I had a Patagonia Synchilla fleece before, a long time ago.  It was a pull over like this one, in a green and blue colour that I liked very much.  It had a marsupial pouch in the front that I did not like very much, because aside from keeping my hands warm I couldn’t really put anything in it.  It also wasn’t very long and wearing a pack with it was a bit uncomfortable because the hem in the back would ride up and end up above my belt.  I ended up giving it to my brother, who still wears it to this day.

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Our review of this product
7.5 / 10
The pros are:

  • “Lightweight” material is pretty plush
  • It fits very well, with nice length when wearing a pack
  • The collar comes up quite high for chilly mornings
The cons are:

  • The snap pocket could be a zipper pocket
  • Not sold on the colour scheme. Stealth pockets rule

Times have changed.   I wasn’t completely sure what I was going to find when the newest offering from Patagonia showed up.   I have watched Patagonia’s products evolve over the years, through testing and feedback from their customers, and I expected that the new Synchilla sweater would be altogether different.

I was indeed impressed with my first take on the new Synchilla sweater.  For something considered “light weight” in the product description, it felt far heavier than the sweater I used to own.  The front marsupial pocket was gone, replaced by a single chest pocket with a snap closure.  The material is still as soft as I remembered, and the last problem I had with the sweater being too short has been completely remedied.

patagonia synchilla fleece details

With just a few snaps near the collar to open or close the sweater, it can be a bit difficult to get in and out of. I think that Patagonia intended this to be mainly a “lounging around after hike” item, but I found it perfectly useful as a warm layer on cool, dry mornings.  I can totally see their point, though – when the collar is done up all the way, it becomes one of those warm sweaters that you can just sink right into, sealed up tight against the chill during outdoor meal time.  The material isn’t waterproof, but it’s very thick and would probably be fine outdoors on a misty day when you’re lounging around your campsite.

My version came in a really nice grey colour.  I am not sure why the top of the snap pocket needed to be a different colour though.  Having it the same colour would have blended the pocket into the garment and made it look both more stealthy and more athletic.

patagonia synchilla fleece

I like the chest pocket, but I think that chest pockets have been done better.  A regular side zip pocket would look great on this piece.  In any case, the chest pocket sits below the chest strap on my packs which meant that I didn’t have to fuss around with getting into it while I had the pack on.  That’s a big plus for me.

I really like this sweater.  I think it’s better than it used to be, and this time my brother can go out and get his own.

Buy the Lightweight Synchilla Snap-T Pull Over