Junk in the Truck: Patagonia Down Sweater

If you live in a ski town, you probably own this already

The Patagonia Down Sweater is a rite of passage for any mountain town dweller. PHOTO: Courtesy of Patagonia

Patagonia Down Sweater
MSRP: $200, or $250 with hood

On President's Day a few years ago, I was carefully calculating my options on the sale page of Patagonia's website. Because even when it's on sale, and even though it's worth every penny, we call it Patagucci for a reason. The object of my eye was a bright sky blue Patagonia down sweater hoody.

The jacket sells for $250 normally. But on this glorious holiday weekend, Patagonia slashed $100 from the ticket. It wasn't quite an impulse buy. This jacket had been on my mind for sometime. I needed an outer layer that was warmer than my shell, but not as bulky as other puffy jackets. And after noticing friends wear theirs to the bar, on the hill, in the grocery store, I had seen just how versatile this particular micro-puff was. It was still a chunk of cash—the equivalent of 12 hours of work at my day job, or a busy night waiting tables at job number two. But I clicked "Add to Cart" and pulled out the plastic. Now, after owning it for several years and wearing it on a daily basis, my bright blue jacket has turned to ugly shades of black and brown; it's the best jacket I've ever owned.

It also works well as an outer layer for walks to the bar because the fabric is windproof and Patagonia gives it water-resistance treatment to repel light rain and snow. It's lightweight and stuffs in the corners of your pack. And it's made from recycled Polyester, which means that by wearing this jacket, you are saving Mother Earth. My only qualm is that I've snagged the delicate fabric a few times and had to patch it up before all the down feathers blow away.

You probably already own this jacket. The micro-puff is like a rite of passage in any ski town. But if you don't own one, this jacket is totally worth the extra shift at the restaurant.