Plusses: Lightweight, durable, comfortable during exercise
Minuses: Lacks warmth for the end of day.
Features: Made with recycled (75%) 3M Thinsulate Eco Featherless synthetic insulation that is claimed to equal 700 fill power down insulation and keep you warm when it’s wet. Insulation is strategically placed over the upper body, shoulders and arms from the elbow up – there is no insulation in the lower half of the jacket. As such, it’s light: 280g (m), 198g (w).
The fabric is ripstop nylon with a DWR coating and the baffles are a grid formation to keep the insulation in place.
A warm DriClime Bi-Component lining wicks moisture on fast-paced walks or climbs. It has pack-friendly pockets (one of which it stuffs into),an elastic drawcord hem and elastic cuffs.
Fit: It has an athletic-fit and can easily be worn beneath a hardshell jacket. It hangs to just below the waist and the arms are a good length, ensuring sleeves don’t ride up when outstretched.
Comfort: It’s the kind of jacket you can wear all day without ever feeling too hot – or too cold (though ultimately that is temperature and activity-dependent). Dri-Clime-lined pockets provide warmth and comfort for hands and the inside lining feels soft and warm against the skin.
In use: This is a true layering piece – not the kind of insulated jacket you put on and sink into heavenly, all-enveloping warmth. I used it on early morning 3℃ bushwalks and while standing around or lacing my shoes I never felt super warm in it. But once I started walking, I realised its benefits. Unlike other jackets which I have to zip open or take off once I get moving, I could keep the hybrid on all morning long. On uphills, I would zip it open to let out some heat.
The uninsulated hand pockets can’t be described as hand warmers – my hands felt chilly in these, to the point I didn’t use them.
That complaint aside, this jacket proved to be an ideal insulating layer for active pursuits.
Value: With durable fabrics, it can easily handle the abrasion of pack straps, climbing harnesses and on-the-go activities, but it could be considered expensive for its limited utility outside active pursuits.
Verdict: It’s not going to keep you super warm in a hut on a winter evening, but it will make the walk to the hut more comfortable.