Always buy big name brands right? Maybe not.
I can still hear my Dad saying it to me when I was a kid; ‘Buy Cheap, Buy Twice’. Ultimately he meant that if you want to avoid being disappointed, you should always buy well known, proved out brands. Now, I do understand that sentiment. We’ve all been there, ordering bits from a certain Online Marketplace, for it to arrive via. air mail 2 weeks later with a suspiciously ‘plastic’ feel with a metal finish.
That said, with the development of super-fast online shopping has brought about another breed of retailer – direct from manufacturer. Cutting out the middle man allows a manufacturer to reduce costs, bringing some of the best quality products the market has ever seen. Enter, Stellar Equipment.
I first saw an advert for Stellar Eq. on Instagram. It was a modest advert, hoping to capture the attention of anybody that was interested in skiing and hiking.
After a quick mooch of their (very well built) website, I quickly fell in love with the Ultralight Down Hood. With 96g of responsibly sourced 1000 fill power platinum down, it looked as warm as it did aesthetically pleasing. I’d been looking for a down jacket for a while – down makes an ideal mid layer and ‘about the camp’ jacket – insulating you from the worst of the conditions all while ensuring you have a full range of movement.
The jacket came very well packaged, with a nice storage bag which allows it to breath amazingly. The fabric on this jacket is unbelievably thin (The down can be seen through it), feels amazing against the skin and yet surprisingly durable! I’ve taken a good few tumbles and slips in this jacket and it has stood up against everything I’ve thrown at it.
As with any jacket with a DWR (Durable Water Repellant) treatment, it will need some TLC from time to time, especially if you often wear it in slightly soggy conditions. After around 6 months of occasional wear, many stuffs and unstuffs and a couple of tumbles, the DWR is starting to look like it needs some treatment.
This jacket is WARM. With relatively low breathability, you certainly wouldn’t start wearing it on your intense scrambles; it’s certainly more of a ‘I’ve summited and it’s freezing’ sort of jacket. The down provides a perfect insulating layer while giving you what can only be described as a cosy hug; at times the down can be felt squeezing your arms.
To top the package off, the jacket packs down small into its own pocket (See pictures above for reference), and is super lightweight at 307g, as the name may suggest.
Stellar Equipment have gone above and beyond my expectations, I struggled to find an equivalent jacket within the price point with the same features. I might get one for Dad at Christmas, just to prove the point.
Stand Out Features
- 1000 fill power goose down insulation that is fluorocarbon free, RDS-certified, bluesign-certified, allergen-free, 100% recyclable and completely sourcetrack verifiable.
- Ultralight DWR-treated outer fabric that is wind and water resistant.
- Fixed hood that fits over most helmets.
- One chest pocket and two hand pockets insulated on the outside keeping hands and smart-phones protected and warm.
- Ultra-packable, one hand pocket doubles as a stow-bag, forming a minimal package.
- Athletic fit, meant to go under a shell jacket. If you plan to wear it as a stand-alone jacket choose one size larger than you normally do.
Recommendation Rate: 90%
Stellar Equipment Male Ultralight Down Hood (Medium) – £245 – Available at Stellar Equipment