backpacking apparel reviews

Gear Review: Outdoor Research and Rab Winter Down Jackets

Outdoor Research Maestro Jacket

Down Jackets for Winter
Outdoor Research Maestro Jacket
$325, 1 lb. 5 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL
outdoorresearch.com

On January nights that dipped into the low teens during a four-day yurt trip, this fat, 800+-fill power, hooded down jacket was so warm I could hang around outside for hours in the evenings and early mornings, staying perfectly warm. At a bit under a pound and a half, it’s a burly puffy jacket made for very cold situations: ice-climbing belays, winter camping, or all-day backcountry ski tours on frigid days when you need a super-warm puffy for breaks (or even just inside your pack as an insurance policy in an emergency).

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Gear Review: Brooks-Range Cirro Hoody Puffy Jacket

Brooks-Range Cirro Hoody

Puffy Jacket
Brooks-Range Cirro Hoody
$189, 13 oz.
Sizes: S-XL
brooks-range.com

I looked at this puffy jacket and thought, “Not gonna keep me warm. Too thin and light.” Wrong. From Washington’s North Cascades to Oregon’s Grand Ronde River and Idaho’s City of Rocks, I was toasty on windy, cool mornings down to the upper 30s. The lightweight, Primaloft One insulation doesn’t look Michelin Man fat, but is tops at trapping body heat.

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