“Best” Lightweight Down Jacket?

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    Graeme Finley


    Locale: SF Bay Area

    I’m looking for a lightweight down jacket that can take me down into the teens while camping this winter. I’m looking at something in the 1lb or less range, for example:

    Montbell Alpine Jacket (16oz)
    Golite Cumulus (12oz)
    Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket (10.5oz)

    Can anyone comment on the relative warmth of these (or other) jackets? I can get a good deal on the Golite right now, and price is something of a factor.

    Thanks in advance.

    Richard Nelridge


    Locale: Eastern Pennsylvania


    Add the Feathered Friends Hyperion to that list:

    This Jacket is very similar to the Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket with a weight of about 11 oz (including 5.15 oz of down) in its lightest form in Medium ($175 in Pertex Quantum with 750+ down or $182 with 800+ down). The Jacket is available in choice of down quality (750+ or 800+), outer and inner materials, and color.

    There is also the Volant Hood that is available as an additional add on:

    If you wanted the Volant Hood (Pertex Quantum Fabric- $49 with 750+ down or $51 with 800+ Down), it should be ordered at the time of the jacket preparation. A Hood flange and snaps would be required at the manufacture of the Jacket so that the Hood could be attached and removed from the Jacket. The Hood could be used separately when needed as well. Though there is a slight increase in weight to the Jacket and the Hood, the weight gain is well worth the addition for its flexibility. There is no charge for these features added to the Jacket and the Hood. The Volant Hood is actually the Hood for the Volant Jacket that is 2 weights heavier than the Hyperion and provides a tremendous amount of warmth when used- it has 1 oz of down by itself, with a listed weight of approximately 4 oz (but mine in eVENT outer and nylon taffeta inner {which are supposed to be heavier fabrics than the average} weighs only 3.2 oz). The Hood has a small visor, closes with adjustable velcro closure and makes a very good seal with the Jacket by way of the Hood Flange and the Jacket Collar.

    The Hyperion is sized to fit like a Fleece Jacket- rather tight. I can fit 2 to 3 light to medium layers underneath my large. My Large extends several inches (2 to perhaps 3?) below my waist, but I am only 5′ 6″ tall. There is no question in my mind that it is/will be much warmer than either my Patagonia Micro Puff Pullover or my Micro Puff Jacket. The Hyperion Jacket (800+ down) has a loft of about 1 1/2 inch of loft per side or close to 3″ of loft together. The Hyperion has 2 outer handwarming pockets, wind proof zipper, stand up collar, zipper guard at the top of the neck, elasticized cuffs, cynchable waist, and an inner zippable Napoleon type pocket.


    And add the PHD Minimus.

    jeff woods


    question — if at camp you wear a down jacket over damp clothes, which you are trying to get dry with your body heat, won’t the down in your jacket soak up the moisture?

    Tony Burnett


    Locale: OH--IO

    For the DIY crowd don’t forget the Whitney (

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