Despite all the advances in technical materials “good ole” down remains an inevitable and indispensable part of the equipment of snow sporters and mountaineers. Down is the best natural insulation there is, nature’s midlayer. It traps warm air extremely well while remaining just as breathable. It whicks like a madman, transporting moisture very easily from your body to the outside air. Additionally down is also extremely light and the warmth to weight ratio is almost unbeatable.
Yeti, the down Specialist
Yeti, the brand that we got to know better during the Yeti Adventure Challenge in Denmark, calls itself “The Down Specialist”. With an extreme focus on down and its key applications especially for alpine sports and expeditions. Where weight is an extremely important factor. With the lightest sleeping bags in the world and in the latest Companyon collection with the “Strato” (men) and “Cirrus” (ladies) also the lightest fully functional down jackets in the world. It weighs in at just 165 grams. We were able to try the jacket in Denmark and found that together with the ultra-light weight, the tight fit cut made for a super fitting, comfortable feel. Both jackets can be packed away into their own left pockets. Bodywarmer versions of the jackets are 115gr (Cavoc for men) and 99gr (Argon for ladies) and can be packed to so tight that they fit into a pants pocket.
The down that Yeti uses in the Yeti Companyon line also deserves some special attention. They call it Crystal Down, and it comes from a specic goose species (White Koluda Goose) with a large feather “crystal” diameter of up to 4 cm. The down produced in as much of an animal friendly way as possible. They only use geese that are also bred for meat production so that the down is in fact a by-product of meat production. Yeti stressed that there is no live plucking of the geese and that they are free range birds and enjoy good living conditions.
Next to Nothing
Crystal Down in the Strato and Cirrus jackets are packed into “Next to Nothing” fabric. Again extremely lightweight, nylon / polyamide fibers as thin as one-twentieth of a human hair. The material feels very soft, while remaining waterproof and tear resistant, according to Yeti. We hope to be able to test these claims at later time.
The jackets can be worn as an outer layer in many circumstances, but also as a midlayer under a well-insulated technical jacket you will be able to handle lots of different situations. For the colder and more extreme circumstances the Yeti offers the North (ladies 390gr) and Fashion (men 440gr) coats. At the far end we find the Oak men’s jacket (632 grams). Truly an expedition jacket for extreme conditions. The North and Mode have the same down filling and Next to Nothing fabric. The Oak has reinforcement with highly abrasion resistant Cordura nylon on the shoulders to be able to handle the rougher work during expeditions.
All in all Yeti presents a wonderful line of jackets. We are looking forward to the opportunity to test a jacket from this Companyon Line. But also to new hybrid jackets Yeti will be introducing in 2016. In these new products Yeti is combining down with wool and stretch fabrics made from recycled coffee particles. What that means we will tell you later. We had the opportunity to wear one of these new hybrid jackets for a couple of hours in Denmark; very cool stuff. Give us more Yeti!