Reviewers Paid: $225.00
If you are looking for a light, warm, quiet, water resistant puffy, this is it. I bow hunt elk, and they do not hear this when I move. I also use this and a rain jacket winter snowshoeing and am plenty warm.
- Wind resistant
- Needs pit vents
- Runs a little big
This was the last week of November in Salmon Id. I looked out the window at the snow and the temp on the thermometer showed -12°F. I had my moisture wicking synthetic t shirt on, my First Lite Chama merino wool base layer top, my 800 fill down vest, my wool stocking hat and my Uncompahgre puffy over the top of everything.
I traded my big puffy for this smaller less bulky one. Compared to my other puffy this one is pretty light, 19oz for a large, small is around 14oz. I had my worries if it would keep me warm though. I walked outside, hopped in my pickup, and started it up. I was still warm. I still had my big down puffy jacket if I needed it, but I was plenty warm. The temp crawled up to -5°F that day, and I found myself shedding my vest and wearing just my base layers and the unpronounceable puffy from First Lite.
First Lite uses the European design in making layered clothing. Layers should fit over other layers. If you wear a medium, order everything in medium. If you normally wear large order everything in large etc. Starting from the base layer, each layer is cut a little larger than the next, so you just order one size. Their products seem to be a little generous in their cut. Drawstrings at the bottom hem, allow you to adjust the fit.
I have worn this jacket over 50 days so far and I took it to Guam with me for two weeks in February. I have not used this puffy in a downpour. That being said I was dry Nov-Dec while wearing it during wet and dry snow falls and did not get soaked through.
I would like to see zippered arm pit vents added to help decrease moisture build up, because If you are not careful you can sweat fairly easily in this puffy. As light and thin as it is, I was worried about durability. After 40 plus days of archery and black powder hunting, there is no wear or tear visible on this puffy.
This jacket is comfortable, soft, quiet, durable and usable. Designers placed the deep zippered pocket openings higher than usual, making them easier to reach into while wearing a backpack. As is with most lightweight jackets these days, the puffy fits into one of the pockets and becomes a flat pillow. On my 23 hours of travel to Guam, I used this as a lumbar support and pillow.
One other thing I like about this jacket is it has a hood that lies flat when not using while wearing the jacket. Large hoods can be annoying but the cut of this hood, allows for it to flatten out well alleviating that issue.
This jacket could replace more than just a "puffy" jacket layer. I think it can share different roles when it comes to the insulation/outwear layer.
First Lite’s staff are friendly and helpful, and the company helped me purchase three of these jackets for our Wounded Warrior archery elk hunt which was put on for us through Idaho N Heroes Outdoors.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $225