Ode to Down: Patagonia Special Edition Down Sweater

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Ah, down jackets: the superstars of outerwear. They keep hypothermia at bay and double as extra layers when your sleeping bag doesn’t suffice. The first time I slide into that smooth, oh-so-cozy jacket is one of my favorite autumn feelings. So imagine my excitement when the temps dropped below 50˚F one night, and I pulled out the PATAGONIA SPECIAL EDITION DOWN SWEATER ($275, patagonia.com). The entire jacket weighs only 10 ounces, and an internal pocket doubles as a stuff sack. Patagonia says this sweater’s ripstop nylon shell is twice as strong as the fabric in its usual down sweater, and the DWR finish repels light rain and snow like a champ. During a cool morning of climbing in Colorado’s Flatirons, the 900-fill European goose down kept me warm but not sweaty (a problem with some Michelin Man puffies). Perhaps best of all, the slim fit can be layered beneath hard shells if needed. —Amanda Fox