Cold Weather

Patagonia Review: My Favorites!

I had a few pieces of Patagonia in college. My friend Victoria (aka Little V!) loved the brand and would get items for our crew gear. It wasn’t until I was going to Alaska that I started to dive into the brand on my own. I actually bought a jacket and left the tags on because I wasn’t sure that I’d even wear it during the trip. It turns out that I wore it nearly every single day. I was hooked ever since– I knew the quality was well-worth the price.

Whenever I’m wearing a piece on my Instagram story, I get flooded with questions about sizing and quality and if I recommend it. I’m writing this post so I’ll have something to link to (saves me a lot of time! 😉), but I also thought it would be generally helpful since I do get the questions a lot.

How is the sizing?

I would say that almost always the sizing is “true to size,” with a few exceptions. I buy my Patagonia almost exclusively through Backcountry now because of their quick shipping and ridiculously good customer service. I rely heavily on their reviews and double check what people have said about sizing based on that. Nordstrom reviews are also spot on too. If you’re in between sizes, you can go down if you want a more fitted look or up if you want a more relaxed look (or plan on layering). I wear an XS.

Is it worth the price?

YES. A large part of the price is because Patagonia cares about its supply chain and employees. That alone makes it worth the higher cost. The quality of the product reflects the company’s ethos. I may not be climbing mountains or hiking the PCT, but I wear all of my Patagonia pieces quite a lot. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I wear something Patagonia at least once a day. I’ve never had an issue with quality.

Where to get it?

So even though I have a bunch of pieces, I try to find them on sale as much as possible. I’ve been lucky to have friends who have access to the friends and family sales. Backcountry has sales now and then (which I do my best to share on here when they happen!) and Patagonia has one or two sales a year. If you’re a Nordstrom girl, they also carry a bunch of the popular styles there!

Here are my favorites:

Patagonia Nano Puff

Nano Puff // This was the jacket I bought for Alaska! I wore it every single day. Even though it’s a “puffer,” it’s super lightweight which makes it perfect for traveling. It has a lot of warmth for being so thin, especially when layered well. It’s my go-to for summer nights when it starts getting chilly after the sun goes down. I can roll it up in the bottom of a tote in case I get cold!

Patagonia Down Sweater Full Zip Hooded

Down Sweater Full-Zip Hooded Jacket // I have this jacket in both black and navy. I wear this jacket all the time in the winter. If it’s between 30 and 50 degrees, chances are I’m reaching for this. It’s what I wear to and from the gym, running errands, and on the weekend when I don’t want a wool coat. It’s super warm and a great all-around option. The hood comes in handy a lot too. I zip myself up on cold walks with the dogs and use it to protect my hair when it starts to snow.

Patagonia Cotton Quilt Snap T Pullover Sweatshirt

Quilted Patagonia // The quilted snap is so comfortable. I mostly wear it with jeans or leggings instead of a sweatshirt. This particular one was a birthday gift from my friend Julia; she added my logo* so it’s extra special to me. I wear this a few times a week, mostly when I’m working from home and just want to be comfortable.

*You can embroider a monogram/logo on yours if you take it to a local embroiderer. You can scout one on Yelp or ask friends and family for references.

Patagonia Los Gatos Fleece Jacket

Los Gatos // I don’t want to play favorites, but I think this might be mine. It’s so cozy. I bought mine this fall and I wish I had gotten it sooner. It’s very soft and can be worn on its own over a t-shirt or layered under another jacket. (Here’s how I layered it with a Barbour.)

Patagonia Retro-X

Retro-X Fleece // This has a little bit of a retro vibe with the colors (and frankly, the colors they have right now are a lot cuter). It is a great option when it’s warm enough outside and you debate whether or not you need a coat. It’s in between a jacket and a sweatshirt. Unlike the other fleeces, it does a good job of blocking the wind which gives it an extra layer of warmth. The reviews describe it as stiff, but it gets more comfortable over time– the stiffness (in my opinion) is what adds to its warmth anyway! Also, I feel like its worth noting that whenever I wear this, I end up getting a ton of compliments and everyone wants to know where to buy it.

Patagonia Better Sweater Jacket

Better Sweater // I am going to categorize this as a “best buy.” If you’re going to get one piece, I’d make it the Better Sweater. I wear this under jackets. At the gym. Dressed “up” and down. I wear it skiing and runs when it’s cold outside. I. Love. It. It comes in a full zip (that’s what I have) and a quarter zip.

LL Bean’s Sweater Fleece // Okay so below is LL Bean’s version. I have it an absolutely love it as well. Whenever I wear it on my Instagram, people always ask me to compare the two. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either. I happen to have both and would say they’re pretty much exactly the same, so it would come down to your personal preference. One difference, the LL Bean 1/4 snap has a “handwarmer” pockets and the Patagonia 1/4 zip does not, but the full zip does.

L.L. Bean Sweater Fleece Pullover Anyone else love Patagonia? I could pretty much live in it. 

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Ryann Carter

I bought my first and only Patagonia when I traveled from Charleston to RaleighNC, a 4 hour drive but enough that I didn’t pack properly and was really cold (has happened several times). I got a pullover fleece and decided to go ahead and pick up a matching headband that goes over your ears. I only get to wear the fleece for a few months in Charleston, and the headband even more frequently, but when we had our once every 15 year snow a few weeks ago I went diving for it! I love my fleece and wish so much I lived somewhere cooler where I could wear it more! But I wouldn’t trade Charleston for that!

Natalie K.

Wow, I love these! Even though they are definitely out of my price range since I’m a uni student, I can totally imagine buying a piece or two some day. Especially the Nano Puff jacket, the colour is so beautiful! I also really love the Retro-X Fleece jacket – to be honest, I love the colour combination you have the best. And the Quilted Patagonia is dreamy as well – I really like the colours and the fact that your logo is on it! xx

Jordana @WhiteCabana

I only own one piece of Patagonia that I wear on cold walks. I don’t remember the style, but I like it. I did a project in my MBA program about the leadership practices of Patagonia…and I was impressed! The company does a lot of great work!


You can also find used Patagonia goods at (and trade in your old stuff). I bought a down jacket off of it and had a good experience.


Not only are their products are great, but they are an incredible company too. They totally support working women and families and treat them wonderfully! I only wish I lived in California to go and work for them! I love being able to support companies that are worth supporting – so thank you, Carly, for promoting them!

Taylor Martin

Love this post! I’ve been obsessed with Patagonia for years. I realized this winter that I’ve had my Retro X-Fleece for 8 years! Another one of my favorites is the Synchilla pullover that I actually found at a Salvation Army years ago for $2! It’s a retro periwinkle color with teal piping and it’s so worn in and comfy.

I bought the 3-in-1 parka this winter and it’s been the best piece to survive a Chicago winter!

xo, Taylor

Heather C. Watson

I was team “Is it really worth the price tag?” until my husband got a Patagonia vest in a work conference swag bag; that vest has been my go-to all fall and winter! (Oh, and I have that LL Bean fleece and wear it at least twice a week!)


This was a super helpful post!! I absolutely love Patagonia, and have also recently discovered that LL Bean makes similar style pieces at a more affordable price tag, which is very good news for my budget! I wanted to let you know that NPR produced a podcast about the creator of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, on their How I Built This series hosted by Guy Raz. It’s an incredible story that really makes you love the brand even more. I highly recommend listening to it if you haven’t already!


For girls with fuller hips or are in the car a lot, I love a “double zip”, so you can open the bottom a bit. If you ever see the option…please call it out…always on the hunt…why I sometimes prefer snaps.
Have the Gatos and regular fleece pullover. Love.
Just bought a few LL Bean fleece pullovers. Keeping two, returning one. Was happy to see they offered a purplish color since i think we see more of that in 2018! Thanks. All adorable 💙


Such a great review! I always question if I “need” another fleece/outerwear option, so I liked that you compared the variations between the types of jackets they offer. In New England you really do use each one for the different types of weather we get! I love my Better Sweater and Quilted Snap, but the Re-tool has gotten me through the winter! I also just splurged on their 3-in-1 Parka for my commute to work (I walk in Boston every day), and it has been amazing! If you need the ultimate winter weather jacket it takes care of everything. The outer layer is my favorite since it’s perfect for those 40 degree rainy days that require more than just a rain coat, but you don’t need the whole parka. Thanks for the post!


I am OBSESSED with Patagonia. I wear my Hooded Down Sweater daily in Montana. I have three different fleece 1/4 zips and wish I had more so I could have one for each day of the week. I recently got hooked on their Blackhole Duffle Bags. I have the 90L in lieu of a rolling bag because it has backpack straps and just brought the 45L on a trip to Maui. These bags definitely live up to their name of Blackhole – I can fit SO much in them. I also got the Atom 8L slingbag for Christmas and it’s great for a bag when you are on the go or are going on a short hike. Worth every penny.

Abby Schuster

I seriously have been living in my Patagonia recently. So perfect for walking around campus in this weird weather we’ve been having!!
Abby |


Love the Los Gatos! Looks so cozy, and must be perfect for visiting more rugged/outdoorsy places. I will definitely be adding this to my next camping/hiking trip! I’ve bought a bunch of things from Backcountry and their customer service is second to none! Definitely the best source for outdoor gear, and great prices too. I love Mountain hardware’s products on their site too.


I live in the cascade mountains of western Washington but I’m a city girl at heart, so I need both function and style. We get over 500 inches of snow a year in our little town. When it’s not dumping snow, it’s pouring rain. It’s all so good, and most importantly it’s eco and animal friendly. They even donate proceeds to help save public lands. And they have a lifetime warranty on all products. They’re an amazing company. My faves are the hooded down sweater, retro x fleece, retro pile hoody, better sweater and most importantly the storm drift parka- warmest coat I’ve ever owned.


What size is your Los Gatos jacket? I’m thinking I’d need a small or medium, but I wasn’t sure.


XS in the los gatos jacket… If you get the vest, I’d size up but I found the jacket to fit TTS


Great review of their pieces! I am in love with this brand and all they do! Personally I have 3 of their pieces (Better Sweater, Down Full Zip Hoodie, and Synchills Snap) and I am obsessed! I got my first one before going to Europe, and like you was hesitant I was going to wear it but LIVED in it the whole time. The quality of their pieces is impeccable and one brand I don’t mind paying full price for.


Hi Carly! What size do you take in the LL Bean sweater pullover? I ordered my normal size small earlier this year and like it but it feels a little bulky, so I’m wondering if I should size down to XS for my second color. So many of the reviews on the website say it runs small, so I’m really thrown off that my normal size feels a little big. Thanks!


They’re worth the price too, because of their dedication to the environment and keeping their products out of landfills! They have a repair program, where you can send any damage item, no matter how old, to be repaired. They also will help you resell an item if you’re done with it. On the flipside, there’s a whole used section on their site with not as pricey apparel!


Love the review of all your Patagonia products, it’s good to know what to realistically use them for. I have a few of these as well as a few of the Synchilla snap-T pullovers. Also I got a kids XL down vest once and it fits perfectly because I’m so short! Also 1/2 the price for the kids one, it’s s good tip for short people!!

Aurelia Dalek

Has your better sweater pilled at all? I had major quality issues with the one I had (TONS of pilling after like 2 months), so I returned it. How has yours fared?


I work for an outdoor retailer and I’ve been selling Patagonia products for years. I have to disagree on your fit advice. Patagonia fits true to size for leaner straight body types but women with curves often have trouble with sizing. Patagonia usually fits straight down (providing no extra room for hips). Some of the items also indicate a “slim fit” like the Los Gatos and Better Sweater. The Los Gatos and the Retro-X will be totally different fits, so your size won’t necessarily translate to all items. The sleeves also run a little longer to allow extra movement. I hope this clears up the fit for anyone with a different body type!


This is one of my favorite blog posts of all time! I am a huge fan of Patagonia and count the better sweater zip up and nano puff vest as some of my favorites. I wear one of them every day this time of year. They also have such cute baby and toddler pieces!


I would say Julia already knew the blog name transition before you officially launched it… I noticed she monogrammed the new logo. 😉



Hi Carly! What size is your LL Bean sweater fleece? I am ordering one through my school that is being embroidered. I’m nervous about picking the size because I can’t return it. I have a Patagonia pullover size M that fits, but I wish it wasn’t so form fitting. Do the LL Bean pullovers fit comparably?


I legit just bought the quilted sweater, better sweater and retro x fleece because of you. My pocketttt