ProView – HIMALI Women’s Altocumulus Down Jacket 2.0
When I first got the Women’s Altocumulous down jacket I marveled at how light it was. In fact, I was wondering how something so light could possibly be warm. Well it didn’t take long to realize that this is a very warm coat.
HIMALI Women's Altocumulus Down Jacket 2.0
Product Description: The Altocumulus Down Jacket by HIMALI™ is an ultra-lightweight, stuffable mid-to-outer layer designed for cold-weather activity in the mountains. It utilizes 850 fill-power ‘dry down’, a Pertex® Quantum ripstop nylon shell, and an eco-DWR coating to maximize it’s first level of defense against precipitation. The Slim, Athletic Fit reduces the volume and ‘dead space’, thereby increasing the performance. This insulation layer is toasty! It’s sure to be your go-to choice when temps drop.
Offer price: MSRP: $294.95
This is an ultra-lightweight down jacket that is very packable, highly water-resistant, and abrasion-resistant. I think with a hood the jacket could be a one quiver warm coat for smaller women and the regular jacket would work well as an insulating layer for larger women.
- Highly water-resistant
- Extremely lightweight
- Runs small
As a full-time mountain guide, I get out into many diverse environments for days at a time. The first gear testing adventure took me on a three day guided trip on Longs Peak in Colorado. With a camp at 12,800 feet and a summit of over 14,000 feet, warm clothing is paramount. Of course, packing for such an adventure means paying close attention to both space and weight. The outer 20 denier Pertex Quantum Fabric is extremely lightweight and the 850-fill down packs really small. After stuffing it into its own stuff sack (so conveniently sewn into a pocket) it was about the size of a Nalgene water bottle. At camp, temperatures got well below freezing and the jacket kept me plenty warm due in part to the puffy design, the more than normal down (~5 oz) and sleek fit which optimized loft while leaving no dead space. I did wear the coat while climbing to the summit and it kept me warm yet it seemed to breathe well as I never got too warm or sweaty. Warmth to weight rating 5/5.
The next guiding adventure took me to Vedauwoo, Wyoming. Vedawoo is famous for rough granite, grueling off-widths, and cold fall temperatures. At a surprising 8,500 feet, the temperatures are similar to the base areas of many ski resorts. I was nervous that I would snag the light jacket on a sharp rock while scrambling around to get to the bases and tops of different routes. I spent several days at Vedauwoo and it was quite chilly in the mornings so I wore the coat every day. I was pleasantly surprised that the Pertex Quantum Fabric held up so well. In fact, I didn’t get a single rip or tear in the fabric. I did not wear the coat climbing and I am not convinced it would hold up to serious abuse so I give the jacket a durability score of 4/5.
The final testing ground was up in the North Cascades in Washington State. I spent ten days climbing big alpine routes in less than optimal weather. We had three days of rainy weather yet it was quite cold. Although the jacket is mostly designed to be worn as an insulating layer under a weatherproof jacket I wore it as an outer layer most days. I did wear it during light snow and drizzling rain and the DWR coating on the outer fabric coupled with the hyper dry coated down kept me surprisingly dry. I never sauntered out in heavy rain but I do expect the coat to get wet if worn in such conditions. I also hiked and climbed with a pack and was pleasantly surprised at how well the jacket breathed, as I did not get sweaty or wet. Water-resistance/breathability score 4.5/5.
Fit and Functionality
The jacket runs small. I am 5’3 and 120 lbs. I am fairly small but have broad shoulders. Although the size chart suggested a medium (chest 36-38”) I found that it was too tight around my shoulders and chest so I opted to test a size large instead and was very happy with the fit as it was not bulky and there were no air gaps around the torso. This coat would not work well for taller and bigger women. The arms are plenty long so the coat will work well during ice climbing activities. The highly water-resistant nature will also make it a very functional piece of gear for any backcountry winter activities. I had hoped to test a hooded version, which for me would have been the optimal addition to the jacket (the hooded version is available). Fit and functionality score 4/5.
About the Gear Tester
Mia is an AMGA certified rock and ski guide. She works full-time with Colorado Mountain School. She has taught and guided in the mountain environment for over 30 years. She guides in all mountain disciplines including rock and ice climbing, alpine climbing, and ski mountaineering. When not working she may be found climbing offwidths at Vedauvoo and Indian Creek or skiing some deep powder somewhere. You can follow her on Instagram at @mtnmia.