Patagonia Recycled Better Sweater | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Mid and Base Layers

Patagonia Recycled Better Sweater | Review

A classic ‘grab and go’ layer, Patagonia’s Better Sweater just got greener

Why We Chose The Patagonia Recycled Better Sweater: Comfortable, warm, eco-friendly

Price: £100
Weight: 638g
More info:

If you spend much time in climbing gyms, outdoor shops or the Outdoors Magic office, you’ll probably have seen someone wandering around in a Patagonia Better Sweater. It’s been in the product range for years, and by now it seems almost every outdoorsy type has got one of these in one form or another.

Though it’s not a particularly technical layer, the reasons for its popularity are simple really – it’s super-soft, very comfortable, warm and stylish. The regular fit looks good on almost anyone, and no matter how many times it goes through the wash, it continues to look respectable, save for the odd bit of pilling (which, as Patagonia point out, is easy to remedy).

“It’s super-soft, very comfortable, warm and stylish”

We also like the hip length cut, stand-up collar and zipped pockets – one on the chest, plus two hand pockets if you go for the full-zip version. The cuffs and hem are trimmed to help them keep their shape and resist abrasion, which stops them from going baggy. Flat-seam construction also improves comfort, as do the raglan sleeves, which means there’s no annoying shoulder seam right where a pack strap would sit.

So how on earth do you improve such a popular product? Well, Patagonia’s approach has been to look at the entire production process with an eye on sustainability. As a result, the only part of the latest Better Sweater that isn’t made from recycled materials is the zipper teeth (and, we’re told, Patagonia are working on that, too).

The fabric is made of 100% recycled polyester fleece that comes from old plastic bottles, manufacturing waste and worn-out clothing. Patagonia’s actually been using recycled polyester in their products since 1993 – they were the first outdoor clothing brand to do so. It’s a good thing, since using recycled polyester means consuming less petroleum as a raw material. It also reduces waste that goes to landfill or incineration, and helps people recycle their worn-out polyester clothing back into new products.

The fabric itself is certified as Bluesign-approved and dyed using a low-impact process that significantly reduces the use of dyes, energy and water. Lastly, production of all Better Sweaters is Fair Trade certified – benefiting the workers in Thailand who actually sew the garments. The upshot of all this? Well, putting a Better Sweater on always felt good, but now it ought to feel even better.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, OM Editor

“Gradually the Better Sweater has become more and more environmentally-friendly, and do you know what? I’ve tested out a few of these over the years and the quality definitely hasn’t gone backwards. In fact, the Better Sweater, has been getting, well… better.

“It’s supremely comfortable, with the inner fleece having a lovely soft and snug feel to it. I’d say it has the perfect thickness and trim to it to fit under most waterproof jackets as well, which is handy.

“From a lightweight backpacker’s perspective, it is slightly on the heavy side and there are equally warm, and much lighter alternatives out there, but still, for day hiking and everyday use, this is a great thing to own and something that I get a lot of use out of.”

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Chosen For The Green Gear Guide 2019/20
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