Stuffed with 650+ fill power, 90/10 duck down, the Filoment Vest is a lightweight, packable bundle of mobile warmth that has the same main features of the micro-ribbed Filoment Jacket, but without the sleeves. The fabric's fully windproof polyester and it has handy features like pockets, a down-filled collar and a storm-flap.
- £59 (£79 usual price) / 204g (Men's small)
- 63g-87g of 650+ fill power down depending on size
- Zipped hand-warmer and chest pocket
- Full-length YKK main-zip with storm-flap
- Micro rib stitch-through construction
- Drop-tail with Lycra-bound hem
Alpkit's take on micro-baffled, lightweight down insulation follows on the from the popular Filo full down jacket and like big brother, it's keenly priced but definitely not cheap and nasty. It's distinctive too - rather than equally-spaced baffles, Alpkit has opted for a mix of wide and narrow tubes that you'll either think look great or a bit naff. We can't see that there's any performance advantage to the design by the way.
You're not being short-changed on features here. You get a proper full-length zip with a windproof storm baffle, insulated zipped hand-warmer pockets and a single chest pocket and while the Filoment doesn't have the Filo's full-on platypus tail, it still has a little rear-end drop for some extra bent-over warmth.
The micro rip-stop polyester fabric doesn't look or feel cheap either and helps towards a genuine measured weight of just 204g for our men's small-sized test vest.
Where we did have issues was with the cut of the garment. Normally we're a medium in most brands' sizing, but the medium Filoment Vest was horribly loose around the waist and lower torso, so to make it easier to layer under other stuff, we opted for a size small, which fits better lower down, but is just on the wrong side of snug around the chest.
That's an individual fit issue for sure, but it's worth bearing in mind that the cut is quite square and won't suit everyone. Or you may at least need to compromise. It's also quite long in the body, even in the small size, which again will be fine for some, but not for others.
That aside, there's lots we like about the Filoment Vest. It packs down reasonably small into the chest pocket, even though it's not intended to, and the combination of the windproof body but free to breathe arms makes it more wearable on the move than a comparable jacket, but still decently warm - a good call to throw on on a chilly descent or for a quick stop.
The downside of that is for longer stops, it works best layered under a windproof shell to keep your arms out of the breeze, though in spring conditions at least, we found it too warm worn this way when active.
Finally, as with all down garments, you need to keep it reasonably dry, so it's not an ideal choice for use on the move on wetter days on the hill.
The Filoment Vest's great value, particularly at the current £20-off price of £59 and manages to be super affordable without straying into cheap and nasty territory. It's light and packable enough to stash in a pack or bum-bag, but still warm enough to be worth carrying and the lack of sleeves makes it more breathable on the move than a jacket version, though a little cooler too.
Our main reservation with the Filoment Vest is the fit, which is a little on the long and boxy side and means it works best if you're designed that way yourself. If you're not, you may find yourself trading off chest fit against trimness around the waist.
Full details at www.alpkit.com.