Gear Review: Bergans Down Light

It’s finally winter! At least it is in Salt Lake City where we got a few feet of snow the last couple weeks. I have been eager to try out my Bergans Down Jacket and it is finally cold enough to really put it to the test.  In full disclosure, I was given this jacket for free to test but that did not influence my review at all. If anything, it wants me to be more thorough with my test!

Bergans Down Light Jacket

Bergans Down Light Jacket

I am not the biggest fan of down jackets, in general, as they often make me feel like a marshmallow. I broke down on the A.T. and bought a Sea to Summit blaze pink down jacket because it was on sale and I was freezing. I really don’t like pink so hopefully, that helps illustrate how desperately cold I was. I learned a valuable lesson that down jackets are worth looking ridiculous in for the benefit of being able to feel your skin.
Bringing a lot of color to the world.

Bringing a lot of color to the world.

The benefit is that you can never lose me. #Beacon

 While I didn’t care what I wore in the woods at camp with other dirty hikers, I do care what I look like in the “normal” world so I never wore my bright beacon jacket after the A.T.  I had gone with the more flattering synthetic materials that claim the same properties of down without the bulk.  However, my synthetic coat doesn’t hold up against this Bergans jacket. I tried wearing the jacket out on hikes earlier this year as it was just starting to get cold and I ended up taking it off.  It is super warm.  If I just wore it out to go shopping, I had to immediately take it off in the store so I didn’t sweat through my shirt.  Now that it is in the 30s, I’m getting more use out of it.

What did I like most?

The jacket is a good length.

The jacket is a good length.

  • It really keeps you warm.  I ended up talking to my neighbor outside for like a half an hour. My feet and legs were cold but not my torso and arms!
  • I enjoy the longer cut.  My Sea to Summit jacket is cut too short. I want my lower back protected from the elements too if I have to bend over!
  • It is water repellent. I was wearing my jacket with a friend who was wearing an almost identical looking down jacket. His jacket absorbed the water while water beaded off mine.  Wet down is like not having down at all.
  • It compressed down into its own pocket which is nice to not have to carry a little stuff sack around like for my Sea to Summit. They both compressed to about the same size although a slightly different shape.
  • While I couldn’t wear it hiking up the canyon, I wore it hiking downhill since it was chillier and I was putting forth less effort.
  • It is a great everyday piece and would make a great camp jacket.
What didn’t I like?
  • It is also weighs 13 oz for the women’s large and 15 oz for the men’s large so make sure you really need the warmth!
  • I wish it had a hood but you can get the version with a hood for $40 more…
It isn’t great for activity. Even in the cold weather, doing activity in this jacket is tough because it isn’t breathable (probably because it is also water repellent) so I would get too hot while doing more than walking a few blocks. It would make a great camp jacket, which is how I would use it, to keep warm while hanging out after my tired muscles decide to quit warming me up.

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