By: Levi Opsatnic
In most cases, I like the age old adage of: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, when I found out that Patagonia was putting a twist on their classic Down Sweater with the creation of their Down Snap-T Pullover, my interest was immediately piqued.
I’ve always been a fan of Patagonia’s Down Sweater. It’s a great jacket on chilly days, it’s an even better midlayer on freezing days, it’s as packable as you could ask for, it looks pretty darn sharp, and nowadays, it’s constructed with 100% traceable down. Realistically, I don’t think that you could ask for much more out of a jacket. Since Patagonia has already recruited me as a loyal Down Sweater customer, I decided that I’d test the waters with their Snap-T version.
In the past, I’ve owned a few of Patagonia’s quarter zip/snap styles, like their Lightweight Synch and their Better Sweater. I’ve found that these are great pieces, and that I thoroughly enjoy having the ventilation in my upper half whenever I need it. And while the ventilation comes in handy with those two fleeces, I want to say that it’s even more convenient in their Down Snap-T–when things get a little too toasty, unsnap a few buttons and you’re good to go.
Similar to a lot of Patagonia’s products, their Down Snap-T has an ethical and environmental backstory that everyone should love. This jacket features a 100% recycled polyester exterior that’s treated with a DWR finish to provide some convenient weather-resistance. Though, Patagonia’s responsibility doesn’t stop there, as this jacket is insulated entirely with 600- fill recycled down. It’s tough to say whether fully traceable down or recycled down is better for the environment, so I think that we can chalk this one up to a win either way you look at it.
Now, in terms of performance, I think that this jacket does surpass their standard Down Sweater; of course, that is a matter of my own opinion. One thing that I do really like about the lack of zipper is the excess of insulation. Down is a great insulator, without a doubt. It offers breathability, natural cleanliness, compressibility, and excellent heat-retention, which works by trapping your body’s natural heat in the small spaces found in the down clusters. However, it’s pretty hard to keep everything insulated whenever a zipper runs down the center of the jacket. While this isn’t really something that you’ll always notice, I feel that the more “complete” design of their Snap-T offers just a little extra warmth.
Whether I’m walking about town, casting a fly during the day, or wandering through the woods on a snowy evening, I’ve been able to count on this piece to get the job done.