Gear Review: Women’s Big Agnes Sunshine Hooded DownTek Jacket

Women’s Big Agnes Sunshine Hooded Downtek Jacket

Basic Specs:

  • Ultralight hooded down jacket with a contoured fit and a drop tail
  • 850 fill power DownTek™ water repellent down
  • Insotect Flow™ vertical baffles contour to your body to provide more comfortable fit and keep you warmer
  • Flow Gates™ eliminate down shifting to keep uniform insulation coverage
  • Ultralight nylon rip-stop shell is wind and water resistant
  • Adjustable drawcord hood closure keeps the weather out
  • Thumb holes make layering easy and eliminate the gap between sleeve and glove
  • Two zippered hand-warmer pockets with zipper garages
  • Large interior mesh pockets for extra stash space
  • Interior chest pocket doubles as a stuff sack
  • Textured zipper pulls are easy to use with gloves
  • Jacket weight size Medium – 12oz/ 340g

Light blue Big Agnes Down Jacket

I tested the Big Agnes Sunshine Hooded Downtek Jacket on a trip to Alaska and on several trips including two backpack overnights on the Appalachian Trail. Plus I’ve been wearing it every chance I get when there’s the least bit of chill in the air. The jacket is designed to be lightweight and compressible yet warm, and it’s a great insulation layer for any trip where you’re concerned about cooler weather. I’m personally a cold sissy so I always take a down puffy anytime I go on an overnight, even in the blistering summer. You never know when a storm is going to come through and make things wet and cold. And when backpacking my down puffy always doubles as most of my pillow.  Luxury!

Big Agnes Down jacket at beach

Looks great in all settings- even a windy December day at the beach- smooth fit and contour.


Cozy, water-repellent, roomy pockets, easy zippers and flattering fit

This down puffy is cozy. I never thought I’d want a hood, but I have used the hood over my hat and loved the additional wind protection. The water repellent down allows me to be less worried about hiking with this jacket instead of saving it for camp when I’m protected from the elements. I was comfortable wearing this in misty windy rain in Alaska and it kept  me dry and shed water well. I didn’t subject it to downpours–  in that case I either switched to a rain jacket or covered the puffy with my rain shell. It’s very comfortable as an under layer beneath rain gear.

The fit looks great too. My previous puffy was nicknamed “the oven mitt” because that’s what I looked like when I was wearing it. In contrast, the Big Agnes Sunshine jacket has smooth contours and even with pockets stuffed with gloves and hat it looks good.

I loved all of the pockets in this jacket. Zippered warmer pockets on the outside, mesh pockets on the inside, and a chest pocket that you can also use to stuff the whole thing into if you like to do those kinds of things. I had plenty of room for buff, cell phone, gloves and even an energy bar or two. The thumb loops on the sleeves and the textured zippers to help gloved hands work them are lovely features as well.

Womens Big Agnes Down Jacket in Alaska

Windy, cold and threatening rain in Alaska – worked great- and still pretty flattering even with pockets full!

I discovered a new use for my jacket while camping atop a mountain at Harriman State Park in New York in October. As the temperatures dipped to freezing, I wrapped the jacket around my hips inside my sleeping bag to add cozy insulation to the tops of my legs and it worked really well.

I’ve been wearing this jacket everywhere and enjoying its lightness, versatility and good looks. I love the water resistance too- it means I’m more comfortable wearing this layer while hiking when showers are threatening or it’s just misty. I used to keep my old down puffy under wraps except when in camp or when the sun was out to protect it from dampness. I feel less worried about this jacket getting exposed to moisture, and that’s a great thing when most of my hiking is in places with lots of rainfall.

Big Agnes down jacket on Appalachian Trail

Perfect on a freezing morning on the AT too! I felt fine starting out in this while backpacking rather than stuffing it away to stay save from moisture.


Light blue topaz color causes darker down to show through, hood is extra bulk.

I was surprised when I received this jacket that the light blue color of the ripstop nylon was so light that the dark down showing through made the whole jacket look a bit mottled. It didn’t interfere with function, but it does affect the appearance slightly.

The hood adds extra weight and bulk that might not be needed in shoulder seasons, and I tended to use my hat before I employed the hood, but when it’s really cold the hood could be a lifesaver!

Note: there is an dark navy/black version of this jacket as well – the color is called Rabbit.


Big Agnes down jacket canoeing

Cozy and comfy but dark down feathers show through.


I love this jacket and it’s a staple that I will bring with me on all backpacking overnights, plus wearing it around town when it’s chilly.

This jacket is cozy. I wear it in my uninsulated cold New Orleans house in the winter. I’m wearing it right now! It’s slightly bulkier than my previous down puffy that had no hood, but the fit and style and flexibility in rain or mist make it preferable to me.It looks great in town or on the trail. And the cheery color, despite the show-through of dark feathers, is a plus, even if I need to wash it more often when it gets dirty. This jacket goes with me because it’s versatile, good looking and does exactly what it’s meant to.

Get the BA Women’s Sunshine DownTek Jacket

Disclosure: the preceding producing was donated for the purpose of this review.  

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