With 850-fill down, fully baffled construction, and weight saving features, the Feathered Friends Volant Parka puts most other down parkas to shame. Since it is not available from major retailers, you must order online directly from the small manufacturer in Seattle, perhaps a small inconvenience to some, but you won't be disappointed. This high performance, packable oven is ideal for ice and alpine climbing, but works equally well at keeping you warm when standing around on the ski hill and walking around town at night.
The Volant is among the warmest down parkas we've reviewed. Every aspect of the jacket is designed to provide as much warmth as possible while also keeping weight down and maintaining durability. The Volant weighs only 28 ounces overall and is built to the same exacting standards as the company's high performance sleeping bags. Drawbacks include the lack of interior storage pockets, front pockets that make you look pregnant, and a hefty $379 price tag.
The Volant is not a lightweight, casual jacket for mild climates. If you're looking for something lighter and more compressible, check out some of the lighter parkas in this review like the Outdoor Research Incandescent, the Rab Infinity, the Brooks Range Mojave, or the more climbing specific Feathered Friends Hooded Helios. All of which are more compressible, weigh around one pound, and are more suited to milder winter weather.