Eddie Bauer has made a terrific down jacket that I think competes with other jackets on the market. Before you keep reading, you must know that I have owned the Patagonia Nano Puff and currently own the Marmot Baffin Jacket as well. I used to own a general 600 fill North Face down puffy but returned it because it was not warm enough. That said, this jacket is the best of all four that I know of.
The MicroTherm Down Hoody has 700 fill premium goose down that will help warm you up instantly. It is also water-repellent and windproof. The hood is snug and fits around a climbing helmet. The jacket is made to stretch and has a couple of well placed pockets. Finally, the fit is athletic and does not ride up when you wear it. The zippers and other details are solid and seem strong. Overall great jacket.
FeaturesThis is straight from their website for the sake of clarity:
100% recycled ripstop polyester (main body); 95% polyester/5% spandex (side panels)
Average length: Reg 27.5"; Tall 29.5"
Average garment weight: Reg 12.1 oz
In other words, super light and fits me perfectly. I am a male, 6'1, 180 and lean and I wear a Large and it fits me great.
Personal ExperienceI've used the jacket in the late spring in the sierras and early fall while climbing and mountaineering. I was in sub freezing temperatures and 40-50 mile and hour winds and I didn't feel anything. Paired with a good base layer and mid-layer (I wear a long sleeved Patagonia Capilene shirt) and this jacket is all that one needs if you are climbing or hiking in cool sunny weather (you would need another outer layer to protect from snow or water if a storm came in).
The jacket also looks great around town since it has an athletic cut. I definitely bring it with me on cool nights when I am outside and people always make positive comments.
Finally, the hood does pair well with a helmet. I wore my climbing helmet with the jacket last time I climbed and it was able to fit around the helmet and still protect my face.
NegativesThe only thing that I don't like about the product is that it does not fold into itself like the Patagonia Nano Puff or Marmot Baffin Hoody Jacket. I own the Baffin and love it but prefer the Microtherm. I used to own the Nano Puff but returned it so I could buy the Micro Therm. It is a bit annoying to not be able to fold the jacket up into its own pocket for storage in your pack.
Finally - a note about the advertised water repellent. Is it water-repellent? Yes. To a degree. My hiking buddy spilled some water in our tent in the middle of the night and I was using the jacket as part of my pillow system. The jacket got wet. The jacket definitely repelled the water but it took a few hours during the day to dry. This jacket will probably not compete with any of the newer waterproof down that everyone is now using if that is a priority to you in a down-jacket. For me, I live in So Cal and the Sierra's are pretty predictable for weather and so I don't need to pay extra for waterproof down.
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