The Best Backpacking Puffy Jacket

| February 2, 2012

I had the opportunity to attend the Outdoor Retailer show last week and I have to say, there is a lot cool gear out there.  In the past I have felt a secret shame in being a gear lover.  I was climbing one day with a group of people and as my buddy and I were rapping off the last pitch one of our other friends yelled up “do we need to leave now?  Didn’t you guys want to go shopping?”  We had mentioned to him that we needed to swing by REI after we were done climbing but we had never said we needed to go “shopping”.  There is a huge difference between picking up gear and “shopping”.  Clearly we needed to revaluate our friendship with this guy.  Anyway, I digress.

At the Brooks-Range Mountaineering they were showing off their new Mojave Jacket.  It features 800 fill DownTec premium down.  The DownTec is a polymer treated down that is super resistant to water and what little moisture gets through dries quicker.  That means you get all the benefit of down without the fears normally associated with down.  They had a handful of the down in a water bottle that you could shake to heart’s delight and it stayed nice and fluffy.  Combine the DownTec with a Pertex Quantum shell and you have the best backpacking puffy jacket money can buy.  Speaking of money, it looks like it will be pretty reasonably priced.  Especially if you look at the longevity of down coats and compare Brooks-Range pricing against some of their competitors.

Brooks-Range is a great company with some great products.  This jacket is no exception.  For the ultra-lighters out there this will be a great way to bump your sleeping bag weight down (We will take a quick look at the Elephant Toe sleeping bag system from Brooks-Range in another post).  For the rest of the more normal backpackers out there this will be the deluxe jacket you throw on when the temps dip and you will be thinking “I am glad that I read that incredible blog that pointed me towards this jacket because it is a little slice of paradise wrapped around me like a cocoon of loveable Care Bears whose only goal in life is to make me feel comfortable when I am backpacking”, or something like that.

For those who backpack and recreate at high altitude this will be a great piece all year round.  For the rest of you this will be seasonal jacket that you will love forever.  You should know that when you go pick up this stellar piece of gear that you are not shopping or online shopping but rather rigorously practicing gearology and there is no shame in hard science.

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