Other features on the Flight jacket add to comfort and warmth, without adding much weight. The collar is 3.5 inches high and is generously stuffed with down. The collar was a significant contribution to overall warmth on cold, windy days and on very cold nights while sleeping. The shell fabric is a very light and comfortable 0.9 oz/yd2 taffeta. It has a smooth, tight weave, and like most taffeta fabrics, a slight luster to its surface. As stated above, the shell has withstood a lot of use and looks great. It is normal for down products to leak some down through the fabric, but I have noted regular leakage through the exterior shell, especially very close to the seams; not enough to be a serious issue, but more than I have seen in other test jackets.

The Flight is not meant to be used as an outer layer in inclement weather, so I always carry a layer that I can wear over it in the event of cold, wet weather. I found the elastic hem drawcord easy to use and cinch up tightly when needed. There are two drawcord pulls, one on each side. The handwarmer pockets do not have zippers and are lined with down on the inside and outside. The pockets are large enough for use with moderate sized gloves. With an MSRP of $225, the Flight jacket is not among the least expensive lightweight down jackets, but given its high loft, low weight, well chosen features and good performance in the field, it is worth a few extra dollars over most other competitive jackets. It will remain a part of my gear list for the foreseeable future.

Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket REVIEW
The author in the Flight jacket at the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Mexican border fence in the background.

What’s Unique

With 3.7 inches of loft at just over 11 ounces, including a full zipper and nice warm pockets, the Western Mountaineering Flight jacket offers a unique combination of lightweight performance and comfort.

Recommendations for Improvement

There is not much to complain about with this jacket. I frequently use a stuff sack with my lightweight jackets, and always appreciate it when they are included with a jacket. A stuff sack would be a welcome addition, if included. If Western Mountaineering could add a very light, removable hood, the Flight jacket would perform even better in a sleep system.

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Don Wilson

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