Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Review | The Best Lightweight Down Jacket?

A down jacket is the ultimate staple item for adventurers and travellers alike. You’ll find hundreds of designs suited to various circumstances, but one that does it all – and does it all extremely well – is the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody.

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody has been a favourite among outdoor adventurers for years and I can honestly say that I wholeheartedly agree. My Down Sweater Hoody has gone with me on every hiking and outdoor adventure over the last 4 years and I can’t rate it highly enough.

If you’re looking for a versatile and high-performance down jacket with a superior warmth-to-weight ratio, then keep reading. In this post, I will dive into every aspect of the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody, from the quality of the materials to the design details that make it stand out. I’ll also share my personal experiences and how it has held up over time. 

Hiking Hannels Spur wearing my Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody and my Osprey backpack

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My Honest Review Of The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Quick Info

Price: $460 AUD
Sizes: XXS – XXL
Shell Material: NetPlus® 100% postconsumer recycled nylon ripstop made from recycled fishing nets with a PFC-free DWR finish
Insulating Material: 800-fill-power 100% Responsible Down Standard down
Weight: 343g
Fit: Regular
Colours: Black, Burl Red, Teal
Sustainability: Recycled Material, RDS Down,
Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty
Activity: Hiking, Casual

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Down Jacket


  • Made with recycled material
  • Responsibly sourced down
  • High warmth-to-weight ratio
  • The perfect fit


  • The thin shell material isn’t as durable as I’d hoped

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is a sustainable and well-balanced down jacket that performs exceptionally well whether you’re camping in the backcountry or simply taking a stroll around town. With its lightweight, stylish and warm design, this down jacket is a great choice to pack for all your travel or hiking escapades.

Aside from the shell being slightly less durable than I’d hoped, the Down Sweater Hoody has been a reliable companion for all of my outdoor adventures throughout Australia and New Zealand over the past 4 years.

Who Is The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody For?

Sunrise on a frosty mountain peak in the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie Down Jacket

Year after year, the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody continues to be one of the top picks for both performance and comfort in the outdoor industry – and it’s easy to see why. It’s the ultimate go-to if you’re searching for a reliable, sustainable and ultralight down jacket that will keep you warm in the mountains and stylish on the streets.

While it isn’t as warm as some of the burlier down jackets on the market, the lightweight design allows for unrestrictive movement while out on the trails. This makes the Down Sweater Hoody the perfect mid-layer beneath a rain jacket when you’re battling the harsh elements.

Warmth Of The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Boiling Jetboil in the snow wearing my Patagonia Down Sweater Down jacket

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody features 800 fill-power RDS down and a fill weight of 150g. Combined with a quilting pattern and horizontal baffles, these attributes create a lightweight down jacket that excels in both warmth and mobility. It has kept me toasty warm while hiking through Australia and New Zealand over the last 4 years.

In addition to its exceptional warmth compared to other options within the lightweight category, such as the Arc Teryx Cerium Hoody, the regular-slim fit facilitates effortless layering on chilly winter nights.

The only downside to the ultralight design of the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is the fact that it can play on the placebo effect – making you feel colder if you’re used to wearing big and burly weighted down jackets.

Furthermore, the thin outer layer will wear down over time and after 4 years of heavy use, I’ve noticed a slightly reduced warmth due to the loss of feathers from scuffs and tiny holes. Though this is a common trait for this type of performance down jacket, regardless of which brand you choose.

Down Sweater Hoody Sizing

Sunrise on St Patricks Head in a Down Sweater Hoody Down Jacket

When it comes to the sizing of the Down Sweater Hoody, Patagonia has truly perfected the design and has created a fit that is true to size. I am 5”5 with an athletic build and a slightly short torso and I purchased the medium which is the perfect size for me.

Often, I find that the arms of a jacket are too tight while the body fits perfectly. This generally forces me to go up a size which results in a baggy fit through the torso and ultimately, less warmth. But the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody has accommodated perfectly for athletic builds and I find that it fits snug in all the right places.

And from the multitude of reviews I’ve read online, the sizing of this jacket is always a point of raving. This makes me feel confident that the design is versatile and the fit accommodates a range of body types.

Finally, someone has made a jacket that is actually comfortable and practical for women! Thank you Patagonia, I absolutely love the fit of this jacket.

For those in Australia, we highly recommend shopping through Wild Earth. They offer a generous 80-day return policy from your order date, providing options for replacements, store credit, or refunds. And based on our experience, their customer service has been impressively fast and supportive.


Golden Sunrise glowing on mountain top while wearing the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Down Jacket

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is designed to be a regular-slim fit that strikes the perfect balance between fitted and baggy. This versatile and purposeful jacket allows ample space for additional base layers or a fleece jacket underneath, while still accommodating an outer shell or rain jacket for added wind protection. Its design ensures both style and functionality, making it an excellent choice for all your hiking and outdoor adventures.

I generally feel the cold more than others and I love that this jacket has the capability of fitting extra layers underneath without making me feel compressed or suffocated. The thin design doesn’t restrict movement when you add base layers or make you feel as if you’re a walking marshmallow.

Another huge tick for the fit of the Down Sweater Hoody is the length. It’s long enough that it doesn’t ride up while wearing my Osprey Backpack, but it’s not too long that it hangs out below my outer shell.

To further customise the fit of the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody, you’ll find a cinch cord at the right hip to adjust the hem. This allows you to cinch the hem tight to avoid cold air from entering. I rarely use this feature as I find the fit of this jacket when I’m at camp to be perfect the way it is.


Wearing the Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket in a hiking tent while cooking dinner

The beauty of any down jacket – other than the incredible warmth they offer – is the comfort in which they provide on any backcountry mission, and the Down Sweater Hoody is no different.

Patagonia have nailed the comfort in every aspect, from perfecting the fit and sizing to creating a lightweight and articulated construction that successfully adds to the overall comfort of this jacket. Plus, you’ll find a storm flap at the chin to prevent any friction from the zipper and the recycled fishnet fabric is smooth and soft on the skin, allowing you to continue feeling comfortable while wearing just a t-shirt underneath.

Is The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Weather Resistant?

Hiking in the snow in Mt Kosciuszko wearing the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

As you would expect from a down jacket, the Patagonia Down Sweater isn’t suited for wet conditions. The non-waterproof shell and untreated down will become soaked and clump if you’re wearing this in the rain, and that will lead to a compromise in insulation. 

With that said, you will find a DWR finish on the Down Sweater Hoody, but this is only a short-term solution in very light precipitation. For hiking in bad weather, you should always have a waterproof jacket handy to layer correctly.

Where the Down Sweater does excel is providing adequate protection from winds. The light 20D Nylon fabric does an exceptional job of keeping you warm as you’re being battered with wind on those summit attempts or when crossing high saddles.

Durability Of The Patagonia Down Sweater

Hiking through the forest in my Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody is constructed with no less care than what you would expect from Patagonia’s unrivalled quality. The high-quality craftsmanship and extra attention to detail result in a jacket that continues to perform incredibly day after day.

After 4 years of heavy use on a multitude of backcountry trips and travel adventures, the zipper still works as if brand new and none of the stitching has pulled. However, it is nearing the end of its life for winter use due to small abrasions and holes that have reduced the amount of insulation.

The outer material of the Down Sweater Hoody is made from 20D recycled fabric and if you compare this to similar down jackets, it is on the thinner side. This does compromise durability and longevity, with small abrasions and holes inevitable if you wear the jacket in rough terrain.

I continuously wore this jacket while hiking and camping in rugged locations and in hindsight, wouldn’t recommend doing so in order to prolong its life. Though this would be my recommendation for any performance down jacket. I do believe that the state that my down jacket is in is predominantly my fault and I would not hesitate to replace my jacket with a new Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody.



Removing gear from a backpack wearing a Patagonia Down Jacket

The hood on the Down Sweater Hoody fits nice and snug with ample space for a beanie underneath. The added cinch adjustment allows for full customisation, which results in a tight and protective fit and only leaves your nose and forehead exposed.

I find the hood to be very comfortable and it stays perfectly in place while walking or at camp, regardless of the wind conditions. My only grievance with the hood is the small space provided in the neck box when this jacket is fully zipped up – but this has been rectified in the current design.

If you aren’t a fan of hooded down jackets, you’re able to purchase the Down Sweater without a hood, though I highly recommend the hooded version if your main use is for winter hiking and backcountry camping trips.


Hands in the hand warmer pockets on my Down Sweater Hoody on a canoe trip in Tasmania

The Down Sweater Hoody is equipped with two standard sized zippered pockets at the waist and an internal zippered chest pocket on the left-hand side. These pockets are large enough to fit all the standard items such as snacks or a phone, but the two external pockets are inaccessible when wearing a backpack with hip straps.

Hem Adjustment

A cinch cord can be found on the right-hand side of the hem at your hip, which allows you to pull the hem in tight to avoid cold air from seeping in. This is a quick and easy to use design that can be altered on the go. However, unlike many women’s jackets which annoyingly flare at the hips, I find that the jacket fits snug around my hips and I rarely need to use this feature.


Placing a PLB in my Hiking Backpack wearing the Down Sweater Hoody

The wrist cuffs on the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody are elasticated and have a good amount of stretch to allow comfort for various users. However, the sizing of the cuffs is a little big for smaller wrists, meaning that unwanted cold air can enter. But there is more than enough room to comfortably wear gloves underneath the cuffs.


Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody recycled outer shell

For those that know Patagonia, you will be well aware that they are industry leaders in sustainability and have been for decades. And I’m more than happy to report that the Down Sweater Hoody doesn’t disappoint on the sustainability front.

The most notable sustainable feature of this jacket is the 100% recycled fishnet Nylon Shell, known as NetShell Plus. Along with an innovative outer shell design, the insulation is 100% RDS Down and this product is also fair trade certified.

Even though I would have liked to see more longevity from this jacket, making lightweight gear like this will always result in a thinner material that is prone to abrasion when worn while hiking in the elements.


Watching sunrise from St Patricks Head in Tasmania wearing my Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody retails in Australia for $480, though you will almost always find a better deal through Wild Earth. This price point makes the down jacket slightly more expensive when compared to similar jackets in the same warmth and weight category.

However, the saving grace is that you’re purchasing a jacket you know has a top-quality build and is at the forefront of innovation and sustainability.

I have gotten 4 years of heavy use out of this down jacket in various conditions that Australia and New Zealand have thrown my way. And even though this jacket is beginning to wear thin and become covered in small repair patches, the Down Sweater Hoody will still be at my side for my summer adventures and any performance-based approaches in which I don’t want to ruin my new jacket.

And after my long experience with the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody, I would not hesitate to pay the same price for a new one in the future.

My Experience With The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Why I Chose The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Having beers at sunset on Cube Rock in Tasmania

After an extensive amount of research, I chose the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody for a multitude of reasons. These are the top factors that encouraged me to buy this down jacket:

  • Patagonia’s dedication to sustainability is second to none
  • The superior build quality that comes from Patagonia is well renowned
  • The widely appraised fit of the jacket, including a longer length and no flaring at the hips
  • The jackets warmth-to-weight ratio was the best I found in my search four years ago – and they have increased its warmth by 29% for the current jacket

How It Performs

After owning the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody for just over 4 years, I can honestly say it has been the best down jacket I’ve ever owned. I have had no issues with the performance of this jacket and other than the thin material wearing out due to abrasions and heavy usage, my Sweater Hoody is still in perfect working order.

I would highly recommend the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody to anyone searching for a performance down jacket that will accompany them on any adventure, from the streets to the mountains.

Where Do I Wear My Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody?

Hiking in Cradle Mountain wearing my Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody Down Jacket

Where don’t I wear the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody!?!

Honestly, I find myself reaching for my Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody for every and all of my hiking adventures – no matter the conditions or time of year. Along with my backcountry trips, I wear this jacket almost every day throughout winter on casual strolls and this is the one jacket I always pack for travel.

It’s versatility and lightweight design means that this jacket is so easy to throw in my pack wherever I go. Plus, I find the stylish design to suit my travels and prevents me from having to pack two jackets on my overseas trips.

Final Thoughts

Beautiful sunrise at the hanging rock in the Blue Mountains, keeping warm in a Patagonia Down Jacket

The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody truly surpassed my expectations, delivering on comfort, sustainability, and warmth just as you would expect from a high-performance down jacket. I would highly recommend this jacket to any adventurer looking for a dependable go-to jacket in any condition or expedition.

I hope this review has helped you make your decision on the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody. If you have any questions or reviews of your own, please feel free to drop them in the comment section below.

Happy Adventuring 🙂