Eddie Bauer DownLight StormDown Jacket Review

Eddie Bauer Downlight StormDown Hooded Jacket – Notice the non-hooded-ness going on in this photo. They make both options, and more photos below will show that Hood in all its glory.

First Thoughts for the Eddie Bauer Downlight StormDown Hooded Jacket

This is marketed as a ‘Performance’ Jacket, and the opportunity to test a stylish sleek winter jacket is always a treat. The advancements in technology just keep getting better and better, and this one seems to hit all the marks. The Eddie Bauer Downlight StormDown Hooded Jacket is a top contender amongst the high quality Down jackets that are on the market. It looks great, and is perfect for the backcountry, alpine mountains, and as an everyday warm and comfortable piece of outerwear.

That’s it as far as graphics go.  800 Down = warmth! That little First Ascent Logo means Guide Built and tested for superior quality.

Features

The Title says it all: Downlight StormDown! Down when sourced responsibly is one of the best insulators out there. The problem has always been that when it gets wet, those superior warmth features fall by the wayside. The clusters of Down when wet will also clump together to create something like a heavy and lumpy pillow. You can surely package the Down in waterproof fabrics, but then breathability becomes an issue especially for a performance piece. The Eddie Bauer Downlight StormDown Hooded Jacket is treated with DownTek and filled with an 800 fill stormdown. This means that each Down cluster is treated with a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish allowing the Down to retain its loft while keeping you warm even in wet conditions.

Lightweight is an understatement! The Eddie Bauer Downlight StormDown practically floats for how light it is. When wearing this jacket, it hugs comfortably without any restrictions for free movement. Breathability is a key feature in a winter performance jacket. Especially so if you want to stay protected from the elements while maintaining a stable core body temperature. This jacket will allow you to ‘dump’ body heat when needed.

Eddie Bauer Downlight StormDown Hooded Jacket turns into magic small pillow.

And because it is so lightweight, a cool little feature is that this Down Jacket folds up into itself.  Perfect to stow away in your pack or luggage as a great space saver. It also doubles as a small comfortable travel pillow. Very nice! The added bonus which will serve me well is that the exterior shell is a Windproof 20D Recycled Ripstop Polyester. I tend to run into things, and I hope that I can avoid a complete tear with the Ripstop advantage.

The Eddie Bauer Downlight Stormdown Hooded Jacket Fit

Classic: This is Eddie Bauer’s most universal fit. Not too slim, not too relaxed, but designed to fit over midweight layers.

My go to size for most pieces of apparel is a Medium, but I have learned the hard way that sizing is a crapshoot sometimes. Today’s supersized culture, the varying standards for the hundreds of apparel companies, and personal preference for the right fit has left me amazed at the wide range I’ve encountered. In this case, the Medium fit my 6’-1, 165 lb. somewhat athletic endurance frame pretty well.  Not so big that I felt like I was swimming in the jacket, but also not too snug. I am able to add several layers depending on the weather and occasion. All in all, this fit was true to size.

Casual cozy and warm

Technical specifications

  • Windproof 20D Recycled Ripstop Polyester
  • Shell – StormRepel® DWR finish sheds moisture so it doesn’t soak in
  • 800 fill StormDown™ Powered by DownTek™ – Retains down’s loft in wet weather
  • Down-insulated Hood – Stretch binding and evolved shape for amazing fit
  • Tricot-lined zip hand pockets – Set behind the down for maximum warmth
  • Stows easily- Packs into left hand pocket that has carabiner clip-in loop
  • Elastic binding at hem and cuffs – Seals in heat, seals out cold
  • Sleeves and shoulders cut for action- Enhances mobility and range of motion
  • 100% recycled polyester
  • Average length: Reg 26″; Tall 28″
  • Average weight: Reg 15.68 oz
  • Machine Wash
  • Technical Fabric Specifications.
  • STORMDOWN™ POWERED BY DOWNTEK™ – Keeps Down Dry In Wet Weather

Ok, a bit of a goofy look, but who cares, the ‘Scuba’ hooded fit keeps your head nice and warm

Performance

I really wanted to try this guy out in a good rain storm. Unfortunately, in Colorado’s high desert climate, rain is far and few between. And in the dead of winter, any precipitation is usually in the form of light and fluffy snow. I am still holding out for a wet wintry mix of moisture to put this Eddie Bauer Downlight Stormdown Hooded Jacket to the test. In the meantime, I took to my shower to see the effects, and what it would have on the DWR finish as well as the Down’s structural integrity to keep me warm and dry. I know it seems odd, but I wanted to see how long it would take for a pretty steady stream to work its way through the shell and lining. Waterproofing has various levels of effectiveness. This is not a waterproof jacket, because it also needs to breathe to make it the performance piece that it is.  It took a few minutes for the water to start coming through. Let it be said that my water pressure is pretty good, and it’s not indicative of a normal rain shower you may encounter.  You want a raincoat, get a raincoat. You want to stay dry in the occasional shower, the Eddie Bauer Downlight Stormdown Hooded Jacket will do just fine.

A convention in Salt Lake City was just the ticket to test this jacket as part of my casual apparel attire. I had to commute about half an hour each morning and evening to make way down to the annual Outdoor Retailer Winter Convention. A walk from my hotel, a wait for the Frontrunner train, a switch (and wait) to the Trax Lightrail system, and finally a walk to the convention center had me in some rather frigid temperatures a handful of times. Aside from the fact that my body never got cold, the hooded portion of this jacket was a welcome feature as my head and ears were nicely protected from the elements.

A small but wonderful feature in the Tricot-lined zip hand pockets is something I do want to highlight here. I like nice and big pockets, but I’m not always wearing gloves. So, when putting my hands in my pockets to find this extra piece of warmth and comfort I sang this jackets praises.

Eddie Bauer Downlight StormDown

Final Thoughts on the Eddie Bauer Downlight Stormdown Hooded Jacket

A simple yet stylish look adorns the Downlight Stormdown Hooded Jacket. And simply speaking, the technical features are top notch to keep you warm, dry, and looking good no matter your outdoor winter passions. I like the fact that you can take this thing for a high alpine hike, chop wood at the cabin, or stroll down my favorite mountain town’s Main Street to catch an Apres Ski beer and Pizza. Stay warm this winter, and use this as an outerlayer, or as a mid layer underneath a shell to provide some serious heat as you tackle the outdoors.

Available Colors: Black, Navy, Pimento

MSRP: $249

For more information and purchase on this and other available jackets please visit: www.eddiebauer.com

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.

View Comments (1)

  • I find the jacket for running around town, just getting in and out of cars, when its around 30 degrees, to be not warm enough. I find your either too cold or too warm. It might be ok to wear a warm down vest over the top of this down coat. This seems rater silly to do this. I like to be toasty, and this isn't it.

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