The Ferrari of down jackets is how one tester described this ultra-packable, ultra-lofty, and ultra-warm 800-fill-down belay puffy after taking it to Chamonix for a true test of its expedition-weight insulating capabilities. “It packs super-small—as small as some of my midlayers—and lofts almost immediately. I never hesitated to pack it,” he said. “And I was always happy I did!” The instant heat delivered by this warm cloud of a jacket was due in part to extra protection in draft-prone areas provided by the double draft tubes that run the length of the zipper and extra down in the collar. Three pockets offer insulation on the outside, so hands and sundries (phone, energy bar) stay warm because they’re closer to your body and protected by a layer of down. The 20-denier nylon outer shell has a DWR coating to repel water, with a special construction in the hood, shoulders, and arms that increases water resistance even more. A two-way zipper means you can wear it over a harness and still have access to the belay loop, and a large drop-in pocket on the inside is perfect for drying out gloves.
This is a top-tier, high-performing down belay puffy with the best compressibility and loft we tested. With just enough features for belaying on the ground or on a wall, choose this for the coldest and driest conditions.
$450; 19 oz.; patagonia.com