I’ve been a late bloomer when it comes to insulating layers. Long gone are the days where I wear cotton in the backcountry but I’m still not at a point in my life where I can easily shell out big dollars for lots of high tech gear. That said, over the past 5 years I have slowly invested, piece by piece, in a suitable outdoor wardrobe. For the longest time, I’ve been using a synthetic hoody jacket as my insulating layer but it just hasn’t been cutting it when the temperature really drops.
I’ve been needing to invest in a seriously warm, yet packable, down jacket for my winter adventures and this winter was finally the winter I splurged. After a lot of research, I decided that a down jacket actually *wasn’t* that suitable for my adventures. When Down gets wet, it’s practically useless at retaining heat. Because I’m often out in inclement weather, I needed a down-like jacket that insulated in all weather conditions. And thus, I settled on the Marmot’s Featherless Hoody.
- 3M™ Thinsulate™ Featherless Insulation
- Attached hood with elastic binding
- Zippered hand pockets
- Internal chest pocket
- Elastic-bound cuffs
- Stuffs into its own pocket
- Elastic drawcord hem
- Angel-Wing Movement™
- Main Materials: 100% Nylon Double Mini Rip 1.0 oz/ yd
- Weight: 13.4 ounces
I usually wear a small in jackets but fit the XS better in this jacket. It’s just enough room for me to wear a few light layers underneath but not so roomy that the jacket lets in a cold draft. The jacket hits me just at my hip bones and has a nice tapered fit through the bodice. The center back length is 26.5 in. If you like your jackets longer, maybe size up. The arms hit just at the wrists and the elastic binding around the cuffs keeps cold air out.
For me, hoods are non-negotiable so it was a no-brainer to get the hoody versus the featherless jacket. I get really cold ears and often can’t be bothered putting on a hat or an ear band when the wind picks up so it’s crucial to me to have a functioning warm hood. The hood on the featherless jacket is loosely scuba-style, covering part of my forehead and framing my chin. The elastic on the outside keeps it in place and even in strong winds, I haven’t had any issue keeping the hood on. If you’re doing high alpine climbing and need a helmet, this hood would be comfortable to have on under a helmet.
The pockets on the jacket are straightforward but useful. Two hand pockets near the hip bones and one internal check pocket. The jacket completely packs down into the outside pocket to a package the size of a shoe. Packing down to basically nothing and weighing a mere 13.4 ounces, this jacket is super easy to fold up and throw in your pack for those “just-in-case” days. You’ll hardly notice it’s there but will be super grateful to have it when needed.
My last insulating jacket was not super light and not super warm so it was imperative to find a jacket that met both of these requirements. I was tempted to buy a fully down jacket for the warmth but was worried that it would be rendered useless with the amount of wet walking I do here in New Zealand so I opted instead for a feather-like jacket and couldn’t be more impressed with the warmth. The 3M™ Thinsulate™ Featherless Insulation is the equivalent of 700 down fill and as a person who is eternally cold, I’m amazed that I warm up within minutes of putting this jacket on.
The materials are water resistant so can withstand a bit of dampness but even when it’s full on raining, I’ve stayed warm in this jacket. I’ve taken this jacket up rugged mountains as well as along jagged coastlines and the nylon has held up well against the rough rocks. After continuous daily wear for a few months, this jacket still looks brand new.
Unlike down, this jacket is super simple to care for. When it gets a bit stinky, chuck it in a cold machine wash and hang it up to dry. No crumpling feathers and a quick dry.
This jacket is best used for people who are adventuring in the outdoors needing a warm jacket that can still perform well in wet and cold conditions. Unlike down, this jacket still insulates and retains warmth when wet, making it a great fit for tramping in places like New Zealand where the weather is often all over the place.
I’m super happy with the featherless hoody and I’m looking forward to years of adventure in it. I really try to limit the number of outdoor clothes I have with makes it important to have clothes that will do a good job for a long time. This jacket now goes with me on every adventure, even when it’s warm outside. I’ve been caught out before without a puffy in high terrain but with a super packable jacket like this one, it’s a no-brainer to bring it on every mission. Having a featherless piece of gear gives me piece of mind that I don’t need to be super delicate in my adventures. It can take a bit of a beating and when the adventure is done, wash it and hang it up and it’s read for round two. Now an absolute essential in my outdoor wardrobe.