A New Favorite
This is an amazing piece of gear. I am very particular about what jackets I rely on and for years reached for one or another Arc Teryx soft shell to suit my needs. But I had been looking, for some time, for a light, down, extremely compressible jacket that provides greater warmth than a soft shell. I did not need to look any further than the M's Down Sweater. Backed by the Patagonia reputation for quality, this great, extremely versatile jacket seems to be on me almost every day, in some fashion, whether the thermometer reads 25 or 50. I have abandoned my $1K, tailor-made overcoat and replaced it with the M's Down Sweater as my go-to-work winter garb. Instead of reaching for a sweatshirt when going out in the yard to play with my three year old, I reach for this, knowing it is durable, light, and easy to move around in. As long as I travel to anywhere there is liable to be a chill, this will be in my bag, since it costs nothing in space and weight. I am 5'9" 190 lbs and the large fits perfectly. In fact I could easily wear a thick fleece beneath it as well as a shell over it (together) making it a formidable layering option. I got the alpha green, which is the same color as the US Army ACU green (fleece) so those who are downrange could easily wear this under their ACUs for extra warmth. Special Forces could even wear it on top since they don't mind getting yelled at for being out of regulation. For me, living in Tokyo, the most important aspect is that it is so compact. You can wear it while commuting, take it off in the train, stuff it into a small backpack or camera bag, and enjoy the ride in comfort; it is that easy to get in and out of. I could gush on for hours about this jacket. Suffice it to say, I love it, and am certain that anyone who lays out the $200 for it will as well. Considering what 200 bucks buys these days, once you get this baby out of the box and slide into it you will realize what a value it is. Those on the fence about getting the M's or W's Down Jacket need to get off. Buy it, you won't regret it. This is my first jacket review, and seeing as I will probably keep an M's Down Sweater in my inventory for the rest of my life, it may well be my last.
Wonderful Warmth, fickle fit...
This is perhaps the best coat I'll ever own, because of it's warmth, convenient light-weight and durability. I fear getting the jacket wet, so I also bought Patagonia's Rain Shadow jacket, and the two together are a real power team...! Here in flat, open Columbus Ohio, the cold wind is merciless... but I don't feel a lick of it when I wear these two jackets together. Even alone, the down sweater provides sufficient protection from the wind. With a hooded sweatshirt underneath the down sweater, or even just a t-shirt, I find it to be perfectly warm (and I am ALWAYS cold). What I like best about the down sweater is that I can wear it inside, too, because it vents well when it's unzipped.
I am built a lot like a giraffe... tall and skinny... and the down sweater is not the perfect fit for me. The jacket is designed to have a "regular fit," which for the "regular" person would allow room for a hooded sweatshirt or any sweater underneath... but for me, "regular fit" means I could fit seven more of Me in the coat. I considered buying the First Ascent down jacket that is of similar quality, because it is "form fitting." I feel like it would be warmer if it's closer to the torso. I decided on the Patagonia because 1) they had the color I wanted, 2) it's a brand I know I can trust and 3) I think it folds up even smaller than the First Ascent. Surprisingly, the sleeves on the Patagonia down sweater are long enough for me, which is rare. I describe the fit as "too small" because I would make the jacket a little bit longer in the trunk, but that's considering that I'm built like Gumby. Most people wouldn't think it's too small.
To summarize, I highly recommend the down sweater. I'm using it right now as a winter coat (averaging 2 shirts underneath, or a sweatshirt on single-digit days, and always a knit hat), and I imagine it will be the perfect early spring/late fall jacket with only a t-shirt underneath.
However, I would only buy this as an everyday jacket if you will have a hard-shell/rain coat on-hand... i.e. I keep mine in my backpack, or I just wear it. If it starts raining really hard, the water-proof coating on this down sweater wouldn't protect the down feathers. (I highly recommend Patagonia's Rain Shadow as a good, lightweight, waterproof exterior shell.)
A Solid Product
As a winter sports professional, I use this item in a variety of conditions. It is a typically well manufactured and solid Patagonia product, better, though not exceptionally so, than all of its competition in either down or synthetic fill. I find it to be at its best as a mid layer. The fit (and I chose it for fit over several other, similar pieces) is somewhat baggy through the torso on me (5' 10" / 150 lbs) to be a good outer layer without a sweater, sweatshiirt underneath to make up for the open airspace. I've worn it in combinations with a Patagonia Better Sweater (@ 20 - 30 deg. F, warm and toasty), a uniform sweatshirt (@ 40 - 50 deg. F, just fine), under a Marmot Precip (@ 50+ deg. F w/drizzle, just fine) and over just a T shirt (@ 60+ deg. F, just fine). Some of my colleagues that have both this and the Patagonia Nano Puff prefer the Nano Puff, though that seems to be more of a "keeping it dry" preference. All agree that the Down Sweater is the warmer, though only slightly, of the two. I haven't had a problem keeping it dry, but have never had it out in real rain. It is a very popular item with my colleagues and most wear it as an outer layer in mild winter conditions. It seems to "breath" well without any internal condensation build up and it does compress to a small ball (I am not 100% sure if the internal pocket is designed to be a reversable stuff sack, when I tried to use it in this manner, it seemed really a tight fit). It does leak a little down, but there isn't any noticible problem here other than the odd feather on my sweater or shirt. You can definitely do worse than this product and it certainly works as advertised.
This jacket is as close to perfection as you could come. It is exactly like the description say it is and it is as good as everyone says it is in the other reviews. Most of the time I can't believe how warm it is and yet it's so "extremely light",warm and unbelievably good looking for a "down" jacket.. I live in Beijing, China and the winters are very cold. I have worn this in all kinds of conditions as insulation and as a all around jacket. The later is incredible because it seems to be perfect for a very large temperature range. From a little cool to just plain cold. When it gets really cold I wear it as a insulation (it's perfect for that because the cut is nice and trim and doesn't bulk up inside of a jacket..) or put something inside (it's perfect for that because the jacket is expands easily in the sleeves and torso but still looks good when you wear something underneath)
Everyone is always talking about how great technically Patagonia is and how long the clothes last (I have an original rain jacket that I bought in 1988 and it's still holding up......) and both things are true.
But the bottom line for me is that I HAVE TO LOOK GOOD ha ha ha ha....and the Down Sweater makes me look ike a movie star...........!
I use this jacket as a warm layer on long-distance backpacking trips. Using this jacket and a regular rain coat, I can handle temps well down into the 20's. I usually hike only in the rain coat as adding this jacket is too hot and it will get wet from sweat (not good for down).
I add this jacket under my rain coat during breaks and in camp at night. It makes a huge difference in temp and comfortability, but the real benefit is in the weight and size of the jacket. My buddy packs in a rain coat and full size (non-down) parka for cold nights. He is carrying needless weight and bulk when the Patagonia jacket allows me to turn my rain coat into a jacket as warm as his parka and at very little weight and size penalty.
Patagonia makes exceptional products and the quality of this jacket is great. My only con is the fit. As another reviewer noted, this jacket runs big at the top and in the sleeve holes. I ordered my usual size L and it fits more like an XL. I probably should have returned it for a size smaller and I suggest you consider that when you order yours.
Best Travel Jacket
For traveling in the winter time, you can't get a better piece of kit. We took these jackets (my wife and son have one too) to Africa when we left the US. It was a tropical winter in Africa so we knew we wouldn't need them but summer in the US. They packed down so small but were great in the plane when it was cold. When we returned to the US from Mozambique in January, we left 100 F degree temperatures and stepped off the plan in Utah to 25 F; quite a shock. Luckily our down sweaters kept the cold at bay. Because of their compressability I take mine anywhere that it may be under 55F. It is lightweight enough that it doesn't add to luggage weight or bulk and can be worn easily under a rain shell in nasty weather. Stick a cotton hoody under it and increase the warm factor by several degrees. The DWR finish works great for dry snow and light rain. The styling is great because you don't look like a Michelin man. You can wear this with slacks and a tie to church or a business meeting on a cold day or just as easily with jeans and a t-shirt. Fantastic!
After wearing my M's Down Sweater daily for over a year (men's size xs because I HAD to have the yellow). I have endured daily taunts from my boyfriend; he suggested it become my new uniform because it never seemed to come off of me. Not unlike Fonzi from Happy Days he envisioned me opening my closet to seven of the exact same outfits...one for every day of the week. The only thing that would make it better is if it was designed as a full suit with feet so I wouldnât even have to bother with regular clothes or shoes. I could just pad around the world, safe in my little down cocoon. Fast forward to Christmas, guess what I got him? Mâs down sweater size large in brown. He hasnât taken it off since. He declares his love for it almost daily, and struggles to theorize just why. There is something otherworldly about the weightless warmth, comfort and freedom of movement it provides. He wears it around the house in Southern California with the same ease as on recent trip to -20F Alaska as a layering piece. The Down Sweater is the 3 Wolf Moon of Patagonia and now we are howling together.
I split my time between Arizona and Alaska(spending one week in AK per month and much of my summer there) and this jacket gets worn in both places. It isn't uncommon for me to leave AZ in a t-shirt and this jacket on as an outer layer. When I land, I can add another long sleeve shirt, pull out a heavier jacket (change my sneakers to boots!) and use the down as a mid-layer. It is versatile, holds warmth well and it looks good. I've worn it a lot in 2 months and its shown no signs of wear. I bought this jacket to replace a Patagonia pull over down sweater. The quality is solid and technically it works as it should. I like the full-length zipper on this jacket, although I miss the chest pocket on the previous jacket (which I wore hard for 7 years, before needing to replace it). Overall, this is a great jacket--I bought the blue and the jacket receives a lot of compliments. Others have asked about fit. It's a roomy jacket--I'm solidly built; 5'08" 210 and the xl is a roomy fit; I could have easily gone with the large and still had some room.
Versatile, Warm & Well-Styled
Perfect solution to November winds and frosty morning walks with the dogs. Breaks the breezes but still breathes. I have been using Regulator Wear (r2/r3) and been too chilly (r2) or too warm (r3). I sometimes put on a shell, but that is really for hearty winds; in normal conditions, even the best shell compromises breathability. My arms get cold in a down vest when the temps drop, so that is limited. The good old down insulation in this piece with a tapered fit is a more versatile solution than my Regulator Wear, shells or down vest. It is so versatile that I can wear it inside after coming home and forget I have it on ...except that I am toasty warm. Things I like best about this down sweater:
- it breathes --really breathes
- fit is tapered but not tight
- breaks the wind
- accommodates a wide range of temps (25-50 degrees)
- feather weight, but warmth feels like there is ample insulation
- Patagonia quality This has become my go-to piece for maximum versatility in when special purpose gear isn't necessary. A new favorite when temps drop below 40 and/or the wind picks up. Great job Patagonia! A SUPERB piece in every way.
why did I wait so long?
I know that hundreds of reviews have already been written about this coat but I have to add yet another. I picked this up during the 50% off sale in late summer and was wearing it around the house even when it was still warm outside. It just feels good to wear this sweater. This is my first down piece of any kind and I adore it. Now that the Virginia mornings has turned chilly I can't wait to put on my sweater and get outside. It's so versatile too. I can wear it to work in the morning zipped when it's chilly but I'm not overheating when I go out to lunch or eat lunch in the shade outside. I'm just wearing it over short sleeved shirts too. I'm sure I'll be toasty warm in winter with a base layer. Bottom line, it's just one of those pieces of clothing that everyone should have and makes me happy when I wear it. After wearing it for a couple of weeks, I'd still have paid full price but to snatch this up during the 50% off sale feels like getting away with something.