“This thing is a heat machine,” says our mountain guide tester, who wore it down to about 0°F. The jacket is chock-full of 800-fill goose down with welded (no stitch) baffles that eliminate cold spots.
Clearly, designers agonized over the small stuff. We love the two pass-through chest pockets because we could access stuff from inside or out. The internal stretch-mesh stuff pockets held our gloves or glasses (they’re too small for a water bottle) securely because, instead of being open at the top as in most belay jackets, these are stitched halfway closed. And the waterproof zips on the hand pockets never jammed thanks to six parallel lines of stitching that kept fabric out of the way. But our tester says he could do without the long, stretchy “hobo mitts” that cover the hands and wrists. “You have to take your gloves off get the jacket on and off, which just exposes your hands,” he says.