Review: RF’s Down Shell for women

When winter reigns in Colorado it gets cold. Especially at altitude, which we have a lot of. Bitter cold. But at least it’s windy.

Quilted down inside, Windstopper outside.

Quilted down inside, Windstopper outside.

My answer to that condition is Red Fox’s Women’s Down Shell. Plenty of airy light and comfy goose down to stay warm in winter temperatures plus a Windstopper® shell to nullify the wind.

When it comes to winter weather finding a versatile everyday jacket can be quite a chore. A full on ski parka is often way too much for me on a typical Colorado winter day; it’s too hot if it warms up on a hike or I’m in town and have to duck inside. While many down coats are great on calm days, windier days will chill you to the bone and wetter days will put a damper on your adventure as the down gets wet and stops insulating.

The Women’s Down Shell is a parka and down jacket rolled into one and is exactly the type of everyday coat I have always been looking for. The Windstopper outer layer keeps the draft to a minimum while the inner down is soft and cozy. In the event of precipitation the Windstopper outer shell is treated with a DWR. It’s good for a squall of sloppy snow, but if you’re in a deluge of rain you’ll still want the only truly waterproof shell that exists – a plastic bag. Since it has a ripstop stitch, I can wear it confidently in tight brush and stacking wood without a worry. It is not bulky, thus more effective than you would expect. On single digit days I might add a light layer of fleece underneath and when it warms up the wide comfort range of goose down naturally prevents overheating.

Extra long, stretchy knit cuffs with thumb loops keep cold out.

Extra long, stretchy knit cuffs with thumb loops keep cold out.

It has a bunch of handy features for daily use: The sleeve “gaskets” are probably my favorite feature as they prevent cold air from gushing in. They are equipped with thumb holes as well so they almost double as light gloves in case you forgot some. Being a long-necked lady, the 3-way hood adjustment is a huge bonus to make a good fit, and if you’re a climber, it’s big enough for a helmet. The underarm gusset allows for a wide range of motion so you can reach up without exposing your midriff. As you should expect, the zippers are PU coated to block water in any kind of weather.

I have worn this coat nearly every day since old man winter arrived; whether running errands in the city, hiking snow covered trails or fixing my truck. , this jacket will hold its own. Stylistically it is simple and clean – neither ugly or gaudy. 10 out of 10 for me on the Women’s Down Shell!

Women’s Down Shell

Men’s Down Shell

© 2017