Words: Holly Burns
I’m going to be honest; I’d never heard of Dark Peak before trying out the NESSH (‘Nesh’ is a word Yorkshire folk use to describe someone who feels the cold more than others) Down Jacket, so I was going out into the hills with a clean slate and open mind.
You see a lot of outdoor clothing brands emerging in the market these days via crowdfunding platforms and for a while it seemed like every man and his dog were making base layers, t-shirts and accessories, all of a similar standard. However, while Dark Peak have similar Kickstarter origins, I wouldn’t tar them with the same brush.
“As a business, they have a responsibility to improve society and give back”
Founded in Sheffield, Dark Peak specialise in insulation, producing men’s and women’s synthetic and down jackets.
I really respect the brand’s mission, firstly setting out to design the best outerwear they can (obviously), but also realising that as a business, they have a responsibility to improve society and give back. They promise that for every item of clothing sold, they’ll donate another (more suitable) jacket to a person who is homeless – One Sold One Given.
Back to the jacket then. I took it out for a spin on several splitboard trips around the Alps and Scotland this winter and have been left pretty impressed. I wore the NESSH in a UK medium because I prefer a slightly baggy fit (small / 10 is my regular size), giving me the option to wear it on top of a few layers when it’s really cold out.
The jacket is slightly longer in the back than the front which I really like as it stops the weather getting up underneath your jacket especially if you’re sat down. Sometimes jackets can start to ride up, however I never experienced this issue.
The jacket is stuffed full of 90g/m2 850 fill power and responsibly-sourced goose down and weighs only 322g, giving it a fantastic warmth to weight ratio – particularly impressive given the fairly reasonable price tag (£175).