Mrs. Outsider will be staying warm this winter with the Ultralight 850 Down Hooded Jacket from L.L. Bean.
Here are the features that make it a winter winner:
DownTek 850 fill, which gives this jacket its high warmth to low weight ratio.
A Pertex shell that features a very tight weave. This not only helps block the wind, but makes for a durable shell.
Elastic cuffs to block the wind even more.
A snug hood, for those very cold days.
External zippered pockets, to help keep hands warm. The left side has a headphone port.
An internal pocket for your phone or MP3 player on the right side.
A large internal pocket on the left that can be used as a stuff sack for the jacket.
Glove-friendly zipper pulls.
From a fashion standpoint, this jacket excels as well. It’s not as puffy as many down jackets, and is slightly fitted, so it flatters your figure, rather than making you look like a more colorful version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Color options include Black, Bright Clover, Brilliant Blue, Dusk Blue, and Ruby Coral.
Down is simply the best insulation you can get. It traps air in little pockets, and that’s what keeps you warm. Until it gets wet. That’s what makes the DownTek fill so great. DownTek Water Repellent Down absorbs less moisture and dries faster than standard down, making this jacket ideal for cold and wet days. Even wet, it still has more loft than untreated down. The treatment is environmentally safe, adds no noticeable weight to the down, and you can machine wash and dry the jacket at home, no dry cleaning necessary. L.L. Bean made a smart choice by choosing it as the fill for this jacket. Here’s a video that shows just how well it works:
When you first pick it up, it doesn’t seem like much at all. But the DownTek 850 fill insulates incredibly well, and the Pertex shell cuts the wind. The Ultralight 850 Down Hooded Jacket is rated for light activity down to 25 degrees, and down to -25 for moderate activity. Of course, that depends on what you layer it with, as well as your own comfort level. Mrs. Outsider stayed warm outside from 20-40+ degrees by layering with a t-shirt and/or hoody. This is very impressive, given that the jacket weighs less than one pound, and packs down to the size of a dos manos (two hand) burrito. That’s a lot of performance for only $229. Find it and other great outer wear at llbean.com.
– Brian (with help from Mrs. Outsider)
Disclosure of Material Connection: We received the Ultralight 850 Down Hooded Jacket for free from L.L. Bean, in consideration for review publication.