Gear Review: First Ascent MicroTherm Down Hoodie

MicroTherm Down Hoodie

If you are looking for a down jacket that will keep you warm in artic temperatures, then you need to look elsewhere. But if you want a jacket that packs down small, is lightweight and is a great insulator, then the MicroTherm Down Hoodie is the jacket for you. This jacket is a lot thinner than the old puffy that you have in your closet, but don’t let that fool you. This jacket is packed with features that will help keep you warm and dry.

First the MicroTherm technology is First Ascent’s lightest and warmest down construction. The jacket uses high quality 800 fill to give it high warmth to weight ratio. This also reduces the bulk of the jacket without sacrificing the warmth, making this jacket extremely packable. The MicroTherm also uses narrow- channel construction to prevent down from migrating, preventing or minimizing cold spots.

I first received this jacket in February and started to wear it then. On the coldest days here in Utah it was not enough to keep me warm if I was standing around. But for most days this winter it worked out great and quickly became one of my favorite jackets. If I was active or moving around this was plenty warm and worked great under a hardshell in more severe storms. With the athletic cut, it fits close to the body and looks good. There are also two stretch panels on the jacket that give the jacket a little better mobility when reaching or moving around.

Another great feature of the MircoTherm Down Hoodie is the StormRepel DWR finish that sheds light rain and snow. I don’t recommend this jacket as your only jacket if you know you are going to run into a lot of rain or snow, but if you are caught in a light spring shower this jacket will repel the rain for a bit. I wore this jacket a few times in snow storm and never had a problem with the snow getting the down wet.

I feel like this is a great jacket for spring climbing. It packs down small and can be thrown into any pack to have if the weather turns cold. It is a nice piece to wear when belaying to stay warm while waiting for your chance to send. The low profile fits under a harness easily and the pockets are high enough to put your hand in with a harness on. (Although don’t put your hands the pockets while you are belaying.)

One improvement that I would add to this jacket would be thumb holes on the sleeves. This would make it easier to keep the sleeves down when adding a hardshell over this jacket. It does have elastic cuffs that do work okay when layer, but thumb holes would be an improvement for me. Also reading reviews on Eddie Bauer’s website a few people complained about feather leaks. I did notice that this jacket did lose a few more feathers than other down jackets that I have owned but I haven’t ever thought it was in excess.

I really don’t have any major complaints about the MicroTherm Down Hoodie. It has performed for me over and over. It has definitely been the jacket that I have grabbed the most this spring to wear, no matter what I was planning on doing. If you are looking for a light-weight down jacket, you have to take a look at the MicroTherm Down Hoodie. You add a light-weight hardshell jacket with the MicroTherm and you will have a boomer setup for your spring adventures. I agree with Dave Hahn when he said, “This versatile piece never left my back for 50 days in the Himalayas. It can be layered under a shell on particularly cold or windy days, used as an outer layer on dry but chilly days, and isn’t too warm to wear out to dinner.”

To learn more about this jacket, check out Eddie Bauer’s website or head into one of their stores to see the jacket first hand. The following information was pulled directly off of their site.


Active Fit with Stretch

Cut closer to eliminate bunching or binding while also enabling a liberating range of motion during any outdoor pursuit.

Lightweight 1.06 oz 20-denier ripstop nylon with Stormrepel™ DWR finish

Down-packed micro-baffles keep you warm with minimal weight and bulk

Integrated stretch panels increase breathability, improve range of motion and allow for a trim, athletic fit

Packs into its own pocket; stows easily in small spaces

Low-profile hand pockets - No zippers to snag or catch

Elasticized cuffs seal in heat

Interior carabiner clip-in loop

100% nylon shell; 800-fill down insulation

Note: the fit is trim and athletic, closer to body than most down pieces, designed to fit over a baselayer but allow for a wide variety of soft shells and hardshells to be worn on top. If you want to wear this piece more frequently as an outer layer we suggest you go up one size.

MSRP: $189.00



Product provided for free by the manufacturer for review purposes.