This down jacket, available in men’s and women’s versions, received a Recommended Buy stamp when tested by our expert gear reviewer Judy Armstrong
This is something completely different by Black Diamond: 70% goose down, water resistant via PrimaLoft’s fluorocarbon-free treatment, blended with 30% PrimaLoft ultrafine fibres. The materials have been tightly bonded together to give permanent performance (up to 10 machine washes), with PrimaLoft estimating an equivalent down fillpower of 750. The overall effect is more water repellent than treated down, although it is also slightly heavier. The idea is to have warmth even in damp conditions: the Hot Forge Hoody is intended as a mid-layer under a shell jacket.
This PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Down Blend is packed into narrow baffles, with a slim fit. Compared with the other jackets, cut is relatively tight under the arms, fine for a mid-layer but definitely prone togetting sweaty sooner than later. There is plenty of fine detail: besides zipped hand pockets, there are internal stash pockets (I love these), a zipped chest pocket, elastane gusseted cuffs and a really good adjustable hood with generous insulation.
The whole collar and chinguard are fleece-lined so there’s no clammy feeling at the neck (I love this too), zips have glove-friendly tags and the front zip baffle is properly functional. This all contributes to the 410g weight, but it wears light and, with this level of versatility and comfort, you’re more likely to be wearing than carrying it anyway. A great jacket for active use in cool and cold conditions.