Newly redesigned for winter 2015/16, Alpkit’s down-filled Filoment Jacket is still a micro-ribbed design stuffed with 650+ fill power 90/10 down, but it has two major improvements over its slightly disappointing predecessor.
The first, is that Alpkit like other brands, has cottoned onto the fact that using slightly larger capacity down channels – or baffles – makes for a warmer, if slightly less trendy looking, jacket without any significant weight penalty, so the new version has mostly larger baffles.
The second change is that the cut has been redesigned for an improved, sleeker fit. To put that in perspective, the medium – our normal size – is still slightly boxy rather than mega fitted, but it’s definitely an improvement.
Mostly though, it’s just a nice, all-round, lightweight down jacket. The fabric is thin and nearly-translucent particularly in the ‘dare you wear it’ bright yellow shade of our test jacket. It feels soft and pleasant and when you put it on, it’s warm. Warmer than the ultra-skinnies, but not quite as warm as slightly higher specced, but more expensive jackets from the likes of Rab and ME.
If you want warmer from Alpkit, by the way, check out the classic Filo which is a fair bit weightier but also a fair bit warmer. For general lightweight use though, the Filoment hits the spot. Ideal for wearing in your lightweight tent at the end of a backpacking day, throwing on in the pub or just for pottering about it.
Light As A Fleece
It weighs the same as a lightweight fleece, but is warmer, windproof and packs smaller too. You can also, if you want, layer it under a shell in really cold conditions, though breathability used like that is limited, so you may find yourself getting a tad sweaty if you’re moving fast.
No issues here with the hand-warmer pockets – insulated on the outside for warm mitts – and the single chest pocket or the glove-friendly zip-pulls all round. Cuffs and hem are non adjustable but fitted us just fine.
One miss, arguably, is that there’s no hood and the skinny-baffled collar could be plusher. We’re not sure how much that or the skinny-channeled elbows are a fashion or function thing. We could bend our elbows just fine, but then again bending your arms in a light down jacket isn’t particularly arduous anyway.
It’d also be nice if the jacket stuffed more neatly into one of its own pockets. It will go into a hand pocket, but will pack down a lot smaller, so you’ll need to invest in a dedicated stuff-sac – maybe a waterproof one given that the down isn’t hydrophobic – to minimise pack size.
A propos of that, the fabric does have a DWR treatment so you don’t have to fret too much if you get caught in a light shower or wet snow.
The new Filoment’s great value as we’ve come to expect from Alpkit and a significant improvement on its predecessor: being warmer, neater fitting and better looking too. Stick it in your pack for stops and evening use, wear it as an outer in cold, dry conditions or layer it under a shell when things get proper gnarly.
Yes you can get warmer for the same weight of jacket and as warm with less weight and bulk, but you’ll pay significantly more for either privilege and the Filoment is good enough in its own right to ask the question of whether it’s really worth the extra cost. In other words, it’s not just good value, it’s a good jacket outright.
Reasonably light, decently warm, improved fit, good build quality, compact pack size.
Slightly boxy compared to some, skinny collar, no stuff-bag/pocket.