Decathlon Forclaz Trek 100 23F Down Packable Puffer Review

Decathlon Fortrez Trek 100 Down Jacket Review

The Decathlon Forclaz Trek 100, 23F Degree Down Packable Puffer Backpacking Jacket ($80) is a no-frills hooded down jacket designed for use as a lightweight three-season insulation layer when camping or during hiking and backpacking rest stops to avoid becoming chilled. Insulated with 800 fill power down, it’s surprisingly inexpensive compared to similar jackets that cost two or three or even four times more. If you want a down hooded jacket that will keep you warm down to 40F degrees and you don’t mind the jacket’s oversized hood, the Trek 100 is a good buy. For colder temperatures, we’d recommend purchasing a warmer down jacket from Decathlon or another value-oriented brand such as REI, Eddie Bauer, or LL Bean.

Specs at a Glance

  • Men’s and women’s models are available
  • Total Weight: 11.4 oz in a men’s XL
  • Comfort range: 23F-41F
  • Insulation: 800 fill power RDS-certified down (10% grey duck feather, 90% grey duck down)
  • Insulation weight: 3.1 oz in a size medium
  • Pockets: 2 zippered handwarmer pockets, jacket stuffs into a pocket.
  • Construction: Sewn Through
  • Shell Fabric: 15d Polyamide

Construction

The Decathlon Forclaz Trek 100 is insulated with 800 fill power RDS-certified duck down which is a bit unusual for a jacket at this price. Most lower cost down jackets, like the Amazon Essentials Lightweight Down Hooded Jacket (~$50) are insulated with 650 fill power down. Before you ask, the 800 fill power duck down used in Forclaz Trek 100 is just as warm as 800 fill power goose down because fill power is a species-independent measurement. Duck down is less expensive than goose down however because there is a much larger supply of it.

The Forclaz Trek 100 has a sewn-through baffle design, where the interior and exterior fabric are sewn together to create pockets to hold the down insulation. While some heat can escape at the seams, this technique is the norm on budget-priced down jackets because it is simpler and less expensive to sew than the box baffled design found on warmer and more expensive jackets.

The Forclaz Trek 100 hood is ridiculously over-sized and does not trap any warm air.
The Forclaz Trek 100 hood is oversized but helmet-compatible.

Features

The Forclaz Trek 100 has a minimal feature set. It has an oversized, non-adjustable hood, a YKK zipper with a zipper garage at the top, two zippered handwarmer pockets, elasticated wrist cuffs, and a shock-cord waist adjustment to seal out drafts from below. There’s no chest pocket for storing a phone and no internal pockets for storing extra gloves or snacks. The hood is oversized and not adjustable to seal in body heat, but it is large enough to fit over a climbing helmet while proving good ear and chin coverage.

Temperature Rating

While the jacket is named the Forclaz Trek 100 23F Down Packable Puffer, Decathlon assigns it a comfort rating 41 degrees F. We think using the jacket’s lower limit in the product name is disingenuous in light of the fact that it doesn’t keep us warm below 40F degrees when worn over a long sleeve synthetic jersey with a mid-weight fleece pullover and fleece hat. But if you only need it for three-season trips down to 40F-degree temperatures, it gets the job done just fine.

Jackets like the Forclaz Trek 100 are meant to be worn in camp when you’re hanging out with friends or cooking meals or during a rest stop so you can quickly put something warm on to avoid a chill.  They’re not a good active layering option when you’re hiking because you’ll quickly overheat when wearing one, they don’t absorb perspiration, and don’t wick it out of your baselayer like a fleece. See our Decathlon Quechua MH100 Review for a mid-layer fleece we recommend, which complements the Forclaz Trek 100 nicely.

Fit

The Forclaz Trek 100 in a size men’s XL is true-to-size in terms of sleeve length and torso length although it is a bit snug around the chest. The sizing is large enough to accommodate a base and mid-layer. The hood is large and non-adjustable. While its opening is bordered by elastic, it is too loosely tensioned to close the gap between the hood and one’s face. We recommend you wear a fleece or wool hat when using the hood to keep your head warmer.

You’ll want to wear a fleece or wool hat inside the oversized hood to stay warmer.
You’ll want to wear a fleece or wool hat inside the oversized hood to stay warmer.

Recommendation

The Decathlon Forclaz Trek 100 Down Puffer Jacket is an inexpensive packable down puffer insulated with 800 fill power down that is priced far less than comparable jackets offered by other manufacturers. If you only need a down jacket for three-season hiking and backpacking use to keep you warm to about 40 degrees, then it’s a pretty good value for the money like many of Decathlon’s other products. But if you need a jacket for colder conditions, I’d recommend getting a heavier jacket with a better hood and more down insulation. Decathlon also makes a hoodless down jacket called the Forclaz Trek 500 which has a 32F degree comfort rating and may be a good option. The advantage of a hoodless jacket is that it can be worn under hooded rain jacket or winter shell more easily than a hooded puffy.

Disclosure: The author owns this jacket.

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10 comments

  1. Is it possible to layer puffer jackets to extend into a colder season? I already have a similar puffer, but I’m curious whether layering might be a cost effective way to push into colder temperatures without having to buy a standalone parka. (And can you do the same with sleeping bags?) Thanks!

    • I suppose you could, but the second one would have to be a much larger size to encompass the inner and avoid compressing the insulation, in addition, to being useless in any other circumstance unless you’re friends with a giant. I think you’d just be better off buying a thick fleece or wool sweater and wearing it under your current puffy.

    • This is what I do for my winter BWCA trips. I layer a larger Patagonia Down Jacket over my form fitting Patagonia Down sweater and it’s a surprisingly versatile system. Would I recommend it? Eh, not really. I’d like a dedicated parka if I’m being honest, but I got both of my down jackets for super cheap (used but good condition, about $50 each, some of the best deals I’ve ever found!) and so this was my cost-effective way at staying warm.

      So yes, it’s possible, it works, and it might be great for some people.

    • I layer a Marmot synthetic insulation jacket xl size with a Feathered Friends down puffy l size. It works quite well for me up here in Alaska. And as a bonus when or if the inevitable zipper failure happens I still have some protection.

    • I have two of these Decathlon jackets and I layer them all the time. They are both the same size and I’m fine with them. Wearing two jackets the same size also helps somewhat with the hood size and reducing the amount of airflow around your head, although wearing a hat or beanie is still a good idea. Decathlon follow European sizing, so I had to get both jackets in Large, even though I usually buy Medium size.

      Although these don’t have box baffles, layering two of these jackets is roughly equivalent in terms of down loft and general warmth to a much heavier single jacket. Plus with two lighter, layered jackets, you have a lot of flexibility. It’s easy to remove one jacket if you’re getting a bit too warm.

      The lack of internal pockets is the main gripe, especially if you want to wear this around town. Keeping your wallet in an outside pocket isn’t the safest idea in the city. But wearing two jackets (when it’s cold enough) kind of solves this problem, because you can put valuables in the outside pockets of the inner jacket.

      The main zip is quite noisy and rough, but so far hasn’t failed on me. And Decathlon have a pretty awesome guarantee on their products, so that’s reassuring.

  2. What I’ve done to modify horribly designed hoods like this is to pinch both sides of the hood opening once or twice and throw a few hand stitches in to make the opening smaller. Works really well & makes the jacket so much warmer. You have a great website.

  3. Every time I check US price of this jacket it goes up by 5$ :) And yes it is a good idea to wear at least a beanie under the hood to protect it from body oils and sweat – just like in a sleeping bag.

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