I’ve tested my share of down jackets this past year, and the Outdoor Research Floodlight Jacket is on a whole different level. This warm 800 fill down jacket is waterproof, a word that you don’t usually associate with down. This jacket doubles as a hardshell, protecting you from the elements while keeping you warm.
When the Floodlight arrived at my door, the first thing I noticed was the zippers. The bi-colored zippers were a fun and unique touch. I was also somewhat surprised that the jacket did not have welded (waterproof) zippers. However, after four plus months of testing I feel much less concerned about the need for welded zippers, because I’ve never had an issue with water seeping in. The larger zippers also make it easier to zip when you’re all bundled up, and they rarely snag. The only drawback that I can see to larger zippers, is that it can fill with snow (see photo below), if you’re not careful where you lay it. I had to use a multi-tool twice to get the ice out of the zipper, so that I could zip-it-up. I’m not sure if I became more attentive to where I put the jacket down, or if it was just a weird coincidence, because after one day of that happening twice, I haven’t had any more issues with ice in the zipper.
I think the Floodlight jacket shines when skiing and belaying. While skinning uphill in the back county, it was far too warm to wear, but once I got where I was going, I always threw it on. The hood fits over a helmet, the jacket blocks the wind and the interior pockets are a great place to store your skins. You also don’t have to worry that the jacket will get wet while it’s tucked away in your backpack. This seems like a great piece for winter mountaineering, but I never had a chance to test that out.
While ice climbing, everything tends to feel damp by the end of the day. I never had to worry about that with the Floodlight. While belaying, I’d throw it on over all of my other layers and then right before I started climbing take it off. I never had to worry about the down wetting out and it fits well underneath a harness.
The Floodlight feels true to size. I’m 5’7″ and the medium allowed for extra layering, without getting too bulky. Here’s a few of my favorite features:
- The waterproof Pertex shell blocks the wind nicely
- Large chest pocket holds my cell phone
- Two hand pockets that with a harness or backpack
- Adjustable, wire-brim hood that is helmet compatible
- Internal pockets are large enough to hold my skins
It packs down pretty well for 800-fill down jacket and weighs in at 18.1 oz.
See more on the Floodlight Jacket:
My Instagram video.
Men’s review from fellow OR Insight labbie, Clinton Lewis.