Mountain Hardwear Hunker Down Jacket
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: About $150
Trying for so many years, I finally found an all-around down jacket that has everything I need.
- More than plenty warm (maybe too warm?)
- Lined hand warmer pockets, microfleece collar
- Velcro wrist closures
- Two Napolean pockets, internal and external
- Internal water bottle pocket
- Cargo pockets low rather than chest high
I was looking for a down-filled jacket that would work both as an outside layer over other insulation layers in very cold conditions, yet still be usable by itself or as the internal insulation layer with an overall parka. Most jackets either were far too heavy (I already have those), or they are too light (I have down "sweaters" to fill that position). After looking at models from all the major players, I found the Mountain Hardwear Hunker Down jacket.
While the fill is 650-fill down rather than a more attractive 800+, this jacket is more than warm enough for what I need. I got an XXL rather than an XL as I wanted to make sure it would fit over other insulation. Most other manufacturers' XXL jackets are still too snug when worn over other insulation, but the Hunker Down has enough room to not compress its own down or the down in the layers beneath. However, even with this space, the jacket does not feel like a tent when worn alone or as an internal layer with a wind/rain/snow parka over it.
Once I got the jacket, I found it has most of the "little" things that make this jacket ideal for me.
I wanted an internal Napolean pocket — this one has both an internal AND external zip Napolean pockets. Now I can carry small small items outside for very easy access, or inside to keep warm.
Both cargo pockets have microfleece for comfortable warmth. The collar is also microfleece-lined to prevent the sudden cringe when the cold collar touches your neck.
The outer material of the jacket is heavier than normally found in today's products. However, when this jacket is worn as the outside layer, this extra-strength material is nice to have in the event of brush-whacking, or even in the event of a fall on glacial snow (I already had one jacket tear in such a fall). This extra insurance is worth the slight increase in weight.
Of very great importance to me, the cuffs are closed with velcro rather than elastic as most all the others I tried. When the cuffs are closed with elastic, venting the sleeves is impossible. With the velcro, the sleeves can be left open during activity, then closed when needed for extra warmth.
There is no attached hood. While I like an attached hood for the outside parka, if a hood is attached to something used as an internal layer, the hood gets in the way of anything. I find a separate hat provides more flexibility.
I received a very pleasant surprise when I looked inside the jacket. On the inside right there is a mesh pocket that can easily take a 1 liter water bag (i.e., a Platypus bag). This keeps the water from freezing, yet it is still readily available.
The only drawback I can see with this jacket is outside pockets are low rather than higher on the chest to avoid interference with the pack waist belt. Fortunately, while the jacket hangs low enough to keep the wind out, it is short enough to lift above the waist belt if the pockets are actually used (when actually wearing the pack, I usually do not have anything in the pockets). The water bag I place in the inside pocket has enough room to miss the belt.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this jacket to anyone who needs it just as a jacket, or, like me, needs something more versatile in more extreme conditions.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $111.96
Nice warm jacket to hunker down in!
- Not made in USA
I've had this jacket for a couple months now. Bought it to walk the dog on cold mornings and for winter backpacking trips. It's too warm for dog walking! This thing is like an oven. On the first backpacking trip it got to the mid 30s in the early morning. I had it wrapped over the foot area of my hammock and it kept my feet nice and warm. It really is meant for when you are just sitting around because when you are hiking it will just make you sweat.
The fit is good; I bought an XL so I could layer under it. The sleeves are long for me in that size, but the cuffs are adjustable with velcro tabs.
There is beefier material across the sholders and along the back of the sleeves, which adds some abrasion resistance in those areas (from carrying a pack or leaning on stuff).
A chest pocket on the front to stash a camera or digital music player; to hand warmer pockets lined with soft fleece, adn two deep, inside mesh pockets to hold anything you want to put there!
I've worn it in wind and it seems to keep it at bay.
Overall I am quite happy with it. Check online—you can sometimes find great deals on it.
UPDATE: I wore this on a February backpacking trip where temps dipped to the low 30s. In camp, there was a slight breeze blowing in the evening and the jacket kept me really warm. I feel like this was a very sound investment and because I take good care of all my gear, I plan to have it a long time.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $160
This jacket is great. A whole notch warmer than the North Face Aconcagua 550 fill I also own. And I mean about 15-20 degrees warmer.
The baffles are wide and after wearing for a day the down has puffed out quite nicely. I got quite sweaty standing in line in the insurance office and grocery store for a few minutes each. I felt a bit self conscious about the puffiness of the jacket but i can live with that. The upper material is heavier weave while the lower feels silky smooth. The red color i bought is bright and really pops.
I also like the chest pocket for using my iPod. Using my pants pocket always pulls on my cables
- Light and warm
- Feels silky smooth
- Nice fit
- Velcro wrists
- Lower material may be a bit weak around sharp objects
- Neck has fleece (needs cleaning more)
I have owned quite a few brands of down jackets in the last several years. This is right up there with the warmer of them. Though probably not warm enough by itself in all situations, I use two or three down jackets layered in even colder situations at night with extreme windchill.
The jacket looks and feels great. I'm afraid to get it dirty or hurt. I spend a huge amount of my winters in the desert of nevada and need a jacket like this for those 0 degree nights digging crystals. While not as warm as an REI high dollar jacket or some others, for the money it was a great value.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
On Sale. Free Shipping. Mountain Hardwear Men's Hunker Down Jacket DECENT FEATURES of the Mountain Hardwear Men's Hunker Down Jacket Insulated with lofty and warm 650-fill goose down Abrasion-resistant reinforcement panels on the shoulders and arms combat wear and tear Fleece lined handwarmer pockets Adjustable cuffs for fit options Dual hem drawcords for quick fit adjustments Interior zip pocket stores ID, keys, other small essentials Micro-Chamois-lined chin guard prevents zipper chafe The SPECS Average Weight: 1 lb 9 oz / 705 g Center Back Length: 28.5in. / 72 cm Fabric: Body: 50D Rip (100% polyester), Insulation: 650-Fill Goose Down
- Moosejaw refers to the men's version
CLOSEOUTS . Offering outstanding warmth and superior durability, Mountain Hardwear's Hunker Down jacket has 650 fill power down insulation inside a 50 denier shell that's highly resistant to snags and tears. Available Colors: ELM/DUFFEL, BLACK/BLACK, MORRELL/CORDOVAN, ROYAL/COLLEGIATE NAVY, CHERRY BOMB/RED VELVET. Sizes: S, M, L, XL, 2XL.
- Sierra Trading Post refers to the men's version
Built for maximum warmth in abusive conditions The Hunker Down's 50-denier outer fabric is heavier than most down jacket shells so it's less likely to snag, rip or wear through Fully adjustable cuffs afford plenty of extra room for gloves or mitts when needed
- SunnySports refers to the men's version
The Mountain Hardwear Hunker Down Jacket is a cold weather down jacket for a variety of winter activities. The Hunker Down Jacket is filled with 650 goose down. Abrasion-resistant reinforced panels on the shoulders and arms combat wear and tear Fleece-lined handwarmer pockets Adjustment cuffs for fit options Dual hem drawcords for quick fit adjustments Interior zip pocket stores ID, keys, other small essentials Micro-Chamois lined chin guard prevents zipper chafe
- OMCgear refers to the men's version