Hands-on Gear Review

REI Co-op Down Jacket - Women's Review

Price:  $100 List | $99.50 at REI
Pros:  Inexpensive, lightweight
Cons:  Less warm, lower quality down
Bottom line:  This is a very light, entry-level down jacket for limited use and moderate temperatures.
Editors' Rating:   
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Down Fill:  650 fill power down, Responsible Down Standard certified
Main Fabric:  Bluesign approved treated nylon
Measured Weight (oz):  6
Manufacturer:   REI

Our Verdict

The REI Co-op Down Jacket is very light, and very affordable. It is a great first down jacket for those dabbling in outdoor activities, and who don't want to spend a lot of money on a down jacket before they know if they're going to be interested in the activity. It's a decent jacket for a first summer backpacking trip at low elevations, and summer camping trips. This model will not please the avid backpacker or climber, however.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Women's Down Jackets of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Lyra Pierotti

Last Updated:
Tuesday
January 23, 2018

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The REI Co-op Down Jacket is an amazingly affordable contender that can be worn for a relatively broad range of uses. It has its limits, but for everything but the most advanced applications, this is an excellent choice.

Performance Comparison


Not the warmest jacket  but a good entry level down jacket.
Not the warmest jacket, but a good entry level down jacket.

Warmth


The Co-op 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—so while it is still super lightweight, this comes at a significant cost to the warmth of the jacket. For an even better choice, check out REI's Magma. It is the same weight, but uses 850 fill down, making it much warmer and more compressible for the same weight.

Show here is the Down Jacket's simple design with some internal flair. The Down Jacket is available in various colors and designs  so there's one that's sure to suit your tastes.
Show here is the Down Jacket's simple design with some internal flair. The Down Jacket is available in various colors and designs, so there's one that's sure to suit your tastes.

Weight


This model is impressively light, weighing only 6 ounces. This comes at a cost to the warmth and compressibility metrics though, because the jacket uses lower quality 650 fill down. We prefer the Ghost Whisperer if weight is your top priority, as it weighs only 4.5 ounces and is a top scorer. A much better weight to warmth choice and a good step up from this down jacket would be the REI Magma.

Compressibility


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 jacket with 850 fill down. If you're looking for more bang for your compressibility buck, we recommend the REI Magma.

This jacket was relatively light and compressible  in part because it just didn’t have a lot of down.
This jacket was relatively light and compressible, in part because it just didn’t have a lot of down.

Features


This Down Jacket from REI does not have a hood, which is always a favorite feature among our reviewers, as it adds a tremendous amount of warmth and protection from the elements.

Handy hidden internal pocket.
Handy hidden internal pocket.

It does, however, pack into the left-hand pocket so you can clip it to the back of your harness to take with you on longer climbs. We love this feature, as it keeps so many options open. 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 climbing in cold places, or just to keep them accessible.

A comfortable cuff design.
A comfortable cuff design.

The jacket uses Bluesign approved nylon, indicating that the material is produced sustainably, and it features down certified to the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), both excellent features. Overall, this is a very simple jacket, and there is always something to be said for that. This jacket is simple, with minimal features. If you like pockets and hoods, like we do, you might love our award winner, the Rab Microlight. And then there is the poster child of well-balanced, streamlined, and useful features in the overall winner, the Arc'teryx Cerium.

Durability


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. If this is your top metric, and the other categories don't matter too much to you, The North Face Aconcagua and the Canada Goose Hybridge Perren might fit the bill.


Water Resistance


The Co-op Down Jacket fell below average for its lack of water resistance, wetting out and saturating the down fill quickly under wet conditions. This was particularly noticeable at the wrist cuffs which often get dripped on, even when wearing a high-quality hard shell jacket. The North Face Aconcagua Jacket and Arc'teryx Cerium were our top scorers when it came to water resistance tests. A down jacket is not a rain jacket, but we like it to have a little water resistance for those mid-downpour dashes into the coffee shop. A better option in this category and one we enjoyed is the Kuhl Spyfire.

Style


The Down Jacket from REI is a simple, straightforward, down contender. It has a casual, outdoorsy look to it that is hard to dress up when going out on the town. We thought the forest pattern on the inside was too busy, but this is certainly a personal taste thing.

Best Applications


The Down Jacket is an affordable competitor. It is not the highest quality, but it is a great option for someone who needs an acceptably lightweight down jacket for summer camping trips and can't justify the cost of a higher end jacket. With that in mind, this is a great "entry level" down jacket.

Value


The price of this jacket is stunning—under $100 for a down jacket seems impossible. This does come at great cost to some important features, notably warmth, compressibility, and water resistance. If you don't use a down jacket often and this one is adequate, then it will be a great value. But if you are an avid outdoors person, this jacket would be a waste of money.

Conclusion


The REI Co-op Down Jacket is a great entry level down jacket for someone curious about camping and backpacking but doesn't want to spend a lot of money on a down jacket. This contender is adequate for midsummer, low elevation camping, and backpacking trips.

The Co-Op Down Jacket from REI is a simple model that won't break the bank. And it's lightweight  to boot!
The Co-Op Down Jacket from REI is a simple model that won't break the bank. And it's lightweight, to boot!
Lyra Pierotti

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Most recent review: January 23, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
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