Review: Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket

Down Jacket
Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket
$409, 11 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s XS-XXL, women’s XS-XL
featheredfriends.com

When you have something that works, the worst thing you can do is change it much. Feathered Friends stuck with a winning formula when updating its popular Eos Down Jacket, making just two minor improvements. Testing the updated Eos on adventures ranging from a windy and chilly June camping and climbing trip in Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve to nine days backpacking through the High Sierra in August, I found it just as warm and comfortable as I have found the previous iteration of this poofy puffy in the backcountry of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, Glacier National Park, and countless other wild places.

I wore the men’s Eos Down Jacket almost every morning and evening on a nine-day hike of nearly 130 miles in August, mostly on the John Muir Trail, with lows often in the 40s Fahrenheit and strong wind and it kept me quite comfortable with just one or two base layers underneath it. Also, on four cold, very windy days of camping and rock climbing in Idaho’s City of Rocks in June, with air temps in the 40s and 50s but the wind chill considerably lower, I wore the Eos with the hood up every morning and evening in camp and even, at times, while belaying under variably sunny and cloudy skies.


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The Featured Friends Eos Down Jacket.
Testing the Featured Friends Eos Down Jacket on the John Muir Trail.

Made in the good ‘ole U.S. and generously stuffed with four ounces of ethically sourced, 900+-fill goose down, the Eos has proven time and again that it can handle temperatures down to the high 30s with strong wind. That’s impressive warmth for a puffy jacket that weighs 11 ounces—its warmth-to-weight ratio is matched by few competitors. (See my picks for the 10 best down jackets—of which the Eos is one.)

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The Featured Friends Eos Down Jacket.
The Featured Friends Eos Down Jacket.

While the down isn’t treated for water resistance (more common in sleeping bags than jackets), it is protected inside a water-resistant, Pertex Quantum shell with a DWR (durable, water-resistant treatment) that sheds light precipitation. In reality, most users probably know better than to stand outside in a steady rain without a rain shell over a down jacket; but people expecting to wear their puffy jacket in wet conditions should look for another model (probably synthetic).

As with any lightweight or ultralight jacket, the 12-denier by 20-denier fabric is tough for its very low weight, but susceptible to tears, so be careful with it. (I’ve never torn the Eos over several years of use.) The construction is top-notch, with sewn-through baffles that prevent down from migrating. While sewn-through baffles help reduce garment weight and are common in lightweight down jackets, they can create cold spots along seams where there’s essentially no insulation. However, that was never a problem in the Eos, even in temps in the upper 30s Fahrenheit.

The two changes in this updated Eos are placing the zippered chest pocket out of sight behind a flap and making the warm hood adjustable using drawstrings that help it fit more snugly and mostly move with your turning head. The Eos still features two spacious, zippered hand pockets, elasticized cuffs, and a drawcord hem.

It packs down to fit in the included 8×5.5-inch stuff sack, a good size for a camping pillow—and compact enough to keep near the top of my backpack and pull on during snack breaks in chilly wind.

The Feathered Friends Eos collection also includes a men’s and women’s Eos Down Vest ($259, 7 oz.).

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The Featured Friends Eos Down Jacket.
The Featured Friends Eos Down Jacket.

The Verdict

At a price that competes with and even beats some high-end down jackets, the Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket delivers exceptional quality in an insulated jacket that’s warm enough for camping in temps near freezing.

BUY IT NOW

You can support my work on this blog, at no cost to you, by clicking either of these links to purchase a men’s Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket at featheredfriends.com, or a women’s Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket at featheredfriends.com.

See my picks for “The 10 Best Down Jackets” and all of my reviews of insulated jackets and outdoor apparel that I like at The Big Outside.

See all stories with expert backpacking tips at The Big Outside.

NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See The Big Outside’s Gear Reviews page for categorized menus of all gear reviews and expert buying tips.

—Michael Lanza

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2 thoughts on “Review: Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket”

  1. Thank you for your review. I’ve been a fanboy of FF jackets for over 20 years. Back in the day my favorite was the Helios and I owned a “concept Volant” for a while that was my “throw in the back of my truck with tire chains and wet dogs jacket.”

    In 2019 I kickstarted going out once in a while and had to gear up all over again. I found out about the EOS. I ordered a size XL EOS in 2019 when I weighed 195 lbs. (5’10”) and it was perfect. Then I got down to 185 lbs. and wanted something slimmer so I ordered an updated size Large from FF in December of 2021. It was borderline too small but I pulled it off with a light base layer and a very thin mid. However, with a little Q&A with FF support, I learned that the “updated” version was cut trimmer. Somewhat annoyingly, the pockets were made smaller. I resolved to put my name on the list for the next batch to pony up to an XL.

    I just received my updated “Fall of 2022” version in size XL in the re-released “Midnight Navy” and decided to go to town figuring out exactly what got changed between the EOS XL “original” version and the updated “Fall of 2022” version EOS XL. Here’s what I discovered. In the newest “Updated” version, compared to the 2018-2020 “pre-updated” version in the same size (XL) there are “cuts” in diameter throughout the garment that all add up to make this version very form-fitting: read “SLIM.” For me it works, but if I go back up to 200 lbs. I better hang onto the first one. If I drop to 172, the newest XL will be perfect for layering under my Arc’teryx shell (Alpha FL – XL) and over one of my thinner fleece mids, comfortably.

    Thankfully, FF has now “restored” the pockets to the original size. However, something I have not seen anywhere is what they have done with the hood. Yes, the first updated version added drawcords. However, this latest “Fall 2022” specimen has additional reductions in the panel length of the baffles in the hood, and while I would have to say the hood is still “technically helmet compatible” I would say it is less “helmet-friendly” than any of its predecessors. Having said all of that, it works for me (I generally don’t do anything where I need a helmet) and is hopefully my “final” down jacket conquest.

    The updated version feels like the outside fabric has a slightly softer sheen and having slept in the original and the one from last December, it is now more comfortable to sleep in, at least for me. The weight of the XL that I just received is now a few tenths of an ounce less than the XL from (I am guessing) 2018-2020 (Midnight Navy). It should go without saying that I would not have chased “Nirvana” in a very nerdy, gear-head way unless I was pretty impressed overall with the FF EOS. I would add that the EOS I originally purchased on eBay – complete with at least one 3 day trip in the San Juans – besides being my “go to” for frosty Sonoran desert early morning Winter walks with my Shiba Inus – looks indistinguishable (even close-up) to the EOS I just received. That’s a pretty good sign for it’s potential longevity. At the current MSRP of $409 – not to mention the eBay purchase and the purchase of the size large a year ago at $389- it’s been an expensive quest.

    For me, my down jacket is part of my Shoulder sleep system and, after all, I did confess to being a FF jacket “fanboy.” I could provide some measurements of the jacket comparisons, above, and throw some pictures on IMGUR if there is an interest. – Scott

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