Jacks 'R' Better JRB Down Hood REVIEW

Seals perfectly with the head opening in the JRB poncho quilts and has lots of puff for the weight, but the non-adjustable neck opening can let in drafts when it is used for sleeping.

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by Stuart Bilby | 2006-05-15 03:00:00-06

Jacks R Better Down Hood REVIEW - 1

Introduction

The Jacks ‘R’ Better JRB Down Hood is a super-light (2.3 oz, 66 g measured) complement to the wonderful No Sniveller quilt. Omni-Tape (like non-scratchy Velcro) around the bottom edge seals it perfectly to the head opening in the quilt. Is it functional enough to be attractive to non-Jacks 'R' Better quilt users?

What’s Good

  • High warmth to weight ratio
  • Practical
  • Supplements a quilt or hoodless sleeping bag

What’s Not So Good

  • It makes you look like a Teletubby
  • The down fill requires protection from moisture
  • Single drawstring means that only a circular face hole is possible
  • Neck opening is not adjustable

Specifications

  Manufacturer

Jacks ‘R’ Better

  Year/Model

2006 JRB Down Hood

  Weight

2.3 oz (66 g) measured weight; manufacturer specifies 2.0 oz (57 g)

  Fabric

1.1 oz/yd2 (37 g/m2) ripstop nylon with DWR

  Insulation

0.85 oz (24 g) of 800+ fill power down, 1.5 in (3.8 cm) baffles

  Loft

1.7 inches (4.4 cm) single layer

  Size

One size only

  Features

Omni-Tape to connect to Jacks ‘R’ Better quilts at the neck opening

  MSRP

$59.95

Performance

In cool conditions, it’s important to guard against heat loss from your head. A down and ultralight fabric down hood is a very lightweight way to do that. At only 2.3 ounces the Jacks ‘R’ Better hood is the lightest down hood that we are aware of. It is half the weight of the Nunatak down hood and a third of the weight of the Finbar Hood.

Jacks R Better Down Hood REVIEW - 2
The Jacks ‘R’ Better JRB Down Hood with the No Sniveller quilt/poncho and Down Sleeves form a very warm garment.

With 1.7 inches of single layer loft, the JRB Down Hood works as a standalone hood to boost the rating of a hoodless sleeping bag or quilt. It doesn’t cover all of the neck, but this is not an issue when using it with the No Sniveller Quilt worn as a poncho. The hood seals the gap at the neck of the No Sniveller. It only comes in green, with a black liner, and wearing it with the No Sniveller around camp, I got a hard time from the older women who accused me of looking like a Teletubby - but it’s hard to care when you’re warm and happy.

Jacks R Better Down Hood REVIEW - 3

Jacks R Better Down Hood REVIEW - 4

The JRB Down Hood can be cinched up to leave only the mouth exposed.

The hood has a simple drawstring face closure. On a cold night it can be pulled closed to just leave a gap for the mouth, however it is difficult to pull it tight without covering your eyes.

The hood is a pleasure to wear around camp. The shape works well; the design is nice and simple, and the warmth for weight makes it a must-take for most trips.

What’s Unique?

The Jacks ‘R’ Better JRB Down Hood is the lightest down hood we know of, and it is reasonably priced. For dual uses, hook the tape to itself, pull the drawcord and use it at a stuff sack or a foot warmer.

Recommendations for Improvement

The JRB Down Hood is simple and very light. Most “improvements” I can think of would only add weight, except one: make it available in colors other than green.


Citation

"Jacks 'R' Better JRB Down Hood REVIEW," by Stuart Bilby. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/jacks_r_better_down_hood_review.html, 2006-05-15 03:00:00-06.

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