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Alpkit Filoment Jacket in the Outside cafe Hathersage

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Alpkit Filoment Hoody 2016 | Review

Alpkit's revamped Filoment down jacket is a revelation. Light, packable, warm and complete with exceptionally effective Nikwax water-repellent down.

‘The revamped Filoment is a cracking lightweight down jacket by any standards, but the Nikwax water-resistant down adds a new dimension of damp-friendly performance. Brilliant’

Outdoors Magic: Neat looks and cut, thorough design, warmth to weight ratio, packability, awesome Nikwax hydrophobic down. Great colour. Brilliant value.

Outdoors Tragic: In an ideal world, the hood would move with your head, but it’s not a big.

Outdoors Grabbit? Just a  really good lightweight down jacket full stop. The cut is great, all the details have been thought through and the midi-baffled design gives an excellent combination warmth and weight. The use of ethically sourced Nikwax water-resistant down is a huge bonus. It retains more loft if the jacket fill gets damp, but also means it dries improbably quickly and still retains its original performance without any special drying techniques. All that and at a spectacularly good price too. Ideal lightweight down all-rounder that can cope with the odd dunking along the way. Recommended.

 

Alpkit Filoment Hoody Ratings

Outright Warmth 

Packability 

Damp-proofing 


Overall:

Full Specification

Lightweight down-filled jacket / 650 fill power Nikwax-treated hydrophobic down / 20d, 42 gsm 100% polyester ripstop inner and outer / twin hand-warmer and single zipped chest pockets / insulated, non-adjustable hood / elasticated cuffs / adjustable hem / stitch-though construction / RDS (Responsible Down Standard) sourced down.

Full Review Below

Alpkit Filoment Jacket main-zip puller and chest pocket
Through detailing included easy to grip zip-pulls and funky colour-contrast green zippers - image: Richard Seipp
Alpkit Filoment Jacket hem adjuster close-up
Twin hem-cord adjusters making snugging up your bottom half straightforward - image: Richard Seipp

Alpkit Filoment Hoody 2016 – The Fill

The original Filoment was the skinny-ribbed successor to Alpkit’s classic Filo down jacket, but it’s had a serious reboot for autumn/winter 2016/17. One of the biggest changes is the switch to Nikwax powered, hydrophobic 650 fill power duck down.

It’s the same treatment used by Berghaus for its latest Ramche 2.0 mega jacket and by Rab and it’s been beefed up for this year. The claim is that in tests, it resists water by up to 16 hours, which is one hell of a long shower…

Alpkit 2016 Filoment Jacket in the snow
Wet snow? The odd shower? No problem with water-resistant down which shrugs off damp with alacrity – image: Jon

The advantage of that is better insulation if it does get damp and faster drying afterwards with a more complete recovery of its original loft with no clumping, the usual issue with untreated down. More about that in the main review.

Duck!

Duck down has always been a cheaper alternative to goose down and traditionally has carried its own distinctive aroma, but modern processing has reduced that to the point where we couldn’t smell anything at all.

Finally – and crucially – the down Alpkit uses complies with the Responsible Down Standard, so you know the fill comes from birds which have been humanely treated throughout their lives and with no live-plucking or force-feeding issues.

Alpkit Filoment Jacket chest baffles
'Midi' baffle size improves warmth by reducing stitch-lines and works well giving decent warmth to weight value. The lightweight 20D polyester fabric is fully windproof and gets a DWR water repellent finish to cope with light rain and snow melt - image: Richard Seipp

Alpkit Filoment Hoody 2016 – Performance

It seems like the umpteenth time we’ve said it about a new Alpkit product, but the new Filoment isn’t just a nice down jacket at the price, its a really good, lightweight down hoody, full stop.

The previous version’s multi-width baffles have gone and are replaced with what we’d call ‘midi baffles’. They’re a good compromise between weight and warmth, not too many stitch lines to lose heat and enough volume for the down to do some real lofting.

Alpkit Filoment Jacket hood close-up
The hood fits well and adds useful warmth thought the lack of adjustment up top means your head does shift slightly inside it making for interesting road crossing admin – image: Richard Seipp

The cut is spot on. Just neat and fitted without being overly right or overly loose. The detailing is all good: zip-pulls are easy to use, there are two insulated hand-pockets and a useful chest one for your phone or other gubbins. And the hem is adjustable.

The hood fits well enough, but the lack of any sort of drawcord means that your head tends to move inside it rather than with it. Or the other way round. It’s not a big issue, but it can make road crossing ‘interesting’ at times.

How Warm Is Warm?

How warm is it? We’d say medium warm, appreciably warmer than a synthetic jacket of the same weight, but not quite as insulated as a heavier weight down jacket like, for example, the Mountain Equipment Vega which weighs a good 200g more.

We reckon it’s around the right weight and warmth for most lightweight use. We’re carried it on day-walks for stops and overnights for campsite use and it’s been pretty much spot on. It’d do nicely for a Himalayan outing where you carry your own kit as well.

But what about that water resistant down? First, we’d still see it as an insurance policy. It means you don’t gave to fret about getting caught out in a shower or being ambushed by a lawn sprinkler gone rogue.

Duck My Duck Down

That said, as an experiment, after failing to noticeably damp the jacket’s loft during an hour-long walk in the rain, we completely soaked it by dunking it in a bath-full of water along with some synthetic jackets.

The results were actually amazing. The down lost more of its loft when it was damp, though it still retained a surprising amount, but once we’d squeezed out the excess water, the jacket dried out incredibly quickly. In a couple of hours in fact.

Not only that, it retained pretty much all of its original loft. It also dried more quickly than the synthetics we also dunked, which we really weren’t expecting. Bottom line: we were genuinely impressed. We’d not only dunked the jacket, but make a point of properly saturating it, squeezing water into the down then leaving it to sit.

At the very least it means you don’t have to fret about your jacket in a nervous living way. But it also suggests that the latest water-resistant down is getting closer to the point where you can just simply get on with using it full stop.

Alpkit Filoment Jacket cuff close-up
Weight-saving Lycra-bound cuffs function just fine for us – image: Richard Seipp

Alpkit Filoment Hoody 2016 – Verdict

Not only does our 2016 Filoment look great in metrosexual ‘reef’ with green trimmings, it works exceptionally well too. It’s neatly cut and designed, fits in the right places, packs small and is properly warm in a lightweight down sort of way.

All of which would make it a good buy by any standards, but the excellent Nikwax water-resistant down works exceptionally well and means you can wear the Filoment – and similar jackets – in conditions where using untreated down might give you palpitations…

If we’re being super critical, we’d like a hood adjuster to allow it to move with your head. But follow the Green Cross Code and you’ll be fine. A cracking jacket at a great price. Recommended.

More Information

See alpkit.com

Thanks to the guys at Outside in Hathersage for allowing us to photograph the Keb in their iconic cafe. Totally recommended for coffee, cake and all sorts.

 

 

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