Patagonia Down Jacket
Fabric: DWR Nylon
Price Paid: $175
PROS: Easy to wear, warm, cheap for what you get, looks good, tons of extra features, plenty colors to choose from, Patagonia's great warranty and astute Eco awareness for their products during production.
CONS: Outershell (especially around collar and sleeves) still picks up oils and dirt from skin easily (even if you are clean), Off the rack the fit is boxy and stiff but jacket eventually breaks in and fits better.
I have had two experiences with the "Patagonia Down Jacket". The first was horrible when I purchased the previous model of this jacket during the winter 2002/2003. I got it in the bright green color and found myself freezing on the streets of NYC during a brisk windy 30 degree evening whiles in line to get into a night club. The problem with that model was the collar was not high enough, and the short hem and sleeves left key areas exposed and any sort of draft blowing would come right inside. Also the ultra wispy thin silky shell fabric picked up tons of dirt and plenty of those annoying zipper snags that only happen when you need to zip up quickly to keep the cold out.
Now four years later I returned to find Patagonia's has revamped this jacket with a more durable dirt resistant and zipper sang proof outershell, a much higher and now fleece-lined collar, fleece lined pockets, longer sleeves and a more protective hem. For these improvements I'm a happy customer of this jacket this time around. For the price ($170-$199) and quality, this jacket is a big bargain compared to similar North Face Jackets going for $230 (TNF Flash) $250 (The Elysium) and $300 (TNF Prism Optimus).
This 2007/2008 winter season Patagonia currently have 4 down jackets/pullovers, this one being the cheapest of the lot and the warmest-for-the-price. A store guy tried to get me to buy the much thinner more pricey 800 fill Down Sweater/Jacket claiming it was warmer than this jacket. For obvious reasons I didn't believe him. It's true, on paper 800 fill down is better quality than 700 fill, which may or may not translate into warmth per feather, but Kindergarten-logic suggests if you use less feathers in the the 800 fill Down Sweater/Jacket and more in the 700 fill, then the 700 fill is warmer. That is just a little FYI for those curious shoppers who will eventually get the lecture on why you must buy the $250 Down Sweater over the $199 Down Jacket (or why you should buy any 800 fill jacket over a 700 or 650 fill).
I'm not sure I will take this on Ice Climbing or any Winter Camping trips (Even though Patagonia's website recommends I do) but for the usual Urban/Suburbia running around this easy to wear jacket will get its fair share of use and should make me very happy.
Fabric: Not sure
Fill: 700 (I think)
Price Paid: $180
So I bought this as a belay coat a couple of years back and I have been greatly impressed. I have worn it on three snowy camps and one Teton summer ascent and it has worked great.
The real beauty of Patagonia is that their stuff is so thoughtfully designed. I was noticing new things about my coat on the third trip... My wife has a similar (but a couple of years older) North Face jacket that does not compress as well, rides up when leaning over and has uneven distribution of feathers often (you can fluff up down parkas like you would a down pillow). I hardly loose and feathers and this coat (even though its not a hoodie) has kept me warm! I do regret not buying a hooded down coat though.
I have worn this coat several times in drizzle and the coat was able to bead off water...
I imagine that the 700 fill down is probably not as warm as the 850+ that you can get now but I tell you what you can notice the difference of quality from the 650 fill power.
Over all this coat was a decent value and has served me well.
Price Paid: $112
Great value for money. Bought it at Patagonia's online winter sale. Nicely fitted for the female form. Sits over the waist. Long enough, but not too short like the Mountain Hardwear down jacket. Extra long arm cover is great. Drawcord waist adjusters keep the cold out. Overall, it's bang for your buck. Recommended.
Price Paid: $199
This is a great basic down jacket. No frills. Two handwarmer pockets (that are actually warm because they are behind the down), one inside pocket (small and flat) and drawcords at the waist. Pretty warm. Great for keeping warm while rock climbing or camping, and equally suited for around town.