Haglöfs Belay Down Hood

 In gear review

I have this jacket for more than a year now and I love it from the very first day. But I wanted to test it in various conditions before making a review of it.

Overview

Insulation down jacket, with an excellent weight/warmth/price ratio for winter mountain activities.
Haglöfs Belay Down Hood

Fabrics

  • Shell and Lining : Performac™ 1004, 100% recycled Polyamide, DWR treatment
  • Filling : 750 fill power down

Manufacturer's data

  • Ultralight DWR shell and lining fabric
  • Premium quality 750 fill power down
  • Box construction eliminates cold spots and keeps down from shifting
  • Adjustable hood
  • Seamless shoulders
  • Articulated sleeves
  • Polartec® Power Stretch® cuffs
  • Two handwarmer pockets and one chest pocket
  • Two inner mesh pockets
  • Durable inner zipper wind flap avoids drafts
  • Hip length cut
  • Anchor loops to hook on gloves or mittens
  • Single-hand adjustable hem
  • Extended rear baffle construction for extra warmth
  • Storage and compression bags included
  • Weight: 825 g (size L)

Advantages/Drawbacks

  • Very warm
  • Water repellent
  • Good freedom of movement
  • The hood goes over an helmet
  • Quality
  • Stuff bag is too small
  • It doesn’t warm your feet

Opinion

825 grams, it is a bit off-putting at the beginning. Especially when in winter you already carry the tent, all the bivouac and climbing gears on your back. But in a year, I used it in all my winter trips: 2 to 4 days snowshoeing trips, winter mountaineering and ice climbing. Not a single time I regret the 400 extra grams this jacket weight compare to a lightweight down jacket.Whether it is at the belay station when ice climbing or at the camp site the Jacket is performing well. I have never regret this purchase. On the contrary, I can’t think of a winter trip without it.

I think equivalent jacket from Rab, Mammut, Millet, Mountain Hardware and others, offer the same level of insulation if not more (for the one which have more down). But where the Haglöfs looks better is for the weight/insulation/price ratio. When I bought it – and it’s still the case when I look at what’s on the market today – I can’t find a jacket with such a good compromise. Cheaper jacket have lower quality down, hence lower insulation, warmer jacket have more or higher quality down hence cost/weight more.

A friend to who I lend the jacket when she was freezing belaying me at the bottom of an ice fall at Yatsugatake (八ヶ岳) during Christmas didn’t want to give it back and bought one right when we went back in town.

The main and only drawback I found so far is the stuff bag. It is too small. Packing the jacket in its compression bag is an art and is quite consuming. It feels like some contortionist trying to enter a box. But when you remove the jacket in the blizzard before moving again, spending 5 minutes to pack the jacket is everything but fun. I recommend to buy a larger bag with compression cords. It’s only other drawback is that the jacket doesn’t warm your feet at the belay station while ice climbing. Too bad.

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