Why We Chose It: Innovative, sustainable, award-winning design
The average winter temperature in Sweden’s far northern regions is typically around -15°C (5°F). With that in mind, you’d expect Swedish clothing brands to be knocking out some pretty warm winter gear. Haglöfs’ new Nordic Expedition Down Jacket doesn’t disappoint, thanks to its mix of the brand’s own Mimic synthetic insulation and premium 800 fill power goose down.
As you’d expect, the result is a jacket with a superb warmth-to-weight ratio. But it also offers a superior level of weather-resistance compared to most down jackets, since the fill is hydrophobic and the face fabric utilises a three-layer waterproof construction across the shoulders, torso and arms. This has a hydrostatic head of 15,000mm and a moisture vapour transmission rate of 10,000g/m2/24hrs. The latter figure is a measure of breathability, which means that although the jacket is well-stuffed, it shouldn’t get too stuffy. This is particularly important during winter, when moisture vapour trapped inside your inner layers can otherwise condense and chill your core, with potentially dangerous consequences.
What Is The Expedition Down Jacket Best Suited To?
This is a jacket designed for expeditions in the mountains of Northern Sweden and other Nordic countries. It’s well suited to keeping you warm, dry and comfortable while belaying, whether you’re climbing a classic alpine icefall or shivering in a mountain gully.
Unlike a classic belay jacket, however, the Nordic Expedition Down Jacket offers plenty of versatility. As well as providing efficient block insulation, it’s designed to move moisture through the jacket and to offer enhanced ventilation options in order to dump excess moisture more quickly. Put it this way: imagine you’ve just led a tricky pitch. You’re pretty pumped and a bit sweaty but having built a belay it’s time to bring up your second. Now you’re static – and given that you could be standing around for some time, given the difficulty of the climb – you want to get a big, warm layer on. If your body continues to sweat, and that moisture can’t move beyond your outermost layer, there’s a good chance you’ll start to get cold, despite having a big layer of block insulation wadding around your torso. This is exactly the scenario for which the Nordic Expedition Down Jacket has been designed, with fabrics and fill that are not just moisture-resistant but also breathable.
It’s a situation that could easily apply to winter climbers and mountaineers in North Wales or Scotland too, so this is an excellent belay jacket for those environments. Similarly, it would work well for other outdoorsy types who spend a lot of time in cold and wet conditions doing stop-start activities, like nature photographers, wildlife guides or even fell-running race marshals.