Micro Puff Jacket
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 heavier12.5 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 insulationone of the more down-like syntheticsand 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 piecesboth 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!
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