Eddie Bauer First Ascent Peak XV Parka
A full featured alpine/expedition parka advertised good to -30° F.
- High quality materials
- Tested mountaineering design
- Constantly improved from original
- Helmet-compatible hood
- 3 inside mesh pockets
- 3 outer pockets
- DWR treated 800 fill down
- Tough Cordura brand shell
- Needs better insulated zipper baffle
- Needs two-way opening zipper for climbing harness use
At its $249 sale price this parka was a great value from its $499 MSRP.
I bought this parka both for bitter cold alpine skiing and as a "camp parka" when winter camping. The size large fits me well at 190 lbs, 5' 10" tall.
MATERIALS: It compares most closely with Patagonia's Fitz Roy alpine parka both in design and down fill quality. the PEAK XV Parka will not pack quite as small as the Fitzroy and other similar alpine parkas because its Cordura brand shell material is thicker and thus tougher. I caught the arm of this parka on a jagged Ponderosa pine branch and it did not tear as I'm fairly certain normal Pertex would have. This is not the heavy canvas Cordura we often see on packs but a much lighter fabric, about twice the weight of regular ripstop nylon with a matte finish. And the 800 fill down is DWR treated. I like that feature to help transport moisture out of the parka.
ZIPPER BAFFLE: To make the flat, synthetic fiber filled zipper baffle better I seam ripped the top and filled the entire baffle with DWR treated 800 fill down, the same brand The North Face uses, and sewed it back up. I plan to make another baffle tube and have a tailor sew it on the other side, then fill it with down also.
Finally, as mods go, I bought a coyote fur ruff that I'm backing with Velcro and then sewing mating Velcro on the hood so I can remove the ruff for alpine skiing.
POCKETS: The two large, lower inside pockets have now become standard on alpine/expedition parkas and they are mostly used for carrying spare gloves or drying gloves with your body heat. The upper inside mesh pocket is for an avalanche beacon or other electronic device. The two lower outside pockets are zippered and insulated on both sides an are located high enough to be useable when a climbing harness is worn. A zippered upper left "Napoleon" pocket is handy for necessaries like lip balm, goggle anti-fog material, maps, etc.
So far this parka has performed very well, being a perfect parka for winter nights in camp sitting around talking before bedtime and for staying warm on windy, cold ski lift chairs. It stuffs down to the size of a soccer ball.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $249+shipping & 8.25% Nevada sales tax
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Reviewers Paid: $249.00