Alyssa Young recently transplanted from California to Arizona, where she busy getting acquainted with the deserts, mountains, rivers and canyons of the Southwest. Whether skiing, climbing, backpacking, ranching, or just generally wandering, Alyssa seeks to find and define sense of place where ever she goes. She is currently embarking on a season of exploration in and around the Grand Canyon.
The Bergans of Norway Cecilie Down Jacket is a stellar multi-use jacket that excels in the mountains, in town, and everywhere in between. Designed in collaboration with mountaineer and polar explorer Cecilie Skog, the jacket is a high-quality and well-designed garment. It has an athletic fit that allows for layering, works with a pack or harness, offers a wide range of motion, and is exceptionally warm.
Fit and design
The Cecilie Jacket has a functionally feminine fit. It is tailored to fit slightly narrower at the waist, and avoids being boxy without being confining or flaring out at the base. The jacket is a bit longer than most down jackets on the market, which is really nice for pulling over your hips and gaining extra warmth, especially since it doesn’t ride up when reaching your arms overhead. However, it does make layering the jacket under a shell slightly awkward, as it is about two inches longer than most shells I have worn it with. The sleeves are a good length and stay put without being too long.
The Cecilie Jacket was designed specifically for ski touring and mountaineering, and has a refreshingly utilitarian-yet-attractive design. The fit allows for a wide range of motion without constriction in the arms and shoulders, even under a shell or a pack, and it works well during highly aerobic activities in very cold weather, as well as keeping you warm while standing at a belay or while digging test pits in the snow.
The jacket fits well under a climbing harness, and the hood is designed to accommodate a helmet. It’s a little snug when over a helmet and zipped up all the way, but still allows you to look up easily and can be pulled up over your chin for maximum warmth. I fell in love with the Cecilie Jacket on a winter river trip in the Grand Canyon. It stayed dry on long, damp days and the jacket fit comfortably under a PFD and was great to row in. The jacket is very windproof, and paired with a good base-layer and a fleece, kept me pleasantly warm on windy nights that dipped into the low twenties.
Features such as an adjustable hood, internal elastic cuffs, concealed internal one-hand drawstring, and chest pocket contribute to the streamlined fit of the Cecilie Jacket. All pockets have zippers, which are sturdy without being bulky, and the chest pocket is great for keeping small essentials safe and accessible, such as chapstick and a phone. The side pockets are high volume, with one functioning as a compression pouch. Initially the zipper snagged on the vertical internal baffle behind the main zipper, but that stopped being a problem once it became more flexible with use. The double-zipper allows you to access mid-layer pockets without unnecessarily losing warmth. The hood is one of my favorite features on the jacket. It is roomy without being bulky, can zip up past your chin without being claustrophobic, and fits over or under a helmet. The hood features Skog’s trademark flower design, reminding you that a little feminine flair doesn’t compromise women’s ability to shred.
The Cecilie Jacket is made of windproof and water-repellent Pertex® Microlight fabric and down, plus it contains bluesign® approved fabrics, so you can feel good knowing that you are supporting sustainable textiles. The fabric is also surprisingly durable yet lightweight and the jacket, like most Bergans products, seems like it will have a long, functional lifespan. The jacket has an impressive warmth-to-weight ratio, and comes in at 13.4 oz, making it competitive with other high-quality light down jackets with similar insulating ability.
All in all a great buy!