Vacation is over, and once again it's the time of the season. The time to find anything with a feather, shave it, and stuff the proceeds into a DWF polyester sack with holes for your arms and head.
Patagonia has made a damn fine start of it with the Down Sweater Vest, a minimalist 7oz wonder packed with 800 fill down from pampered European geese; you know the kind, they're fat and happy from their socialized medicine and extended vacations. The fit is slim enough to go under a shell or inside a sleeping bag, or you can layer it over a mid-weight top. The versatility of a fast and light down vest like this is hard to overstate. We tucked it under a Gore-Tex Pro Shell while on the move and it kept us cozy while venting efficiently.
Features include two zippered hand pockets, an interior zippered stash pocket with carabiner loop that doubles as a stuff sack, elastic arm holes, a drawcord waist and full length zipper flap with chin protector. The neck is just right, cozy without being too tight. The finish quality is quite high, and after weeks of daily wear we noticed not so much as a feather leaking out. Even better, the polyester shell is 50% recycled.