AU Size S (Asian Size M) Colour: Dark Green (sometimes called Olive)
The Uniqlo Ultralight down jacket is, as the name implies, a very lightweight and compressible ‘puffy’ jacket that is stuffed with 90% real down. I have read that it ranks somewhere on a scale of 600 – 700 fill power which is quite warm. Although Uniqlo never explicitly states how much fill power it has. This jacket has very nice understated design which I like. It also comes in a wide variety of colours, prints and sizes. It’s worth noting the sizes are slightly different across continents. A size S in Asia is equivalent to a size XS in USA or Australia. I made the mistake of buying a size S in Asia and finding it just a bit too small. I would suggest buying one overseas if you can though because often these jackets are on sale in countries like HK and Singapore where they’re not typically needed for the weather there.
The ultralight down jacket really is ultralight. When you’re wearing it or packing it into your bag it really feels like there’s nothing there. The down is ultra compressible too, stuffing it into a small area of your bag is absolutely no problem. It always fluffs back into shape when you take it out of its pouch. Although it might have a few small lines and creases, but this is an endearing aesthetic of puffy jackets.
So how warm and weather resistant is this jacket? In my experience I’ve worn it in temperatures of around -10 degrees celsius (14 degrees fahrenheit). That was with a merino underlayer and a shirt midlayer. I paired it with my merino wool buff to keep my neck warm. It holds up pretty well in light snow and rain too. Although I haven’t tested it in heavy rain or snow but in most cases the droplets just brush off. It’s quite resistant to wind too in my experience although again I wasn’t in any particularly strong or arctic winds.
Another good thing about this jacket is that it has two large inside pockets. I often uses one of these for a passport and another for my merino wool buff (folded up) when I wasn’t wearing it. Although you could put anything in there. I also keep the pouch in there.
Some bad points. The jacket is made from quite a thin nylon and as a result it is a little bit delicate and would easily rip on rough areas or sharp branches. I certainly wouldn’t use this if hiking through an area with rough patches. Also, the down feathers do have a tendency to leak out. Just every now and then I would find small down feathers on my inner piece of clothing. I think this is an inherent problem with most down jackets but probably more so with the more affordable ones.
Overall I very much recommend this if you’re looking for an affordable down jacket that looks good and will keep you warm and insulated for a fairly large variety of weather. Especially if you’re layering it with other pieces. If you’re looking for something more durable and weatherproof though you might want to look at the more expensive jackets on the market.