Eddie Bauer Men’s Downlight Vest
Last updated date: September 20, 2019
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We looked at the top Men's Down Vests and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Men's Down Vest you should buy.
In our analysis of 9 expert reviews, the Eddie Bauer Eddie Bauer Men's Downlight Vest placed 6th when we looked at the top 12 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
Editor's Note October 9, 2019:
Checkout The Best Men’s Down Vest for a detailed review of all the top men's down vests.
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An Overview On Men's Down Vests
If you’ve spent any January nights north of the Mason-Dixon line outside, you know there’s one golden rule: Keep your core warm. And when you need to do that, there’s nothing quite like a good down vest. That’s clear even before you put one on, since these sturdy mainstays of outdoor winter wear can cost quite a bit more than a simple windbreaker or sweater. But the moment you zip up against a chill wind, it’ll be well worth it.
For the most part, the price tag will reflect the filling. Not all vests in that signature baffled “down jacket” style are filled with actual down, and while synthetic fillings will be fine for light weather, there’s no substitute for the real stuff. “Down” refers to a specific inner layer of feathers on ducks or geese. It’s the tightly woven filaments of these feathers that keep aquatic birds warm even on chilly swims. It turns out it can do the same for humans when stuffed inside a jacket, though it can still get water-logged without the right insulation in the outer material. Synthetic filling like polyester won’t retain as much water, but might not be as warm in general.
Many jackets won’t specify whether their down comes from a goose or duck. If they don’t (and it’s on the cheaper side), chances are the filling is duck down. Geese are bigger and so are their down feathers, which are able to trap more heat. They’re also less plentiful, which makes goose down vests, like the North Face Aconcagua, a premium commodity. That said, duck down will still provide plenty of insulation.
One stat to look for on a down vest is fill power. That can range from the 500s on the economy side to 900 or more for premium vests. That number is a rough indicator of the quality of the down used, because it measures volume — specifically, how many cubic inches of space are occupied by one ounce of material. (A 650-fill vest like the Eddie Bauer CirrusLite, for example, is filled with down that takes up 650 cu. in. for every ounce.)
There’s a lot more to consider as far as the exterior is concerned, but you can probably sort out the more subjective fashion side of the equation. Just know that no matter how cool you look, this is one piece of outerwear you can count on to keep you warm.
DYWM Fun Fact
Russian soldiers had been stuffing their coats with feathers since the turn of the 20th century, but Eddie Bauer took credit for developing the first actual down jackets in 1936. Bauer, an avid outdoorsman, was looking for a coat that would deliver maximum warmth without weighing him down. It turned out that other hunters and fisherman were looking for the same thing. His initial “Blizzard-Prooff Jacket” was a hit, and Bauer’s company is still making down jackets and vests for sportsmen today.
The Men's Down Vest Buying Guide
- There are a couple features that will make a big difference for heavy outdoor use, and pockets will be one of them. Deep pockets will be a lifesaver for chilly digits, and it’s that much better when they have zippers. That way, your phone, wallet or other personal items can benefit from any waterproofing the vest may have. Want space for both your hands and gear? Look for a vest with hidden interior pockets.
- Regular vests are mostly a fashion accessory. They’re meant to be worn loose or button-down snug as the formality of the situation requires. Down vests, on the other hand, need to be snug to be functional. A good fit is crucial, and that can be helped a lot by the design. Look for drawcords on the hem at the waist, or even around the neckline. Pulling them tight in cold weather can do plenty to keep body heat from escaping.
- Concerned about animal welfare? A lot of major clothesmakers are too. There are now certifications that buyers can look for to make sure the down in their jackets comes from ducks or geese that are treated as humanely as possible. One such certification is RDS or Responsible Down Standard. Another is the GTDS, which stands for Global Traceable Down Standard. Both ensure that the down in their jackets was harvested with no live-plucking or force-feeding of the animals concerned.