Disclaimer: I received a free 850 hyperlight down jacket from My Trail in return for my honest review. My opinions are entirely my own and I enjoy providing real feedback about gear I actively use. I also strive to support gear companies who make the world a better place!
Update: My Trail is sadly going out of business, so check their site to snag some great deals on what’s left of their inventory.
Even though winter is wrapping up and thoughts are on summer tank top hikes, it’s a perfect time to add an affordable ultralight down jacket to your gear stash. No matter the time of year, having a packable warm layer for the mountains is a must!
I’ve been testing several products from Colorado-based My Trail, a reboot of former ultralight company GoLite. They make fantastic ultralight gear at shockingly affordable prices. A few months ago they asked if I’d be interested in testing one of their hyperlight down jackets.
My Trail makes a whole line of down jackets for both men and women that vary in fill power from 700 to 850, some hooded and some not, each with a slightly different design. I chose to put their unhooded 850 hyperlight down jacket to the test for both reasonable warmth with maximum packability.
I love my 10-year-old Patagonia puffy, so this jacket had big shoes to fill! I’m happy to say that it exceeded my expectations and has already been on several multi-state adventures. In the market for an ultralight and ultrawarm down jacket at a bargain price? Read on!
The quick review.
For me, the perfect down jacket for outdoor adventuring comes down to three things: warmth, packability, and price. Fit is important too, but I typically choose function over fashion. I also only buy from suppliers, like My Trail, whose down is ethically sourced according to Responsible Down Standards.
My Trail’s 850 hyperlight down jacket is a no frills, ultralight, packable, warm jacket without a hefty price tag. You’ll be hard pressed to find anything better for only $139! This jacket can survive rain, provide great warmth, and be easily stuffed into the smallest running pack to take on just about any adventure!
Read on for more information about down jacket fill power as well as details on My Trail’s 850 hyperlight.
Down jacket fill power.
Down jackets are rated by fill power, typically ranging from around 300-900. The number represents the amount of cubic inches one ounce of down occupies. A higher number means the down is better quality and loftier, providing a superior warmth to weight ratio. But the fill power doesn’t always tell the whole story.
Some jackets may contain more ounces of less fill power, which might make them warmer, but definitely not lighter or more packable. To get the full picture you have to look at both fill power and the amount of fill. Make sense?
My Trail’s 850 hyperlight down jacket.
The 850 hyperlight jacket retails for $139 on My Trail’s website and contains 85g (medium-size) of ethically sourced down fill with a durable water repellant coating. That doesn’t make it warm enough for Everest, but its 7.5 oz. weight does make it a serious contender in the ultralight department.
Patagonia’s new Micro Puff is probably its closest competitor with similar weight and features but a loftier $299 price tag. The 850 hyperlight jacket is typical of My Trail: a great piece of gear at a steal of a deal!
I admit that when I unpacked the jacket and saw it’s slender, thin profile, I was dubious of its warmth, but was thoroughly surprised once I pulled it on. This jacket generates instant heat! All winter long it’s kept me warm while spliboarding in single digit temps as well as on windy days in the 30s. With a light hard shell layered over the top, you’ll be invincible in heavy rain or snow!
Living in the PNW means this jacket has not only seen its fair share of rain but it’s even survived a few less than ideal Pemco “Ski in the Rain” moments! It’s gotten soaked on multiple occasions but thanks to its durable water repellant coating, has still kept me warm and dried out quickly.
Weight and packability.
As an arthritis sufferer, my body appreciates ultralight gear and as a trail runner, anything that can be easily stashed into one of my small running packs is a win. The 850 hyperlight tips the scales at 7.5 ounces, so you’ll barely notice you’re wearing it or carrying it! It also comes with an internal storage pocket, making it easy to pack and stuff into the tiniest of spaces.
I’ve had little trouble getting the jacket and all of my other essentials into my smallest Cotopaxi 3L pack. That means you have no excuse not to take it everywhere! No matter how small I pack it, it always lofts back up.
The jacket is made of a 10-denier nylon shell and lining, so it’ll win more in the ultralight department than the durability department. That being said though, I’m a tough person on my gear and this jacket has survived a full winter of splitboarding, hiking, light bushwhacking, and near daily use without a single incident. Though it likely isn’t the best choice for cheese grating on rock, extra care is pretty standard for any ultralight gear.
Fit and comfort.
Regarding sizing, I’m 5’6″, 120lbs and pretty much universally an x-small in everything. I had to exchange up a size and go with a small because the x-small was pretty tight across the chest and I’m about as far from a DD size as you can get!
It wasn’t a bad fit, but simply didn’t have quite enough room for layering underneath.
The jacket isn’t constructed with a side channel but rather with a seam running down the middle of your side. This gives it a small poof, but it’s not unflattering. It’s simply not a super athletic or slim fit, but at the same time, you won’t look like the Michelin man!
The pockets are also located right at the middle side seam, meaning they’re a bit further back on the jacket than you would expect. It’s not a problem but took me a little while to get used to. The pockets extend all the way to the front of the jacket though, so once your hands are in, they’re comfortable! Overall, the jacket has a nice, relaxed fit with good sleeve length and a soft lightweight feel.
Since what you’re getting in My Trail’s 850 hyperlight down jacket is superior ultralight packability, it’s not loaded with extra features, but is still nicely equipped. The full length front zipper has a storm flap and zipper garage to protect your skin as well as an extra long zipper pull.
The pockets are basic: two on the outside, with an internal media pocket and self-stowing zippered pocket. The hem is adjustable and the jacket features reflective logos on the front and back for safety.
Overall, the lack of frills keep this jacket simple and ultralight. If there are any improvements I’d suggest, it would be a slightly longer tail, microfleece-lined pockets, and longer zipper pulls on the exterior pockets. The small ones can be a little tough when wearing gloves!
If those features are important to you, consider one of My Trail’s other 800 or 700 weight hyperlight jackets. The features are present on those, though you’ll sacrifice a bit of weight in exchange for them.
If you don’t have a huge budget and want quality lightweight gear, My Trail is a direct-to-consumer company that makes quality gear and not just lifestyle products. They’re a fantastic company to support and their 850 Hyperlight Down Jacket gets the job done, is incredibly packable and lightweight, will keep you warm, and not break the bank.
Want to buy it?
MyTrail is sadly going out of business, but check their website for great deals on what’s left of their inventory. I’m sad to see them go 🙁