how does this compare to the patagonia down sweater?
JON S I do not OWN a Patagonia down sweater but I have tried one on in the store. I feel the fit of the Zonal is less "boxy" than the Down Sweater. The Zonal is longer in the arms and body and tighter fitting. The Zonal is synthetic and not an actual DOWN jacket though..... Not to mention the price of the zonal is about half of the down jacket. I personally love it!
First off the Mountain Hardware is not down. It is synthetic Primaloft. If you are going to use this in a wet environment down is not good as it loses its loft and insulating properties when wet. The Mountain Hardware has elasticized side panels making it stretch and better suited to active sports (rock climbing). It also has a panel in the back making it friendly toward wearing a climbing harness.
Second in my opinion Mountain Hardware products are more bang for the buck than Patagonia which I think are over priced.