Gear Review: Macpac Women’s ‘Uber Light’ Hooded Down Vest

Link to hooded version: Macpac Women’s Uber Light Hooded Down Vest
Link to non-hooded version: Macpac Women’s Uber Light Down Vest

(Post not sponsored except by anyone who’s bought me a coffee – thank you!)

  • Material: Nylon 100% with DWR (Durable Water Repellant) C6
  • Fill Type/Power: 650 loft with 90/10 RDS Duck Down
  • Fit: Regular-small, however hems are elastic-bound for better flexibility.
  • Pockets: A whopping 4 pockets. Two external zip-up pockets and two internal drop-in pockets.
  • Bonus: Packs down into a small stuff sack (included.)

I wanted a vest made of sunshine and happiness, and by crikey, I found one. Check it out:

Isn’t that the most cheerful colour you’re ever seen? I was very stoked to find Macpac’s ‘Uber Light’ down vest in this gorgeous yellow! The product description calls it Cadmium Yellow. Wearing it, I’ve heard everything from “Hey it’s Pumpkin Spice Girl!” to “Well, if it isn’t Little Miss Sunshine.”

Now, I tried this on in-store to figure out sizing. I’m usually a size 8 for outer layers, and the 8 fit me well. But then, to my surprise, so did the size 6! This ended up being a good thing, because the shop didn’t have yellow in stock and couldn’t order it in as it was a clearance item. I checked the Macpac website and managed to snag myself the last — the very last — yellow vest of any size nationwide… in a size 6.

One very happy writer opening this parcel!

The Pros:

  • Fits a couple of baselayers under it no problem, and even a thin midlayer.
  • Very warm for its weight.
  • ‘Uber Light’ indeed – the fill weight is a mere 49 grams.
  • Lack of bulk makes for easy layering.
  • Four pockets. FOUR.
  • The external zip-up pockets are practically invisible as the zips run along the seam lines, and the internal drop-in pockets make a useful place to store the stuff-sack.
  • Packs down into the handy stuff sack (included.)
  • For a less compressed storage option, it rolls easily into its own hood.
  • The colour makes me smile every time I’m wearing it.
  • Increased visibility is a safety bonus when out walking on long summer evenings or in short winter twilights.

The Cons:

  • Not much vertical room in the hood. If I wear the hood up, it feels very tight against the top of my head and presses down uncomfortably, like it’s trying to squash my brains out my ears.
  • Even with the elastic hem, there isn’t quite enough room in the hips. Tends to ride up a little into the small of my back as I walk.

Other Notes:

  • Both of these problems might have been solved by sizing up to an 8 instead of down to a 6 to give me that extra bit of wiggle room. But as the 6 was the last yellow in stock nationwide and it otherwise fits me fine, they’re minor points.
  • The hem binding discolours quite fast around the armpits and the lower back. I tend to wear dark-coloured tops and the vest is a bright colour, so some transfer is to be expected. This may settle down after a few washes.
  • I don’t tend to wear hoods, so in some ways it feels like I’m carrying around that little bit extra bulk for no purpose. On the other hand, it has come in useful once or twice when I didn’t have a hat on me – and it’s visible even wearing dark jeans and a black shell jacket, which is great for safety.

Overall, I love the ‘Uber Light’ Hooded Down Vest. It definitely lives up to its name, and it makes me smile every time I’m wearing it. It really is such a joyful, happy colour that it feels like I’m spreading sunshine everywhere I go. The practicalities of the pockets (all four of them!), the lightweight warmth, and the easy packdown are all bonuses. When the time comes to upgrade my autumn/midweight puffer, I’ll be having a closer look at the ‘Uber Light’ Jacket model.

And did I mention this vest has four pockets? 🙂

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