Price US $649

Patagonia Primo Down Women's 2016 - 2015 Review by A Better Ski

The Patagonia Primo Down Women’s jacket is one of the best insulated jackets that we’ve tested. It has a very comfortable fit and feel, very warm insulation, and solid 2L Gore-Tex waterproofing. The Patagonia Primo Down also has all the features you’ll need at the resort. This could easily become our everyday jacket for cold days on the mountain, and definitely our go to when it turns stormy.

Patagonia Primo Down Women’s Jacket On-Mountain Video Review (Note: it is only 800 fill, not 850 fill)

Tester: Cindy

Size: M

Cindy’s Specs: Sizing Info

Waterproofing and Breathability: The Patagonia Primo Down Women’s jacket has a really great DWR and a 2L Gore-Tex waterproof membrane. We have tested out the Primo Down on plenty of snowy days, and we have never noticed an issue with the jacket wetting out. Even when the snow is really wet, the DWR does a good job beading up the water and allowing it to roll off. Over extended periods of time with heavy wet snow, and wind we did notice the outer shell start to get a bit wet, but it with the Gore-tex membrane we have never noticed any water seep in. This might not be the most waterproof jacket on the market, but it is definitely on the higher end. Plus, we have never seen or tested a down jacket with this much insulation and waterproof protection. If you’re in need of a really warm down jacket, but need to stay dry in all conditions, this is a great jacket to have.

The advantage of a 2L jacket is durability, but it does come at the expense of breathability. With 800 fill down, this jacket warms you up quickly, and it doesn’t breathe very well. It does have wide pit zips that allow you to vent warm air quickly, but I wouldn’t necessarily call this jacket overly breathable. Still, this is going to be your cold weather “storm” jacket, and breathability will be less of an issue than it is with a warmer weather technical shell.

Warmth: The Patagonia Primo Down Women’s Jacket has 800 fill traceable down insulation, and is one of the warmest jackets that we have tested. Of the jackets we’ve tested, only Columbia’s Heatzone 1000 has heavier insulation, but this is almost as warm. Our tester runs pretty warm, but felt comfortable in 10 degree temps with just a light weight base layer underneath. There is a small amount of room underneath if you do need an extra layer or two, but we feel that most people probably won’t have to layer too much at all. Even if you run pretty cool, this jacket should keep you comfortable in temps that near 0 degrees. Although we didn’t get the women’s Primo Down in temps below zero, we have no doubt it will feel just as cozy in those temps as the men’s version. Best of all, the Patagonia Primo Down doesn’t feel overly bulky. It does feel a bit on the heavier side, but the jacket packs down relatively small for such a heavy jacket. It really is comfortable, and feels a lot like crawling into a down sleeping bag.

Fit: We tested the Patagonia Primo Down Women’s in a medium and it fit our tester perfectly. She sometimes struggles trying to find a jacket that is small enough in the torso and yet big enough for her wider hips and larger butt. The waist is a bit on the tighter side, but still fits really well. Our tester found it to be very comfortable, and the fit still allowed room for movement and layers. Patagonia calls it a relaxed fit, but I wouldn’t say that it was overly so. The length is on the longer side, but our tester loved that it covered her butt, and did a decent job staying in place. There is enough articulation for freedom of movement, without being overly loose in any area. We can’t say how the fit has changed from previous seasons iterations, but this is a pretty comfortable and solid fit for our tester. You can check out her specs above.

Features: The Patagonia Primo Down Women’s already stands out as a warm and “weatherproof” jacket, but it also has all the features you need for a great day at the resort. First, let’s start with the positives. The Patagonia Primo Down Women’s jacket has two fantastic hand-warming pockets that are placed well and have fleece lining on both sides. The pockets are quite big, and the zippers are easy to open and close. The Primo Down also has two well-placed chest pockets. Both are quite deep and large enough to fit today’s bigger phones. The left pocket has a pocket inside the pocket for media, but it is a little bit on the smaller side. Both zippers are “waterproof” and we have no problem keeping our phones or electronics there on a snowy day. On the sleeve is a small pass pocket. It’s the perfect size for your ski pass and the zipper is easy to use with one hand. On the inside are two more pockets that are perfectly fine for goggles and other gear. The Patagonia Primo Down Women’s also has a fantastic powder skirt. It is removable for those who don’t want it, and snap-back for when you’re not using it. Our favorite thing about this feature is the way it fits. The powder skirt sits below the waist and on the bottom half of the butt. It does fit a bit on the tighter side, but it also helps keep in in place better than others that we’ve used. Better yet, it has a silicon grip on the inside and one loop for attaching to your ski pants. It ensures that the powder skirt stays in place and keeps snow out.

Now let’s talk about the negatives. Our tester found the hood to be fantastic. It was warm, it was comfortable, it covered the face, but it didn’t fit over her helmet. Sure you could get the hood over the helmet, but it was really hard to zip the jacket all the way up when it was. It was great because it covers the face, but you can’t use it if you like the jacket fully zipped, or if you like your head to be move freely on the way down the mountain. Our tester also disliked the sleeve cuffs, finding them a bit too tight to fit a glove under easily. She could get the glove to fit, but it definitely took a lot of effort to make it work. Maybe a slightly larger sleeve opening would be better. The final negative is breathability. Again this isn’t a huge issue on cold days, but that’s really the only time you can wear this jacket comfortably. Any time the temperature gets above freezing you’re asking to sweat. This isn’t necessarily a bad problem to have, but something to be aware of. You will want a lighter jacket for warmer days.

Bottom Line: Although we found a few small negatives, it doesn’t do anything to change our minds about how much we love this jacket. The Patagonia Primo Down Women’s jacket is one of the best jackets for cold weather and stormy days. It’s very warm, very comfortable, and offers great protection from wet weather. This will definitely become our go-to jacket on the nastiest days we ski. You won’t want to use it on warm days, but anytime the forecast calls for cold weather, there’s no doubt this is the jacket you’ll want to grab.

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Type

Fully Insulated

Primary Waterproofing

Gore-Tex Laminate

Outer Layer Waterproofing

DWR

Insulation Type

Down

Taped Seams

Fully Taped

Waterproof Zippers

Yes

Hood Type

Contoured

Powder Skirt

Yes

Jacket to Pant Interface

Yes

Venting

Pit Zips

Meshed Vents

No

Layer Count

2 Layer

Waterproof Rating

Unpublished

Breathability Rating

Unpublished

Manufactured in

Bangladesh

Fit

Semi Baggy

Packability

Thick

Waterproofing

Great

Breathability

Average

Warmth

Excellent