Warm, functional and understated, the Hi-Loft Down Hoody is a great choice for anyone looking for something warmer than your average packable puffy – as long as you don’t mind a slight weight penalty and are certain you can keep it dry.
High quality manufacturing
Great for easy exercise in cold, dry weather
Comes with a lifetime guarantee
Packs into its own pocket
Not suitable for strenuous activity
Wets out quickly in heavy rain
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Patagonia Men’s Hi-Loft Down Hoody: first impressions
The Patagonia Men’s Hi-Loft Down Hoody is a versatile down jacket that copes equally fine with temperature drops at camp or on your morning commute, and is even up to some not-too-intense exercise too. Insulated with 600-fill power recycled goose and duck down, it offers a little more warmth than Patagonia’s ever-popular Down Sweater, while still packing down small enough to easily stash in your best hiking backpack.
• List price: $279 (US) / £240 (UK)
• Weight: Men's M: 18.7oz / 530g
• Sizes: Men’s and women’s: XS-XL
• Fabric: Outer: 100% recycled polyester ripstop, 30D; Lining: 100% recycled polyester ripstop, 22D
• Insulation: 600 fill power traceable duck down
Tipping the scale at 18.07oz (530 grams) in small, the Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Hoody isn’t necessarily lightweight for its performance. It does come with a durable DWR (durable water repellent) coating, however, which works to cut out wind and prevent your jacket from wetting out in light rain. But don’t take that to mean it’ll keep you warm in a winter storm – this jacket is by no means waterproof. It is designed to be used in cold, dry weather and, like many other down jackets of this weight and pack size, it’ll quickly soak through in heavy rain.
The jacket comes with two generous waist pockets and a chest pocket that also serves as a stuff sack. The hem is completely adjustable to cut out any updrafts, and the hood can be synched tight to your head to retain as much warmth as possible.
Patagonia Men’s Hi-Loft Down Hoody: on the trails
The Patagonia Men’s Hi-Loft Down Hoody is meant to be used as a warm layer when the temperature plummets, or for wear during low-intensity exercise, such as slow walks along flat ground. And it delivers on that in spades: this jacket offers tons of warmth considering its size and weight, and I’ve personally been impressed by its insulating properties all the way down to freezing.
A welcome surprise for a down jacket this warm, though, was how comfortable it keeps you when it’s not that cold. Somehow, even when it’s fairly warm out, the Hi-Loft serves to merely top up my temperature; never boiling me inside to the point it becomes uncomfortable. For that reason, it’s become my go-to puffy year-round: I use it in the spring, in the summer and in the fall, and will use it on all but the coldest winter days. I feel as comfortable wearing it at 60°F (15°C) as I do at 40°F (5°C), meaning I now only need one jacket for a huge variety of adventures.
In keeping with its name, the jacket is also impressively lofty. Even when kept in its stuff sack or scrunched in the bottom of a pack for several hours, the 600-fill power down quickly comes back to life.
As with most Patagonia products, the fit is quite square and can be tough to get right. If you’ve not worn gear from Patagonia before, it’d be worth finding a store to try on a couple of sizes to get the perfect fit.
One thing of note: The front zippers are known to fail on the Hi-Lofts. A quick read-through of the reviews on the Patagonia website doesn’t paint a good picture, and my own experience backs up this fact. After about three years of use, the zipper popped on my own Hi-Loft, too. Luckily, Patagonia offers one of the best guarantees in the business, and through their Ironclad Guarantee I was able to get it fixed quickly and for free. It was simply a matter of reaching out via their website, noting the fault and sending off the jacket for repair. Then, around three weeks later, my Hi-Loft was sent back to me, with a shiny new zip that’s held up to several seasons of abuse since.
Growing up just south of the glorious Brecon Beacons National Park, Craig spent his childhood walking uphill. As he got older, the hills got bigger, and his passion for spending quality time in the great outdoors only grew - falling in love with wild camping, long-distance hiking, bikepacking and fastpacking. Having recently returned to the UK after almost a decade in Germany, he now focuses on regular micro-adventures in nearby Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons, as well as frequent trips to the Alps and beyond. You can follow his adventures over on komoot, or visit www.craigtaylor.co for more info.