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GEAR TEST: Kathmandu Heli Men’s 600 Hooded Lightweight Down Jacket

A packable down jacket is one of the most practical items for any cold weather travel.

Kathmandu is well known for making durable outdoor gear and this premium down filled jacket is no exception.

This jacket is a top pick because of how versatile it is – it features a 100 per cent Ripstop Polyester outer, ethically-sourced 600 fill power duck down, while the DWR-finished shell wicks water off so you can wear it in light rain or snow, without having to worry about it getting soggy. All the while being light as a feather (pun intended!)

Don’t be fooled by its ultra-light design though, this jacket will certainly keep you warm. When it comes to down material, it also has a more durable design and it holds up better than most in light amounts of precipitation. Of course, for seriously colder temps or high altitudes, you should look for something warmer. But for most backpacking environments, this has got you covered.

It’s pretty well kitted out too, featuring a full front zip with chin guard, elasticated hood and cuffs, as well as an adjustable hem for enhanced fit and weather protection. It also has two front zip pockets and two large inner stash ones, all while weighing less than 400g.

I really love the idea of a packable down jacket that allows wearers to be as warm as they would be in their typical winter jacket, but without the added bulk. This is what makes this jacket ideal for travel, and why it should be in any adventurer’s gear list. It also folds into its own pocket and doubles up as a travel pillow if you need something cushy to lay your head on (which I actually did on the recent wild camping trip I took this on!).

All in all, the Kathmandu Heli Men’s 600 Hooded Lightweight Jacket is a pretty epic down jacket if you need a bit more warmth than the usual lightweight backpacking options. It’s an all-round superb packable down jacket, that will make an awesome travel companion on most backpacking adventures. Utilise it as either a mid or outer layer, and enjoy its warmth without the bulk. 

Tom Escott #gearguytom

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