Lightweight and slim-style insulated jackets
Toasty warm down jackets once meant a bulky Michelin style look. But now you can have the warmth of a bulky jacket yet without the bulk. Ultra light down jackets – and manmade insulated jackets – are the big trend of autumn and winter 2013.
Staying warm in the outdoors is all about layering thinner layers. The aim is to trap body heat between several thinner layers. Popping a lightweight down jacket on top as an outer layer adds more cosiness.
Another benefit of a thinner down jacket is that you can also put on a waterproof jacket over the top to keep the rain out.
And the other handy thing about an ultra light down jacket is that when you want to cool a little, you take the jacket off and stuff it into what seems like a ridiculously small bag, which can then be stowed in a rucksack, handbag or just carried in your hand as a small pack.
Lightweight insulated jackets that I like
This season I have been sent lots of lightweight insulated jackets to try. Here are a selection of the jackets. Most come in a lovely female-fit, as well as a male version.
Rab Xenon Hoodie
Made with lightweight PrimaLoft® insulation for warmth and with a Pertex Quantum layer that is strong and windproof, this jacket will be perfect for conditions where you are likely to get wet. While traditional down jackets become soggy and cold in the wet, man-made PrimaLoft manages to keep the body warm even when wet. It works, too.
Mammut Miva Light and Broad Peak Light
The Mammut Miva Light is for women, while the Mammut Broad Peak Light is for men. These are two of the new down jackets that come with a water-resistant outer although this water-resistance only works in light rain. The down is featherlight and boasts 800-fill warmth.
Montane Featherlite Down Jacket
This is a very light jacket with a 750+ down fill and also a PERTEX® Quantum Rip-stop outer that means it will withstand lots of wear in the outdoors. The jacket can be stuffed into its own bag for easy and compact stowing. There are versions for men and women.
Berghaus Furnace III
The Berghaus Furnace III Jacket – with different fits for men and women – boasts a new HydroDown Technology. This means that the down is treated with a water repellent before being sewn into the jacket. The result is a lightweight and warm jacket that is great for both dry and wet weather.
Montane Flux Primaloft jacket
For a synthetic version that will keep you warm even when it’s very damp or wet, the new Montane Flux jacket is a good buy. It features layered 100g and 60g PRIMALOFT® ECO combined to maximise insulation. The outer fabric is PERTEX® Microlight Rip-stop so it will cope with being worn for climbing and being stuffed inside your rucksack, etc. There’s a useful inside pocket, too.
Columbia Powerfly Down Hoodie
Available at ActivInstinct, with a hood or without, this new lightweight down jacket also boasts an internal lining of “Omni-Heat thermal reflective” promising to keep you even warmer. The 800-fill down insulation is 90% goose down and 10% feather down. It also packs away neatly.
Jack Wolfskin Altostratus jacket
Rather than stripes of insulated pockets boasted by many other such jackets, this has a checked pattern. The fill is manmade while the outer fabric is a windproof material tat also boasts a silicone coating to rain water just rolls off. There is a useful integrated hood as well.
Ultra Light Down jacket
If you are looking for lots of styles for men, women and kids, in different designs and colours, both longer and shorter, with hoods and without, with arms and without and in dozens of shades, the ULD jackets from Uniqlo are worth checking out, too. In addition, if you buy one of these jackets there’s a chance to win £300 to spend on the clothing website. The #ULD competition calls on people to take a photo of themselves in their #ULD jacket and post it on the @UNIQLO_UK Twitter or Instagram account using the hashtag #ULD. A chosen winner will receive the £300 to spend on the retail site.