The REI Co-op Down Jacket is a very nice jacket for the price. I think my favorite thing about this down is that it’s a very versatile piece. I have used it on cool fall nights around the campfire, grabbing an Apres beer on the patio after skiing, on a cool winter day around town, or as an insulating piece on the coldest days on the mountain. It’s a pretty basic jacket, but it’s done everything I have asked it to do (within reason). It would work well as an insulating mid-layer, or as an everyday jacket for basic adventures in the mountains or around town.
Matt’s Specs: Sizing Info
Waterproofing and Breathability: The REI Co-Op Down is not going to work as your everyday ski jacket. It has a DWR on the outside, but it’s not a waterproof jacket. It’s also not very breathable, and not meant for using on days you’re working hard and sweating. The Co-Op Down is a basic down jacket meant to provide insulation and basic protection from the elements. I love this jacket for cool and dry fall and winter days around town, as well as an insulting piece (under my waterproof shell) when the temps are quite cold. I’m not using this my external layer when the weather is nasty, and I’m not using this as an insulating piece when I’m working hard and getting sweaty.
Warmth: The REI Co-Op Down Jacket has 650 fill down insulation. This is a pretty moderate amount of insulation and I found it pretty comfortable in temperatures in the low 20’s and 30’s. If this was my only jacket, or only mid layer I probably wouldn’t want to be out in temps below 20. However, with a thin base layer, the REI Coop, and a thin outer shell, I have been out in temps in the teens without really wanting any more insulation. When temps dipped closer to single digits and zero, I have grabbed a light weight mid layer to pair with the Co-Op Down and my technical shell. I think the bottom line is that this is a moderately warm jacket that can be paired with other layers for the coldest days.
Fit: The REI Co-Op Down Jacket is pretty true to size, but fits a touch on the smaller side. I’m usually between a small in medium in jackets, but opted to go with the medium for the Co-Op Down. The small fit perfectly fine, but I did notice both the arms and torso were a bit tight. Since I knew I would occasionally need to wear a thicker layer underneath I wanted a little bit of that extra room I found in the medium. I also liked the extra room in the arms, because it felt a bit restricting with the small. If you have larger forearms you will definitely notice the tighter arms and it may be worth sizing up. Even with the medium I found the Co-Op Down to be pretty low profile, and it fits great under my technical Trew Cosmic shell. The length is fine, and I find it quite comfortable when using it as a mid-layer, or when using it on it’s own.
Features: The REI Co-Op Down Jacket is a pretty basic insulating piece. We already touched on its 650 fill down, and DWR coating on the outside. The Coop also has two hand-warming pockets, and one internal mesh pocket. There’s not a lot more going on here, but I actually really appreciate the simplicity. It’s does what I need it to without being flashy, highly technical, or (best of all) expensive.
Bottom Line: The REI Co-Op Down Jacket is a pretty basic insulated jacket. It has moderate warmth, a comfortable feel, and nothing you don’t need. I found it works decently well as an insulating mid-layer, or as a casual jacket for around town, or for basic adventures in the mountains. It’s not waterproof, or very breathable, but provides a decent amount of warmth for cooler days on the mountain. It packs down quite small, an fits in a pack really well. The only negative I have found is that the down does shed pretty heavily compared to other down layers I’ve used. Still, it seems to be holding it’s insulting properties well enough. Bottom Line, I found the REI Co-Op Down Jacket is worth the relatively low price if you want a mid-weight and versatile jacket for mild weather.