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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Craghoppers Compresslite II Jacket > Test Report by Jenna Steffensen

Compresslite II Jacket

Test Series by Jenna Steffensen
Initial Report: November 28, 2017
Field Report: February 4, 2018
Long Term Report: March 22, 2018

Reviewer Information

Name:  Jenna Steffensen
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Height: 5' 5" (1.65 Meters)
Weight: 140 Pounds (64 Kilograms)
Email address: jennasteffensen ATgmailDOTcom
Location: Fernie, British Columbia, Canada

Backpacking Background

I recently started backpacking after moving to the Canadian Rockies last fall. I have been on two short (3-day) backpacking trips but I am very experienced in day hikes and car camping. I’ve hiked mainly in the Utah desert and Canadian Rockies. I still have many trips planned this year in the Rockies (smoke dependent!). I’m looking for the best gear that’s light and durable enough for the Rockies. My current set up is a 2-person tent, a white gas backpacking stove to cook, gravity filters, and hefty trail boots.

Initial Report
November 28, 2017

Product Information

Manufacturer: Craghoppers
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website:

Jacket Specifications
Material: 100% polyester
Listed Weight: 375 g (13.23 oz)

Measured Weight: 382 g (13.47 oz)
Colour Tested: Black (Also available in Dawn Red and Night Blue)
Size Tested: S/6 (Also available in UK size 8-20)

Product Description

The Craghoppers Compresslite II Jacket is a synthetic down jacket made from 100% polyester with insulating properties comparable to natural down. The jacket has an insulated hood and elastic cuffs. The jacket features an uncovered zipper with a nice pull that says Craghoppers. These pulls can also be found on the pockets on either side of the jacket. The pockets are lined on one side with fleece. The jacket has one small rubber logo on the exterior left chest that says Craghoppers and one small tag below the right pocket that says National Geographic. On the interior of the jacket there is a stamped logo at the neck as well as a sewn in patch featuring National Geographic. There is also a wash label on the interior by the hip. There are button snap loops on the interior by the hip and my guess is they are for securing to pant loops. The waist has an adjustable hem. The jacket comes with its own stuff-sack and provides these details printed on it: lightweight, windproof, thermal, water resistant, downproof, security pockets. Craghoppers included their own scale of warmth rating on a tag with the jacket. This jacket received a 4 out of 7, indicating it is insulated for warmth and comfort.

Initial Impressions:

This jacket is super comfortable to wear all day. I have worn it the past week around town and at home. When I am out in the cold it keeps me warm and when I come inside I am not too hot with it on. The fit is really nice as it is not a big, bulky jacket. It fits pretty slim but still big enough for some layers underneath. The hood is a nice feature to have for those brisk temperature days. It stays on my head fairly well unless there is a strong wind. The jacket is super light and extremely packable. It took me less than 30 seconds to pack it into the provided stuff-sack. I would say this is a good mid layer for the winter or light jacket for the spring and fall.

Wash Instructions:

Wash with dark colours separately and do not bleach. Can be put in the dryer on low tumble dry. Do not dry clean or iron or wring the jacket. Make sure to fasten the zippers during washing.

Field Report
February 4, 2018

Trip 1: Day Hike (snowshoe)                  
Location: Montane Hut, Castle Mountain, Fernie, British Columbia4
Distance: 5.6 km (3.5 mi) with 115 m (377 ft) elevation gain
Weather: Overcast but warm
Temperature: -3 C (27 F)4

Conditions: well packed snow on trail

Trip 2: Day Hike (snowshoe)
Castle Mountain, Fernie, British Columbia
5 km (3.1 mi) with 1610 m (5282 ft) elevation gain
Sunny and freezing cold
-25 C (-13 F)
Fairly loose snow on trail

Trip 3: Day Hike (snowshoe)
Coal Creek Heritage Trail, Fernie, British Columbia
15.5 km (9.6 mi) with 200 m (656 ft) elevation gain
Partially cloudy
-5 C (23 F)
Well packed snow for most of the trail, loose snow on remainding

Trip 4: Day Hike
Fairy Creek, Fernie, BC
4.7 km (2,9 mi) with 120 m (394 ft) elevation gain
-1 C (30 F)
Well packed snow on trail

Performance in the Field: The Craghoppers Compresslite II Jacket is super comfortable. It has become my go to jacket since arriving and I wear it almost every day. It's not a heavy jacket compared to my other down jackets so if my home or work is a little chilly keeping it on inside is as comfortable as wearing a sweater. I found it to be a great size as it can act as a top layer or a mid layer depending on how cold it is. I really love that is has zippered pockets so I can make sure none of my valuables fall out while hiking. The pockets also surprisingly fit a lot of stuff and at one point I had small gloves, my phone, and keys all in one pocket and it didn't feel bulgy.

On hikes where the weather was a little warmer I would wear a base layer underneath the jacket. If I got too hot on the climb up I would unzip the jacket and that would cool me down enough. One day was a fairly windy day and I was worried I didn't wear enough layers for my hike. The jacket held up though and kept the wind out and kept me warm.

On a really cold hike up Castle Mountain I wore a base layer underneath and I opted to use the jacket as a mid layer and wear a shell over the jacket. With windchill the temperature was around - 30 C (-22 F) but my body was very warm! I even took off my top layer on the way up and was just fine in a base layer with the Compresslite II Jacket overtop. It was really windy at the top of the mountain so I put the hood on. The shell that I was wearing has a massive hood that just blows off but the Compresslite II Jacket's hood stayed put really well when the jacket was zipped all the way up.

The Jacket looks to be pretty durable to my eye. There are no snags or loose threads. I have worn the jacket quite a lot from being on construction sites to hiking through the bush. I have not washed the jacket yet but it doesn't smell even though I have sweat in it.

Quick Shots: Super light, very warm, deep pockets, great for layering

To Be Determined: Washability, Multi-day hikes if avalanche conditions are good!

Long Term Report
March 22, 2018

Trip: Day Hike
Elko, Fernie, British Columbia
6 km (3.73 mi) with 90 m (295 ft) elevation gain
7 C (44.6 F)
Mostly deep snow on trail with some melting wet spots

I was worried about being too warm on this hike as it was very sunny and warm out. I decided to wear a breathable long sleeve base layer with the jacket over top. During the first part of my hike I was cold and glad I had the jacket to keep me warm. After the first 30 minutes of the hike I warmed up and unzipped my jacket. This let enough air in to cool my body off but keep my body temperature regulated. Halfway into the hike the trail was untracked so I was wading through trees in waist deep snow. I was glad the jacket came with features to help keep the snow out like the adjustable hem at the waist and buttons just above that to loop onto the waistband of my pants. There were a few unlucky steps where I tumbled into the snow and a tiny bit of snow did get up my jacket but for the most part it kept me warm and dry. The remainder of the hike was very warm so I packed the jacket away in my backpack. I was able to pack it down really small and it did not take up much room in my backpack.

Washability: My jacket did not smell or look dirty but I decided to wash it to see how it would hold up in the washer. It came out looking brand new and felt the same as the first day I got it. I have not noticed any deterioration in the fabric nor has it lost any of its warmth.

Summary: I am super glad I got to test this jacket because it became my go to jacket throughout the winter. It served well as a mid layer on the really cold days or a quick jacket to put over a sweater if it was mildly chilly outside. It faired through many hikes and many chill days at work. It looks sleek and professional but also provides the warmth needed on a cold day. The fit of the jacket is perfect to me as I love being able to add layers underneath and overtop comfortably. I love that it can pack down really small into it's own bag as I usually carry an extra jacket with me whenever I go out. The only thing I wish was different was the hood. My head is on the small side and most hoods are too big and fall off very easily. If the opening was adjustable it would fit my head more snugly and stay on. Overall I am very impressed with this jacket and look forward to continue wearing it well into the spring.

Thank you to Craghoppers and for allowing me to test the Compresslite II Jacket.

Read more gear reviews by Jenna Steffensen

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > Craghoppers Compresslite II Jacket > Test Report by Jenna Steffensen

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