Lightweight Down Jackets

Guide to Lightweight Down Jackets and Pants for Backpacking

Forget synthetics! Down rocks. A lightweight down jacket is the most weight and cost effective way to stay warm. Lightweight down jackets are less expensive than synthetics,* they weigh less, but most importantly they are so much warmer! It is true that down jackets may be one of the most expensive items in your kit. BUT, if you want to stay warm and happy, nothing else comes close.

Nov 21 2017: Just added a down jacket that blow the hubcaps off of previous ultralight contenders! It’s the puffiest most insane Michelin Man look of ultralight down jackets. The GooseFeet Gear – 1/2 zip Custom Jacket: At only 9 oz, and with 61% down, this jacket trounces former top warmth-to-weight efficient ultralight down jackets like the Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer.

See jacket comparison table below for full spec’s. And to see many other high value off-the-shelf down jackets and pants that will save you $ and keep you warm!

 

Debunking a Few Myths About Down Jackets

  • Don’t believe the dire warnings about getting down wet—it’s hard to do. In over 40 years of backpacking all over the world in all conditions, I have yet to get my down so wet that it didn’t do a good job of keeping me warm. New water resistant shell fabrics and water resistant down only improve your odds.
  • And make no mistake, a wet synthetic jacket is no joy! Keeping your jacket (down or synthetic) dry in the first place, is a better strategy. (See more on this below)
  • *Down is the better long term value for staying warm. The only advantage to synthetics is the price. From there it’s downhill. I find synthetics usually lose loft after less than a season of use. This makes them a poor long term value. A good down jacket can easily last you 5 to 10 years.

Go for Down – Skip the extra shirts, pants, and base-layers

If you really want to be warm, Lightweight Down Jackets are where it’s at. That is, your money and gear weight is better spent investing in a warmer down jacket—or even down pants, down hat and down booties. All are far warmer per ounce than extra shirts, pants, and base-layers. You’ll be warmer, pack lighter and save money in the long run.

What’s in this Guide

I own, or have extensively field tested the vast majority of the jackets (and pants) below.

  • Down Jackets
  • Down Pants and Down Booties
  • Note1: All garments below use Ethically Sourced Down (or something very close to it)
  • Note 2: We only include garments where the manufacturer provides oz. of down fill. Unfortunately, some major mfrs have stopped providing oz of down fill even upon request—essentially stating “trust us, it’s warm enough.” We are from Missouri…
Lightweight Down Jackets

Sometimes you need down and lots of it. Like jacket, pants, and booties. Author on a winter backcountry trip in Montana and Wyoming’s Bearthooth Plateau.

Lightweight Down Jackets in this Guide

* NOTE: “down volume in liters” is a rough approximation of jacket warmth. See more on this below.

The table above gives you a lot of ways to look at down jackets and their specifications since different aspects are important to different people. E.g. someone may be interested in getting the best value down jacket, while another is looking to get an ultra warm jacket for a cold trip.

  • What’s the lightest?
  • * What’s the warmest? Use “down volume in liters” as a measure of warmth. While “down volume in liters” is the most significant factor, there are other factors that contribute to warmth. A such, down volume is only a crude approximation/starting point for warmth. [Down volume in liters = 0z-down x fill-power-of the-down x 0.016 liter/in3]
  • What’s the warmest for its weight? Take a look at “% down” and “down vol. to weight”
  • What’s a good value? Take a look at “price,” when compared to “down volume in liters.” And finally, look at “down vol. to price,” which is a crude approximation of the warmth per dollar.
  • How durable is it? All of these jackets are fine for use around camp and for rest stops. But note that jackets with 10D or below “shell fabric” should be treated with extreme care. These might not be good candidates for bushwhacking.

Introducing the Lightweight Down Jackets


new GooseFeet Gear – Custom Down Jacket – $330  (as shown)

The new warmth to weight king. At 61% down for its weight, the GooseFeet Gear Jacket trounces former top warmth-to-weight efficient ultralight down jackets like the Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer or Montbell Mirage. Pictured is a custom 1/2 zip jacket made for me by Ben at Goose Feet Gear. Weight is 9 oz with 5.5 oz of 950 fill power down. It has a deep kangaroo pocket that is great for warming hands and has shopping basket size room for storing stuff in camp.

This is custom work so expect 6 weeks or so wait time. The upside is you get exactly the size and features you want! Note: that I purchased this jacket with my own funds and receive no commissions from sales.


new MyTrail 850 Fill Hyperlight Hooded Jacket – $249

At 44% down for its weight, it’s second only to the GooseFeet Gear Jacket for warmth to weight. The MyTrail HL Hooded is one of the best values in a super warm, fully featured UL down jacket. At 10.5 oz it’s light for its warmth with a generous 4.6 oz of 850-fill-power down. But best of all, it costs significantly less than jackets of similar warmth and you can get it on the shelf.

Pedigree:  This jacket was designed by Demetri Coupounas (Coup) founder/owner of GoLite, creator of the legendary GoLite Bitterroot down jacket, likely the best, high performance UL down jackets of its time. And until the closing of GoLite it was the best value on the market! And while the MyTrail 850 Fill Hyperlight is short of the amazing loft of the Bitterroot, it’s still a super warm and light jacket.


feathered-friends-eos-mens-ultralight-down-jacket_1-1Feathered Friends Eos Down Jacket – $290

This is Feathered Friends’ lightest weight down jacket, but don’t let that fool you. Though this clocks in at only 10.6 oz, it has 3.7 oz of 900+ fill goose down. That’s more than 30% more down fill than the popular, but more expensive Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer. More down fill means more warmth! With a hood, and sinchable waist, this jacket can tighten down to keep all your precious heat in if things get cooler than expected, but the jacket is light enough to take with you on any 3-season outing. There are Men’s and Women’s versions, and as with all Feathered Friends’ goods, it’s made in Seattle, USA.


Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer Hooded  – $350

Mountain Hardwear touts the 7.7 oz Ghost Whisperer as “the world’s lightest full-featured down jacket.” For 1.2 oz more than the Montbell EX Light Down Anorak you get a full front zipper and pockets. MH uses a unique “Whisperer 7D x 10D Ripstop” fabric that is light, tough, down proof, and fairly water resistant. Oh, and the Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer has won a ton of awards.

 


new My Trail Co – Men’s 800 Fill Ultralight Hooded Down Jacketd Down Jacket – $149

New this year or possibly an improved version of the the “Down Light Hooded Jacket.” Either way it’s filled with a generous 5.1 oz of 800 fill power down (up 1.5 oz!) but at 12. 5 oz, weighs less. At 40% down for its weight the this jacket is close on the heels of its more expensive brother the 850 Fill Hyperlight Hooded Jacket. Best of all, like other MyTrail products it costs significantly less than jackets of similar warmth.


Gift Guide for Hikers and Backpackers - ExpensiveMontbell EX Light Down Anorak – $269

At only 6 oz, this is about as light and as WARM as it gets!  The Ex Light Down Anorak is 2 oz lighter than the highly regarded and more expensive Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer.  It achieves this low weight in part by not using a full zipper. Instead, you get a hood and a kangaroo pouch pocket! These great pockets let you really keep your hands warm by putting them in the same space against your abdomen. Truly lightweight warmth, this is a perfect puffy layer to bring on high alpine adventures like the South Sierra High Route, or Wind River High Route. The only downside is that there isn’t a Women’s version yet.


Gift Guide for Hikers and BackpackersMontbell Mirage Parka – $379

Weighing less than 14 oz, this is the lightest fully-baffled (a warmer but more expensive construction method) jacket we know of. Montbell has pulled this feat off by using 900-fill down and a very thin 7-denier ballistic nylon shell. Down accounts for over 40% of the garment weight—an incredible feat of design engineering! If you like to bushwhack through dense evergreens, this might not be durable enough for you, but for most backpackers, this will allow pushing shoulder season or even through winters in much of the country (although you may need more in the deep north, see the Helios below). Unfortunately, this jacket doesn’t come in a Women’s version.


 image_feathered-friends-helios-hooded-down-jacket-ash_1Feathered Friends Helios Hooded Down Jacket – $340

If you need ultra warmth, this is the jacket for you! The Helios jacket is insane puffy and warm with 3x the down (warmth) of the lightest jackets here.

The Helios packs 2 oz. of high-fill down over the Mirage, and uses a more durable outer fabric. (It also weighs 4 oz more.) It’s made in the USA, and is purpose built with mountaineering in mind, so you know it’s warm! Feathered Friends is known for their high quality down and weight-conscious products.


 b0a7e9f1-e647-468c-8432-750385958f5a REI Co-Op Down Jacket – $99

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a down jacket, REI has you covered. Their Co-Op Down Jacket weighs in at only 10.2 oz (in a non-hooded version). And while the jacket sets no records for warmth to weight ratios with 650 fill power down, it likely has enough warmth for most 3-season purposes. It comes in Men’s, Women’s, and children’s cuts. If you have an extra $20 to spend, we recommend the hooded version, because all jackets are substantially warmer with one!


Tip – Keeping your Lightweight Down Jacket Dry

The best way to keep your gear dry is not to get it wet in the first place. This means keeping the gear in your pack dry (especially your down sleeping bag, and down jacket).

  • Pack contents dry: A trash compactor bag inside your pack is lighter and works considerably better than a pack rain-cover. Inside that, put your down bag and down jacket in their own waterproof or highly-water-resistant stuff sacks or more expensive but drier Cuben Fiber stuff sacks. I like a stuff sack of around 6-9L for my down jacket and 20L or larger one for my down sleeping bag/quilt.
  • Waterproof backpack: Even better but a lot more expensive, get a Cuben fiber backpack, with a roll top closure and sealed seams along with stowing your sleeping bag/quilt and down jacket in Cuben Fiber stuff sacks. This is a great way to keep your gear truly dry and is less complicated and time consuming than pack rain-covers or liners.

Montbell Superior Down Parka – $209
8.5 oz, 2.5 oz 800+ fill power downAt under 9 ounces this is another great value in an ultralight, fully featured jacket. As Montbell says, “Prized by budget conscious backcountry enthusiasts around the world, the Superior Down Series is “what you need” when a versatile warm layer is critical, minimal weight is paramount, and space in your pack is at a premium.” While not the warmest jacket in the group, it should be more than sufficient for 3-season use.


Patagonia UL Down Jacket or Hoody – $349 at REI

This jacket has been a staple of the ultralight crowd for years. My wife and I both own one. It’s not the cheapest jacket but it’s light, and uses a generous 3.5 oz of 800-fill-power traceable down. It comes in Men’s and Women’s, as well as hooded versions for a little more money. The hooded version is hands-down our favorite!


11fee0b4-6278-410c-9113-09fe0348dc27
Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket – $230 at REI

At $100 less than their UL jacket, this is a great warm layer for backpacking or any outdoor activity, really. It’s reasonably light (2.8 oz, non-hooded), and uses 800-fill-power traceable down. It comes in Men’s and Women’s, as well as hooded versions, for a little more money. Of course, there are adorable kids versions as well! Patagonia’s quality, warranty, and customer service  are legendary, ensuring you’ll keep this jacket for a long, long time.


Western Mountaineering Men’s Flash Jacket – $375

Western Mountaineering has been making some of the finest and lightest down products since forever. And they are legendary for their immaculate construction and their long term durability. This jacket has been a staple of the ultralight crowd for years! Made in the USA.


Western Mountaineering Men’s Flash XR Jacket – $375

This is a warmer version (3.5 oz of down) of the Flash Jacket with a highly water-resistant shell. This jacket was my choice for a climbing trip to the Andes in Peru. I summited a couple of 20,000+ foot peaks in this jacket. And yes, that’s a steep price tag but it’s made in the USA.


Lightweight Down Pants and Down Booties


image_featheredfriends_black_heliospant_1_3Feathered Friends Helios Down Pants – $240
13 oz, 4.4 oz 850+ fill power downThese pants are the real deal. Made with Feathered Friends’ legendary high quality down, these pants offer 4.4 oz of fluffy down, and weigh in at 13 oz. These pants are great for backpacking, but are meant for even more serious high mountain endeavors and offer full-length zips so you can put them on and off over crampons… or, if you’re just too lazy to take off your boots.

Montbell Superior Down Pants – $169
8.4 oz, 1.9 oz 800+ fill power downThese are one of the best values in insulated pants on the market. They are warmer and more windproof than fleece pants. As Montbell says, “Prized by budget conscious backcountry enthusiasts around the world, the Superior Down Series is “what you need” when a versatile warm layer is critical, minimal weight is paramount, and space in your pack is at a premium.”

wmflashpants1Western Mountaineering Flash Pants – $250
6.5 oz, 2.0 oz 850+ fill power downThese are probably the lightest insulated pants on the market. Weighing only 6.5 oz, these are packed with 850-fill down and are built with Western Mountaineering’s standard-setting quality. Don’t get cold, and cranky in camp. Put on your Flash Pants and hang out – enjoy the outdoors, deep into the fourth season.

 feathered-friends-assorted-down-booties
Feathered Friends Down Booties – $99
9.3 oz, 4.0 oz 800+ fill power downThese booties are the industry standard. With waterproof removable shells, you can take these with you as camp shoes, then remove the shells keeping the warm down socks on to keep  your toes warm all night! These are a toasty-toe delight that will help keep you comfortable deeper into the shoulder seasons and make winter camping much more manageable!

Disclaimer

This post contains affilate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on the these links, a portion of the sale helps support this site at no additional cost to you. I do not receive compensation from the companies whose products are listed. For product reviews: unless otherwise noted, products are purchased with my own funds. I am never under an obligation to write a review about any product. Finally, this post expresses my own independent opinion.

43 replies
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Most of our winter hiking is done in the Mid Atlantic and North East like NH. For hiking and snowshoeing, our MO is to use light hiking boots like Inov-8 GTX and keep moving to keep circulation going in our feet and therefore keep them warm. And then if we stop for more than a a bit it’s quickly into dry socks and down booties. When skiing we use fairly light ski boots (none or only moderate insulation) and use the same keep moving technique to keep our feet warm. And in milder conditions (only light snow on the trail) we might just use the same lightweight trail runners we use in the summer, only GTX versions with a gaiter. Hope this helps, -alan

      Reply
  1. Mike
    Mike says:

    This is very helpful. Would you also wear a water proof/resistant sock such as Gore-Tex? Your 9-lb gear list is a wonderful tool for 3 season hiking and backpacking. How about one for the 4th season?

    Reply
  2. Alan Dixon
    Alan Dixon says:

    Mike, the WP GTX barrier is far more effective on the shell of the shoe vs. in a sock. As such, I don’t use GTX socks. And yes a 4-season list is a good idea. I have more than a few good ones of my own. But 4-season list is more technical, depends more on technique, and has higher risk. That makes it much harder to write up for a general audience with unknown winter backpacking skills. Best, -alan

    Reply
    • Mike
      Mike says:

      Alan, good point on the difficulties of a 4-season list. I’m facing some of those difficulties now trying to transition from a 3-season backpacker to the 4th season. Instead of a single 4-season list how about some more “How to” posts related to 4-season specific skills? Such as sleep system (bag, tent, etc.) and campsite selection in the snow. For example I use a quilt, air mattress and a cuben fibre single wall tent. What if anything should I be concerned about in addressing temperature, condensation and other issues and what are the best gear choices and options? Your Gear Lists, How To posts, Gear reviews, Navigation and Camera posts are great and have been very helpful to me as I’ve gone from day hiking to multi-day backpacking trips (up to one week so far) over the last two years. Thanks and happy holidays!

      Reply
  3. Matt Schroeder
    Matt Schroeder says:

    Alan – curious if you have any experience with the Eddie Bauer down stuff? When it’s on sale it’s cheaper than many options on the list. Might not be quite as light as many of the options you’ve listed, however.

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Matt there are a number of inexpensive light down options and EB may be one of them. You can use the calculation method in this article to see how the EB stuff does compared to lighter options. Also take a look at Cheap Lightweight Backpacking Gear. Some of the 32 Degree Stuff at Costo and Amazon is pretty durn nice and light for the price. Alison wears her $10 vest all the time. Best, -a

      Reply
  4. murph0969
    murph0969 says:

    Luke’s Ultralite makes some pretty fantastic stuff with a lot of custom options, including 900FP Hyper-dry down quantity, hood, full zip or half zip, stealth pockets or kangaroo pouch, even exterior material (7d Robic vs 10d Argon). My medium Robic 7 with hood, kangaroo pouch, and 4.6 oz of down jacket weighs 7.9 oz without the included stuff sack.

    Reply
  5. John
    John says:

    I scored a Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody on a deep sale. But, upon inspection, I’m not sure what I’d use it for. Seems to be about as warm as a heavyweight fleece. Obviously much lighter and compressible. But for the money, I’m not seeing it as a game changer in my layering quiver. And, being here in the Pacific Northwest, and the down being so thin, feels like it it could lose loft quick in the inevitable dampness.

    Feels like I’d either want something warmer, or just go with fleece…

    How do you use yours?

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      John, I think you’ll find that the jacket is warmer that it appears–weight of down is really the key factor to warmth. We use a light down jacket for cold rest stops, in camp morning and night, and to supplement our down quilt on very cold nights. But yes, for active movement and mild temperatures a light fleece shirt North Face TKA 100 Glacier 1/4-Zip is a wonderful supplementary piece of gear that goes on almost every trip. The combo of the two is almost perfect for most trips. Take a look at the clothing section my the clothing section on my “9 Pound Full Comfort Gear List.”

      Finally, if you use your jacket properly and with care it will keep you warm…
      “Don’t believe the dire warnings about getting down wet—it’s hard to do. In over 40 years of backpacking all over the world in all conditions, I have yet to get my down so wet that it didn’t do a good job of keeping me warm. New water resistant shell fabrics and water resistant down only improve your odds.” All the best, -alan

      Reply
  6. peter
    peter says:

    Hi,

    would you still recommend down over synthetic as a mid layer, under a hard shell. If I sweat and that makes down wet, I can easily loose its performance(?) I purchased a down jacket, for lighter weight, moore comfort, but now am a bit confused, wether to exchange it, or not. Btw it is a North Face Trevail with 700 fill, which looks, feels good, but read a lot of bad reviews that it is leaking fethers like crazy. Have few more days to think about it, would appreciate your input. They say Thermoball syn. equals to 600 down fill.

    Big thanks

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Good Q Peter. I am in the field so a quick A. For me a down or synthetic puff jacket is not an active garment. As such, sweating out is not a concern. For more see my article on layering clothing http://www.adventurealan.com/top-mistakes-using-layering-system-stay-warmer-drier/ . So the real challenge to keeping it dry is wearing it at rest stops and in camp when it’s raining. With a bit of paying attention and using a rain shell it should not be difficult to keep it dry. Also see my article on UL backpacking technique http://www.adventurealan.com/why-you-wont-freeze-or-starve-ultralight-backpacking/ .

      As to the TNF jacket I haven’t used one so can’t comment on it’s performance vs. the jackets on this list that I do have familiarity with.

      Finally if you really aren’t confident keeping a down jacket dry when at rest you might want to get a good synthetic jacket to start off with. Then you can use it for a few years and see if you get it wet. Not the end of the world in terms of the extra weight and bulk. I will note that synthetic lose their loft much faster than down.

      Happy warm and dry trekking. Best -a

      Reply
  7. Mike
    Mike says:

    Great article Alan! I love down. The only thing I disagree with you on is that Down Jackets can last 5 to 10 years. They can actually last a lot longer. I have a Mountain Hardware Subzero Parka that I purchased in April of 1996. It has been on Denali, Rainer, Acconcagua, Mt. Blanc and many winter backpacking trips. It still keeps me warm at zero degrees.

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Good Q Anthony. There are hundreds of down jackets and one can’t include them all. I tried to include jackets that had either a great warmth to weight ratio and/or were great values. The OR Outdoor Research Transcendent Down Hoody does not stand out for either criteria. It is a bit on the heavy side at almost a pound, uses 650 fill power down (vs. 800 to 900 fp of other jackets), and yet at $225 its cost is at the high end, so it’s no value. Also OR does not publish the oz of down fill in the jacket. In summary, it’s a decent jacket but does not stand out by any of the criteria used in this post. Hope this helps. Warmest, -alan

      Reply
      • Anthony
        Anthony says:

        Thanks for breaking it down! I asked because I’m a big OR fan and plan on buying a down soon.

        Have you heard anything about Patagonia’s new Micro Puff?

        Reply
    • PJ Diez
      PJ Diez says:

      PS: I have a Patagonia UL down vest and a Like’s UL down vest w/ sleeves combo, but I’m looking for a 4 season (but not “expedition/alpine”) jacket for sub freezing nights–say lows in the teens.

      Reply
      • Alan Dixon
        Alan Dixon says:

        PJ, the MTC down jacket I own came in around their specified weight, and I have no reason to think that they would not put their listed amount of down in the jacket. That being said, other than shredding the jacket, removing the down, and weighing it it’s hard to verify.

        I do see they went from 110g of down (my jacket) to 145g this iteration. If that is truly so then the jacket is a killer deal. I suggest that if you want to know if its a type or not, you call or email MTC to verify. Warmest, -alan

        Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Hi Rob, Good Q
      Mine is sewn-through. It is still at a fill weight where sewn-through is usually done more often than baffling (baffling adds weight and cost). Much more down than my jacket tho and it would make sense to have baffles. And if it’s really cold in camp I’ll wear my rain jacket or other shell over the jacket which essentially makes it baffled. Hope this helps. Warmest , -alan

      Reply
  8. Marla
    Marla says:

    I have a Goosefeet Gear down anorak very much like yours and agree it really sets a new standard for lightweight warmth. I also have the down pants and socks which are just as nice.

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Indeed Marla. I also own a pair of GFG pants (with reinforced knees and butt) and booties with covers. All are excellent! Warmest, -alan

      Reply
  9. mike
    mike says:

    Alan, Is Arcteryx Cerium LT not included because of price? Wondered how you think it compares to your list.

    thanks

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Mike, good Q. The Arcteryx Cerium LT looks to be an an excellent jacket and it is currently on sale at REI. Yes it is pricy but not that fare off from some other jackets in the list. You will notice that Arcteryx doesn’t list oz of down fill on their site for Cerium LT, which makes it difficult to compare it’s warmth to other companies do include that number.

      And you may notice with a most product evaluation sites (myself included), you can’t test every down jacket. As such, I picked what I felt a good representation of both high performance and value down jackets on the market. Just becasue the Arcteryx Cerium LT wasn’t picked does not mean that it’s not a great jacket. Hope this helps. Warmest, -alan

      Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Hi Matt, Without the jacket in hand it hard to say. Also harder as they do not give ounces of down fill and the Pertex Quantum fabric they use is ~1 oz/yd2 while some of the competing jackets use fabric that is ~0.7 oz/yd2 — not also that fabric is the vast amount of jacket weight. Tallying all that up, and at 7 oz total weight and with heavier fabric, that leaves preciously little weight left for down fill. Finally, since it does not have a hood it will not be as warm as most of the jackets in this post which do have hoods. All that being said, it’s impossible to make a final assessment without having the jacket in hand or more complete spec’s. Hope this helps. Warmest, -alan

      Reply
      • matt
        matt says:

        Alan- thanks that is about what I suspected… I can buy a brand new one for $100 so trying to decide whether to go for that or a Paty ultralight (jacket not hooded) for about $50 more. Sight unseen makes you think more, but it’s a good price! I’m 6’2″, ~175-180 and Pata fit is kind of all over the place for me, so that is an issue. Hoodless is what I’m after too.
        thanks, Matt

        Reply
  10. Caroline Koenig
    Caroline Koenig says:

    Alan,
    Love this site, it has been so helpful! Question about Goosefeet gear anorak:
    Can it be put on by stepping into it given the length of zlpper opening…thus avoiding taking it off over the head which is harder to do esp. as one gets older!
    Also is there that much of a difference getting anorak vs full zipper besides the kangaroo pocket?

    Thanks a million. Salutations from Canada!

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Hi Caroline,
      There is very little difference between anorak vs. full zip. Just a smidge more weight and 2 hand warmer pockets vs. a single kangaroo pocket. Given potential difficulties with donning and doffing the anorak and potential contact with dirty shoes in the process — I would suggest getting a full zip jacket. Hope this helps. Warmest, -alan

      Reply
  11. Jeff Johnson
    Jeff Johnson says:

    Hey Alan, any thoughts on fit? I just bought the FF Eos in a small and medium and can’t decide between them. The small fits with a hiking shirt and fleece making it a little snug. The medium is a little too roomy and fits plenty of mid layers underneath. What are your thoughts on fit?

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Hi Jeff, sorry to have missed your message. I am just back from guiding for weeks in the backcountry with no email. Know this is reply is late, but I would go with the larger jacket. Only a smidge more weight and as you noted more versatile for layering. Wishing you a great trekking season. Warmest, -alan

      Reply
  12. Bret
    Bret says:

    I like my Ghost Whisperer but I’d like more warmth maybe 3.5oz to 4.5oz of fill. Luke’s seems like best lightweight and warm option with 3.6oz fill for 6.9oz weight. The MyTrail looks pretty good if you want more fill and warmth.

    Reply
    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Hi Bret, having not owned or used a Luke’s Ultralight Down Jacket, I can’t definitively comment on this one one way or the other. That being said, After reading their site, I am dubious that they can get a full sized, hooded jacket shell for only 3.3 oz of fabric. Very dubious, as even the the very lightest competitor’s shells (less down) weigh 4.5 to 5.0 oz. I is not helpful that they have no photo of the jacket so it’s impossible see its construction or whether it is hooded or not. [This review considers mainly hooded jackets which are far warmer and more practical for their weight.] That being said, more power to you if you like your LUL down jacket. Wishing you you warm nights backpacking, -alan

      Reply
  13. Bret
    Bret says:

    Good point about Lukes weight. He has a picture but it’s not great and offers a pullover may help keep weight down.

    However yes the MyTrail looks very interesting to me with 4.6 oz of 850 fill and I already have a lighter jacket.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Reply
    • Bret
      Bret says:

      Well I’m now leaning to GooseFeet. Although pricy yeah their warmth/weight crazy! plus custom fit and hood cinch (not on some others). Although pricey still seems like a good value for what you’re getting. Thanks for this guide and your thoughts.

      Reply

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