Ultralight Down Jackets: Packing Heat, 5 Under 12

As fall gives way to winter, a packable ultralight down jacket is the secret weapon in a bikepacking gear arsenal. Read on to find out why we love them so much… and our impressions of five toasty jackets, ranging from 5 to 12oz (140-350g).

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Recommending clothing for bikepacking is a complex endeavor, mined as it is with caveats. Advice rests on conditional elements such as local climate, personal needs, aesthetic preferences, and financial constraints. However, it’s hard to argue the value of investing in an ultralight, compressible, and insulating jacket. This minimal piece of gear can make the difference between staying home, and extending your adventures well into the colder months – keeping you toasty warm in the process.

An ultralight down jacket is essential.

The classic mantra of packing philosophy goes something like this: If, at some point on the trip, you didn’t wear everything you brought, you brought too much. It’s a good doctrine, granted it shouldn’t always be taken literally. But it does call to mind a valid point about a ‘puff’. A down jacket can play a major role in a layered approach, whether it’s under a hard shell, or as added insulation over a baselayer. It’s also a viable means of increasing the temperature rating of your sleeping system. Suffice to say, a puff jacket can be an essential piece of a well thought out kit. If you have one, you’re bound to find uses for it on all kinds of trips. Lastly, let’s not forget the feel-good factor: down jackets are so cosy it’s hard not to smile when you’re wearing one.

Why down works.

  • Warmth: Goose down makes up the fluffy undercoat that provides warmth and increases buoyancy for geese. The structure of down provides insulation by trapping thousands of tiny air pockets within its fine fibers. Down is also breathable, allowing unwanted moisture to be wicked away from the body for evaporation. There are not many other materials that have comparable properties.
  • Weight: Ounce for ounce, down is the warmest insulation available for clothing and gear. Although synthetic fiber insulation has come a long way, the amount of down it takes to provide adequate insulation is still unmatched.
  • Packability: Down is also highly compressible and can be squished into a tight compact forms. However, it retains its loft and is able to bounce back to its original shape.

The Down-sides

Down is great, until it gets wet. That is probably its biggest downside. Once it does get wet, it not only loses it’s insulating properties, but it becomes heavy and can be slow to dry. Cleaning down garments requires special care; most suggest a mild down-specific cleaning product, front-loading washer, and other particulars when it comes time to clean. Lastly, down is expensive. On the flip-side, there’s synthetic; it’s not as cozy, but sometimes practical. For comparison, we’ve also included a review of one of our favourite synthetic options (at bottom).

What is Fill Power?

The quality or effectiveness of down is rated according its fill power. Fill power is determined by measuring how many cubic inches can be filled with one compressed ounce of down and is expressed as cubic inches per ounce (in³/oz). For example, if one ounce of compressed down lofts to a volume of 800 cubic inches, it is said to have a lofting power of 800. The higher quality the down, the higher its fill power. Since high quality down requires fewer ounces to maintain the same level of warmth, it has a better warmth to weight ratio than that of a lower quality down, and can be used to create garments that are substantially lighter in weight. All of that being said, fill weight still matters.

Take note

There are some sustainability and animal welfare concerns (live plucking, for example) surrounding the harvesting of down or manufacturing of down-filled products. If this is a matter of interest to you, pay attention to where companies source their down, and to what standards they adhere. Nau has started a line of jackets that use recycled down, and Patagonia initiated a standard called 100% Traceable Down. Other companies note their sources as well. More details on each below.

5 Ultralight Down Jackets Under 12 oz

For this gear roundup, we’ve tested out five jackets that range in weight, warmth, and expense. You’ll find our impressions on each jacket, as well as a comparison chart. All of these jackets are in the ‘sweater weight’ category, meaning they are great for moderately cold temperatures, and temps that dip below freezing when paired with layers. The jackets are ordered by weight, starting with the lightest.

Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket

The Plasma 1000 is the only jacket we reviewed that uses 1000 fill power down, and it is indeed the featherweight of the group. Its design is minimalistic in the extreme, sporting no hood, no pockets, and no adjustment cords. But, what it does have is a great design and an impressive warmth to weight ratio. This jacket is designed for ultralight backcountry explorers who are seeking a moderately warm, microweight, insulating layer in a very straightforward package.

Montbell Plasma Down 1000, ultralight packable down

The Plasma 1000 has a form fitting design which allows additional layers to be combined as the temperature necessitates. One no-compromise feature that was included in its design is a minimal draft tube to prevent a cold air from entering at the zipper. While the jacket’s wrist cuffs are elastic, the waist is not; cold air is halted at the wrist line, but there’s nothing preventing it from slipping up the bottom of the jacket. The Plasma also has a short hem line, which is perfect when layering, but may prove a little drafty if worn on its own. The jacket has a sewn through construction, which according to Montbell, keeps the down where it’s needed and the jacket as light as possible. In addition, the Plasma has Montbell’s standard DWR (Durable Water Repellant) treatment.

  • Montbell Plasma Down 1000, ultralight packable down
  • Montbell Plasma 1000, ultralight packable down
  • Montbell Plasma Down 1000, ultralight packable down
  • Montbell Plasma Down 1000, ultralight packable down
  • Montbell Plasma 1000, ultralight packable down
  • Weight (as tested): 4.87 ounces/138 grams
  • Fill Power: 1000 Fill Power Goose Down
  • Fill Weight: 1.6 ounces/43.4 grams
  • Shell Material: Gossamer 7-denier nylon with DWR finish
  • Stuff sack: Included
  • Price: $269
  • Montbell Plasma 1000, ultralight packable down
  • Montbell Plasma 1000, ultralight packable down

BIKEPACKING.com’s Take: “The Plasma 1000 is an incredible jacket when packing light or layering during shoulder seasons. It’s also one of the best looking of the bunch, with a unique quilt pattern and a flattering cut. By itself, the Plasma 1000 may not be enough for sub-freezing temps, but as an insulating layer, it’s one of the best and lightest options out there.” – Logan

Montbell EX Light Anorak

Montbell again has once again created an artful take on the minimalist jacket. The Ex Light Anorak is the second lightest jacket of those reviewed; it includes a few more bells and whistles that its lighter brother, Plasma 1000. A through ‘kangaroo’ pocket acts as a great hand warmer, and a drawstring, accessible inside the pocket, allows the waist to be snugged up to prevent draft. The Ex Light Anorak also has a perfectly designed ‘Eskimo style’ hood that has no drawcord, but a bit of lateral elastic that keeps it cozy while allowing the zipper to provide a just enough adjustment.

Montbell EX Light Down Anorak, ultralight packable down, bikepacking

The Anorak has a nice style, although it’s fit is not quite as trim as that of the Plasma. However, it does seem like a good balance for any well planned layering system. With over 35% of its weight in down fill, the Anorak’s great warmth to weight ratio is a major bonus for the gram conscious bikepacker. In addition, the Anorak has Montbell’s standard DWR (Durable Water Repellant) treatment.

  • Montbell EX Light Down Anorak, ultralight packable down, bikepacking
  • Montbell EX Light Down Anorak, ultralight packable down, bikepacking
  • Montbell EX Light Down Anorak, ultralight packable down, bikepacking
  • Montbell EX Light Down Anorak, ultralight packable down, bikepacking
  • Montbell EX Light Down Anorak, ultralight packable down, bikepacking
  • Weight (as tested): 6.21 ounces/176 grams
  • Fill: 900 Fill power goose down
  • Fill Weight: 2.2 ounces/grams
  • Shell Material: 7-denier Ballistic Airlight rip-stop nylon
  • Stuff sack: Included
  • Price: $219
  • Montbell EX Light Down Anorak, ultralight packable down, bikepacking
  • Montbell EX Light Down Anorak, ultralight packable down, bikepacking

BIKEPACKING.com’s Take: “This is a choice piece for a minimalist backcountry bikepacker. The hood made a big difference when temps dropped below freezing. It can pair well with a down quilt for sleeping, and it packs up the size of a can of beer. For the key features Montbell was able to keep within a ridiculously lightweight package, the Anorak is hard to beat at 220 bucks.”

Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket

The Ultralight Down Jacket combines 800 fill-power with a 15-denier Pertex Quantum shell, which is slightly more burly than that of the 7d fabric use in the Montbell jackets. The UL features alternating sized horizontal baffles with sewn through construction on the back, front, and sleeves. Elastic cuffs and a draw cord at the waist keep out cold air. The overall design of the jacket is rather long, so it may be a good option for the long-waisted amongst us.

Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket for bikepacking

The amount of 800 fill power down used in the UL is unspecified on the website, but overall it feels like a very warm jacket. According to Patagonia, the tight channel pattern paired with the “right” amount of down creates a jacket that is “best used in moderate temperatures”. The jacket has three pockets… two zippered handwarmers and one zippered chest pocket, which doubles as the jacket’s stuff sack. One very cool feature is that the jacket can also be stuffed into one of the handwarmers, converting it into a travel pillow.

Patagonia was the first major brand to announce a 100% Traceable Down standard. Within all of their down garments, they use a European goose down that can be traced back to birds that were never force-fed and never live-plucked.

  • Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket for bikepacking
  • Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket for bikepacking
  • Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket for bikepacking
  • Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket for bikepacking
  • Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket for bikepacking
  • Weight (as tested): 9.67 ounces/274 grams
  • Fill: 800-fill-power 100% Traceable Down
  • Fill Weight: Not Specified
  • Shell Material: 15-denier nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum with DWR finish
  • Stuff sack: Stuff into left pocket
  • Price: $299
  • Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket for bikepacking, Traceable Down
  • Patagonia Ultralight Down Jacket for bikepacking

BIKEPACKING.com’s Take: “For the amount of features and warmth this jacket offers, it’s amazing how lightweight and small it compresses. I love things that serve multiple purposes, and it’s pretty cool that Patagonia integrated a large self-stuffing pocket that’s intended as a travel pillow. Better yet… it’s actually comfortable as a pillow.”

Westcomb Chilko Sweater

Westcomb’s Chilko Sweater is the only jacket featured in this post that’s not made in China. In fact, it was made in Vancouver, Canada. According to Westcomb, the nearby Pacific Coast Mountain Range provides inspiration and context to design, construct, and test their gear.

Westcomb Compressible Down Jacket - Ultralight, bikepacking

The Chilko Sweater provides a unique feature set. For starters, it uses the thickest shell fabric of the group reviewed here, a 20-denier micro-ripstop Pertex Quantum. It also features a hefty YKK 2-way Vislon zipper, which is pretty burly in comparison to some of the other, more minimalist jacket designs. In addition the Chilko has two hand warmer pockets, elasticized cuffs, and a stretchy waist that’s backed with a sticky rubber strip that keeps the waistline from working its way up your back. The jacket contains an unspecified amount of 900 fill-power Hudderite white goose down, which is claimed to be ‘responsibly raised’.

  • Westcomb Compressible Down Jacket - Ultralight, bikepacking
  • Westcomb Compressible Down Jacket - Ultralight, bikepacking
  • Westcomb Compressible Down Jacket - Ultralight, bikepacking
  • Westcomb Compressible Down Jacket - Ultralight, bikepacking
  • Westcomb Compressible Down Jacket - Ultralight, bikepacking
  • Weight (as tested): 9.91 ounces/281 grams
  • Fill: 95% 900 fill power HUTTERITE goose
  • Fill Weight: Not Specified
  • Shell Material: Pertex Quantum 20D micro-ripstop nylon w/ DWR finish
  • Stuff sack: Not included
  • Price: $360
  • Westcomb Compressible Down Jacket - Ultralight, bikepacking
  • Westcomb Compressible Down Jacket - Ultralight, bikepacking

BIKEPACKING.com’s Take: “The Chilko Sweater is an impressive garment; one of my favorites of the group. It feels substantially less fragile than some of the other down jackets. It’s also one of the warmest. It has a nice trim fit and, believe it or not, I really like the orange, AKA ‘Vermillion’… although it does come in several other colors including a nice ‘Leaf’ green and earthy ‘Bean’ brown.” – Logan

Big Agnes Meaden

The Meaden is the heaviest of the jackets we reviewed, which may be attributable to the fact that it’s a size large (all of the others tested are size medium). The Meaden is also the warmest jacket of the group. Big Agnes claims that the unique vertical baffle construction contours better to your body and results in better heat retention.

Big Agnes Meaden Jacket, Ultralight Down Jackets

The Meaden is packed with useful features such as elasticized cuffs with thumb cutouts, a waist drawcord, and large interior mesh pockets. The Meaden also stuffs into its own zippered interior pocket for storage. Overall the Meaden fits well and the angled baffles on the sides are a nice touch that give it a slender look. The jacket is fairly long in comparison to the other jackets mentioned here, save the Patagonia UL. The Meaden is constructed from a very light and semi-transparent shell fabric. It’s thickness is unspecified.

Worth noting too is Big Agnes’s decision to adopt Downtek across its product range. As we mentioned above, down is great, until it gets wet. BA’s answer to this conundrum is through the use of DownTek, down treated with a water repellent that allows it to retain its ability to loft and insulate, even when wet. DownTek also adheres to the Responsible Down Standard which claims to prohibit the live plucking and force-feeding, and several other sustainability points.

  • Big Agnes Meaden Jacket, Ultralight Down Jackets
  • Big Agnes Meaden Jacket, Ultralight Down Jackets
  • Big Agnes Meaden Jacket, Ultralight Down Jackets
  • Big Agnes Meaden Jacket, Ultralight Down Jackets
  • Big Agnes Meaden Jacket, Ultralight Down Jackets
  • Weight (as tested): 11.36 ounces/322 grams
  • Fill: 850 fill power DownTek™ water repellent down
  • Fill Weight: 6oz/162g
  • Material: 10 Denier Pertex shell
  • Stuff sack: Stuff into left pocket
  • Price: $379
  • Big Agnes Meaden Jacket, Ultralight Down Jackets
  • Big Agnes Meaden Jacket, Ultralight Down Jackets

BIKEPACKING.com’s Take: “The Meaden is one of the few jackets out there that uses the baffle design to give the jacket a unique and athletic look. The Meaden is also extremely warm… and the Down Tek seems like a great concept, although I am usually careful not to get it wet. My only concern is the durability of the thin nylon shell. That being said, my partner Gin is very hard on clothing, and her Sunshine, cut from the same material, has taken a beating and is still going strong.”

Comparison and Conclusion

As with our other comparative posts, every product here was chosen and included for a reason; they are all high quality jackets and serve different niche uses as an essential piece of gear. That said, if there has to be a winner, the Montbell Ex Light Anorak gets our top pick due to it’s combination of key features, ultra light weight, and incredibly small pack size… all of which comes at a great price point. The Westcomb Chilko Sweater and Patagonia UL tie for a close second; the Chilko for its more durable 20-denier shell fabric, great fit, and warmth… and the Patagonia for it’s unique features and Traceable Down standard. The minimalistic Plasma 1000 is a fantastic choice for those looking for a super ultralight option for bikepacking in more moderate climates, but won’t keep you as toasty as the Big Agnes Meaden, the warmest of the group.

Inevitably each jacket has its pros and cons, so consider all the options based on where you’ll be traveling, whether you intend to layer, your budget, and concern for durability.

Ultralight Down Jackets Compared

Weight ounces / grams
# Fill Power
Fabric Denier
Warmth (ordered)
Montbell Plasma 1000 (M)
Montbell EX Light Anorak (M)
Patagonia Ultralight Down (M)
Westcomb Chilko Sweater (M)
Big Agnes Meaden (L)

Ultralight Down Jackets

From top left, clockwise: Montbell Plasma 1000 (in it’s included stuff sack, but still only compressed at about 50%); Patagonia Nano-Air (compressed to 90%… not much more compression possible); Montbell EX Anorack (60% compression); Big Agnes Meaden (about 40% compression… could go to the size of the one to the left); Wescomb Chilko (70% compression); Patagonia UL (about 40% compression… could go to the size of the Montbell above).

+1 for Synthetic

Synthetic insulation technology is continuously evolving and has become much more sophisticated over the years. There are numerous types of synthetic insulation available, and even though they are mostly heavier and bulkier that down, several come close to in the warmth-to-weight game. Unlike down, synthetic insulation, by the nature of the material, is water-resistant. As a result it will dry faster and still provide some warmth when wet.

Synthetic insulation is also hypoallergenic. And because synthetics are not a product of animals, there could also be a significant case for sustainability (relative to animal welfare and the carbon footprint of production).

Patagonia Nano-Air

Patagonia describes their Nano-Air‘s Fullrange Insulation as, “An insulation breakthrough… [it] is warm, stretchy and so breathable, you can wear it for the entirety of any highly aerobic start-stop mission in the mountains.” The range of motion the Nano-Air is one of its most impressive features. The shell fabric itself is not too stretchy, it’s the insulation and the way the jacket is constructed. The soft, supple feel and full mechanical stretch allows for an athletic fit over baselayers and an uninhibited range of motion.

Patagonia Nano-air Jacket for bikepacking

The Nano-Air also features two hand warmer pockets, a chest pocket, and a dual-adjustable drawcord hem to seal in warmth. As you can see in the group photo above, the Nano-Air (second from the left on top) packs to compact parcel, albeit far less compressible than each of the down jackets.

  • Patagonia Nano-air Jacket for bikepacking
  • Patagonia Nano-air Jacket for bikepacking
  • Patagonia Nano-air Jacket for bikepacking
  • Patagonia Nano-air Jacket for bikepacking
  • Patagonia Nano-air Jacket for bikepacking
  • Weight (as tested): 12.59 ounces/357 grams
  • Fill: FullRange™ 100% polyester stretch insulation
  • Fill Weight: Not Specified
  • Material: Ripstop nylon with DWR (Durable Water Repellant) finish
  • Stuff sack: Not included
  • Price: $249
  • Patagonia Nano-air Jacket for bikepacking
  • Patagonia Nano-air Jacket for bikepacking

BIKEPACKING.com’s Take: “Although not as light or compact as the down jackets we tested, the Nano-Air is impressive. It’s very warm and the wet weather edge combined with the range of motion that this jacket offers, make a good case for Patagonia’s Fullrange synthetic insulation.”

  • Hola Logan!

    You definitively need to test Mountain Hardwear’s Ghost Whisperer jackets if you ever decide to update this list ;)


  • I’ve heard good things about it; thanks!

  • Robert Grey

    i found an arcteryx cerium sl jacket on sale, so i bought it. it’s super light, but it feels quite fragile; it’s my first super light down puffer, so it’s all new and weird to me. on the other hand, it’s very warm despite being so light and it crams into any crevice easily. i’ve only done a couple trips with it so far and haven’t destroyed it yet, so that’s good. time will only tell, i tend to ruin gear in short order. but for now, i give it full marks for weight to warmth and packability.

  • Thanks for sharing, Robert.

  • Christophe Noel

    I’m on winter two with my BA Meaden. DownTek and other water resistant downs are so superior to non-treated down fills, that I have replaced all my gear with similar products with UltraDry Down, etc. The Meaden is crazy warm, light, and surprisingly durable. It’s in my bag right now as I fly to Nepal and the base of Everest. I trust in it.

  • Great to hear, Christophe! Have a great trip in Nepal!!

  • wingo

    Great comparison. The internet makes purchasing possible but we don’t have many of these products in NZ, so sizing is also a bit of a gamble. I recently decided to change to synthetic for a bit of wet weather security and looked around a lot settling on a Outdoor Research Cadmium jacket which used primaloft insulation. I couldn’t be happier with my purchase, great features but a little heavier than these at just under 400g I think. It packs a little larger also but that means it makes a better pillow right? For about a hundred of your dollars it was a steal as well. Also it is award winning if it makes any difference. Check it out.

  • Marc Dukes

    Great write up as usual, Logan. Do you have any thoughts on the fit of the jackets you tried? Specifically, any strike you as being a fuller cut for a big guy?

  • Robert Grey

    thanks for your great comparison. didn’t even realize wescomb made anything other than (awesome) shells. if i had only known…

    ps – the cerium sl weighs in at about 7.5oz in an XL, just for comparison’s sake

  • Hi Marc, thanks! I’d say the most full are the Big Agnes and the Patagonia. The others are a little more slim cut. Hope that helps…

  • Thanks for the suggestion. It’s always nice to have others picks in the comments for folks who are ‘over-researching’ … believe me, I’ve done plenty of it. I will check out the OR, I always like their stuff.

  • wingo

    Everyone has different requirements and after ‘over researching’ the OR ticked all my boxes. Jacket is Cathode not cadmium as in original post.

  • Mark Troup

    The Patagonia UL that you list at $299? They are at Costco (yeah, you read that right, Costco) for $199 right now. A lot more competitive pricewise with some of the others listed.

  • Matt Forster

    Have you tried anything from the Uniqlo Ultra Light Down line? A fairly compressible, water proof jacket is $70. It should weigh a bit under 10 ounces, and has 750 fill down.

  • Wow, that’s crazy!

  • I haven’t, interesting though…

  • tylernol

    i am a westcomb and not-in-china fan so the chilko is the most appealing to me but i have read that there are cuff fit issues , i.e. the elastic on the cuffs is way too tight. Was it okay on the Medium you tried?

  • I had no problem with the cuff whatsoever, but I have skinnier wrists.

  • tylernol

    cool, I have relatively skinny wrists, and fit fine in their L stuff.

  • Greg May, PhD

    Have a look at PHD Designs – they make some really ace kit, and can do to order as well for specific needs.

  • I’ve been basically living in my patty nano air hoodie for the past month. For what it lacks in packing compression, it lets me leave the bulk of extra layers and a hat at home thanks to this thing’s on-bike breathability, well-insulated hood, and holding up to laundromats. Glad you made mention!

  • Nice, good to hear…

  • Cool, thanks.

  • Puff jackets with hoods extend the range of light summer bags without a mummy head closure. Big point to consider if buying new to integrate with other lightweight gear.

  • Smithhammer

    Surprised the Mountain Hardwear “Ghost Whisperer” jacket didn’t get mentioned – with 800-fill Quix down, and a total weight of 7oz, it’s the most impressive, ultra-packable layer I’ve ever owned.

  • Great point. I’ve noticed a couple of quilt companies selling down hoods separately.

  • I have heard good things about it, we just didn’t have one to test.

  • Smithhammer

    A lot of the ultra-lightweight down layers being offered these days do feel really fragile, and some of them actually are. At the same time, there have been big advancements in shell fabrics in the last few years, and you might be surprised at how well some of them hold up, given how thin and fragile they may feel.

    One thing that helps a lot if you’re worried about tearing your down jkt is to wear a lightweight windshirt over it, esp. when bushwhacking or doing anything particularly abrasive. I pretty much always have a light windshirt (Patagonia Houdini pullover) with me on any multi-day outdoor trip anyway, since I find it to be so easily packable and one of my most useful outdoor garments.

  • Robert Grey

    i almost always have a windbreaker too. excellent tip, thanks.

  • Good call!

  • whispering wheels

    In the bushwalking world the leading contenders in this category are the Marmot Quasar and the Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer. Both well worth a look.

  • Jethro

    On the cheap side Costco has a Gerry Men’s 650 fill for $40. Medium weighs in at 12.15oz. Seems like a good value with a heavier cover material than some of these lighter and more expensive models. It lacks flash and has a bit of extra belly to appeal to the masses IMHO, but hard to beat the price to performance.

  • Andrew Wade

    Good point! Synthetic hooded puffy jackets pair nicely with down sleeping bags for a 3 season sleep system. The synthetic jacket works as a vapor layer and can also be worn in the rain as you mentioned. I’m very pleased with my Montbell Thermawrap Sport Parka and Western Mountaineering Summerlite. 20 ounces total and stuffs into a Viscacha seatbag with room to spare.

  • Drew Mabry

    I love my Uniqlo Ultra Light Down jacket for touring. Great at camp and under my EE 30 degree quilt when it gets colder. Probably not the best jacket, but definitely the best value.

  • Mark

    i had one used for year great jacket and very good value but replaced it with MONTBELL PLASMA 1000 DOWN JACKET NOW THATS A JACKET HAD OVER 6 MONTH AND STILL AS GOOD AS THE DAY I GOT IT..

  • richdirector

    RAB down jackets in the UK are a good go to jacket

  • Eric Blair

    1000x yes. I’ve been abusing their Inferno Hoodie for a very comfortable year now.

  • Ehkzu

    I’ve had one for a few months and I love it. I don’t know if I’d use it in freezing weather but for temps in the 40s and above it has been amazingly warm considering how lightweight it is, and of course the fill pockets are sewn-through.

    It has a slightly elastic waist–don’t know if that would work in a stiff wind, but I haven’t been in a stiff wind yet. Cuffs are elastic and fit tightly enough to blocck wind.

    The fabric is very light weight. I doubt whether it would be durable under rough wearing conditions, but as long as you’re in circumstances that let you baby it a bit, it’s great. Of all the jackets I have it’s my first choice now, as long as I know I can keep it dry and free of scrapes.

  • Wayne

    And if you’re using the Canadian “peso” — worth about 69 cents in American currency these days — you have a look at Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) branded down and synthetic jackets like the men’s Commix Hoodie http://www.mec.ca/product/5036-944/mec-commix-hoodie-mens/ , women’s Spicy Hoodie http://www.mec.ca/product/5037-102/mec-spicy-hoodie-womens/?q=spicy or the Uplink Hoodie in men’s or women’s versions http://www.mec.ca/product/5025-734/mec-uplink-hoodie-mens/?q=uplink%2Bhoodie + http://www.mec.ca/product/5025-735/mec-uplink-hoodie-womens/?q=uplink%2Bhoodie . All great items especially at clearance prices. If you’re a real cheapskate like me, try picking up the equivalents on eBay or in Value Village or other thrift stores. I paid all of $15 CDN for a “lightweight packable” 10.2 oz, presumably 650-fill XL Calvin Klein women’s duck down jacket (ie a mens Large) a week ago. I actually found it warmer than the expensive stuff and I didn’t find it as clammy/sweaty inside since it didn’t use the DWR coated goose down. One women’s trash is another man’s treasure. :-)

  • D FW

    so how can order ?

  • Giovanni Bianco

    Hey great piece! Very helpful. Is the color of the Montbell anorak called “Paprika”?

  • Thanks! Yes, tut’s Paprika.

  • For those in Europe, Cumulus are worth taking a look at too, their down gear is excellent (one of my sleeping bags is now on 200+nights of use) and well priced as it comes straight form the factory in Poland. They’ve also moved into synthetic now which is really exciting. http://sleepingbags-cumulus.eu

  • Cameron Dube

    The OR Hooded Filament Jacket seems to fit the bill too. Weighing in at a mere 281 grams with
    800 fill down. there’s a non-hooded version too. It’s pricey at 340 CDN, but also has a DWR-treated shell of ultralight 10D Pertex® Quantum GL.
    I also just got the Patagonia Nano Air Light Hoody. This piece is interesting as a riding layer in cold temps. We’ve already had -10C here in Ontario and its breathing really well as an active layer over a Craft Windstopper LS shirt. A few hours of pushing pedals and working up some heat and it is bone dry.

  • Nate justice

    How tall/ much does the gentlemen in the pictures weigh? I’m 6’1″ and 165lbs. I’m in the market for the last jacket mentioned in the article. The synthetic jacket sounds more appealing to me. I was also wondering what sizes were tested, any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I’ll still end up trying it on in stores, it’d just be nice to know. Thanks for the great content. I seriously love this website!

  • Jonathan

    Hi, I found your blog doing some research on the mont bell anorak. I’m pretty sold by now. I really want know who makes the hat you are wearing in tho photos of that piece. Can ya help a guy out?

  • Not sure, but it’s a Buchi Kombucha hat…

  • Ashley Benn

    Hi Logan,

    Which size are you wearing in the Patagonia Nano Air jacket?

  • Hey. That’s a medium…

  • stefaan

    Hi, you said: it is a medium, what is your length?
    Thanks for everything

  • Rob Grey

    two year update:

    the cerium is holding up really well. dozens of weekend trips, long day rides, skiing, camping, and a recent trip back east, right into the polar vortex, and it feels just as warm and cozy as the day i bought it. it’s still in great shape considering how much i pack it around stuffed into a bag, and *knock wood* how many fires i’ve been around while wearing it… coupled with a merino base layer a flannel and a buff, it has kept me toasty in temperatures dipping as low as -25°c/-13°f before wind chill. add a shell and i feel indestructible. it doesn’t have a hood, and the collar is minimal, but it does have hand warmer pockets, and nice long sleeves. it layers up well, and it disappears into even the most overstuffed bag with ease. perfect for a warm layer that you’ll be carrying as much as wearing. recommended.

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