A warm & light down jacket that’s reasonably priced
This latest European-made down jacket from Sub Zero is filled with 132g of European 800+ fill power hydrophobic down, which makes it very warm for the weight.
Sub Zero says the down is ethically sourced, which is good. The Large size weighs 370g, lighter than many fleece jackets that are nowhere near as warm.
The shell is downproof, windproof and water repellent polyamide. Whilst lightweight it feels quite substantial. The seams are sewn-through, which is normal in very light down jackets.
The jacket isn’t waterproof – the seams aren’t sealed – but the hydrophobic down and water repellent shell means it will stand up to a fair amount of rain and wet snow.
It has a snug stand-up collar, two handwarmer pockets, a small chest pocket and two inner pockets, one zipped and one with an elasticated open top.
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The YKK zips have extended pullers for ease of use when wearing gloves or mitts. There’s a stiffened baffle behind the front zip that’s fleece-lined at the top to stop it rubbing on your chin. The cuffs are elasticated and the hem has a drawcord with cordlocks on each side. It packs down very small. A stuffsack is provided but it will easily fit inside a much smaller one.
A good trim
Sub Zero describes the fit as ‘generous but not voluminous’. I tried the Large size and found it fitted comfortably on top of a Paramo jacket, microfleece top and base layer. At the same time it doesn’t feel too big or baggy worn over just the microfleece and base layer. The jacket is quite short but the sleeves are long enough to pull over my hands for extra warmth. The handwarmer pockets are roomy and good for keeping gloves warm as well as hands.
I’ve found this Sub Zero jacket comfortable and warm enough for cold winter days. In late December I wore it over the clothing mentioned above during a prolonged stay on a freezing windy summit while I watched the sunset and it kept me snug. On leaving the summit I kept it on until I was below the worst of the wind, at which point I took it off as I was beginning to overheat even though the temperature was well below zero.
The Sub Zero Down Jacket is available in unisex sizes XS-XXL. Colours are black or black with red or blue zips – so basically black or black.
The final verdict
Overall this is a good product that’s very light and reasonably priced. It doesn’t have a hood though, which might be a drawback for some people. Sub Zero does do a hooded down smock with similar specifications that costs £169.99. A full-length zip or a hood? I’d go for the first.