Rating: 5 / 5
I was gonna write about the service at SC Down Works, here in California, but the topic says gear not "Companies" when it came up. So ... I'll talk about the Company and the balaclava they make.
The Down Works is great and you can call there, when they are open which is not every day -- they are a one man operation it seems. But, that one man turned me onto more stuff and ideas. So his service is top notch and if you have a question call him:
222 River St
Santa Cruz, CA 95060-2721
The balaclava is wonderful, one size fits all. Weighs nothing, my scale won't weigh it.
Durable shell, doesn't wear at all IMO. Skips all bells and whistles and is what it is. I use it for sleeping gear, although I carry it in the outside pocket of my pack in case of unexpected snow/wind. Compresses to a size like a deck of cards or less and immediately is usable.
I use it over my other balaclava and MH beanie. It is effective enough that it gets too hot.
The Down Works and its balaclava get a 5 not only because it is a great piece of gear, but because a small cottage industry guy who was involved with the Osprey Pack group when it got started has the guts and ability to make an item of this quality and to service the people interested in going UL with a heart and a passion.