REI Co-op 650 Down 2.0 - Women's Review
Cons: Less warm, lower quality down
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket is an amazingly affordable jacket that can be worn for a relatively broad range of uses. It has its limits, but for all but the most advanced applications, this is an excellent choice.
The 650 Down is far from the warmest in this review. It uses lower quality 650 fill down and is very lightweight; this means much less loft, and lower quality loft. While it is still super lightweight, this comes at a significant cost to the warmth of the jacket. The larger baffling in the current model provides a little more loft than previous models, which we like, making this version much more cozier than its predecessors.
This model is impressively lightweight. It comes at a cost to the warmth and compressibility metrics though, because the jacket uses lower quality 650 fill down. It also doesn't have a hood, which helps to keep the weight down but limits the coziness factor--or the overall warmth and versatility of this jacket. For those who are not a fan of hoods, no sweat!
Similar to the issues with warmth, this jacket is less compressible than it could be, due to the use of 650 fill down. This is a less compressible quality down, so while this jacket looks thin and feels light, it does not pack as small as a similar jacket with higher fill power down. It's an excellent jacket for casual use, as it will still save an impressive amount of space in your backpack or messenger bag on your daily commute — but it probably won't fulfill the needs of an avid lightweight backpacker.
This 650 Down Jacket from REI does not have a hood, which is always a favorite feature among our reviewers, as a hood adds a tremendous amount of warmth and protection from the elements. It does, however, pack into the left-hand pocket, but it does not have a loop to clip it to a bag or harness, etc. This model from REI does not have a chest pocket, but it does have a deep inside pocket which is excellent for stashing gloves, snacks, or your phone to keep them warm while venturing in cold places, or just to keep them accessible.
The jacket has a recycled nylon shell with durable water repellent (DWR) finish. The fabric is bluesign-approved, indicating that the material is produced sustainably, and it features down that's certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS) - both excellent features. It's a simple jacket with minimal features, and there is always something to be said for that.
We had no durability issues come up with this jacket during our testing period. The fabric is relatively average when compared to the rest of the models in this review: it is soft and supple, which tends to detract from a jacket's durability (especially around sharp or catchy and scratchy objects), but it is not as soft and supple as the lightest jackets in this review.
The 650 Down 2.0 is reasonably water-resistant with the durable water repellent (DWR) finish, which is another improvement over the previous year's models. It's certainly not our first choice if out in the rain, and we would recommend pairing it with a rain jacket or hardshell.
The 650 Down Jacket from REI is a simple, straightforward, down jacket. It has a casual, outdoorsy look to it that is hard to dress up when going out on the town, unless your town is outdoorsy, in which case it's perfect. We like the new baffling pattern, with larger, regular rectangles. It also feels and looks cozier as these larger baffles provide a little more puff.
The price of this jacket is stunning, and it's the best deal we've found for sure. This does come at a cost to some important features, notably warmth, compressibility, and water resistance. If you don't use a down jacket often and you find this one is adequate, then it will be a great value.
The REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket is a great entry-level model for someone curious about camping and backpacking, but who doesn't want to spend a lot of money on a down jacket. The 650 is adequate for midsummer, low elevation camping, and is suitable for the occasional backpacking trip.
— Lyra Pierotti