Jacket We Like : OR Floodlight

Men's Floodlight. Photo by Glen Harris.
Men’s Floodlight. Photo by Glen Harris.

Waterproof down is the winter gear breakthrough of the last few years, and numerous tech apparel companies are stepping up with their offerings. For its Floodlight Jacket, Outdoor Research housed untreated high-loft 800+ fill European goose down inside a waterproof, breathable Pertex Shield fabric and constructed the baffles with bonded (not stitched) seams. So the down stays pristine, and you stay warm and dry.

Women's Floodlight.
Women’s Floodlight.

We tested the Floodlight through freezing rain and ice pellets, and the interior stayed warm and dry. The Pertex outer fabric shed water as effectively as an aquatic bird. And unlike other down puffy jackets, the Floodlight breathes, so you don’t end up soaked in your own sweat. After two hours in freezing rain, the jacket did not absorb water, and dried completely within about half an hour, draped over a chair.

The adjustable, wire-brimmed hood (also down-filled) is well-designed to protect without obstructing vision. One tiny quibble from our tester – the hood is non-detachable (for those wearing a helmet). But we figure that you’ll want the hood more than not, and the hood hanging behind your helmet does not affect performance. And at least you’ll never lose your hood…

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