Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Jacket Review (First Impressions)
The following is a sponsored post brought to you by Eddie Bauer. Get 50% off sitewide at EddieBauer.com 11/19-11/27 during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
I am a homeostasis-challenged individual. I’m cold when others are warm and freezing when others are considering slipping on a light jacket. A quality down puffy is a critical component of my backpacking setup and the only thing that allows me to thrive backcountry in the colder months. My Eddie Bauer CirrusLite puffy arrived at the front stoop of my drafty house on a frigid, windy day—so naturally, as soon as I took it out of the package, I shrugged it on for a little extra warmth as I went about my day. I was sweating within five minutes.
The CirrusLite down jacket is cozy, fashionable, lightweight, and—best of all—incredibly affordable. But is it suitable for hikers? Let’s find out.
Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Jacket At-a-Glance
- MSRP: $99
- On sale for $39(!!) 11/19 – 11/30 during EB’s 2021 Black Friday Sale
- Insulation: 650-fill Responsible Down Standard (RDS) down
- Shell: 100% nylon + StormRepel DWR finish
- Weight: 7.6 oz (my measurement – women’s small)
- Length: 25″ (women’s small)
- Temperature rating: –10˚F during moderate activity / 40˚F during low activity
Circumstances of Review
Full disclosure: I haven’t had this jacket long enough to give a long-term review yet, so please note that these are just my first impressions. Fortunately, I received the CirrusLite during a bitter cold snap this autumn. I tested it down to the high 30s, including walking around my neighborhood and hanging out around the fire pit.
CirrusLite Down Jacket Features
High neck: The CirrusLite jacket has a relatively high (~2-inch) collar to cut out the draft. I worried that this might be uncomfortable, as turtlenecks and the like usually make my throat feel constricted. Fortunately, the CirrusLite’s collar isn’t too high or too snug. I found it very comfortable even when fully zipped up to my neck. The high neck does noticeably boost the warmth of this jacket.
The hoodless design makes this puffy lighter and less bulky. However, there is a hooded version of the CirrusLite if you’re looking for something even warmer.
Zipper pockets: You almost can’t tell from looking at a picture of this jacket, but the CirrusLite boasts two generous, cunningly concealed handwarmer pockets on either side of the main zipper. The pockets are deep and zip shut, so my keys/phone/snacks (mostly just snacks, if I’m being honest) never fall out.
DWR finish: The CirrusLite’s StormRepel DWR (Durable Water Repellent) finish allows the jacket to repel light moisture. That means you can wear it in mist or light rain without getting drenched because the water will bead and roll off without soaking into the down. The DWR held up to my testing, but I would still advise you to be careful wearing any down jacket out in wet weather. Down and water should never mix (except when you wash your puffy once per season).
RDS Down: If you’re buying down products, you should make sure they meet the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), as this jacket does. The RDS certifies that down producers are treating their birds humanely.
Fit and Style
If a jacket fits too loosely, drafts and dead airspace reduce its insulation capacity, while the bulky material is constantly shifting around and getting in your way during active pursuits. If it’s too slim, it’s uncomfortable, restricts your range of motion, and limits the number of layers you can fit underneath.
The CirrusLite jacket has a classic fit that hits the cozy-yet-comfortable sweet spot. It’s loose enough to provide a full range of motion and allow for layering, but draft-cutting measures like the high neckline and elastic cuffs ensure that it remains snug and warm. At the same time, it’s slim enough to stay out of your way while hiking.
This jacket is lightweight, durable, and functional enough to take backpacking. However, it’s also stylish/casual/versatile enough to wear around town without looking like a tool.
I’m 5’4, 130 pounds, and a women’s small fit me well. Incidentally, I tested the “Nightsky” colorway and found it really subtle and beautiful. The product images on EB’s website make it look a little more purple than it really is. In real life, it’s a rich, mysterious-looking purply blue.
5 Things I Loved About The CirrusLite Jacket
1. SO. FRIGGIN. WARM.
The CirrusLite puffy is rated to keep you warm down to -10˚F during moderate exercise or 40˚F during low exercise.
I’ve tested the jacket on windy walks in the high 30s and found it plenty warm. If I’m sitting around, I’ve found that I’ll start wanting another layer in the high to mid-40s. That makes this jacket ideally suited to three-season use on the trail.
The 20d nylon shell fabric feels remarkably smooth and durable considering how light the puffy is overall. Modern ultralight jackets often feel paper-thin, so that I’m half-afraid to wear them at all lest I snag the delicate fabric on a branch or melt it by sitting too close to the flame of my camp stove.
Not so with the CirrusLite. The whole garment feels well-stitched, and the shell material seems a lot more substantial than the ultra-thin materials used by many competitors. This is a huge selling point for me. If I’m going to bring a jacket hiking and camping, I want it to be sturdy enough to actually use in rugged backcountry settings without having to protect it constantly.
3. THE POCKETS.
Nothing irritates me more than shallow, awkwardly placed pockets that don’t zip up. Fortunately, the pockets on the CirrusLite jacket are the opposite of all those things. I love how functional these bad boys are. They’re intuitively placed, warm, deep, practical, and deliciously zippable, so I never have to worry about important stuff falling out.
As a thru-hiker, it doesn’t matter how wonderful a jacket looks or feels if it’s too heavy to carry in my backpack. I expected the CirrusLite to be on the heavy side based on its price point and the durable feel of the fabric, but I was pleasantly surprised when I popped it on my kitchen scale. The CirrusLite weighs in at less than eight ounces, making it not just lightweight, but solidly ultralight. Most importantly, it has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio thanks to its high-quality 650-fill down insulation.
A jacket that’s warm, sturdy, and weighs less than half a pound? This is a midlayer you can feel good about carrying.
5. Affordable AF.
Down apparel is unparalleled for its lightweight warmth. If you want the best puffy money can buy, you should go with a down-filled option. Perhaps the biggest drawback of down puffies is that they’re significantly more expensive than their synthetic counterparts—usually.
The CirrusLite down jacket retails for just $99 despite high-quality stitching and construction, thoughtful design, and—yes—premium down insulation. It’s at the low end of the price spectrum by far, a fraction of the price of some down jackets and even less than many synthetic offerings. What?! How is this even possible.
I have no idea, but I do have even better news. The CirrusLite is on sale for freaking 60% off tomorrow through the end of November during Eddie Bauer’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Meaning you can buy this backpacking-quality ultralight down jacket for just $39. In an industry where the price of gear often bars people from accessing the backcountry, that’s almost an unbelievably good deal—major props to EB for keeping the price low on this bad boy. I’m pretty in tune with the down puffy jacket market, and even among discount brands, I can’t think of a better deal.
I take layering pretty seriously, and this right here is a quality midlayer for both hiking and casual wear. The Eddie Bauer CirrusLite down jacket checks all the boxes I look for in a puffy: zippered pockets, DWR finish, insulation that meets the Responsible Down Standard, etc. Most importantly, the jacket impressed me with its lightweight warmth, comfy fit, apparent durability, and almost unbelievably low price tag. I look forward to hitting the trail with it on upcoming trips.
Is this jacket worth the price? Absolutely, and then some. This jacket is already incredibly reasonable at full price, but you can also get it for straight-up bargain basement prices ($39 for a down puffy? What the what???) through the end of November.
It’s not the only thing on sale, either. You can get 50% off sitewide at Eddie Bauer tomorrow (11/19) through November 30th during the Eddie Bauer Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. This is, by far, one of the best Black Friday deals you’ll find in the outdoor industry this year, so be sure to check it out.
The Eddie Bauer CirrusLite Down Jacket was donated for purpose of review.
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