A very lightweight yet warm down vest. Features are…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $79
A very lightweight yet warm down vest. Features are minimal, what you would expect to keep weight limited. Relatively trim fit. Overall outstanding.
- Light weight
- Nice pockets
- Athletic fit - could be a problem for some
- Weird color and some minimal stains, a sale rack purchase
I purchased this because i could see plenty of situations where i would prefer a down vest to a down sweater or parka. I also could not resist an outstanding sale price, a vest that retails for $174 on sale for $79. Also, the company has a reputation for making outstanding down sleeping bags and outerwear. These are first impressions that i will update after more use.
The vest is a less-than-lovely shade of green. Not surprisingly, the company discontinued the vest in that color, hence the sale price. It is made of Schoeller Nanosphere fabric. I think the primary goal was to make the jacket lightweight; the tag claimed some other benefits of this fabric, one being stain resistance. I can say with confidence that it doesn't do a good job resisting stains; this vest had been hanging around for a while, and it had a few spots on it, probably from being handled at the store. I haven't tried to clean them and won't.
The fabric is very lightweight though, and the sewn-through tubes allow the down to loft extremely well. The vest has a little more than 3 ounces of down, 850 fill power, and weighed 7.1 ounces on our kitchen food scale. i compared the loft to my patagonia down sweater, which has roughly the same amount of down fill. the vest is on the right. as you can see, it is at least twice as puffy as the down sweater.
Design-wise, there isn't much more to this vest. it has a coil zipper in front, two handwarmer pockets that are deep but do not zip, and that have down but under and over your hands, and one internal zippered pocket that is large enough to hold a wallet and a camera and a few small items. it arrived with a small stuff sack and stuffs to about the size of two softballs. the fit is a little trim; i was able to wear it comfortably over a base layer or a thin fleece, such as thick polartec powerstretch or patagonia R1; it felt a little confined worn over a thick wool sweater. it has a nice collar full of down.
it is warm for the weight? amen. i wore it out for 3 hours last night, walking around while my nine year-old daughter masqueraded as a hamburger. in 40-45 degrees, walking slowly, i had to keep it partially or totally unzipped. quality of manufacture looks great. one of the down tubes in the back, the down had migrated sideways — i had to shake it down to the middle. not surprising for a down vest. some companies make vests like this in a grid pattern to avoid this, but i think this design, with larger tubes, helps the down loft better.
the light weight fabric probably wouldn't be a good idea for bushwhacking, unless protected by an outer shell.
more on this after i have worn it. looks like a winner.
on the downside, it makes me want one of their down jackets......