Inside the Booming Collector’s Market for Vintage Patagonia

Your old fleece could be worth serious cash

Patagonia logo jacket
Patagonia is quickly becoming much more than an outdoorsy favorite.
Robert Alexander/Getty Images

That old fleece sitting in the back of your closet could be worth some serious cash: as a new Wall Street Journal article highlights, there’s a fiercely devoted community of collectors and resellers devoted to vintage Patagonia fleeces, with some items selling for hundreds of dollars online.

As the Journal notes, the fanatics dedicated to the vintage, pre-2000 fleece fall into two camps: those whose interest in the garments is focused on texture (the term “deep pile” refers to the jacket’s fuzzy outer shell) and those who are more impressed by unique, bold patterns.

“For serious collectors, certain standout patterns have become fabled must-haves,” the publication notes. “There’s the ‘Thunder’ reversible Glissade jacket from 1997, with images of electric bolts streaming down its front; the ‘Spiral’ Glissade from 1998, covered in swirls; and the ‘Bullseye’ pullover from 1994 distinguished by an almost serape-like print. Excruciatingly difficult to find in America, these models pop up occasionally on resale sites in Japan, whose Americana-obsessed fashion fans have long hoarded Patagonia.”

The “Spiral” fleece is currently listed on a Japanese resale website for $970, and collectors are convinced that prices are only going to keep going up.

“I’m hoarding the best stuff,” Mark Donoher, 30, told the Journal. “I think everything right now is just beginning.”

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