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Nothing beats a cold morning enveloped in the luscious warmth of a puffy jacket, while sipping hot coffee and watching the steam rise slowly off a high altitude lake. To keep your pack weight low, but still stay warm on those clear, frigid mornings, nothing else comes close to down. Down not only outperforms synthetics in insulating power per ounce, it maintains loft longer and its soft and light feel is delightful. In this review summary we will take a look at the leading lightweight down jackets available today. We have limited our review sample to jackets that weigh around 12 ounces or less. A couple of jackets in our sample weighed a bit over that mark, but we'll get to that later. We will also take a look at the construction technology that goes into these jackets, and highlight some upcoming products that may shake up this category in 2006.


  • Introduction
  • Down Jacket Technology and Terminology
    • Construction
    • Down Quality and Fill Power
    • Down Fill Weight
    • Shell and Liner Fabric
  • Review Summary and Ratings
    • SIDEBAR: Lighter, Smaller, Warmer? What's on the Horizon in Down Garments?
    • TABLE: In Brief Specifications and Measurements for 2005 Lightweight Down Jackets
    • TABLE: Ratings Chart for 2005 Lightweight Down Jackets Reviewed by Backpacking Light
  • GEAR GUIDE to Down Jackets
    • Gear Guide Selection Criteria
  • REVIEW CRITERIA: 2005 Lightweight Down Jackets
    • Loft/Weight Ratio
    • Warmth
    • Storm Resistance
    • Pocket System
    • Durability
    • Value
  • INDEX OF REVIEWS: 2005 Lightweight Down Jackets
    • Feathered Friends Hyperion (Epic shell)
    • GoLite Cumulus
    • Nunatak SkahaPlus
    • MontBell U.L. Down Inner Jacket
    • MontBell Down Inner Jacket
    • Patagonia Down Sweater
    • Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket

# WORDS: 3400




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