Cooking Dinner in my down jacket on the first day of summer in the mountains.
Cooking dinner in My Trail Company down light hooded jacket on the first day of summer in the mountains.

The My Trail Company Down Light Hooded Jacket is a 800 fill power down jacket that’s well suited for hanging out in camp or as a way to augment a down quilt in an ultralight sleep system. Available with or without a hood, it has a 20d nylon exterior treated with DWR, elastic wrist cuffs to keep out drafts and a hood. Sizing is on the large side, so think about downsizing to the next smaller size. Priced at $119, the Down Light Hooded Jacket is an exceptional value at an unbeatable price…if it fits, but best used for three-season hiking and backpacking rather than winter use.

Specs at a Glance

  • 20d Nylon with DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • 800 fill power goose down; fill weight 110 grams (3.9 oz)
  • Zippered fleece lined handwarmer pockets
  • Elastic wrist cuffs
  • Elastic cord hem adjustment
  • Hood: non-adjustable
  • Construction: sewn-through
  • Internal media chest pocket and headphone loop
  • Stuff pocket with clip-in loop
  • Size XL: 15 ounces

The MTC Down Light Hooded Jacket checks all the boxes for three-season use. With 110 grams (3.9 oz) of goose down, it’s the warmest down hooded jacket available at this price that I could find, by a long shot, with a comparable amount of 800 fill power down fill.

The lack of an adjustable hood is a weakness on the MTC Down Light Hooded Jacket.
The lack of an adjustable hood is a weakness on the MTC Down Light Hooded Jacket.

That said, I’d encourage you to think about this jacket as a three-season coat, because the hood is non-adjustable. For example, you can’t shrink the volume of the hood if it’s too large; you can’t cinch the hood closed around your face with a drawstring to retain warmth; and there’s no internal collar at the neck to seal in your torso heat separate from the hood. Those are all features I look for on a hooded jacket or parka for winter hiking use in frigid temperatures, along with a few more ounces of goose down (For comparison, see my Montane Featherlight Jacket review.)

(Note: Why are the My Trail Company prices so low? All of their products are “on sale”, all of the time. They achieve this by selling direct to consumers over the internet, rather than through retailers.)

Given the sizing issues with the hood and it’s relative lack of functionality, I think you’d be better off buying the MTC Down Light Jacket without a hood for three season use, given it’s low price of $99, and simply augment it with a fleece cap in camp (which you probably already carry). With 100 grams of goose down, you’ll still get lots of warmth, and at $99, the price is also hard to beat.

Do you really need a down jacket for three season hiking and backpacking? It really depends on where you hike and the climate. I always carry a down or synthetic insulated jacket, even on summer trips, because I hike in the mountains where temperatures are cooler and because my body chills rapidly as soon as I set up camp and stop hiking vigorously.

Disclosure: My Trail Company provided the author with a jacket for this review.

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