Down Jacket Reviews

Jansport Orb Jacket

Jansport Orb Jacket

There are plenty of synthetic insulations out there that perform better than down in terms of compressibility and loft retention, but for sheer warmth, it’s very difficult to beat down, the best natural insulator.  And since down has a tendency to lose loft when it gets wet, it’s helpful to have a down jacket that comes with a solid water-resistant nylon or polyester outer shell.  The Jansport Orb Jacket has just that, but it doesn’t stop there; the jacket also features seamless shoulders, and a lot of pockets, great for the outdoorsman on a budget.

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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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