L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket Review
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The L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket is touted as being their warmest, most versatile high performance down jacket. I decided to test this jacket in and around Denver to see how it performed. I was shocked at how light the coat was straight out of the box. The cut and feel of the fabric was impressive as I slipped it on the first time.
L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket Fit
When the temperature drops and the wind picks up, a proper fitting jacket is crucial, and the Ultralight 850 does not disappoint. LL Bean offers regular or tall sizes, and their sizing chart is accurate when deciding which to pick based on your chest and sleeve length. The website states it comes slightly fitted, however I found that it was more of a standard fit for my physique.
Three areas they nailed were the elastic cuffs, waist draw cord, and comfortable collar that zips up fully. These simple details allow for a very adjustable and comfortable fit during freezing gusty winds. The shoulders and arm lengths were a perfect fit as well.
L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket Performance
The performance characteristics of this jacket is where it truly shines. For how lightweight the DownTek 850 Fill is, I was surprised at how warm it was. DownTek 850 Fill beats out other premium goose downs by repelling water and drying out faster. It is extremely lofty and retains an incredible amount of body heat. L.L. Bean’s website states this jacket is tested and works well at temperatures down to -25 degrees F while wearing appropriate thermal underwear, jeans and a fleece. The outer shell is composed of Pertex fabric, which supposedly has exceptional durability and a tight, tough weave to enhance wind resistance. I am constantly running into things, working in the garage and rubbing up against tree limbs on hikes and I have seen no damage to the outer shell. I absolutely love the feel of the fabric. My arms can easily slip through the sleeves with other long sleeved shirts on. It also feels good with just a t-shirt underneath. The L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket is now my new favorite three-seasons jacket.
The DownTec 850 Fill is extremely lofty, and thus easily compactable. There is an internal stowaway pocket which doubles as a stuff sack- perfect to make a comfortable pillow at a campsite or on an airplane.
On the opposite side of the jacket, there is a large internal stretch pocket for larger items like gloves or a stocking cap. The upper external chest pocket doubles as a media port with an internal access point for headphones. There are two zip hand warmer pockets that are very comfortable.
Shell: 100% Nylon
Lining: 100% Nylon
Insulation: Goose Down (minimum 90% down) exclusive of trim
L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket Final Thoughts
The L.L. Bean Ultralight 850 Down Jacket is incredibly versatile, while going beyond my expectations in performance. It’s available in five different color schemes, allowing you to choose a subtle color or go with one with a bit more flavor. I could not give this jacket higher marks when it comes to comfort and aesthetic appeal. I also love the fact that there is enough room to wear layers underneath if it turns ridiculously cold. If you’re going to the mountains, out for dinner, a hike, or running errands, this jacket can foot the bill.
MSRP: $199. For more information on the Ultralight 850 Down Jacket and other L.L. Bean products please visit www.llbean.com
This jackets sibling, a down and fleece mix, the 850 Down Fuse review can be seen HERE