Feathered Friends Women’s EOS Jacket Review | Average Hiker
Feathered Friends Women's EOS Jacket Review
The Feathered Friend's Women's EOS Jacket is an incredibly warm jacket for it's weight, at about 10 ounces. I have worn many Down jacket brands over the years, and if I want quality construction that keeps me warm, I always find myself coming back to the Feathered Friends Brand.
I carry my Feathered Friends EOS when I'm backpacking longer distances that require less weight. When I'm doing more camping in colder weather I take my Feathered Friends Helios. I used the Helios when I climbed Kilimanjaro and had several Feathered Friends converts by the time we were finished.
My Jacket Requirements
My jacket requirements for long distance hiking boil down to a few objective, all falling under staying WARM. I'm used to sacrificing some level of comfort for a light pack weight, but with the EOS I don't have to do this.
- Light Weight – Light weight is important on long distance hikes. The days are long, so to combat fatigue and injury I keep my backpack light. I want to keep my jacket's weight at less than 12 ounces.
- Compress-ability – I'm willing to give up a little durability on the shell and interior materials if I can compress the jacket to a small size. I don't have to do this with the EOS. A high quality Down jacket will allow you to compress it over and over without losing it's loft.
- Fill – I would like a minimum of 850 Fill Down, and for the Down to have a waterproof coating that makes it more resistant to moisture. I backpack a lot on the East Coast where humidity is high.
- Shell – The shell should have a DWR finish to make it at least water resistant.
- Hood – I prefer a relatively deep hood with a draw string for windy conditions.
- Waist or Hem Draw String – Need the ability to cinch in the jacket to keep out cold drafts.
- Baffles – Larger baffles allow for the Down to loft. If there is a sufficient amount of Down you won't have cold spots. Quilted jackets have too much dead space for me, although they keep Down in place.
Feathered Friends Women's EOS Jacket Review – Quick Specifications
- Price: $339.00
- Jacket Weight: 10 ounces
- Fill Weight: 2.8 ounces
- Size: XL
- Chest: 43″
- Waist: 36″
- Sleeve: 35″
- Hip: 45″
- Down: Responsibly sourced and tracked – Allied Feather & Down
- Fill Power: 900+ Goose Down
- Exterior Shell: Pertex Quantum brushed nylon with DWR (37 g/m2)
Feathered Friends Women's EOS Jacket Review – First Glance
Out of the box the EOS jacket comes in a small nylon stuff sack that will eventually make a nice toiletry stuff sack. Right now I'm using a Hyperlite Stuff Sack Pillow.
My Down jacket gets stuffed into my compactor bag with my Katabatic Quilt or Feathered Friends Lark Sleeping Bag, so I don't really need the little sack, but it is nice to have since I don't already have enough stuff sacks.
Most impressive is how quickly the EOS Jacket lofted up once it was out of the shipping box. This is one of my favorite things about this jacket. No matter how many times I have stuffed it into my backpack or used it for a pillow, it always fluffs up very quickly when I'm am ready to put it on.
Feathered Friends Women's EOS Jacket Review – Components
The baffles on most Feathered Friends Jackets are larger. Larger baffles are my preference. They allow the Down to loft, and eliminate a lot of empty space caused by excessive stitching.
Others will tell you that quilt patterns eliminate cold spots by preventing the Down from shifting, but I've yet to have shifting be an issue in my Feathered Friends products since they use more down than many other manufacturers.
Most of my Down apparel usually loses it's ability to keep me warm due to excessive compression of Down over time.
The exterior fabric is Pertex Quantum with a DWR finish. Pertex Quantum is tightly woven fabric that is soft, while also blocking wind and moisture. This material is perfect for Down, trapping still air and allowing the Down to loft easily.
The DWR finish will keep the fabric fairly dry in a light mist, but it is definitely not waterproof. I rarely wear the jacket anywhere but in camp when I'm hiking, and only in my shelter if it is raining. If it is so cold that I have to wear it in bad weather, then I wear it under my Precip Rain Jacket.
The EOS has a draw string around the waist, which keeps out cold drafts. This is definitely a feature I like.
There is elastic around the cuffs and the face of the hood. I like the elastic around the cuffs but would prefer a draw string for the hood. On the off-hand chance I am wearing the jacket while hiking, it is good for windy conditions.
The hood, on the other hand, fits my large head perfectly. I was actually surprised it fit so well. It would probably not fit over a climbing helmet but it is roomy without a helmet, while not being too big. It would probably fit a small helmet.
Feathered Friends Women's EOS Jacket Review – Other Quality Features
Small quality details attest to the quality construction of most gear, and the Feathered Friends jacket is no exception. It is often little details that set products apart.
On the Feathered Friends EOS Jacket all of the zippers have a solid plastic cap and small zipper ties making them easy to grab in gloved hands. The zippers are also quality YKK zippers that are high quality, durable zippers.
The front zipper has a small fabric flap over the top of it to keep it from rubbing your chin when it is completely zipped up.
The hand warmer pockets have zippers. This is nice when you want to keep things like car keys in your pockets and not worry about them falling out.
Feathered Friends Women's EOS Jacket Review – Performance
The Feathered Friends EOS Jacket is durable and warm. It is a great jacket for the back country or for running errands around town on a brisk Winter Day.
When it is above 40 degrees, I'm comfortable wearing my jacket over a light weight or mid-weight base layer. I generally stay cold so this is an accomplishment for me in a light weight Down jacket.
When it falls down to freezing, I'll generally wear a mid-weight base layer followed by my 100 weight fleece pull-over and then the EOS Jacket. In these layers I stay pretty warm if I'm sitting around camp.
If it is breezy I'll throw on my Precip Rain Jacket to block some of the wind, although the Pertex Quantum material does a nice job in light breezes. I generally don't have to use the rain jacket.
Feathered Friends EOS Fit
The EOS is not as tapered as some of it's competitors, but I like that better for layering. The jacket is still slightly tapered at the waist, but the boxier fit make it good for layering over other jackets and layers in colder temperatures.
The hood on the jacket fits me perfectly! Although I would like a drawstring, the elastic around the face of the hood keeps it pretty snug.
The jacket fits as if it was made for me. The length of the jacket is good, and the sleeves drop exactly where they should on my wrists. Even when fully extended over my head or to my sides there is very little draw up on the sleeves, keeping them fully extended to my wrists.
Feathered Friends Women's EOS Jacket Review – Competitors
The Feathered Friends Women's EOS Jacket has a number of competitors. They are all quality jackets, but don't have all of the features I want in a Down Jacket. The biggest of course is warmth and the Feathered Friends EOS is one of the few that has the large baffles in a light/ultra-light jacket.
Feathered Friends Women's EOS Jacket Review – Final Thoughts
- Quality – Feathered Friends pays attention to the details, and makes a quality jacket that will last for years.
- Warmth – With it's large baffles for loft, and 2.6 ounces of 900 Fill Down, no jacket is warmer in this light weight category.
- Fit – From the length of the arms to the hood size, this jacket fits me perfectly. As a tall female I am pleased with the length of the jacket.
- Durability – This jacket is made with fabrics and components that will last for years to come.
- Hood Drawstring – I would have liked a drawstring for windy conditions, but the elastic around the face provides a snug fit.
- Expensive – The EOS is not inexpensive, but it is less expensive than some of it's competitors.
- Hydrophobic Down – The Feathered Friends EOS does not have water resistant Down, and neither do most of the competitors in my list. I hope to see this in the near future.
Based on my needs, the Feathered Friends Women's EOS Jacket is the best Down jacket for me. The Down jacket is light weight, warm and a great run around town layer on chilly days.
Feathered Friends is one of the best Down manufacturers in their niche. I have purchased from them for years, and currently use their Helio mid-weight jacket and Ten Degree Lark Sleeping Bag. I'm actually on my second Lark. I had the first one for 10 years, and it is now waiting in the store for it's next 10 year owner.