The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

REI Co-op 650 Down Review

This inexpensive jacket is lightweight, has a DWR treatment and a stow-away pocket, but is missing the warmth we look for in a down jacket.
Best Buy Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $100 List | $99.95 at REI
Pros:  Lightweight, inexpensive
Cons:  Not very warm, no hood
Manufacturer:   REI Co-op
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 10, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 11
  • Warmth - 30% 4
  • Weight - 20% 8
  • Water Resistance - 15% 7
  • Fit - 15% 6
  • Compressibility - 10% 5
  • Features - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The REI Co-op Down 650 is a basic, affordable way to take the lofty, insulating feathers from a duck and wrap them around your body, so you don't freeze to death. As of recent, REI branded jackets and sleeping have been impressing our testers with their quality, features, and affordability. However, compared to the jackets and bags in the Magma series, the Down 650 is lackluster.

While the once award-winning, now discontinued REI Co-op Magma 850 Hoody hit that perfect sweet spot of price and quality, the Down 650 lacks any "wow" factor. We admit our testers are a tough bunch to impress, and to this model's credit, it didn't lose any feathers during our testing period. It also has a water-repelling DWR treatment, and it packs away into its left-hand pocket.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
REI Co-op 650 Down
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $99.95 at REI$374.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$339.00 at Feathered Friends$224.99 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$279.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
58
100
0
92
100
0
84
100
0
80
100
0
77
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Lightweight, inexpensiveGreat fit, warm, lightweight, packable, hydrophobic down900+ fill down, warm, lightweight, incredibly compressible, competitively pricedLightweight, stylish, high warmth to weight ratioWater resistant hydrophobic down, great DWR coating, well thought-out features
Cons Not very warm, no hoodExpensiveHood a little tight to fit over a helmet, no hood adjustmentExpensive, not super durable750 fill-power down is good but not as light or lofty as others
Bottom Line This inexpensive jacket is lightweight, has a DWR treatment and a stow-away pocket, but is missing the warmth we look for in a down jacket.This is our absolute favorite jacket for going fast and light when we need to be toasty at camp.A great choice for folks looking to go fast, light, and warm.An incredibly light jacket for your trips where weight matters.Excellent for wet weather because it has all the features to ensure the down stays dry.
Rating Categories REI Co-op 650 Down Summit L3 Hoody Feathered Friends Eos Arc'teryx Cerium SL Hoody Rab Microlight Alpine
Warmth (30%)
10
0
4
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
7
Weight (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
6
Water Resistance (15%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
10
Fit (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
Compressibility (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
6
Features (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
9
Specs REI Co-op 650 Down Summit L3 Hoody Feathered Friends... Arc'teryx Cerium... Rab Microlight...
Down Fill 650-fill down, certified to Responsible Down Standard 800-fill goose down 900+ goose down 850-fill goose down 750-fill goose down
Total Weight 11.5 oz 13.8 oz 13 oz 8.4 oz 15.7 oz
Baffle Construction Sewn-through baffles Sewn-through baffles Sewn-through baffles Sewn-through Sewn-through baffles
Main Fabric Treated nylon Pertex Quantum GL (10D x 10D nylon ripstop), DWR coating Pertex Quantum Arato 7 nylon Pertex Quantum
Compression Method Zips into its own pocket Zips into its own pocket with clip-in loop Stuff sack Included stuff sack Stuff sack
Pockets 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest
Hoodless Option? Yes No No Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Updated 2.0 Version


REI introduced an updated model of this Best Buy award winner called the 650 Down Jacket 2.0. This 2.0 version is made of similar materials, only now they're recycled materials. The jacket boasts a new baffle pattern, and its handwarmer pockets are cut diagonally, in contrast to the vertical hand pockets of the previous jacket. On the left is the 650 Down 2.0, and next to it, the 650 Down we tested previously.


We are now linking to the updated model and hope that it performs similarly to (if not better than!) the last version we tested — but until we get our hands on the new one, the text below continues to reflect our experience with the original 650 Down Jacket.

Hands-On Review of the 650 Down Jacket


The Down 650's downfall is in the warm metric. While its respectable weight puts it neck and neck with some of our favorite models, the Down 650 isn't as warm as these higher lofting (more expensive) jackets.

Performance Comparsion


This jacket embodies the look and feel of more expensive models   but not the warmth.
This jacket embodies the look and feel of more expensive models, but not the warmth.

Warmth


We can't find a spec that tells us how many ounces of duck down are in the Down 650, but looking at the overall weight of the jacket, we'd say "not a lot".


Remember, it requires more down of a lower fill power to achieve the same insulating abilities as a higher fill power down, hence the advantage of shelling out the dough for a higher-end jacket with 800+ fill power. However, do keep in mind that it offers up a similar warmth rating to that of the "ultralight" style down jackets, but at a much lower price. For a cheap, lightweight solution to breezy summertime belays in the High Sierra, the Down 650 fits the bill. For colder weather, we suggest looking for a warmer model.

Sewn-through baffles keep the duck down in place and minimize cold spots.
Sewn-through baffles keep the duck down in place and minimize cold spots.

Recently REI put out a Co-op 650 down jacket with a hood at less than half the price as most of the competition.

Weight


The Down 650 tips our scales at a respectable 11.5 ounces for a size large. Not bad for the budget option, but keep in mind that this jacket doesn't have a hood, and it isn't very warm.


This jacket is impressively lightweight for a budget option.
This jacket is impressively lightweight for a budget option.

Water Resistance


DWR treatments are a make-or-break factor when it comes to water resistance; fortunately, this jacket fares well in light precip thanks to its treated DWR ripstop nylon fabric.


Other factors that make a down jacket more water-resistant are the thickness of its shell material, and whether or not the down itself has a hydrophobic treatment. The Down 650 does not have a shell but doesn't soak through as quickly as one which lacks a DWR treatment.

Without a DWR treatment  this jacket would soak through immediately. Fortunately  it has one.
Without a DWR treatment, this jacket would soak through immediately. Fortunately, it has one.

Fit


Compared to higher performing models, the Down 650 has a boxy fit, especially in the arms and shoulders. Predictably, our smaller, scrawnier testers didn't like what they feel is superfluous fabric, while bigger guys enjoyed the increased mobility.


We find the best fit in a lightweight down jacket gives you plenty of mobility while being sleek enough to fit underneath a hardshell or an even bigger insulating layer.

Smaller testers feel this jacket has a boxy fit.
Smaller testers feel this jacket has a boxy fit.

Compressibility


This jacket is very compressible and stuffs into its left-hand zipper pocket, complete with a clip-in loop for attaching to a climbing harness.


We feel this is standard for a down jacket of this weight; no complaints here.

This jacket compresses down fairly small and includes a clip in loop so you can attach it to your climbing harness.
This jacket compresses down fairly small and includes a clip in loop so you can attach it to your climbing harness.

Features


The Down 650 keeps weight (and presumably cost) down by going light on the features. There are two zippered hand pockets for warming up your frigid mitts or securing small items, but that's about it. No chest pockets, hoods, or drawstrings here.


If two pockets are all you require and you can live without the hood, you've got a pretty good deal on your hands.

Two zippered hand warmer pockets round out the scant list of features on this jacket.
Two zippered hand warmer pockets round out the scant list of features on this jacket.

Value


This might be the least expensive thing you can buy with the word "down" in the name. For the price, it performs much better than expected.

Conclusion


With so many awesome models in the down jacket category, it's hard to be impressed with a budget model. While the Down 650 doesn't blow us away, if you feel like you have to have a black, baffled down jacket that looks a whole lot like that one from Patagonia, or you've got limited funds to spend, this jacket is our wallet-friendly option.


Matt Bento