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Reader Reviews

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Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket

in Clothing - Insulating - Down

Average Rating
4.71 / 5 (7 reviews)

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Nathan Moody
( atomick )

San Francisco Bay Area
Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket on 10/29/2006 11:04:08 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

10oz (for my size M). Lofty. Top-quality down. The Flight jacket perfectly balances minimalism and comfort, while still having nice features like a draft tube behind the zipper, down-filled pockets and an easy-to-manipulate drawcord hem.

As reviewed here and elsewhere, the Flight jacket nears the gold standard for down insulating garments. It is far too warm for engaging in aerobic activity, but for in-camp chores, lounging, and sleeping, it's a feather-weight, feather-filled do-all that has measurably improved my experience in the outdoors. I'd go so far as to say it feels about twice as warm as a Primaloft jacket that weighs twice as much...but that's an entirely subjective measure.

Its lightweight insulation capabilities have allowed me to travel lighter by carrying fewer clothing items. A synthetic or wool shortsleeve base layer, a sub-three-ounce windshirt, and the Flight jacket (in conjunction, of course, with proper headware, gloves, and leg coverings) keep me toasty, when tired and unfed, at all temperatures above 20° F.

Despite the 5/"Best" rating, there are some inherent limitations to a garment like this. It's not a good insulator against conductive heat loss, so use a pad when leaning up against those cold rocks in the morning. The neck isn't as high as you might find in other jackets made by companies like Feathered Friends and Nunatak (solved by a fleece-lined balaclava or neck gaiter). There's the Michelin Man effect. The shell material is nicely water-resistant for small splashes, and is quite susceptible to laceration.

But I'm the puffiest ball of warmth in camp. This piece is a true classic, and for good reason.

Edited by atomick on 11/07/2006 20:13:38 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket - Men's priced at: $259.95 - $274.95
Don Wilson
( don - M )

Koyukuk River, Alaska
Agreed. But the XL is 3 ounces heavier on 10/29/2006 13:27:52 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I agree but of note for potential buyers - the XL is 13 ounces, more additional weight than I would have expected.

But it is an excellent jacket. I'm still giving it a 5 also.

Bill Slade
( billslade )
WM Flight Jacket - Size M on 02/08/2008 07:19:42 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I agree with the above reviews. Just received my jacket in size medium and it weights 11.625 oz. Top quality product!! I am 5' 10" - 160lbs and the medium fits perfectly. Thanks WM!

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket - Men's priced at: $259.95 - $274.95
Shop Western products at GearBuyer
Art Sandt
( artsandt )
am I alone here? on 04/07/2008 10:46:12 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I seem to be one of the only people who disagree with all the rave reviews of this product. I ended up selling mine and getting a Nunatak Skaha, which, for the same weight, is warmer due to baffled construction.

My biggest problem with the Flight jacket was the sizing. I'm 5'11", about 150lbs, slimmish man. I'm familiar with many jacket manufacturers' sizing conventions and the Flight jacket sizing falls outside of all of them. The large was way too billowy on me. Generally large jackets are about right, or only a little too large, but the large Flight was so large I was concerned about drafts. So I ended up getting the medium, which I thought was a tad short on my torso, but the sleeves were right and the interior dead air space seemed about right.

The weight was more than listed, about 12 ounces instead of the promised 10. On a jacket with sewn-through construction, I really don't see why you need a draft tube behind the zipper. It's just extra weight. The jacket was always riding up and exposing my lower back, which was frustrating to the point that I sold it eventually just to cut my losses. Again, I can't say that I could have sized up because of how ridiculously large the size large was, but maybe for somebody of a slightly different body type, the Flight jacket would work well.

Sean Sanchez
( stsdroog )

Rocky MTNS!
Awesome replacement for fleece on 08/25/2009 09:59:35 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I picked up this jacket from a local shop and I love it! Used it on a 3 day backcountry camping trip and it worked out perfectly. Super light weight , lighter and more warmth than fleece.

Zack Karas
( )

Lake Tahoe
Warm!! on 09/08/2009 09:45:30 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I picked this up in 2004. Weighs 10.5 oz for size medium.

I've never been cold wearing this jacket. In fact, if I'm not careful I can start sweating in February in the late evening. It's amazing, very rarely loses feathers (and they are easy to pull back into the garment), has handwarmer pockets (!) and the quality seems second to none. It's my go-to jacket for shoulder season backpacking.

Keith Selbo
( herman666 - M )

Northern Virginia
pockets on 01/22/2010 08:43:15 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

The first reviewer in this thread summed up just about everything pretty well. I'd have opted to pay the fraction of an ounce weight penalty for a higher collar to avoid the inconvenience of using another piece of gear to warm my neck.

The pockets are generous and warm, but they lack a closing mechanism of some sort. Having it on at least one pocket, or putting a horizontal slit pocket in the interior of the jacket would have been nice.

I took my first hike with this jacket last week. You definitely can't wear it in the 30's with no wind while you're walking. It's way too warm, but it was perfect in camp.

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