Size Tested: XXL
Construction: 850 fil down, Coreloft
synthetic insulation. Airetica nylon.
Mileage before Review: 2000 miles
Longest Test: 2000 miles
- Down/synthetic hybrid has the light weight, packability of a down jacket, but the performance of a synthetic jacket in wetter conditions.
- Clever construction places synthetic insulation where moisture or wear is most likely to occur. I.E. On top of the shoulders, and just in front of the mouth. This allows for the jacket tomaintain loft even when in moist conditions or while wearing a pack.
- The ‘Airetica’ nylon is very tenacious and can withstand the wear and tear (and dirt) accumulated over 2000 miles of trail, and provides a good amount of wind protection.
- Hood adds a significant amount of warmth. One tester said he absolutely needed the hood in the North Cascades during some high teen nights in his 20 degree hoodless quilt!
- Athletic fit, and lightweight materials make for a relatively light, stand alone insulation layer for temperatures down to freezing.
- Expensive. At over $400 all together, this jacket is pricier than other jackets of comparable warmth. (Quality aside).
- Zipper had a tendency to snag every now and then.
- No draw string around the waist. This jacket has a trim fit ending at the waist, and without the draw string, some heat is able to escape.
Best Used For: Ultralight backpacking, Stand alone insulation layer down to freezing, Slightly wetter conditions you wouldn’t normally bring a down jacket to.
I put this jacket on at mile 700 of the Pacific Crest Trail, and took it off at the Canadian Border. It is a tough piece of gear, and despite it’s hefty price tag, remains one of my favorite jackets.
The hood, and synthetic/down hybrid construction let me take this ultralight stand alone layer down to just below freezing with a long sleeve shirt (Marmot Stinson) on underneath.
I coupled this jacket with a 20 degree down quilt, and was only uncomfortable one night in the North Cascades when temperatures reached 17 degrees.
The synthetic insulation was able to withstand the wear of pack straps and the occasional sprinkle. The jacket also came with a DWR (waterproof coating), which worked well until it eventually rubbed off.
I lived in this jacket for 3 months, and always found it to be a valuable piece of gear in my ultralight set up. (Check out the gear lists here).
Tester’s Jacket Rating
Wind Protection 8/10
Rain Protection 7/10
Bug Protection 10/10