From the folks that make some of the best down sleeping bags on the market comes a jacket chock full of the highest quality down of any model in our review. The Feathered Friends Eos comes in at a very close second to our Editors' Choice. When it comes to warmth to weight ratios, the Eos is King. This jacket also kills it when it comes to compressibility, stuffing away easily into its included stuff sack. Our testers debated the merits of the Eos against the Editors' Choice award-winning The North Face Summit L3 Down Hoody; while the Summit L3 ultimately came out on top according to our metrics, there are some pretty compelling reasons to choose the Eos instead.
Feathered Friends Eos Review
Cons: Hood a little tight to fit over a helmet
Manufacturer: Feathered Friends
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Feathered Friends Eos uses 900+ fill down. That's a higher fill power than the down in the Arc'teryx Cerium LT (previously an Editors' Choice award winner and still an awesome jacket), and the 800 fill power down used in The North Face Summit L3 and the super light Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer. Fill power alone sets up the Eos to perform well in our warmth, weight, and compressibility metrics, and a smart and simple design makes this jacket a go-to in the eyes of our testers.
First off, the Eos Packs a lot of puff. It's visually apparent that this jacket is loftier than its competitors. The Arc'teryx Cerium LT comes close, and it's about an ounce lighter, but it doesn't feel as warm. Feathered Friends do not skimp on down in the hood or collar either, giving the Eos a sleeping bag-like feel when it fully zipped up into storm mode.
On our scale, a size small Eos weighs 11 ounces with its included stuff sack, which is a little more than the Arc'teryx Cerium LT and almost an ounce less than the TNF Summit L3. The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer weighs a scant 7.7 ounces, but can't touch the Eos when it comes to warmth.
The DWR treated Pertex Quantum shell fabric performs well out of the box, repelling water for about five minutes during our shower testing. After five minutes under a high-pressure shower head, water began to leak into the inside of the jacket where the baffles are sewn through, but the down never went totally limp, an admirable performance for a down coat without hydrophobically treated down. The Rab Microlight Alpine features a Nikwax treatment on the down and a wire-brimmed hood to keep light rain and snow out of your face (a better option if you're seriously concerned about wet weather).
The Eos has a great fit, perfect across the shoulders and torso, and just a little baggy around the stomach. This causes it to seem slightly bulky under a shell but gives it the advantage of being easy to get on over other layers at a windy belay or on a ridge during a ski transition. The hem extends a few inches below the waist, but it's not as long as The North Face Summit L3 Hoody or the Rab Microlight Alpine. The hood fits well and stays in place without a cinch cord, though it's a smidge too tight when worn over a helmet. We feel The North Face Summit L3 Down Hoody, with its long hem and articulated arms, has the best fit. The Summit L3 also has a helmet-compatible hood and a hood cinch.
Once again, the 900+ fill power down gives the Eos a big advantage. All that puff crams down into an included stuff sack. Pull it back out, and it lofts up quickly, again and again. This jacket is one of the thickest and warmest in our review and packs down just as small as other models that aren't as warm or as lofty.
Our only real complaint about the Eos is its hood. The hood has an elastic brim, and it fits well enough on the average head, but it's a little too small to fit under a helmet. Many of our testers are climbers and prefer a hood that fits over a helmet, but if this isn't a concern for you, then the Eos has all the features you need. Two zippered handwarmer pockets keep your small, important items secure. There are to pull cords on either side of the hem to cinch down the waistline and seal in the warmth. As mentioned before, the Eos packs away into an included stuff sack, not a built-in pocket. We prefer it when a jacket stuffs into its own pocket because then there's no stuff sack to lose.
This jacket is great for going fast and light, and it doesn't have the feel of a fragile skimpy minimalist garment. It's much heavier than the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer, but it's warmer with a better warmth to weight ratio, making it more versatile and useful for a wider range of temperatures. The shell fabric also feels quite a bit tougher than the Ghost Whisperer's.
The price, $309, doesn't seem at all outrageous for an awesome jacket full of the best down available from a small Seattle based company. Its closest (and we mean close) competition is the Arc'teryx Cerium LT for $379 and TNF Summit L3 Down Hoody for $350, making the Eos the "bargain" of the top performers.
This season's round-up of down jackets features some great models and picking our favorite came down to some serious hair-splitting. The Eos is very similar to the Arc'teryx Cerium LT in both weight and fit, but for the price, we think the Eos is a better value.
— Matt Bento