Brand: Western Mountaineering
Model: QuickFlash Jacket
When the temperature dropped to 15°F on the final climb to the top of 10,804-foot San Jacinto Peak in California, the QuickFlash, paired with a midweight baselayer, was all we needed to finish the hike in comfort. We also stayed warm while wearing the jacket in camp on a sunny afternoon with temperatures in the high 30s.
On the lower, warmer slopes of San Jacinto Peak we barely noticed the 850-fill QuickFlash inside our packs, owing to it’s half-pound weight and compressibility to cantaloupe size. The jacket doesn’t pack into its own pocket or come with a stuffsack, though.
“Durable ultralight puffy” might sound like an oxymoron, but the QuickFlash is the most resilient in the test thanks to its 12-denier nylon fabric and sturdy accents. Over a few days we spent schlepping climbing gear around Joshua Tree National Park—during which we scraped the jacket along the park’s notoriously coarse rock—the material didn’t rip once. The beefy front zipper also spat out sand like it was nothing.
The QuickFlash lacks a hood, but the tall collar wrapped snugly around our necks and did a nice job of sealing out wind. Unique to this jacket, the two hand pockets are insulated on both the inner and outer layers, a rare (and warm) design; all other jackets in the test have uninsulated fabric as the pocket backer. (The pockets lack zippers, though, so they’re not great for holding small objects.) Our 6’2”, 200-pound tester found the fit of his men’s large to be boxy; size down.
$365; 8 oz.; m’s S-XL, w’s XS-L