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Gear Review: Fjällräven Expedition Pack Down Hoodie

Recommended Price: £275 (£255 without hood)
Weight: 435g (S)

This retro-styled mid-warmth down jacket is part of Fjällräven’s new Expedition range. An extremely cold night in a snow hole bivouac in 1974 inspired company founder Åke Nordin to come up with the original Expedition jacket – basically two down jackets sewn together. I’ve been using some recent cooler weather to check out this modern product of the intervening four decades.

Wild camping on the Moine Mhor

Constructed with wide sewn-through baffles, the insulation consists of 110g of down (90% warmer goose and 10% duck) with 700 fill power and a reinforcement of synthetic padding at the shoulders. This last detail should ensure there is no clumping and loss of insulation under rucksack straps from compression and sweat. The outer and lining fabric is recycled polymide and has so far resisted any abrasion; it seems tougher than it first feels and will cope with very light infrequent showers – remember down does not insulate when wet. The fit is generous, so there’s plenty of room for a baselayer and micro fleece underneath. Long enough to keep the lower back and kidneys warm, the jacket also feels comfortable and moves well when under a hard shell waterproof.

The elastic cuffs are not adjustable but are not overly tight and there is a hem drawcord easily adjusted from within the two handwarmer pockets which will just take an OS map. There’s also a chest pocket accessed under the main front zip and baffle, useful for phone/GPS, which doubles as a stuff sack. A hanging loop could be used to secure keys kept on a carabiner. The hood is big (but would still be a squeeze to fit over a helmet) with a volume adjuster at the back and drawcord secured by somewhat fiddly toggles, not something you’d want to be adjusting often out on the hill.

The jacket packs down small and is lightweight for the amount of warmth. It’s good as a warm midlayer in cold, dry winter conditions, or for the evening at three season camps. For full winter Scottish camping I’d want something a wee bit warmer. It is machine washable, and there’s also a synthetic jacket in the same range.

Whilst it’s certainly not cheap, it does come with proper eco credentials – ethically produced traceable down, fluorocarbon-free impregnation, and recycled outer and lining fabric.

Available in Women’s XXS-XL and Men’s XS-XXL and five colours.

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