Recycled stuff is cool. If you didn’t know that, you were living under a rock when Macklemore dropped Thrift Shop. Of course, long before Macklemore made grandad’s clothes cool, Patagonia has done amazing things with recycled materials and products. The latest, greatest and warmest thing they’ve done is to recycle goose down and repackage it into sexy outdoor products. They’ve got everything from sleek technical pullovers to the lumberjack-inspired Bivy Down Jacket.

Patagonia Bivy Recycled Down Jacket Features:

  • Made of 100% nylon plain weave (51% recycled) with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish insulated with 600-fill-power 100% recycled down reclaimed from used down products
  • Full-zip jacket with zip-through stand-up collar
  • Features nylon plain-weave shell with cotton-like look and feel with a reinforced yoke that offers an extra barrier for weather protection
  • Two insulated, side-entry handwarmer pockets with snap-button closure for security and lined with microfleece for next-to-skin comfort; interior left-chest security pocket with zipper closure
  • Fixed, self-fabric cuffs
  • Drop-tail hem
  • Hip length
  • Shell: 4.8-oz 100% nylon plain weave (51% recycled) with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish.
  • Yoke and collar: 4-oz 100% nylon with a polyurethane coating and a DWR (durable water repellent) finish.
  • Lining: 2.2-oz 50-denier 100% recycled polyester taffeta with a DWR finish.
  • Insulation: 600-fill-power 100% recycled down reclaimed from used down products.
  • Shell, yoke and lining fabrics are bluesign® approved
  • 858 g (30.3 oz)

Patagonia Bivy Down Jacket Review

A zipper garage for your chin

Feel good about feeling warm:

The Bivy Down Jacket is a classic design, built for warmth and durability over the long haul. It’s a classic two-pocket parka with a standing collar and a pleasantly trim silhouette. There are plenty of features around on this thing, but let’s talk about the foundation first: namely, the fabric and the insulation.

Patagonia built the Bivy out of polyester and nylon fabrics, which are either partially or completely recycled. The liner of the jacket is a 100%-recycled 50D polyester taffeta, which feels soft next-to-skin and slides easily over other layers. The outer fabric is a 4.8oz nylon weave featuring 51% recycled material, and interestingly enough it feels just like a cotton face fabric. The relatively heavy 4.8oz weight means that it’s durable and downproof. Plus, the jacket is treated with a DWR to fend off pesky showers or flying snowballs.

Patagonia Bivy Down Jacket Review

Generous baffles and strong snap-button closures

Stitched into the fabric are big, fat baffles filled with recycled goose down. It’s 600-fill, so it’s perfect for working applications where grams don’t matter. The special story here is that this goose down was taken from old down products, cleaned and then blown into the baffles that are keeping you warm today. Patagonia is literally taking old, saved-from-the-trashcan down products, ripping them open and salvaging the goose down.

There’s also no reason to worry about cleanliness here, either. There’s a good chance that the recycled goose down in this jacket is even cleaner than the stuffing in a comparable new product. Consider this: most goose or duck down in the industry is taken as a by-product from when the animal is slaughtered for other purposes. That process isn’t pretty, as you can imagine, and then the feathers are just pulled off before the rest of the carcass is processed.

Patagonia Bivy Down Jacket Review

Fleece linings feel good on the hands

Before that ‘new’ goose down can reach consumers, it has to be thoroughly cleaned to make it fluffy, white and devoid of biological contaminants. Think about this: the recycled goose down in this jacket has effectively been cleaned twice. So there’s nothing ‘dirty’ about recycled down – it’s just as clean as what you’re getting new.

The end result for us consumers is a product that’s indistinguishable from a new garment. The feathers ‘work’ just like any other goose down – they compress, they don’t stick through the heavy face fabric, and they keep you warm.

Patagonia Bivy Down Jacket Review

The interior security pocket. Note also the hung liner’s fabric around the pocket on the front of the jacket.

The other features on the jacket are simple, in keeping with the overall aesthetic. The two hand pockets are sealed by snap-button closures, and the pockets are fleece lined. This is a god-send on cold Spokane nights when you’re around town without gloves. The main zipper is big and toothy, so it slides easily no matter what. There’s also an interior stash pocket just large enough for a phone in its case.

Overall, I really like the jacket’s fit. I’m 5’11” 185lbs and tested a Medium. The jacket fit me really well with a perfect arm length and a surprisingly sleek appearance despite being such a puffy jacket. There’s a slight drop hem which adds a little protection for your tush and also serves to lengthen the jacket’s appearance.

I’ve worn the Bivy in all sorts of weather, but I’d recommend it especially for temps from the high 20’s to low 40’s, adding or removing midlayers in there as necessary. It really is quite a warm jacket. A big part of this is because of the hung liner on the front of the jacket, which basically increases the dead air space between your body and the baffles.

The Good:

  • Fabric, insulation and manufacturing you can feel good about
  • Surprisingly svelte design for a burly puffy
  • Face fabric feels like cotton, very durable
  • Fleece lined hand pockets are a major plus
  • Tall collar offers wind protection

The Bad:

  • Mine came with improperly attached zipper pull cords. I retied them.

The Bottom Line: Patagonia Bivy Jacket

If you’re looking for a very warm, stylish jacket that you can feel good about, you can’t really do much better than Patagonia’s new recycled down line. The jacket on its own is great, but the fact that they’re doing such an awesome thing on a big scale makes the Bivy a total winner.

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About Author

Kevin Glover is an outdoorsman living, climbing and biking in Spokane, WA. Originally from the Nevada high desert, he moved to the PNW for its mild winters and allergen-free summers. He has guided throughout the Cascades and Enchantments for Peak 7 Adventures.

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