stuffed into the back pocket.

FIELD USE

Location: Big Pine Lakes area of the Sierras September 2011.
Elevation: 10,000 ft to 11,500 ft (3,050 m to 3,500 m)
Duration: 3-days, 2-nights
Conditions: Rain and wind
Temperatures: 30 to 40 F (-1 C to 4 C)
I wore the jacket at night in camp over my thermal and light fleece base layer. Since it was raining and windy, I wore my rain jacket on top. I was toasty warm but did not overheat. When I removed my rain jacket to get into my sleeping bag, I was happy to find I did not perspire under all those layers and the cuffs had kept my base layers dry from the windy rain. This jacket is warm and the fit is comfortable.

Location: Dollar Lake in the San Gorgonio Wilderness September 2011
Elevation: 9,500 ft to 11,000 ft (2,900 m to 3350 m)
Duration: 3-days, 2-nights
Conditions: sunny but cool
Temperatures: 30 to 50 F (-1 C to 10 C)
I wore the jacket at night in camp with a lightweight thermal, a heavier thermal, and light fleece underneath. I may not have needed all of these layers, but I am not a fan of being cold. The jacket kept me toasty warm. I had my rain jacket handy to use as an extra layer in case of wind or rain but it was not needed on that trip.

Location: Joshua Tree December 2011
Elevation: 5,000 ft (1,524 m)
Duration: 2-days, 2-nights
Conditions: cloudy and windy
Temperatures: 30 to 50 F (-1 C to 10 C)
I wore the jacket over a lightweight thermal base layer, a heavier weight thermal and a lightweight fleece. There was ice in my water bottle in the morning. Because it was windy during the day, I wore it to hike for a few hours until the wind died down and the sun and hiking warmed us. I was very happy that I did not overheat wearing the jacket for hiking. I was worried I would snag the jacket on the plants we were hiking past and a few small snags did occur. I removed the jacket as soon as I was warm enough to minimize the damage. Since it is only 11 oz (312 g) and highly compressible, it fit easily into my daypack without being stuffed into its back pocket. I did not notice any additional weight or bulk in my pack.

SUMMARY

I am very happy with the jacket's performance, the comfortable feel of the material, the non-bulky feel and the appearance. The medium is a bit large on me in the torso, but I wanted to wear multiple layers underneath if necessary and not feel restrictive and this was accomplished. I was able to stuff it into my down sleeping bag compression sack that had a little extra room. I especially like the lack of bulk as compared to my other down jackets that feel like I am wearing a puffy pillow for a jacket.
The jacket does not come with a stuff sack. Its rear stuff pocket is intended as a temporary stuff sack. I tried stuffing the jacket into the rear pocket and found the result to be too bulky. I contacted Patagonia to see if I could purchase a small stuff sack for this or another jacket and was instructed to use the rear stuff pocket turned inside out as a temporary stuff sack. I tried this method and the results were also very bulky. I achieved better results folding and rolling the jacket and then stuffing it into my pack.

THINGS I LIKE

Warmth to weight is awesome
Lightweight and highly compressible
Non-bulky feel. I almost forget I have the jacket on it is so lightweight.
Comfortable fit for ease of layering
Attractive style and color

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

Expensive
Rear stuff pocket zipper could be a little larger to protect the jacket during the stuffing process.
Sizes run big to allow for layering. I recommend sizing down for a close fit.

SIGNATURE

Frances Penn
E-mail: fpenn AT sbcglobal DOT net

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

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