Outdoor Research Floodlight Down Jacket
Very warm, athletic cut. It's not a big Michelin Man…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $375
Very warm, athletic cut. It's not a big Michelin Man puffy coat. Waterproof and cuts the wind pretty well if it's not moving very fast.
- Great hood
- Good pocket layout
- Fabric appears delicate
- Difficult to loosen hood cords
I got this jacket to wear all winter in Missouri. The winters here are bitter cold and usually some kind of wet. When I picked it up at the store it was thinner and lighter than I expected, I couldn't imagine that it was going to be as warm as the websites touted.
The next week it got really cold and snowed so I got to test it out. I'm 6' and 215 pounds and the large fit me well, even over the beer gut that sprouted when I moved here. I can wear it over just a t-shirt down to 20 degrees and be perfectly warm, and in everything up to 15 mph winds it holds the warmth in really well. Below 20 degrees I need to wear a light fleece shirt like a Patagonia R1 or a long sleeve wool t-shirt and it's good down below zero.
The hood is my favorite part. It's big enough to fit a helmet under, but with tightening up the cords it snugs down great and moves with my head and the cords that pull it down around the face are placed inside the collar so that when it gets windy they won't whip you in the face. The outside pockets can't be very full before they start bulging but the inside mesh pockets are the main storage places that I use.
I've worn it out in freezing rain and snow and though it doesn't bead up like on a rain coat it doesn't let any moisture get to the down. I've even worn it on cold bike commuting days and it doesn't get super steamy, at least not down in the 20s. It probably would up near the 40s.
The PertexShield+ appears really fragile and in the first week, I found a little rip in one of the cuffs. I don't know how or when it got there but it didn't grow past its pinhole size. It was obviously a rip and not a burn but a small piece of Tenacious Tape sealed it right up and that's been the only problem with that. I expect to have more problems with the lining tearing or leaking down than the outside material.
So now it's a little over a year since I got this jacket and so have more things to say about it's performance. This jacket really excells in wet. We've had several storms where the air temp is below forty degrees and it's pouring down rain. Not a leak so far, the zipper is completely exposEd but the stiff flap behind it keeps all the wind driven rain on the outside.
The lining is very silky and soft. It's the onlpatching that's given me problems. First off you must make sure that it stays dry, second it's very fragile and I've had to repair about ten pin holes and little snags. I keep a roll of Tenacious Tape in the pocket at all times. Also the wire brim in the hood broke and I'm expecting this to cause a tear at some point.
The only other complaint that I have is pretty minor. The drop in pockets on the inside are down at the waist. If they are full then they get in the way of zipping the jacket up because of the tailored cut of the jacket.
I found saw something that blew me away. A big gust of wind came up and showered me sparks embers from a campfire. My heart leapt into my throat, surely ing favorite coat would be filled with holes. But no, the embers just skated right off this thing. In the past I've had normal nylon jackets that seem to grab passing embers out of the air to create a huge burning hole in my gear but this pErtex + just let them slide right off.
Update 1/2016: I got this jacket out to wear this winter and noticed that the down in the back seems to have shifted down to the bottom of the jacket around the waist, and the zipper came undone at the bottom and now I can't unzip it. I had to take it off over my head.
I emailed the company and it appears that they will replace the jacket for free. I'll be sending it in for servicing and I'll let you all know how their customer service department handles it. This is the kind of thing that one wants to know about a piece of gear that no one wants to test.
Outdoor Research is the best. They sent me the new coat before I even had a chance to send in the old one. I'll be shipping the old one Monday. Their customer service was quick and very helpful. They replaced the defective merch with no problems whatsoever.