Only downside is the price
By qua4310248 November 17, 2011
First I need to get something out of the way as it's the reason I'm torn between giving it 4 stars instead of 5. I really wouldn't expect this to retail for the full MSRP despite how great a jacket it is. If it had 800+ fill instead of 650, or slightly more fill, [EDIT: Or if the outer fabric were more robust; 20D is just too thin], it would come closer to justifying the price tag. Comparable jackets can be found for a bit cheaper. Marmot, Montbell, Outdoor Research, and even Eddie Bauer (First Ascent Downlight Hoody is a GREAT jacket that is almost as warm despite its much lower weight) come to mind.
OK, on to the good. This thing is a great light-weight hoody-style down jacket. My plan is to use it for layering and it is exactly the right size for that job - not too puffy but puffy enough to give some serious warmth. It will be hard to find a better jacket for this role. I'm 5'6", 140 lbs, 32 in waist and the medium is absolutely perfect in every dimension. A shell fits easily on top and it can accommodate a base and a fleece layered underneath. The hood hugs my head very well with no additional adjustments. At present there is no indication of down leakage however I haven't put it into its stuff sack either so I can't attest to how down proof it is. Overall it's a long way towards being a full jacket on its own yet only so far as to not preclude it from a role as a light-weight layer or stand alone piece.
A final note: This has 4, not 2 pockets as BC seems to indicate as I write this. On the inside there is a small pocket located on the upper-left front as well as a large mesh pocket on the lower right front.
[EDIT 3/26/2012] I just noticed something that irks me incredibly. I already have a problem with the 20D outer fabric, as I worry this jacket will wear out pretty quickly. I just today noticed that the inside of the jacket seems to be lined with a 30D material! It may not be 30D but it looks identical to the 30D MH puts on its Lodown jacket, and it's thicker than the external material. If you're going to put heavier material into your jacket anyway, why not put it on the outside?? Sheesh. Knocking a star off my original review for this.
Nailed It? 2 Yes