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This year's Costco down jacket
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Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - MLife

Locale: Central TX
This year's Costco down jacket on 10/07/2013 12:54:06 MDT Print View

Just perusing Costco yesterday and found a line of Calvin Klein down jackets for $44.99. Comes with chest pocket, two hand pockets, and at least two internal drop-in type pockets. No hood, but full zipper that seems (perhaps overly) durable.

Shell fabric appears to be a nondescript tightly woven nylon fairy cloth, have not tested water resistance or breathability yet. Size medium fit me great -- I'm 5'6" and ~150#.

Total weight with the included stuff sack is 12.7oz. Pretty not bad for $45.

There were not specs on the hangtags regarding the fill power but based on prior experience with Montbell and my current Stoic Hadron, and based on the price, I would imagine it's probably NOT something like 800 fill power. Maybe 750 or 700.

Overall, this is probably going to replace my Stoic Hadron since it provides a similar (if not greater) amount of warmth, has a full zip rather than pullover style, has more pockets and a slightly better fit, and overall is more handsome / versatile in the sense of you-can-wear-it-in-real-life-too, unlike my extremely green Hadron piece. Or unlike my previous Montbell UL Inner, which was so light that I felt like I would damage it in everyday life. So overall, a weight penalty of about 4oz over the Hadron, but half the price of the heavily-discounted Hadron that I purchased, and it will get worn a lot more.

So, that's my report. Just a head's up if anyone is searching for a bargain. And a lot of commentary that may or may not be relevant.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: This year's Costco down jacket on 10/07/2013 12:59:46 MDT Print View

Good find. At $45 you won't sit down on the trail and cry if you rip it on a branch, get ember holes in it, drop it in the mud, etc, etc.

Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - MLife

Locale: Central TX
Re: Re: This year's Costco down jacket on 10/07/2013 13:11:09 MDT Print View

Exactly right, Dale! Unlike my Hadron, or Montbell. This is a lightweight down jacket that I'm not afraid to do LIFE in.

Which, admittedly, is just a different category of thing altogether than the Hadron that it's replacing. So be it.

brian H
(B14) - M

Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
PPWD on 10/07/2013 13:25:24 MDT Print View

Hey Ian

PPWD...Post a Pic Why Dontcha?

sounds like a nice find. care to take a guess at amt of fill?

Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - MLife

Locale: Central TX
Re: PPWD on 10/07/2013 13:43:17 MDT Print View

Hey Brian (and everyone),
Here are some pics of a few angles:

Yeah, the cut isn't exquisitely flattering but it's not bad either. It easily gives room for layering while still being tolerable as just-over-a-base-layer. Shoulder articulation is mediocre but not awful, as you can see from the over-the-back shot.

On closer examination it looks like there's a bit I could do without. Hem drawcords can be removed for one, and perhaps some of the interior pocket stuff. Meanwhile I really love the cushy stand-up collar which is of course insulated itself.

On the downside I did notice that while the front of the handwarmer pockets are insulated, the back (interior) side is not. This means that when the handwarmer pocket zips are open, they allow an air gap into an area that is only effectively bounded by a single layer of thin nylon. On the other hand ... IIRC my Montbell Down Inner and Stoic Hadron (not within reach at present) are the same way as well.

As for amount of fill, hmm ... no idea really. I mean it shouldn't be that different from the Hadron or Down Inner. Those two are in the 7oz - 8oz range with 800fp down. This jacket by contrast probably has lower FP down bc of the price, and it also gains some weight on account of its heavier notions, extra pockets, etc. So it's a toss-up, but I'd guess at least 0.5 or 1.0oz more fill than the Hadron or MB, so maybe uh ... 3.0oz or 3.5oz? Hard to say. But if that's correct, remember that it's probably lower FP down.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Re: PPWD on 10/07/2013 16:03:38 MDT Print View

Wow, Ian, you've really let yourself go. The first year of marriage is hard on the waistline. ;-)

Not a bad find there. Cheap lightweight puffies are the way to go; still lighter than a fleece and warmer.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: This year's Costco down jacket on 10/07/2013 16:41:37 MDT Print View

Walmart has one too, similar description and packable.

Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - MLife

Locale: Central TX
Re: Re: Re: PPWD on 10/07/2013 18:35:33 MDT Print View

Ha! You're funny Eugene. Yeah as I said the fit is a little generous. Creating the impression of a beer belly is one of the jacket's "features".

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: This year's Costco down jacket on 10/07/2013 18:46:36 MDT Print View

Re: the Calvin Klein jacket, i highly, highly doubt it's 700 fp. I bought a Calvin Klein down jacket w/ hood on clearance at Marshalls for 10, and think it's most likely a 550 fp duck down jacket. When the company doesn't list the fill power and type of down, chances are, it's not higher quality and most likely duck down sourced from China.

Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - MLife

Locale: Central TX
Re: Re: Re: This year's Costco down jacket on 10/07/2013 18:53:26 MDT Print View

Well ... you may be right, I'm really not sure. I don't have enough experience with these things but let's just say the jacket seems to be comparably warm to the other two pieces (Stoic and MB) I've had experience with. Granted, the looser fit of this jacket will mean it doesn't form as much of a seal, but that's just a subjective metric anyway. But again you could be right. All the more reason to not fret if it ever gets damaged or trashed, I figure.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Re: Re: This year's Costco down jacket on 10/08/2013 12:22:17 MDT Print View

Hi Ian,

Yeah just because it may have 550 duck down, doesn't mean its a bad jacket by any means, just a little heavier. There are actually some advantages to using the lower quality stuff beyond what you mentioned. I've heard duck down, especially if not washed/cleaned super well, is more innately water resistant. Also, during high winds, a higher feather material will keep its structure and loft better, perhaps insulating better during those more extreme conditions than the super high quality stuff.

Plus like you said, you can beat it to hell and not feel to worried. Plus a cheap price, what's not to like.

Some folks always have to have the "best", just because its the best. For some its weight thing, some a practical performance thing, and suspect for others its more of an ego/image thing.

Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - MLife

Locale: Central TX
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This year's Costco down jacket on 10/08/2013 12:45:44 MDT Print View

Chicken --
Good words. I think for me the challenge regarding Having The Nice Stuff is simply knowing that it exists. If I was totally oblivious about Montbell and Patagonia down jackets, this cheap one I just bought would look a lot nicer to me. It's tough. The whole consumer thing. The root of all folly here might just be knowing what the state of the art is. Once you know it, it's hard for some (most) people to be 100% satisfied without having it.

For me it's been a journey. From what I gather, a lot of us on this forum have gone in and out of the gear lust. I'm on an out-cycle right now :-)

Adrian Swanson
(storunner13) - M

Locale: Upper Midwest
Stoic Hadron on 10/10/2013 07:42:37 MDT Print View

What size is your Hadron? I have a size Medium that's a little too big for me, and would be interested in a size Small. Thought I'd ask..!

Ian Schumann
(freeradical) - MLife

Locale: Central TX
Re: Stoic Hadron on 10/10/2013 09:19:25 MDT Print View

Yep, mine's a medium as well.

Hammock Hanger
(HammockHanger) - F
Good buy on 10/10/2013 17:27:41 MDT Print View

I bought mine at a Costco in 2011. Good workmanship, and durable. My Large weighs 11 ounces and is roomy enough to have other layers under it. Packs down very flat. Don't obsess too much over down numbers, it may be 550 or 600 but it's kept me warm and toasty under a thin windbreaker or windshirt down to the '20s at least. Also looks good enough/shell is durable enough to wear around as an urban everyday outer jacket.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Good buy on 10/16/2013 21:19:42 MDT Print View

It's important to note that Costco seems to vary year by year, in the quality of down jackets and vests they sell.

I remember a year ago or so, they had a pretty good quality men's jacket, with fairly high fp, some UL Japanese hollow core nylon fabric, etc I should have got one, don't think it had a hood though which is maybe why i didn't.

Last year i bought a women's down vest with 740 fp goose down and light nylon shell (and ykk zippers).
This year, the same brand there, had a women's vest with 700 fp goose down, and half polyester, half nylon shell/liner, also about 30 dollars.

Another source with sometimes great deals on ok quality down stuff is Land's End. Picked up a couple of vests there with 600 fp for some ridiculous price of like 18 dollars each.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Good buy on 10/16/2013 21:44:10 MDT Print View

Speak of the devil. Not quite as good a deal as i got, but not bad either.

AJ Groff
(AJGroff) - F

Locale: Midwest
Costco Down Jacket on 10/17/2013 09:37:30 MDT Print View

I dont know anything about this years jacket. I got mine last year before christmas off ebay because they only stocked the jackets in the Northwest locations. I found one on ebay, weighs 8.3 ozs in Medium, 800 fill. fits really loosely. im 6' 165. Really like it a lot and find it very similiar to patagonia down sweater.
theres a couple left on ebay in M and XL.


These are the same models I have. For 50 bucks you cant beat this jacket. Costco has stepped up there outdoor business and sometimes have some quality products for a good price. I also have the costco carbon fiber trekking poles, they have held up good as well. I plan to take both on the PCT this summer.

Hammock Hanger
(HammockHanger) - F
Lands' End and other sources on 10/17/2013 09:38:48 MDT Print View

The Lands End show currently sold out except for Small. Looks like a decent trail vest. Land's End is worth checking for low cost, pretty well made trail clothing.

Last time I checked had women's down products but not men's online, although the physical stores have men's.

This Spring the local JCPenneys had clearance synthetic fill full-zip sweaters that were basically Patagonia knockoffs for like $19, originally $35 or so. Pretty well made for a trail vest, zip handwarmer pockets, no hood but well made & light. Worth keeping an eye out for if you don't have a Costco but you do have one of those dying half-vacant malls with a JCPenney in it.

K-Mart is closing a lot of its stores around the US and those locations are having deeply discounted closing sales.

BJ's Club also has the same sort of lightweight well made Patagonia knockoffs, as well as other trail outerwear, both down and synth.
All the above suggestions are for those who don't have access to a Costco.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Cheapie Ultra-Light Down Jackets on 10/17/2013 10:21:01 MDT Print View

I got one of those a few years ago. It was UL, it was warm, but every time I wore it, I looked like a chicken-plucker (i.e., the fabric wasn't 100% down-proof, so my clothes were just COVERED with tiny pieces of down).

Hopefully the new ones use better fabric, but it's something you should probably look out for before you buy one...