Q:

What's the alternative for those against slaughtering geese for their down?

I've read about the Moonstone Lucid's light weight and compressibility, but because I won't wear clothes for which animals are slaughtered, I wonder if there's something comparable made of Hollofil or some other man-made fiber that's equally warm, compressible, and lightweight (and for men, since I understand the Lucid is only available in women's sizes). Nicolás Buenos Aires, Argentina

Jul 8, 2005
Outside
Outside Magazine

Micro Puff Jacket

A: Just last winter the Lucid ($160; www.moonstone.com) was available in men's sizes, and that wasn't an aberration. Moonstone's spring line only featured women's sizes but they're back with the Lucid in both the men's and women's cuts in the fall catalog. For those of us who are not too terribly troubled by the fate of geese who sacrifice their down (yes, they're slaughtered—but the down is a byproduct), the Lucid is one of the best super-light down pieces ever made. I actually was going to buy one this past winter, but Moonstone ran out of stock.

Anyway, there are a number of decent alternatives that use honk-less synthetic fill. One I've used for a long time is an older version of Patagonia's Micro Puff Pullover ($145; www.patagonia.com). It uses a thin layer of hollow-core insulation (probably a slightly modified Hollofil) in a ripstop-nylon shell to make a piece that's great on its own or wonderful when layered under a shell. Not as compressible as the Lucid, nor quite as warm, but very close on both counts. And only a smidgeon heavier—12.5 ounces versus the Lucid's 11 ounces. A hooded version, the Micro Puff Jacket, is $169.

A slightly more technical piece is Integral Designs' Dolomitti Jacket ($180; www.integraldesigns.com). It uses PrimaLoft insulation—one of the more down-like synthetics—and has a shell made of Pertex microfiber nylon that has reinforcement patches at high-wear spots. Although it's a full jacket, the Dolomitti is cut close enough so that you can layer it under a shell when the going gets really brutal. You can add a hood for $25. Weight is a bit more than the Micro Puff or Lucid, at 21 ounces, but that's not bad given the durability and warmth of the Dolomitti.

So I'd look at one of those two pieces—both will keep you warm, and guilt-free.

Check out Outside's Gear of the Year winners in the 2005 Buyer's Guide , then get yourself a copy of the issue, on newsstands now!

Filed To: Jackets, Hard Shell

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