patagonia alpine downlab mid-layer under puffy jacket
(Photo/Kendra Smith Photography)

Patagonia Warmth Index: Level Up Your Outerwear Game

Patagonia Warmth Index: The brand introduced the measuring scale for its fall 2022 collection in early February.

The principle? To condense the question “Which Patagonia jacket is warmer?” to a number on a 1-10 scale.

The Patagonia Warmth Index measures the warmth of Patagonia jackets and vests relative to each other. The brand developed the method in its in-house testing lab. It aims for straightforward simplicity for the user: the higher the score, the warmer the garment.

The index draws on a few key variables. In the lab, Patagonia measures a garment’s materials, insulation, construction, and silhouette to develop a total score. The foundational measurement is the material’s “thermal insulation value.” The scale also accounts for design and construction factors like paneling and baffling. Analysis of the garment’s breathability and shape completes the process.

In practice, Patagonia shoppers can utilize it to directly compare one jacket to another. For example, the women’s Radalie Parka, which uses a 100g foam insulation, scores a 4.8; the Silent Down Parka, with 700-fill recycled down, scores a 10.

Man standing in gold Patagonia Nano Puff jacket outside
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Of course, the system only compares Patagonia products to other Patagonia products. It also can’t account for situational factors that affect how warm a jacket keeps its wearer. Factors like a person’s layering choices, metabolism, or external factors like humidity and altitude are unaccounted for.

In the brand’s words, “[t]he Warmth Index does not take outside factors into account but instead provides a method for comparing the warmth of products under similar conditions.”

Patagonia Warmth Index would rate this Nano Puff on a relative scale
Fishing in a Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody; (photo/Jake Ferguson)

Patagonia also engineered separate but similar Patagonia Warmth Indexes to apply to clothes for kids and babies. The formulas use the same calculation process and the same 1-10 scale.

The 2022 Patagonia fall collection highlights include a noteworthy newcomer and updates to some old standbys.

The array includes the new Storm Shift jacket and pants, which Patagonia says is the first-ever fully PFC-free GORE-TEX snow kit. The set features Patagonia’s first non-fluorinated DWR finish.

Meanwhile, the Down Sweater and Micro Puff get changes to improve fit and durability. Post-consumer recycled nylon from fishing nets creates a shell that Patagonia says is tougher but softer. Responsible Down Standard-certified goose down is also on board.

Patagonia storefront
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Each jacket lands with a Patagonia Warmth Index rating to help you layer up with more confidence this fall.

Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.