Jacket Reviews and News

Cabela's 550 Goose Down Vest

Cabela's 550 Goose Down Vest

A down vest can be an excellent addition to any wardrobe, for when the weather turns colder, but it doesn’t quite justify a full down jacket.  Most down vests can be easily layered over a fleece or softshell, and layered under a hardshell.  This is what I sought: a down vest that was warm enough to justify wearing over a fleece, but compressible enough to wear under a hardshell.  I found it in Cabela’s 550 fill-power vest.  It’s very simple; no frills, not even zippers.  Just metal snaps on the front and slash handwarmer pockets.  But it gets the job done.

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Lowe Alpine Flash Jacket

Lowe Alpine Flash Jacket

The Lowe Alpine Flash utilizes Triplepoint Ceramic, Lowe Alpine’s proprietary waterproof/breathable material.  Lowe Alpine no longer uses this fabric, having switched to eVent, and now Gore-Tex, but it is a solid membrane, and the jacket itself is one of the most fully featured, complex jackets out there, even for a mountaineering shell.  It’s not for lightweight jaunts through the park in spring drizzles, but it does what it was made for very well: extreme wet weather and cold protection, even up on the mountain.

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Marmot ATV Jacket

Marmot ATV Jacket

Sometimes, simpler is better.  It looks like Marmot got the message, with the ATV Jacket.  It’s a simple softshell, water- and wind-resistant, with two handwarmer pockets and a smallish Napoleon pocket.  But it’s well-made, and it is one of the best-fitting jackets I own.  But more on that later.

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