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Gear Review

5 5

Patagonia Down Sweater Rocks!

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Over the past two years, I've worn my Down Sweater (Jacket) on over 100 miles of alpine backpacking trips. I prefer mid-September trips in the Colorado and Wyoming Rockies where nighttime temps dip into the low 20's. In addition to premium, 800-fill down, the Down Sweater has hand warmer pockets, a waist cinch and a tall collar to keep you warm. The cut is a little boxy but it still fits nicely under my trim-fit shell (Adidas Terrex / Gore-Tex Active Shell). In my pack, it compresses down to almost nothing.
I'm a tenth-of-an-ounce counter and my Down Sweater - a medium 2010 "Special Edition" - comes in at an impressive 9.4 oz. (helping to keep overall pack weight in my target range). As with some of the best backpacking gear, my Down Sweater has dual functionality: I use it in conjunction with an inflatable ExPed pillow to create a really comfortable backcountry pillow. In the morning, I pull it out, throw it on and I'm ready for a chilly morning cup of coffee (see pic).
My only concern for these down sweaters/jackets is how ubiquitous they've become. On a recent Oktoberfest night in downtown Vail, it appeared that 1 in 3 vacationers sported the trendy duds. Because I'm lemming-averse, I may not wear my Down Sweater in public, but I'll ALWAYS have it with me on cool-weather backpacking trips.

Patagonia Down Sweater Rocks!