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Backpacker Magazine – May 2012

Gear Review: First Ascent MicroTherm Down Hoodie

A featherweight, 800-fill puffy

by: Kim Phillips

First Ascent MicroTherm Down Hoodie (Courtesy Photo)
First Ascent MicroTherm Down Hoodie (Courtesy Photo)

This featherweight, 800-fill puffy has become an essential part of my layering system—on everything from multiday treks to after-work snowshoeing—thanks to its compressibility and versatility. The close fit and streamlined cut reduce bulk (it packs to cantaloupe size), so it layers easily under shells and backpack hipbelts. But it also works well as an outer layer, thanks to a DWR-treated nylon shell that repels light rain and snow. And stretchy, fleece-backed panels around the armpits and shoulders enhance mobility for climbing and skiing. The narrow, one-inch baffles keep the down evenly distributed. Bummer: Some of our test jackets leaked feathers, and we wished for a way to seal the hem against drafts.

Best For
Any hiker, backpacker, or mountaineer who wants an extremely lightweight, packable puffy as a midlayer or light outer layer

Tester Data
> Kim Phillips (other testers: Kristin Hostetter, Shannon Davis)
> Duration Oct. through March
> Locales/conditions CO, ID, MA, Chile; 10°F to 55°F; snow, light rain
> “The minimalist, insulated hood lacks adjustments, but it still fits and seals well.”

The Specs
> 9.8 oz. (w’s S)
> m’s S-XXL; w’s XS-L

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Randy L.
Jun 11, 2012

Too many cons for almost $200. I'm likely to wait until they fix those issues - especially the leaking feathers! There are way too many reviews that state this as an issue - I can't believe they haven't addressed it already!


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