by Loren Lee and Don Wilson | 2005-12-07 03:00:00-07
The Feathered Friends Hyperion is a lofty, lightweight down jacket available with three shell fabric options. This SpotLite review details our experience with the Epic shelled Hyperion during a short field-testing period.
Feathered Friends specifies a weight of 11 ounces for the Hyperion jacket. Our size large sample weighs 14.2 ounces, but has the Epic shell option, which is heavier than the Pertex Quantum shell option. Feathered Friends does not specify which shell option is used to determine the specified weight.
The Hyperion (Epic shell) has 3.7 inches of double layer loft based on our measurements. I was very comfortable in temperatures down to 20 °F. It is easy to be too warm if wearing the jacket in any moderate activity, and I frequently leave it unzipped. The YKK windproof zipper keeps almost all wind from seeping into the jacket. I did notice air movement when I stood facing a 30 mph blizzard for a few minutes, but even then I could just feel a slight band of cold along the zipper.
The top of the zipper has a soft fabric flap so the zipper won’t rub on your chin - especially nice if you have a beard that may snag in a zipper. The jacket has a large interior pocket where you can store lunch or a camera, keeping them safe and dry. The exterior handwarmer pockets are fully surrounded by down making them great for keeping hands warm, but they are too small for gloved hands and have no closure mechanism. There is a hem draw cord with a single pull on the right side that can be operated with a gloved hand. A stuff sack is included and measures 10.5 inches long with a 5.7-inch diameter opening and makes a nice pillow when the Hyperion is stuffed inside.
The Hyperion can be ordered with Epic, Pertex Quantum, or eVENT shells. The eVENT version will set you back an additional $20. Our test sample has the Epic shell option - heavier and more weather resistant than Pertex Quantum. The Epic fabric is water resistant, but on one snowy and rainy trip in Yellowstone Park I left the jacket uncovered in wet weather and water eventually soaked through the shell. In wet conditions, a separate weatherproof shell should be used as an outer layer - or consider the waterproof/breathable eVENT shell option for the Hyperion. If you are looking for the lightest option, go with the Pertex Quantum shell.
Our sample Hyperion is a size large but is smaller than most size large jackets. It sometimes hikes up my waist and needs to be tugged back down into place. Consider sizing up if you want extra room.
The Hyperion (Epic shell) is durable. I wore the jacket through thick brush and even slipped once on a steep, hard-packed, snowy slope and slid on my back for about 100 feet. The jacket came through without a scratch. The Hyperion uses sewn through construction and 700 fill down. An upgrade to 800 fill down is available for $7.
Overall, the Feathered Friends Hyperion (Epic shell) is a very warm, lightweight jacket. The shell options are a nice feature not available from other manufacturer's of lightweight jackets, and the $175 price tag makes it one of the best values in lightweight down jackets.
The Hyperion stuffs nicely into the included 0.8-ounce stuff sack.
* Loft is a weighted average of maximum double layer torso and sleeve lofts. Torso loft is double weighted.
"Feathered Friends Hyperion Jacket (Epic Shell) SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Loren Lee and Don Wilson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/feathered_friends_hyperion_jacket_spotlite_review.html, 2005-12-07 03:00:00-07.