User Review: Eddie Bauer Men's First Ascent Downlight Sweater
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $70
This being the first puffy down jacket I have ever owned, I do not have a lot to compare the Eddie Bauer First Ascent Downlight to. But, I must say, this jacket is incredible. Never have I had such a warm jacket. I almost feel myself starting to become overheated while wearing it indoors. Outdoors, even a biting winter wind does not cut through it. Additionally, it feels as light as air.
- Extremely warm
- Very lightweight
- Compacts down to almost nothing
- Runs a little small in size
- Feathers poke through often
- Zipper gets stuck on occasion
The jacket itself is relatively simplistic in that it has minimal pockets with no inner storage compartments. It can compress down nicely, and actually be stuffed into its own pocket to be put in a backpack, etc. It has quality zipper pulls that work great with gloves, and tight elastic around the sleeves and waist to keep air from coming in. The zippers are a little hard to zip sometimes, but I don’t think this is anything that can’t be cured with some lubrication or soap. The construction seems to be of above-average quality.
I normally wear a large in just about everything I purchase, but for some reason I had to get this one in XL. The L was rather tight and just did not look good on me. Additionally, there would have been no way to get any other layers underneath it. I know it is typical to not have to layer as much when wearing down, but I like to have the option. If considering purchasing, do not assume it will fit without trying it on first.
My only major complaint with this article is that the feathers tend to push through quite often. Since I am not used to down, maybe this is just a standard thing no matter what the brand. I used to have a down pillow that did the exact same thing—and stopped using it. Sometimes, it can be very difficult to push the feathers back in, and the last thing I want to do is pull them out (but have done it). I think this is the exact reason why I have avoided purchasing an expensive down sleeping bag (that and the issue with down and moisture). In some cases, synthetics just make more sense.
There are many puffys on the market by many well-respected brands, and many true outdoor fanatics might not take the Eddie Bauer name seriously as opposed to Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, or others. However, the First Ascent line is very high-grade quality recommended by Backpacker magazine and has really made a name for itself in recent years. Even better, I live close to an Eddie Bauer Outlet store, and found this on sale at the beginning of the season for under $75. For me, it was a no-brainer purchase. It is definitely a quality down jacket that will make any cold-weather excursion a much better one.