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Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket

photo: Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket fleece jacket

A great jacket or sweater alternative. Has become a go-to item in my closet.

Pros

  • reinforced seams stitching
  • recycled fabric
  • side pockets
  • chest pocket
  • midweight but warm
  • breathable
  • durable

Cons

  • arms are slim cut
  • doesn't stop wind
  • no water repellency

I bought this about 3 to 4 years ago. I've worn it more this winter than any other time. The fabric is comfortable and a nice weight. My favorite days to wear it were when I layered it with a mock-neck poly base layer and a shell for XC skiing on a sunny day. It breathed well and was warm enough when covered to not get me chilled when I stopped to eat. Without the shell wind cuts through it, but it's called a sweater for a reason, not meant to be a coat.

The sleeve are a slim cut and I had heard this from others before I got it. It's difficult to layer over a heavier base garment, so don't expect to put it on over another mid layer type item. Out in the fall I've worn a mid-weight Helly Hansen top or a 32degrees thin long sleeve base layer and was fine.

For casual wear this has become my go-to item to throw over a t-shirt for grocery runs. I usually wear a large and it's true to fit except for the sleeves being slim cut. If I had gone with a size up it would have been too loose in the torso. Last winter I noticed it didn't have zipper pulls of any type so I added them to help when I'm wearing gloves. I've considered spraying it with a water repellent treatment to fend off any rain on misty days.

IMG_3800.jpg
Patagonia Better Sweater

 

Experience

Several fall, spring, and winters with this item. It's been hiking and XC skiing on ungroomed trails. I'm trying to recall if it's been 3 or 4 years now since I bought it. In a mist it starts to get wet, with anymore than that it can get soggy. I know because I got caught without a shell when on a trail in the Cuyahoga Valley when rain hit.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $85

SO many pockets! Cozy, convenient zip pockets and inside drop pockets, easy to clean and versatile. My staple camping and hiking companion and an alternative to a hoodie. No need for a scarf because the zip goes all the way up to the collar and it doesn't scratch your chin.

Great for any women's shape and honestly it's pretty flattering. I'm usually a Small but opted for the Medium to wear layers comfortably underneath.

Pros

  • Fabric isn't scratchy or itchy
  • Full zip
  • Comfy around neck
  • Zipped handwarmer pockets
  • Doesn't ride up in the back
  • Edging and seams are lined
  • Color choices
  • Patagonia quality

Cons

  • Can shrink in the wash / dryer
  • Patagonia prices $$$

Women tend to get the short end of the stick when it comes to outdoor clothing, thankfully this is slowly changing and companies can see we are a huge market. 

I got the Better Sweater in Birch White. I fit perfectly into the women's small however, I ended up going home with the Medium.

Here's why: the Patagonia staff weren't sure if it would shrink in the wash or dryer (it did just a little, I can tell when the zippers do the "bacon" curl). I washed on a tap cold normal cycle and medium/low heat in the dryer. The slight shrinkage didn't affect the wear or fit — I still love this sweater.

Ever so slight zipper "bacon" curl.
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Another reason I went for the Medium is I like to layer, and I don't like that feeling of something riding into my armpits, or having movement restrictions with my clothing. This sweater fit is true to size, some might say it's on the larger end, but I think that's just way it's supposed to fit. 

This jacket is for light wear, it definitely would hold up to 50°F/10°C and with a slight wind. Any colder that's when you'd have to start layering. I wore this sweater with a tank top hiking, it was around 70/75°F in and out of shade. I didn't have a problem with moisture as the fabric is quite breathable and doesn't really hold onto sweat, in addition to the benefits of a full length zip you can adjust accordingly to your body temperature and most importantly your comfort.

I haven't yet to see any pilling from my backpack straps. I'm guessing with more wear I might notice pilling, but thus far none at all and I have't gotten snagged or caught on any branches or twigs.

The Better Sweater has 5 pockets total, 3 with zippers and 2 drop pockets on the inside. The pockets are all lined and the one on the arm isn't bulky or uncomfortable even when it has contents (Lara bar and M&M's). Did I mention I love pockets! I like to have my phone securely in place, gloves, light, lip balm, knife etc, anything I can fit into my pockets so I don't have to go back and forth around camp. There's also a sense of security when you have zips on your pockets.

Another notable feature is this sweater is made from bluesign approved fabric, meaning it's made with low impact dyes and reduced consumption in the production process.

In conclusion I would recommend this sweater to my closest friends and even my frenemies. It's a great versatile garment and I'm glad I own one.  

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $140

Great jacket for hiking and daily wear. Perfect for chilly fall weather.

Pros

  • Lightweight and warm
  • Love the fit—not a tight tapered fit
  • Material is nice—soft and holds up well

Cons

  • Wish it had a hood
  • Bit pricey

I love this jacket and wear it often. It is perfect for layering for hiking. I got a large, so there is plenty of room for clothes underneath (I usually get a medium).

Fit is nice—not too tight in arms, etc.

Very comfortable for everyday use. I also like the pockets.

Source: received it as a personal gift

The Better Sweater is light and warm. The stand-up collar keeps out drafts.

Pros

  • Light
  • Packable
  • Warm

Cons

  • None that I'm aware of

Comfortable and warm with a zip-up collar. It was the best garment to withstand the cold and mist of the San Francisco waterfront and out on the bay on a breezy day.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $80

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Specs

Men's
Price MSRP: $129.00
Current Retail: $139.00-$149.00
Historic Range: $49.95-$149.00
Reviewers Paid: $80.00-$85.00
Weight 16.4 oz / 465 g
Fabric 9.5 oz 100% Polyester, Sweater-Knit Exterior, Fleece Interior
Women's
Price MSRP: $129.00
Current Retail: $139.00-$149.00
Historic Range: $54.83-$150.00
Reviewers Paid: $140.00
Weight 17.2 oz / 488 g
Fabric 9.5 oz 100% Polyester, Sweater-Knit Exterior, Fleece Interior
Boys'
Price Current Retail: $99.00
Historic Range: $25.73-$99.00
Girls'
Price Historic Range: $43.83-$89.00
Product Details from Patagonia »

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