ProView – HIMALI Altocumulus Down Hooded Jacket
The nucleus of the mountaineer’s world… the Himalayas. A remarkable residence of giants with arms reaching from the heavens to the world below. 14 peaks over 8000 meters, the highest point on earth and a culture ingrained into the fabric of mountaineers being: this is the Himalayan range. Nothing is comparable to its position in the world and its grandeur. When a nexus is created between experience in a world like this and a tie to its roots exceptional things happen. This nexus is HIMALI. Take an experienced 12-time observer of the peak of Everest and an IFMGA guide/Sherpa and couple their experience and energy into a product and born is a capable, stylish and functional performing line of jackets that withstand the harshest environment on earth and never forget its roots.
When asked to test the Himali Altocumulus Down Hooded Jacket, I was honored and humbled, I accepted. Obviously, nothing compares to the experiential birthplace of this product but I sought after a worthy comparison in my home of the San Juan’s. A quick ice climb in warm temps to assess its DWR exterior and a ski tour with some technical climbing to assess its warmth and breathability.
Fit and Comfort
When I first put this jacket on I found myself with an odd sense of calm. Its performance fit hugs tightly to be efficient in warmth and to move well with a user. Its exceptionally light weighing only 9.8 ounces so despite literally being hot I practically forgot I was wearing it. Incredibly comfortable with a delicate interior that feels wonderful next to skin and an articulate construction left ample ability for a full range of motion when needed. It was time to put it to the test.
Function and Performance
In another seemingly warm period for the San Juan’s, this jacket held up well and remained dry despite climbing an evolving ice flow with water cascading down it. Not quite as harsh as the Ganges flowing from the heavens; the ice flows at Cascade proved quite wet. In the alpine cold and wet equates to danger. This jacket protects you from the harshest of environments.
My next objective was to determine how this product would handle aerobic activity. A skin and climb/ski of a near peak provided the opportunity to push this jacket. Once the skis came off and crampons were attached to my ski boots, my baselayers were shed off as well. Warm and ditching a base layer proved needed, as I exerted myself with every step and the jacket thoughtfully protected my well earned heat.
With every kick, deep breath, waiting for what little gas exchange to occur; again a sense of calm rushed through my thought process. Only beauty, the goal of summiting and catching my breath was what I thought about, not a single worry of cold, warmth or did I bring the right jacket.
Look and Style
I’ve been a paramedic and a nurse for a long time and one thing that is ingrained in me is an across the room observation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a patient or a jacket my eyes assess before my hands do. My gaze was appealed upon opening the package from Himali. Beautiful colors, dual tones, and thoughtful design were the first things I noticed. The smallest details of this jacket were attended to even down to the logo. Again Himali is born from the experience of a duo in the harshest environment in the world. Home to 14 8000 meter peaks, this feat is remembered even in the logo. The fit was perfect, the hood large enough to fit a myriad of helmet styles and elastic in the cuffs to keep the jacket where it belongs and skin covered. Stylish for post climb drinks and a stroll around town and functional enough to handle any environmental thrown at it.
Room for Improvement
A stuff sack inhabits the pocket, conveniently proving an opportunity to allow the airy 800 fill down be stowed away. The jacket packs down to about the size of a water bottle. The only avenue I saw for improvement upon this design was simply a carabiner attachment loop so the jacket could be clipped to a harness allowing easy accessibility and instant shelter. Aside from this, I could not decipher anything else the jacket was lacking.
The Final Word
Not only does this product exemplify the experience of the creators but it also remains grounded in its roots. From the logo, to giving back 5% of proceeds to the Himalayan region investing in schools and providing safe water, HIMALI is a brand . Do the right thing, get a remarkable jacket that doesn’t disappoint, help a region through supporting education and access to clean water and know that you have a product that pays attention to detail delivering a functional and stylish package.
Joe Anderson is an Emergency Room RN/ Flight Medic and has been a Ski Patroller in Durango, CO for 12 years. When not at work flying around the Four Corners Region in a helicopter, he spends most of his time off high above the ground climbing or chasing the sunny weather looking for the next pitch of rock, ice or pristine slope to ski.