I am very happy with my new Roan Plateau Hooded Down Jacket from Golite which is replacing the Mountain Hardware Phantom Down Jacket that I used for winter backpacking and mountaineering last year. The Phantom is a fine jacket, but it doesn’t have a hood. I made do last season with various headgear workarounds, but ultimately decided that I’d rather have a fully integrated unit.
There’s another more esoteric reason I wanted the integrated hood. I’m beginning to get very interested in the prospect of using down quilts in my sleep system instead of sleeping bags, particularly during shoulder seasons. I’m working on a followup post on this topic which documents some of the weight savings possible, but one of the requirements of camping quilt use in cold weather is a down hood or a balaclava. Having one built into a outer thermal layer like the Roan Plateau, helps eliminate the need to carry a separate down filled balaclava, like the one sold by Nunatak, and also opens up the option to use a half sleeping bag, further reducing pack weight.
Weight-wise, the Plateau Roan is 21.7 oz in a men’s XL, just a few ounces more than the Phantom. It is tricked out with the features that you’d expect on a outer later for winter backpacking and mountaineering.
- Insulated pockets with side zips keep your hands warm and let you stow gloves or maps for easy reach.
- The hood system has a built in draft collar and soft fabric lining to prevent chin chafing.
- Stretch knit cuffs and cinch cords on the hem eliminate windy gusts from penetrating to your core.
- The external fabric is 100% Nylon Mini Ripstop with DWR to keep you dry in wet snow.
- Internal media pocket with internal cord routing for your iPod.
- Wide internal pocket for stashing gloves, hats, or warming a hershey bar.
In addition to the hooded version, Golite also manufactures an unhooded version.
Disclosure: Golite provided SectionHiker.com with a complementary Roan Plateau Hooded Jacket jack for this review.
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