Lululemon Pack It Down Review
Cons: Heavy, less versatile
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Pack It Down from Lululemon is a stylish and comfortable casual down jacket.
The Pack It Down is a highly functional and stylish down jacket. With relatively lower loft and slightly lower quality 700 fill power down fill, it's not the warmest in the fleet, but it is perfectly adequate for casual and urban use in the colder seasons. It's also shaped and formfitting, which makes it easier to layer underneath a shell jacket, which can help block the wind and add significant warmth.
While the down may not be the warmest, its design adds significantly to the warmth of the jacket. The sleeves are a bit longer, helping to keep your wrists and hands warmer, and the cozy, fleece-lined collar helps trap body heat inside. The removable hood also allows you to retain more body heat on those extra cold days, though the hood is not adjustable to snug it close around your face when the wind is blowing. This limits the jacket's application to outdoor activities but adds warmth for cold, urban settings that don't experience as much wind.
The outer material is a wind and water-repellent polyester called Glyde, which features a durable water repellent coating. This helps keep you dry as you run from the train to the office in the rain and resists the chill of a biting wind. That said, the sewn-through baffle design does create cold spots without insulation, limiting the overall warmth of the jacket. However, this is the dominant design pattern in all of the jackets in this review.
At 15.5 ounces, the Pack It jacket is quite heavy for the warmth provided (for a size small). This is mostly due to the added features (such as a removable hood), lower quality down, and heavier fabrics. That said, this jacket is not designed to be a go-to for backcountry travel where you're conscious of every ounce because you have to carry all of your belongings in your backpack. Rather, this is a casual down jacket for the urban commuter and day-tripper who appreciates the performance of outdoor wear but is looking for a down jacket with a lean toward fashion over outdoor function.
This jacket features 700 fill power goose down, comprised of 85% grey goose down and 15% grey goose feather. The feather component is what limits the compressibility of this jacket but also makes it more affordable. Typically the best down jackets, at least in terms of warmth-to-weight ratio, will feature 800 fill down or higher.
The heavier fabric in this jacket makes it more durable but does limit its compressibility. If you're looking for a lightweight down jacket for backpacking use, this is not your best choice, though it will certainly be more compressible than a wool coat or something thicker. It's an excellent choice for commutes where you aren't counting every ounce of weight in your backpack, but you are trying to fit office supplies, lunch, and maybe your gym clothes in your commuting bag of choice.
Our favorite feature on the Pack It jacket is the front pocket design. The scoop shape is very elegant and cleverly outlines the Lululemon logo in the stitching pattern on the jacket. Otherwise, the jacket has fairly minimal features, making it simple and streamlined, and is incredibly cozy. The collar is fleece-lined, which we love, and the hood is removable, ensuring you can dress the jacket up or add warmth - depending on your needs or the weather. The bottom hem does not have a drawcord to cinch the jacket around your hips, so on really cold days you may get a draft near the bottom of the jacket. Ensuring a proper fit will help minimize this draft.
This jacket is reasonably durable, made of polyester with a water repellent coating, and 700 fill power down. The stitching and stress points on this jacket do not inspire confidence for rugged outdoor use, but that is of little concern since the jacket is not intended to be used for backpacking; rather, it is designed for your chilly urban commute.
The water-repellent Glyde fabric sheds water very reliably. We walked in the rain and ran the jacket under running water to get the down wet, and couldn't. The insulating down stayed dry, which is an excellent feature in a down jacket—because when down gets wet, it gets matted and will not insulate well.
The Pack It Down jacket is not the most versatile down jacket, but it is well designed and featured to provide warmth and comfort in a variety of urban situations. It also has a high level of visual appeal and is great to slip on after yoga or a HIIT class. This is a stylish jacket with a price that is competitive with other similar jackets. Keep in mind, however, that it may not be suitable for rugged outdoor use (which was never Lululemon's intention in the first place).
The Lululemon Pack It Down jacket is a well-made, stylish, durable down jacket for urban use. It is excellent for commuting where you want something relatively light and compressible, but you're not counting the ounces as you would if you were taking it on a backpacking trip. This is a very cozy down jacket you'll enjoy wearing most days during the colder months of the year, particularly if you're a Lululemon fan.
— Lyra Pierotti