Kids Down Jacket
Marmot Boy’s and Girl’s Guides Down Hoody
$140, 1 lb. 6 oz. (XL)
Sizes: boys XS-XXL, girls XS-XL
When the long shadow of dusk fell and the temperature plummeted at our successive campsites at over 10,000 feet and at 12,000 feet during a four-day climb of the Mountaineers Route on California’s 14,505-foot Mount Whitney in April, my 15-year-old son zipped up his Boy’s Guides Down Hoody and stayed perfectly warm.
With the Boy’s Guides Down Hoody, Marmot created a puffy jacket that mirrors the quality of its adult jackets. Its 700-fill down strikes a balance between a reasonable price—higher down-fill ratings cost more—and a keeping the jacket fairly packable and warm for its weight. Marmot’s proprietary Down Defender technology makes the down fibers water resistant, preventing them from clumping together when wet, which traditionally happens to down feathers, nixing their ability to trap heat. The jacket’s shell also has a DWR (durable, water-repellant) treatment to shed light rain or snow (it’s not waterproof). The polyester ripstop shell fabric still looks new after three-season backpacking trips from southern Utah in late March to Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains in late August, as well as the Mount Whitney climb.
The generously insulated hood is very warm and fully adjustable, and a draft tube behind the front zipper and elasticized cuffs keep warmth inside and cold air outside. The sleeves are long enough to not expose wrists when reaching forward, and they’re sewn to permit a full range of motion, so that the jacket doesn’t hike up when your child reaches overhead. My son made frequent use of the two zippered front pockets to keep his hands warm. The XL fits him well at about five-and-a-half feet tall and a lean 115 pounds, with space to layer a light fleece underneath it and a roomy shell over it, while the length extends a few inches below the waistband of his pants; he wore it when he was a couple inches and 15 pounds smaller and will probably get at least another winter of use before he outgrows it.
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In a range of sizes that covers preschool-age kids to teens who are small-adult size, the Marmot Boy’s and Girl’s Guides Down Hoody is a high-quality puffy for real backcountry adventures in sub-freezing temperatures, from backpacking to climbing to skiing.
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See my reviews of winter jackets, pants, gloves, and mittens for kids, all of my reviews of kids insulated jackets and kids outdoor apparel, all of my reviews of insulated jackets, and all of my outdoor apparel reviews.
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 categorized menus of all of my gear reviews at The Big Outside.