Review: Mammut Meron IN Hooded Down Jacket

Down Jacket
Mammut Meron IN Hooded Down Jacket
$449, 14 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XXL, women’s XS-XL
backcountry.com

As gray clouds hovered low overhead, the air still carried the dampness of the day’s rain, and a chilly wind whipped through our campsite by a lake in the Wind River Range, I zipped inside the Mammut Meron IN Hooded Down Jacket, pulled the hood up—and felt warmth immediately surround me. Fat but exceptionally light and packable, this puffy vaulted to the top of my list of insulated jackets. Here’s why.

I found the Meron more than warm enough on cool, wet, and windy evenings and mornings around 40° F in camps on an August backpacking trip in Wyoming’s Wind River Range. I also wore the Meron IN Hooded Down Jacket in similar temps backpacking five days through Washington’s Pasayten Wilderness in September, with mostly dry weather but one cool, damp morning of light rain, and found I didn’t always even pull the hood over my head (I also wore a wool hat).


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The Mammut Meron IN Hooded Down Jacket.
Testing the Mammut Meron IN Hooded Down Jacket in the Pasayten Wilderness.

At 14 ounces, for someone who doesn’t get cold too easily, this puffy jacket would deliver enough warmth (over one or two base layers) for temps around freezing; people who do get chilled easily may find it warm enough for 40° F and good over a lighter insulation layer in freezing temps.

Stuffed with RDS (Responsible Down Standard)-certified, 95 percent 900-fill-power goose down and five percent goose feather filling, the Meron boasts a warmth-to-weight ratio matched by very few down jackets. The sewnthrough construction, which stitches the outer, shell fabric to the inner, liner fabric—common in ultralight jackets made for three-season temperatures to reduce a jacket’s weight—creates visible boxes of down with potential cold spots at seams between them. But I noticed no compromise in warmth even on damp, windy evenings and mornings in camp.

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The helmet-compatible hood adjusts with a single drawcord in the back and wraps completely around your face, shielding it from wind; and with the zipper extending up over your chin, it seals in warmth very effectively, as do the elasticized cuffs and adjustable hem.

The fit leaves room for a couple of base layers and/or a light insulation piece underneath, yet never feels bulky. The length extends slightly below the waist, providing adequate coverage while helping to minimize weight. Two warm, zippered hand pockets are positioned higher than a backpack or climbing harness belt and are quite spacious: Each can fit a climbing skin (for backcountry skiing) plus a warm glove. The jacket stuffs into a zippered inside pocket, packing down to the size of a small bread loaf.

The lightweight, polyamide ripstop shell has a PFC-free DWR (durable, water-repellent treatment) that repelled a light rain in camp and sports durability comparable to the fabric on many lightweight down jackets. Plus, the jacket carries a Bluesign rating, indicating that at least 90 percent of the materials used in making it meet Bluesign standards.

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The Verdict

With exceptional warmth per ounce and packability and a total weight of just 14 ounces, the Mammut Meron IN Hooded DownJacket ranks among the very best down jackets for three-season backpacking and front-country camping in temperatures plunging to freezing.

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You can support my work on this blog, at no cost to you, by clicking this affiliate link to purchase a men’s or women’s Mammut Meron IN Hooded Down Jacket at backcountry.com or moosejaw.com.

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

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Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned backpacker, you’ll learn new tricks for making all of your trips go better in my “12 Expert Tips for Planning a Backpacking Trip,” A Practical Guide to Lightweight and Ultralight Backpacking,” and “How to Know How Hard a Hike Will Be.” With a paid subscription to The Big Outside, you can read all of those three stories for free; if you don’t have a subscription, you can download the e-guide versions of “12 Expert Tips for Planning a Backpacking Trip,” the lightweight and ultralight backpacking guide, and “How to Know How Hard a Hike Will Be.”

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 gear reviews and expert buying tips.

—Michael Lanza

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