Tag Archives: down jacket reviews

September 23, 2015 Campsite, Dome Glacier, Ptarmigan Traverse, Glacier Peak Wilderness, North Cascades.

Ask Me: How Can You Tell How Warm a Down Jacket Is?

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Paddling, Skiing   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Michael,

With sleeping bags, we have temperature ratings. But with down/insulated/puffy jackets, what is best way to determine if a jacket will be warm or warmer or hot? Is it the amount of fill? Some but not all jackets indicate the amount of fill.

Thanks.

Bruce
Virginia

Continue reading →

Review: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket

September 22, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket

Ultralight Down Jacket
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket
$320, 7 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
mountainhardwear.com

When trying to lighten a backpacking load, besides focusing on the heaviest items you carry (tent, bag, pack), your clothing offers potential for shaving ounces and bulk. Rather than assuming I need the same clothing for every trip, I choose layers based on the forecast and likely range of weather and temperatures—and I don’t pack more than I need. So I’m a big believer in ultralight insulation when the temperature will remain well above freezing. Hardwear’s Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket proved perfect on a recent four-day, 86-mile backpacking trip in northern Yosemite National Park in early September: It kept me warm on the coldest morning, around 40° F, while weighing barely more than the wool hat and light gloves I brought. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Big Agnes Hole in the Wall Jacket

November 4, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Big Agnes Hole in the Wall Jacket

Big Agnes Hole in the Wall Jacket

Down Jacket
Big Agnes Hole in the Wall Jacket
$220, 14 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
bigagnes.com

When I unzipped my sleeping bag after a night spent under the stars at nearly 11,000 feet by Columbine Lake in Sequoia National Park in August, I wasn’t thinking about what’s inside the new Hole in the Wall Jacket. Cocooned warmly inside my bag, I had been hammered by strong gusts all night; and with that cold wind still blowing when I woke up, I didn’t want to get out of it. But I pulled on this fat puffy and all but forgot about the wind—reminding me that sometimes the characteristics that make for a good puffy jacket are what you can’t see. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Patagonia Kids Down Sweater

April 18, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Patagonia Kids Down Sweater

Patagonia Kids Down Sweater

Kids Down Jacket
Patagonia Girls/Boys Down Sweater
$99, 10 oz. (girls medium)
Sizes: boys and girls XS (5-6) to XXL (16-18)
patagonia.com

The first indicator that this kids’ down jacket was a good pick: My 10-year-old daughter didn’t want to take it off, wearing it daily to school and even around the house. Your kid loves it—that’s a plus. I like it for the performance. She wore this puffy while car camping and backpacking in late March in Utah’s Capitol Reef National Park and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, when low temperatures ranged from the mid-teens to the 40s, as well as resort skiing (under a shell jacket) and to school on many winter and spring days. While camping, temps in the low 20s were at the jacket’s limit, although you could layer a light insulation piece under it. Continue reading →

Gear Review: L.L. Bean Ultralite 850 Down Jacket

January 28, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
LL Bean Ultralite 850 down jacket

LL Bean Ultralite 850 down jacket

Down Jacket
L.L. Bean Ultralite 850 Down Jacket
$179, 1 lb. 1 oz. (men’s medium), $189 tall
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, tall M-XXL, women’s XS-XL, petite XS-XL
llbean.com

In heavily falling snow at around 9,000 feet on Copper Mountain in Idaho’s Boise National Forest, I felt the cold touch my bones. We had been climbing uphill on skis, breaking trail, for about 90 minutes; I was wet, and now the wind on the exposed ridge where we had stopped for a bite hit us. I pulled this down jacket on over my shell jacket and kept it on while skiing back downhill—I was that cold—realizing the snow could saturate the feathers and thinking, “Well, we’ll see if this water-resistant down works.” Continue reading →

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