Toughest Gear: Feathered Friends Helios Jacket

This Feathered Friends puffy jacket stays fatter than a StayPuff marshmallow.

In 2003, after several years of testing, the Helios earned tester kudos for its high-loft down. A decade later, Annette is still raving, but she’s even more impressed at how well the baffles and ultralight shell fabric have held up. Both can be weak spots in puffy jackets, but the stitching remains tight and the shell hasn’t leaked any feathers.

“Just the other day I was sawing dead limbs off a tree,” she reports, “and a 40-pound branch fell on my shoulder. It scraped my skin underneath but not the jacket itself.” $239; 15 oz.; 7 sizes with 2 shell options;

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