Product Review: Patagonia’s Better Sweater ¼ Zip

By: Levi Opsatnic


It seems that each year, I end up buying some form of Patagonia sweater as soon as the first sign of fall rears its head. Last year, I had a real toss-up between the Better Sweater and Lightweight Synch Snap-T. I ended up opting for the Synch and am still happy with my purchase. This year, however, I wanted something a bit different than last. I definitely wanted something more durable than the double-faced fleece that Patagonia uses in their Synchilla line, and I also wanted something with a slightly classier look that could carry me from the trout stream to a more-formal setting with ease. Being that last year I was on the fence about the Better Sweater and that this year’s line of colors are pretty flawless, I decided it was finally time to take the plunge.

Upon cracking my package open, I immediately noticed that this piece had a very versatile and appealing look–just what I was looking for. However, that’s only one of the many appealing aspects of the Better Sweater. Crafted with a sweater-knit exterior and a super soft and fuzzy fleece interior, I’ve found that this piece offers excellent heat-retention on the inside and a durable outer that doesn’t gasp at the sight of a thorn bush. Not only that, but it seems, to me at least, that my Better Sweater gives you an instant warming effect as soon as you put it on. This, in turn, makes this piece an excellent choice whenever you’re looking for a lightweight mid-layer. With the addition of a hardshell on the outside, I’ve worn my Better Sweater during cold days on the stream, and I can confidently say that it’s kept me nice and cozy.

You’d think that with a great look and just the right construction, that the Better Sweater’s fun has to end there, however, that’s simply false. A few of the more minor details that really complete this piece are things like a very spacious, yet not-so-droopy napoleon pocket that stores anything from your cell phone to a quick trailside snacks, as well as an intricate flat-knit set of seams that won’t cause any irritation, and will also hold up really well to you day-to-day adventures.

Will I say I love my Better Sweater? Well, actually I will. So far, it’s been able to accompany me essentially anywhere I go; whether it’s a trout stream, a casual dinner, a fireside lounge, or just a day at work, I’ve been able to count on my Better Sweater to get the job done. And for that, I can say that this has surely become my go-to piece for this season.

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