We bought the Patagonia Baby Reversible Puff Ball Jacket when our daughter was 18-months-old (she's now 23-months-old...yikes!). We opted for the 2T size. It was a little big at first, but we spent a pretty good amount of money on this jacket (retails at $80, but we bought it on sale), so we wanted to make sure we sized up to get as much time out of it as possible. The Puff Ball Jacket comes in four different colors and prints. Our daughter loves owls, so we were not even mildly surprised when she picked the Owls and Friends (magenta) print with a reversible white side.
Patagonia also makes matching reversible puff pants and bunting. We have not tried either of these, but we imagine the things we like and dislike about the jacket would match up fairly reliably.
We were drawn to Patagonia's use of recycled polyester. When we see it in products we need (or sometimes just want), we do our best to go with that option. This was obviously a huge plus for us when considering the purchase.
You can find all the specification information for this jacket at the Patagonia website. Here are the basics of the shell.
Shell Material - Ripstop fabric made from 100% recycled polyester (soda bottles, scrap and used fabrics) with a Deluge® DWR finish which supports long-term repellency.
Insulation Material - 100g Thermogreen® polyester (90% recycled)
What Else We Like
Aesthetics - This is a really nice looking jacket. Our daughter loves it and will often take a little time to stop and examine the print while wearing it. We were more than a little skeptical of having a white reversible side. You know, toddlers and white clothes don't always mix, especially when it comes to outside play. However, there haven't been any issues as she never wants to deviate from having the print side showing. I imagine most kids would choose the print side over the solid side for this particular model.
Form - The coat is shaped and fits well; it hugs at the right places while leaving room for layering beneath it. The spandex binding at the waist and cuffs seem to work at keeping heat in. There's also the nice addition of a zipper "garage" that keeps the zipper directly off of the wearer's neck while zipped all the way up.
Function - First and foremost, the jacket appears to be warm enough for the intended use, especially considering the relatively thin shell. I reached out to Patagonia customer service to see if they had a temperature rating for this jacket, and this was the reply: "We don't really temp rate our stuff, but I'd say on it's own it's probably a fall/early winter garment. With a little layering you can extend that." We will go ahead and layer a fleece underneath it when it's cold and windy enough, but it works well on it's own (for our daughter) in temperatures of ~45 degrees or above (this number is specific to our child and our comfort level).
Our daughter understands the concept of being cold, and we'll ask her periodically when she's wearing the jacket without additional layers if she is cold. She has yet to say, "yes." It should be noted for context that we are usually fairly active when outside in the cold. Sometimes we go lower without layers, but we typically layer anyway. We try to keep a fleece on her so we can take the jacket off before placing her in the car seat, which allows her to retain some warmth if the car is cold.
We haven't had the opportunity to have our daughter wear this in any significant rain for a prolonged period of time (not that we would with this jacket), but it's been through a sprinkle and drizzle here and there and repelled water nicely. The inside of the coat and underlayers stayed completely dry. Finally, the ripshot shell fabric is fairly durable and easy to surface clean. Our daughter has put it through the paces and beat it up on the playground, in the yard, on trails, etc. and there are no noticeable rips or tears, even upon close inspection.
Areas For Improvement
Aesthetics - It would be nice (and, yes, this is totally subjective) if the solid colored side were magenta or something a little more colorful than white. We admit that the contrast between the print side and the solid white side looks pretty cool on the hood, but still...it's white...and we have a toddler. Having said that, our daughter isn't concerned with displaying that side anyway. She only has eyes for the owls.
Form and Function - The hood has spandex binding to help hold it's shape, which is nice, but there is no way to cinch the hood any tighter around the head and face. It's wide, so if it is particularly windy it blows over her eyes or off of her head completely. We've been able to compensate for this with the right beanie, but on it's own, the hood doesn't do much to help with warmth or wind protection. Finally, there are only pockets on the print side, we do wish there were pockets on the solid side as well.
Do We Recommend It?
Yes, for mild cold weather or for layering with a good baselayer and/or fleece in colder weather. We're basing this review on it's actual intended functionality (based upon our communication with customer service as referenced above), and not as a cold weather puffy coat. If we were basing the review on that alone, then we may not recommend it. If you want a stand-alone cold weather puffy coat, there are better options out there. However, this jacket works really well for our needs here in Nashville, TN, and as we said, works well for it's intended use. Our daughter loves it; it looks great, is warm and layers easily. The jacket handles a variety of weather conditions and is durable enough to hold up to a toddler beating (which means it's pretty durable!). We definitely recommend buying it a size up so you can try and stretch the wear to two years. We also recommend keeping a good beanie or two on hand.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to ask questions or make comments. If the cold ever gets here, enjoy it!
Disclosure: (1) The 4 small pictures of the different puff-ball models at the beginning are affiliate links to backcountry.com. (2) We bought this jacket with our own money and had no communication with Patagonia regarding a review of this or any other garment. The only direct communication we had with Patagonia was through customer service on-line with regards to temperature rating/recommendations. (3) All of the opinions are complete our own based upon four - five months of playing outside with our daughter.