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Have you found yourself in the market for a lightweight insulated jacket, but just don’t have any idea which to choose? Fear not! We’ve put some of the most popular lightweight jackets to the test in order to help you find the perfect jacket for your next adventure.
The one negative of a down jacket is that it really shouldn’t get wet. In recent years, many brands have tried to address this issue with the likes of hydrophobic down and bulky insulated waterproof jackets. However, nobody has quite succeeded in creating a fully waterproof, lightweight down jacket … until now.
Warmth: At 700-fill goose down, the OutDry Ex Gold Down Jacket isn’t the warmest in its weight class but, I actually think that works to its advantage when it comes to its end use. I’ve been testing an early edition of this jacket now for close to two years and I think they have hit the warmth to weight ratio bang on. The waterproof membrane means that the jacket fends off wind brilliantly. I regularly wear this jacket on long races or hikes when I am on the move in woeful weather. It is really breathable and definitely keeps the chill from the bones.
Features: The main talking point of this jacket is the Outdry waterproof membrane which is on the outside of the jacket. It will never soak through and it is very durable.
There are no superfluous bits and bobs on this jacket; it is functional – what you need is what you get. The jacket itself is fully seam sealed, with additional external seam tape. There is an adjustable hood, complete with chin guard, zipped hand pockets and an adjustable hem.
Appearance: This jacket does have a shiny, slick appearance which might turn people off on first inspection. However, having worn this jacket so much, I barely notice its slightly waxy appearance. The jacket is nicely cut, but is definitely generous in the sizing. If you are toying between two sizes, go for the smaller one for sure!
Overall verdict: I’ve been wearing this jacket now for almost two years and I am yet to tire of it. It is robust, fully waterproof and cosy. What more could you want?!
Available from/order through: Wild Side Sports, Bandon, Co Cork; Radar Stores, Limerick; Great Outdoors, Dublin; Basecamp, Dublin; Cotswold Outdoor, Dublin.
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