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

REI Co-op Magma 850 Hoody Review

The best down quality at an affordable price and one of the jackets we use the most often after testing ended.
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Price:  $219 List | $219.00 at REI
Pros:  Light, warm for its weight, convenient pockets
Cons:  Bulky fit
Manufacturer:   REI
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 13, 2019
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

REI continues to impress us, proving there's a big difference between "cheap" and "inexpensive", this time with the REI Co-op Magma 850 Hoody. This jacket features 850 fill power down and a Pertex diamond fuse ripstop nylon shell fabric, putting it up there with high-quality offerings from The North Face and Patagonia, but for a fraction of the price. It's a great jacket for a great price, and we loved wearing it on winter hikes and cold days at the crag. This jacket is sized bigger than most models we tested, making it an excellent choice for folks who find brands like Arc'teryx and Patagonia too restrictive.

New Version Available

REI released the Magma 850 Hoody 2.0; details below.

September 2019


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $219.00 at REI$349.99 at Amazon
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$339.00 at Feathered Friends$278.73 at REI
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$279.95 at Backcountry
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Pros Light, warm for its weight, convenient pocketsGreat 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 Bulky fitExpensiveHood 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 The best down quality at an affordable price and one of the jackets we use the most often after testing ended.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 Magma 850 Hoody Summit L3 Hoody Feathered Friends Eos Arc'teryx Cerium SL Hoody Rab Microlight Alpine
Warmth (30%)
10
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6
10
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10
10
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10
10
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6
10
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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
8
10
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9
10
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8
10
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9
10
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9
Compressibility (10%)
10
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7
10
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9
10
0
8
10
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10
10
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6
Features (10%)
10
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6
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7
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8
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9
Specs REI Co-op Magma... Summit L3 Hoody Feathered Friends... Arc'teryx Cerium... Rab Microlight...
Down Fill 850 goose down 800-fill goose down 900+ goose down 850-fill goose down 750-fill goose down
Total Weight 13.75 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 Pertex Diamond Fuse ripstop 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 with clip-in loop 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

Magma 850 2.0 vs. Magma 850


REI unveiled the 2.0 version of the Magma 850 Hoody, which appears quite similar to the version we tested. It's available in some new colors, and the outer material has changed from Pertex Diamond Fuse to Pertex Mini, but otherwise, the technical specs, weight, and fit seem to be the same for both jackets. Compare the 2.0 in the first photo to the original we tested last year (right).


We are linking to the Magma 850 2.0, but as we haven't actually tested that model yet, the review below still refers to its predecessor.

Hands-On Review of the Magma 850 Hoody


This jacket isn't the warmest, the lightest or the most compressible, but by modern standards, it has a good warmth to weight ratio, and its design is worthy of its high-quality insulation and Pertex fabrics. If you need some extra weather resistance check out something with hydrophobic down or a more weather resistant shell fabric.

Suprisingly warm for the weight (and the price)  we were comfortable in this jacket down to 40 degrees. For blowing snow  our tester would've appreciated a hardshell.
Suprisingly warm for the weight (and the price), we were comfortable in this jacket down to 40 degrees. For blowing snow, our tester would've appreciated a hardshell.

Warmth


The Magma is a warm jacket for its weight. We wear it alone for temps down to 40F. Below that temperature, it's more of a layering piece, a very good layering piece at that. While not as warm as the thicker jackets in our test, it competes well and is less expensive than much of the competition.

The addition of a hood earns the Magma some extra points in the Warmth metric, keeping our ears a neck toasty and the hemline is longer than a few key competitors' which helps to trap in warmth. This is one of the only jackets we tested to use 850 fill-power down.

850 fill power down makes this one of the loftier models we reviewed.
850 fill power down makes this one of the loftier models we reviewed.

Weight


When we reviewed the non-hooded version of this jacket, it was the second lightest jacket in its category. The hood adds a few ounces, bringing the total weight up to 13.75 oz for a size large. The Magma isn't ultralight, but we wouldn't hesitate to bring it along on a long backpacking trip or ski tour, and we hardly notice it when it's stuffed down into our packs. For folks who count ounces, there are lighter coats out there, but for the price, it's unmatched.

Water Resistance


Like most modern DWR coatings, we felt well protected in a light mist. Water beaded well and keep the shell material from soaking through but remember, DWR treatments wear out, and the Magma's shell fabric isn't waterproof. In a heavy downpour, the down will eventually take on water if you don't put on a waterproof shell. This jacket doesn't feature hydrophobic down, so be careful how you use it. Keep in mind that the Magma is a decent mid-layer, and you can always throw on a waterproof layer to save your down from becoming soggy and useless.

Fit


This jacket fits a little on the bulky size, especially in the midsection, a fact that can be seen as an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your body type and how you want to layer it. A bulkier jacket like the Magma is harder to were comfortably under a hardshell along with other layers, but if you want to use your down jacket on top of your other layers, it has an accommodating fit. The sleeves are long and have a little articulation, and this jacket doesn't ride up when you put your arms over your head. There's also plenty of room in the shoulders, making this a good choice for bigger folks. As we mentioned previously, this jacket has a hemline the extends below the waist.

We liked the low hemline that made this jacket feel warmer. Some of us don't like having our photo taken.
We liked the low hemline that made this jacket feel warmer. Some of us don't like having our photo taken.

Compressibility


This jacket packs into its own small pocket, but this is no easy task. The zippered pocket opening is much smaller than the total size of the stowaway pocket, requiring several minutes of stuffing and cramming before you can close the zipper.

While the Magma isn't the most stuffable, we use this jacket for commuting and find it compresses well into the odd pockets in a laptop backpack.

The Magma comes with nifty clip-in loop  but with its long shape  we feel it hangs a little too low.
The Magma comes with nifty clip-in loop, but with its long shape, we feel it hangs a little too low.

After being compressed, the high-quality 850 down pops right back out. Down is much more resilient than synthetic insulation, but make sure you always store your jacket uncompressed, ensuring long-lasting loft.

This jacket stuffs away into its own pocket  but it takes some finagling. Note the all-important clip-in loop.
This jacket stuffs away into its own pocket, but it takes some finagling. Note the all-important clip-in loop.

Features


The Magma possesses many of the same features as its top dollar competitors. A cord with a small cord lock tightens the hemline to seal in the warmth.

Two roomy zippered handwarmer pockets are there to warm your clammy mitts or hold some energy bars or a cell phone. The elastic cuffs are comfortable, but a little loose for our discerning testers. On its own, the hood has a good fit and can be secured with a cinch cord, but is too small to fit over a helmet.

This jacket has two zippered handwarmer pockets and a zippered chest pocket.
This jacket has two zippered handwarmer pockets and a zippered chest pocket.

Value


The Magma is at least $100 less than its top competitors. You can wrap yourself in a warm swath of goose feathers for a great price, maybe less if you can find it on sale, or if you're an REI member and you cash in your dividends. Even without sales and dividends, it packs a ton of value.

The hood fits well and is secured by a cinch cord in the back. It's a little small to fit comfortably under a climbing helmet.
The hood fits well and is secured by a cinch cord in the back. It's a little small to fit comfortably under a climbing helmet.

Conclusion


This hoody easily has one of the best bangs for your buck or down for the dollar. If you need the best and are willing to shell out the big bucks, there are better choices out there, but for a great coat at a great cost, this should not be overlooked.


Matt Bento