Weight: 263 g / 9.3 oz
Reviewer Info: 5’10,” 185 lbs.
Color: Bandana Blue
Fit: Slim Silhouette
- Deluge® DWR (durable water repellent) finish
- 800-fill-power premium European goose down for low-bulk warmth
- Variegated channel construction stabilizes insulation and also allows the use of less down, creating an elegant, low-profile garment
- Low-profile, adjustable hood seals out wind
- Zippered pockets: two handwarmers, one chest
- Drawcord hem seals out cold and spindrift
- Self-fabric stuffsack
- Shell and lining: 0.8 oz 10-denier 100% nylon ripstop with a Deluge® DWR (durable water repellent) finish. Insulation: 800-fill-power premium European goose down
Activities: Skiing, hiking, biking, and every other thing a person does while wearing clothes
Days Skied: ~30
Days Worn: ~120
I have been using the Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody for a year now, and it is one of my all-time favorite pieces of gear. It’s not cheap, but there’s nothing chintzy about this jacket. And it might not be perfect (see fit section), but it is very, very good.
Usually for me, a piece of clothing takes awhile to work its way into my regular rotation. And occasionally, a piece just becomes a fixture, and I basically live in it. That’s the case with the Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody. I went from wearing it on occasion to wearing it pretty much every day ever since we went down to Las Leñas, Argentina, last August.
Here’s Patagonia’s own description of the jacket:
“Early starts and late days, mountain summits and shaded belays – all reasons to maximize the spring season and throw in compressible high-loft insulation. Our Ultralight Down Hoody uses top-notch 800-fill-power premium European goose down that traps your heat, and an updated, ultralight yet super tough shell fabric blocks wind and sheds snow with its Deluge® DWR (durable water repellent) finish. The sewn-through construction, tight channel pattern and just the right amount of down increases its versatility for use in more moderate temperatures and diverse activities. The slim silhouette (and low-profile, single-pull adjustable hood) maximizes thermal efficiency and suits its ideal uses: belay parka over light layers at shady springtime crags, minimalist summer alpine bivies and unmatched warmth layered under a shell. Pockets include: two zippered handwarmers and one zippered chest. A drawcord hem helps keep in the heat. Stuffsack included.”
This description is largely spot on, except for one important thing:
If the Ultralight Down Hoody has a “slim silhouette,” then “slim” now means “not slim,” and all of those stories in the newspapers about our expanding waistlines are clearly true.
I measure 42″ through the chest, and the size Large Ultralight Down Hoody fits quite well—it’s neither baggy nor restrictive. I’d call it an “athletic” fit.
I have a 31″ or 32″ waist, however, and I have a lot of extra hoody around my torso. It’s never presented an issue, it just isn’t a “slim” cut.
I’ve said before that I don’t envy ski boot manufacturers, and I don’t envy clothes manufacturers, either. I’d personally like to see Patagonia take in the torso a bit, but there may be a whole bunch of people out there who hope they don’t. I presume Patagonia knows their market, and it seems obvious that it’s better to err on the side of going too big than too small. But I think they ought to at least change the description of the jacket if they don’t intend to make this a true, slim fit.
The torso length of my size Large is 26.5in / 66.7cm, what I would call standard.
The sleeve length, however, is just long enough for me, but will likely run short for someone with long arms. (Reviewer Jason Hutchins is 6’0″, 160 lbs., and has far too much room through the torso, and not enough length through the sleeves—he could use an additional 4-5 centimeters.) I’d see little downside to adding an extra centimeter or two to the sleeve length.
And clearly, this is all good news, bad news, or mixed news—depending on the amount of space you happen to occupy in the universe.
I have a Patagonia Nano Puff pullover (size medium) and a Patagonia Down Sweater (size medium) each from a few seasons ago, and while the size large Ultralight Down Hoody is obviously slightly larger overall, the most pronounced difference between those two jackets and my Ultralight is the amount of extra material around the waist.
And with fit issues out of the way, everything else I’m about to say amounts to, “This jacket is fantastic”…