Patagonia Downdrift Parka Review –

Growing up, I was in Boy Scouts and I love it. We were deserving of badges on various skills in the bush, and I vividly remember sleeping at night under a shelter I had paved with some tarps and other things I found. This was probably before I finished the Leave No Trace badge. Anyway, Patagonia channel some of that vibe through their Downdrift jacket – making it pretty puffy for whatever they find laying around. The shell fabric is made from a nylon fabric derived entirely from recycled fishing nets, and the 600-fill goose down is also recycled.

Patagonia Downdrift Parka Features:

  • Shell made of 100% post-consumer recycled NetPlus nylon and snags from recycled fishing nets
  • PFC-free DWR finish to highlight moisture
  • 600-fill strength recycled duck and goose lid insulated (from other feather products)
  • Full length center front zip with slit
  • Removable and adjustable cover
  • Two hand pockets with double entry and one zip security pocket
  • Tie hem
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • MSRP: $299
It’s big, it’s brown: it’s Patagonian Downdrift

There is nothing fishy about this cool jacket

Like I said, the really cool thing about this jacket is that its scalloped fabric comes from recycled fishing nets. Patagonia sees this as a way to get creative with sustainably sourcing materials, and it’s also a link to the ocean stewardship that is behind their roots as California surfers. In my view, the canvas is indistinguishable from the all-new nylon canvas. It is strong, heavy, and wear-resistant. It’s not particularly soft to the touch, and I consider it more of a working jacket or a fire-and-beer jacket than anything else.

Insulation also comes from a great source: old products that have been restored and thoroughly cleaned before new life is found in a Patagonia product. This is a win-win for geese and for consumers. Patagonia classifies this as a 600-fill goose/duck mixture. 600 fill means it’s a bit coarser and heavier for its weight. For a non-performance jacket like this, that’s absolutely true. You don’t have to worry about poking down; The solid nylon casing is over proof on the bottom.

Patagonia Downdrift Parka Review
Close-up of fitness and shots.

The jacket fits very generously. You can easily wear a jacket under this and not feel tight. For reference, I’m 5’11” and about 200lbs, and the hefty weight I wore felt generous if not a little loose. However, the sleeve length was just the right fit.

Downdrift is definitely comfortable to wear, and feels really secure and collected when you’re pressed with the hood. I love the generous fender that Patagonia has sewn around the neck, which really helps create a seal against drafts. There are also clips to secure the hood in the form of a jacket to the jacket body on windy days.

The zipper and pockets each do what they were designed for. The zipper is an oversized two way zipper that is very durable and should last a long time. Same story with the zipper that attaches the cover. The pocket design is interesting, it is a single pocket with two entrances divided by a thin nylon sheet. The angle is great, and it’s easy to get your hands in there. The fleece lining would have added some comfort and warmth.

Patagonia Downdrift Parka Review
Pockets work but could be more comfortable

In practical use, the jacket did a great job of what it was designed for: which, I think, is mostly just hanging out with friends or doing some work. The wind doesn’t cut through too badly thanks to the heavy fabric and hanging lining that covers the front fenders. On that back, though, the baffles running through the stitches can allow some wind to pass through.

The bracelets have a simple elastic design, which makes them very practical. More sport-oriented jackets will have a small or other square sleeve here, but Downdrift is a bit more casual than that. So, in the absence of gloves with gaiters, you can get some cool wrists on very cold or windy days.

Patagonia Downdrift Parka Review
Close-up of heavy two-way clouds

The good

  • Incredible material sourcing and fair trade certified manufacturing make this a winner
  • Durable strong fabric and zipper mean this jacket will have a long life
  • Detachable hood is a nice touch
  • Pocket design is practical and convenient


  • Windy days can really break through the stitching of the back
  • The fleece lining in the hand pockets would have gone a long way

Synopsis: Patagonia Downdrift Park

If you’ve read my reviews, you know I’m a huge fan of companies that make great products from sustainable materials. Patagonia has always been the biggest player in the field, and products like Downdrift display ingenuity and a commitment to sustainability. You can wear this in the winter, knowing the oceans will just be a little Cleaner if you are surfing in summer. And materials aside, the key thing is that this is a great jacket for working outside or hanging out with friends: even if it’s made from recycled fishing nets and old feather quilts.

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