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Patagonia Ultralight Down Shirt

posted May 15, 2012, 11:20 AM by GoOut Project   [ updated Jan 6, 2013, 10:11 PM ]

Our mental picture of a down jacket is that of a garment conceived for winter conditions or freezing temperatures. And usually this is true. But feathers have so many great qualities that it would be a shame to use them only in winter. When less feathers are used in combination with light fabrics, garments of exceptional versatility can be obtained, that can be used in a much wider range of temperatures and climatic conditions. 
Patagonia's Ultralight Down Shirt is probably the best example of such garment. Made of ultralight 0.8-oz nylon ripstop of very peculiar aspect and filled with high-quality 800 fill-power goose down, this garment has been conceived to be minimalistic. In its most extreme variant (the pullover), the shorter zip, the absence of pockets, and the absence of elastic regulation on the waist contribute to reduce the weight down to only 160 g.

Our Test

We tested the Ultralight Down Shirt for some months in different climatic conditions, from cold winter days to milder summer temperatures, using it both as intermediate layer and as single layer, for climbing, trekking, camping... and also just sitting in the park reading a book.

General impressions

Weighting only 160 g and having a nice slim fit, you'll forget you are wearing it! The Ultralight Down Shirt has an impressive insulating power, given its very limited weight. Just to give you an idea, it is comparable to a medium weight fleece. But in comparison to fleeces the Down Shirt protects more efficiently from wind, it is approximately 50% lighter, and it compresses to about 1/5 of the volume. Its extremely limited weight and volume will be very appreciated at the moment of packing and carrying your backpack. The feeling on the skin is a bit more "synthetic" and less "cosy" compared to that of a soft fleece. However, the Down Shirt is almost instantly warm and increases your body temperature much more rapidly than fleeces.

Light, compressible, and quick to wear

Maximum compressibility!

Fit and make

The Down Shirt has a very thin and "slippery" texture, which makes it easier to wear it under any other garment. The waist and wrist bands are sufficiently thin to easily fit inside pants or gloves, therefore increasing heat retention without creating extra bulk. The slim fit favors thermal insulation, without compromising the freedom of movement. The neck is also very well sealed against wind. The length of the zip is sufficient to guarantee adequate ventilation if needed.

  • Elevated price
  • Particularly vulnerable to tear and abrasion
  • The DWR treatment disappears after the first wash

“Best Travel Clothing” in 2011 by Travel & Leisure Magazine

Patagonia Ultralight Shirt

Ultralight down shirt