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Patagonia Better Sweater Sizing – Run Small or Big?

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In a nutshell, it is impossible to give you a simple answer because depending on the patagonia better sweater you’re purchasing it can run small/tight, big/baggier, and sometimes big in one part whereas snugger in arms.

That’s why consider scrolling through the article as I discussed all major Patagonia better sweater styles and how they fit. It includes:

  • Traditional better sweaters & vests
  • jackets and hoodies
  • pullovers
  • beanies and gloves
5 Patagonia better sweaters in a single image - let's talk how do they fit

Whooping 19+ products are labeled as better sweaters in Patagonia inventory. Apart from jackets – vests, gloves, beanies, sweaters, hoodies, and pullovers are also successfully sold as better sweaters.

“Better Sweater” in Pataginia simply a term to refer 100% recycled winter clothing & recycled polyester is the most probable material in all Patagonia better sweaters.

Patagonia Better Sweater – Small or Big

When tracing back – the vest and a 1/4 zip sweater were first in the quest for a ‘better sweater.’ Both options are available for men, women, girls, and boys.

Gender typeHow does it fit?
Men Better Sweater VestIt runs tight from the side & chest; also a tad small in length. So consider getting a size up from your regular Patagonia sizing. For example, if you wore size M with most Patagonia vests or jackets, get L with this one. Though if you love the snug fit, go with regular, as sizing up will increase a bit more gap in the shoulder head.
Men Better Sweater 1/4 zip fleeceAfter reading over a dozen reviews, everyone agrees that this style fits somewhat baggy in body, and arms are a tad shorter, but when the armband is extended, it comes in the correct size. IMHO, go with your regular size, as this style is designed to accommodate layering. If you size down, the body will be a snug fit, but your arms will even be shorter.
Women Better Sweater VestIt’s on the slimmer side; however, for some, the armholes may feel more open than needed. Thus if you fall on that side, you can size down to get snug arm holes; otherwise, go with your regular size as it is not a dealbreaker.
Women Better Sweater 1/4 zip fleeceI recommend getting a size up for regular women if you like the extra breathing room. But if you want a snug fit, go with your standard size, but remember the arms are a bit snug. Overall it depends on your taste – snug or roomier.
Boys’ Better Sweater 1/4 zip fleeceIt runs true to size so that you can opt for regular size. But if you suspect your height will grow, get a size up for it to remain wearable for several years.
Girls’ Better Sweater 1/4 zip fleeceIt runs a little shorter than women’s better sweater 1/4 zip fleece. Though, in its genre, the style fits true to size.
Patagonia men's better swweater runs baggier in arms and around tummy
Credit: Jovani Vega

Let’s talk about Patagonia’s better sweater jacket sizing.

The main difference between a jacket and a sweater is that sweaters are knitted, wherein jackets are not. So in this zone, Patagonia’s better sweater jackets are fervent because, in a sense, they are knitted jackets; as it is not a complete review of the jacket, stick to how it fits on the body.

Gender TypeHow does it fit?
Women’s better sweater jacketThe jacket fits a little snugger in the chest and arms. Also, the arm’s length is a tad shorter. Although, if you have a slim body and not going to wear a long sleeve shirt underneath, go with a regular size. While the athletic body types must get a size up for room to breathe and a bit of space left for layering and still be comfortable.
Men’s better sweater jacketThis jacket stands inside the “true to size” circle regardless of being a bit longer in arms, as in my opinion, it’s a nod to style. I don’t recommend sizing up or down as it will make it even longer in arms & a bit baggy, and if you size down, the arm length will come to its terms body will be shorter and snugger.
Women’s better sweater shelled jacket.It runs big and baggier throughout the torso while shorter on sleeves. If you stand in-between the sizes, then get a size up. Otherwise, it’s a weird fit for now.
Men’s better sweater shelled jacket.For the majority, it will be faithful to size. Yet, broad shoulders can feel that the jacket has a bit more room shoulders, and the thinner body frame may feel roomier than needed. I think you should go with your regular size as sizing up or down would be a choice of taste.
Baby better sweater fleece jacketTrue to size. Though you may like to get a size up so that your baby’s hands are covered inside the jacket for better warmth, the cutie will feel more relaxed. It would be a good investment as the jackets will be wearable even after a year.
Men’s lightweight better sweater jacketThe jacket fits well, but it falls on the slimmer side. Thus if you would like a roomier feel, consider getting a size up, though keep in mind that body length sits a level below the waist and may occupy bagginess around the tummy.
Boys’ better sweater fleece jacketTrue to size
Men’s better sweater shirt jacketIt runs kinda large, but as per dozens of reviews, it is due to a loose-fitting style so avoid sizing up anytime, though you can cut a size down for a more body-hugging fit (layering may not accommodate that well when sizing down).

What about Patagonia’s Better sweater hoodies & pullovers – do they fit well?

Pullovers: As far as the better sweater pullovers are concerned, they are a loose fit though not for the people who want to showcase their shoulders or biceps. Moreover, the body length is perfect, but the arms are long as they fall below your wrists.

But, trust me, you would not like to get a size up as it will increase the bagginess around the stomach, though you can size it down for a more form-fitting look.

Hoodies: When writing this post, all of Patagonia’s better sweater hoodies are slim, and they can be felt snugger, yet the length of body and arms are beautifully executed. Sizing down is not a good choice. Nevertheless, it is advised by better sweater hoodie wearers that you must get a size up for it to fill well and be comfy, and don’t worry. It won’t be too baggy when sizing up.

Patagonia’s better sweater beanie & gloves – are they true to size?

Beanie: Without taking much of your time, if you have a bigger than average heat or have lots of hairs, then go with the size chart; however, if you have an average or smaller head, then it will feel loose or oversized, then a get size down from your standard Patagonia size chart.

Gloves: The gloves are seemed to be made for smaller fingers because after reading so many reviews about Patagonia’s better sweater gloves, everyone is suggesting the gloves run small, and they have to opt for one or two sizes up to come to fit correctly. On the other hand, those that have smaller than average ring fingers look completely satisfied by their purchase.

The moral of the story is to get one or two sizes up for regular size and bigger than average fingers, respectively, and go for a typical length for fingers smaller than average.

How to get the right fit in Patagonia better sweater?

Let’s summarize the process of getting a great fit in your desired better sweater:

1. Check the size and fit guide for Patagonia’s better sweaters (see this image for context)

2. Take your measurements and check which range you fall into (XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, etc.). If you’re in between the sizes, get the top one (for example, I would choose L if I am between M and L). If you don’t know which fit type you love, check out this article, where I have talked about Patagonia jacket sizing for proper contextual understanding.

The above chart is for women’s better sweaters, though the process is the same to view the men one’s which look like this:

3. Now, whichever better sweater you would like to buy, match it with the sizing and appropriate recommendations that I’ve provided in the first part of the article to know whether you should get a size up, down, or stick to the size chart.

4. Take a precaution to read a few recent reviews on the Patagonia website. Patagonia claims to take the feedback from old reviews to improve the fitting, so take that pill for the perfect fit.


I hope you got what you came for. Yet, another question may pop into your mind – do Patagonia’s better sweaters shrink? The answer is no; Patagonia’s better sweaters can not be shrunk as they are all made of 100% recycled polyester. An extremely high temperature is required to shrink polyester clothing, which is impossible for a normal tumble drier to get. However, you can boil water to its extremities, but instead of shrinkage, your better sweater may result in better melting as polyester is essentially a form of plastic. Check out this article to learn about the shrinkage of all Patagonia outdoor clothing (baggies, jackets, hoodies, shirts, etc.)

That’s why I recommend you either get a stretchable better sweater or follow the sizing recommendation I gave in the first part of the post. Consider reading recent reviews on the Patagonia product page to get the recent changes made in design.

If you do all these, I guarantee you’ll get a great fit Patagonia better sweater.

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