EMS WOMEN'S HOODED DOWN JACKET
BY MARINA BATZKE
July 10, 2016
mbbp2013 (at) yahoo (dot) com
Los Angeles County, California, USA
5' 5" (1.65 m)
132 lb (60.00 kg)
I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in spring 2013. My backpacking trips are mostly weekend excursions in Southern California: desert areas in the winter months and mountainous areas in the summer months. I try to backpack one or two weekends a month. I always hike with a group and I like the gear talk when in camp. While I am looking for ways to lighten my pack, I am not an ultra-lighter: I like sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag on a comfortable pad.
Manufacturer: Eastern Mountain Sports, LLC.
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Made in China
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.ems.com
Listed Weight: 12.5 oz (354 g)
Measured Weight: 14.1 oz (400 g) for the size L
The jacket shell and lining are 100% nylon. The interlining is 100% polyester. The jacket has a goose down insulation (minimum 90% down).
Available sizes are XS, S, M, L and XL.
Since purchasing the EMS hooded down jacket in December 2014, I have taken it on virtually all my backpacking trips. Even in the desert, when it is hot during the day, the evenings and nights often get cold. A few recent jacket uses were:
Quail Mountain, Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 5813 ft (1772m)
2 days/ 1 night backpack April 2016
18 miles (29 km) R/T
Temperatures: 74 - 39 F (23 - 4 C)
Alta Peak, Sequoia National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 7300 - 11200 ft (2225 - 3400 m)
2 day/ 1 night backpack June 2016
18 mile (29 km) R/T
Temperatures: 79 - 45 F (26 - 7 C)
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 7900 - 10000 ft (2400 - 3048 m)
4 day/ 3 night backpack July 2016
23 mile (37 km) R/T
Temperatures: 74 - 43 F (23 - 6 C)
|Alta Peak June 2016|
THINGS I LIKE
It took me a long time to select a down jacket. I tried on many different brands and styles, with and without hood, until I determined: this jacket is the one for me. The Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) Women's Hooded Down Jacket is an 800-fill DownTek-treated goose down jacket. It is designed as ultralight jacket with a low profile to be worn either alone or as part of a layering system.
Things that won me over are:
1) The jacket is longer in the back and well covers my entire back, whether I am hiking or seated in camp on a cold evening or on a cool early morning. From neck seam to bottom seam, I am measuring on my L-sized jacket:
in the front: 23 in (58 cm)
in the back: 27.5 in (70 cm)
2) The neck area has 4.5 in (11.4 cm) of super-soft fleece all around. This keeps my neck warm when I wear the jacket open. And it keeps my chin warm when I have the jacket closed all the way to the top. The zipper top ends in a zipper garage, so there is no scratching of the chin.
|inside neck area fleece + stuff pocket|
3) The hood is spacious and allows me to wear a knit hat underneath, if needed. In the back of the hood is an adjustable draw cord, so I can pull back the hood a bit. This helps to provide full vision when I turn my head left or right with the hood on. Plus the hood front has an elastic trim all around that hugs my head and prevents cold air or wind from sneaking in.
4) This low-profile, fluffy down jacket does not give me the impression that I look like the Michelin Man when I am wearing it.
5) The jacket has two outer side pockets in the hip area that are both zippered. Plus the down jacket has an inside chest pocket that is zippered and doubles as a stuff pocket to stow the jacket away as a compact bundle. That bundle measures 12 in x 7 in x 3 in (30.5 cm x 17.8 cm x 7.6 cm).
6) The sleeves end in an elastic trim which nicely makes the sleeve ends hug my wrists. The sleeve length from the neck seam to the sleeve end is 32 in (81 cm) on my L-sized jacket, which is plenty enough for my arm length.
Along its bottom hem, the jacket has an adjustable drawcord, so I can customize its fit on the left and right side. I practically never use that drawcord, as the jacket fits me just fine.
The jacket feathers are DownTek-treated, a special water repellency process. The jacket shell is Durable Water Repellent (DWR), designed to shed light rain and snow. On the many occasions that I have worn the jacket, I only had two instances when light rain sprinkled on it and yes, those light rain sprinkles beaded off. Yet whenever it started to rain harder, I naturally immediately switched to my rain jacket.
When I get back from a backpacking trip, I immediately hang the down jacket on a hanger to air it out. I have even hung it outside on my balcony for fresh overnight air. I have not washed it yet.
I like that the EMS hooded down jacket only rarely ever has a feather sneak out. My previous down jacket lost a lot of feathers.
On Alta Peak, we had snow on the ground and it was quite windy. The jacket kept me warm despite the cold wind.
I feel cold easily and this down jacket has kept me comfortable and warm on all the occasions that I have worn it. The lowest temperatures I experienced with the EMS hooded down jacket were around 32 F (0 C). I have worn the EMS hooded down jacket over a light undershirt and a long-sleeve shirt on some occasions. Plus when it was very cold, I have worn it with an undershirt, a long-sleeve shirt plus a fleece shirt underneath. After 20 months of use, I see no torn threads or other imperfections. It has held up very well.
THINGS I DO NOT LIKE
I wish the sleeve ends had a thumb hole.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
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Read more gear reviews by Marina Batzke