Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket

Sam Shaheen reviews the Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket for Blister

Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket

Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket

Reviewer: 5’10”, 135 lbs

Size Tested: Medium

Blister’s Measured Weight: 352 g

Materials:

  • Face Fabric: 20-denier Nylon
  • Lining: 30-denier Nylon
  • Insulation: 30-g EverTherm down insulation

Stated Features:

  • 29″ Length
  • STORMREPEL® Super DWR
  • Low-Profile Insulated Hood

Pockets:

  • 2 Hand warmer pockets
  • 1 Chest pocket

MSRP: $279

Test Locations: Munich, Germany; Sölden, Austria; Davos, Switzerland; Front Range, CO

Days Tested: 15

Intro

The new EverTherm series of mid layers from Eddie Bauer uses a unique insulation called “Thindown,” which consists of down “sheets” rather than loose down feathers. Eddie Bauer says the construction “creates maximum thermal efficiency without bulk and, since the down is uniform throughout, there are no cold spots. You get all warmth, no puff, in a simple, streamlined design that delivers superior technical performance.”

So, Eddie Bauer is making some pretty big claims, but will Thindown really shake up the insulation world? I’ve been using the hooded version of the EverTherm for the past few months to answer that question.

Fit

The EverTherm comes in Eddie Bauer’s “Classic” fit, which they describe as “our most universal fit. Not too slim, not too relaxed on body. Designed to fit over midweight layers.”

Universal is a good way to describe the fit. It is clearly a cut that is meant to work for a wide variety of body types. It is rather boxy, with a good amount of room in the torso, but still with an athletic feel — it’s cut a bit longer than many mid layers, and with the hem cinched down a bit, the fit is very comfortable.

Sam Shaheen reviews the Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket for Blister

Sam Shaheen in the Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket, James Peak Wilderness, CO.

The arms are a good, generous length with a fairly tight and effective elastic cuff. The biggest issue I have with the fit though is that the arms, especially near the body of the jacket, are cut quite baggy. This makes it easier to put the jacket on with gloves, but definitely decreases the jacket’s thermal efficiency and gives it a bit of an odd look.

The EverTherm’s fit is definitely not a slim cut, and, from my perspective, the fit works decently well in the mountains and in the city, but doesn’t excel at either.

Materials

The big story with the EverTherm is definitely the use of Thindown insulation. This insulation has been used in the fashion industry since 2012, but this is the first time a company has used it in the outdoor industry. Eddie Bauer has exclusive rights for the outdoor industry until the end of 2018.

In standard down insulation, down feathers are held in individual chambers within a jacket to allow them to fully loft and keep them from migrating throughout the piece (hence the quilted look of most down jackets).

Instead of using sewn baffles or stitch-through construction to keep the down clusters from moving throughout the garment, Thindown is essentially a sheet of down feathers stabilized between thin pieces of fabric.

In theory, the down sheet should provide more uniform warmth than quilted / baffled constructions (Eddie Bauer states that baffles / sewn-through areas create cold spots), as well as allowing for a cleaner, more streamlined appearance.

Another advantage of Thindown is that, because there are no baffles / quilts, there are far fewer seams to fail which could result in a more durable final product.

Warmth

The EverTherm is a pretty high profile jacket right now and, as a result, I’ve heard plenty of conflicting opinions on its warmth. One acquaintance of mine claims its the warmest jacket he’s ever worn while others have been quick to critique Eddie Bauer’s claims of unsurpassed warmth.

In my testing, the EverTherm has been just about, if not slightly warmer, than what you would expect for its weight and loft. It’s not nearly as warm as one of my long time favorites, the Montbell Alpine Light Parka, or the Rab Zero G Jacket (review coming soon). It is probably a touch warmer than the Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody and similarly warm to the Patagonia Down Sweater.

The lack of baffles might add to the overall warmth of the EverTherm, but it is extremely difficult to say with confidence that this actually and significantly influences the warmth.

Features

The EverTherm is light on features. Two hand warmer pockets, one chest pocket, a drawcord hem, and a non-adjustable hood round out the feature set.

The zippers on the three pockets have a laminated,rubbery black material around the edges. The material is fairly stiff and detracts a bit from the comfort of the pockets, but overall is more of an aesthetic issue that anything else (whether you do or do not like the look).

The EverTherm’s chest pocket is generously sized and easily fits some snacks, a phone, or a pair of sunglasses.
The hood is mid-sized. It can be used without a hat or helmet, but when I wear it as such, the hood falls in my eyes. With a bulky hat, the hood fits about right, and with a helmet, the hood can fit over it, but it is quite tight and tends to pull the whole jacket up. If you want to wear the hood under your helmet, then you should be able to adjust everything to keep it out of your eyes. Still, I wish there was an adjustment on the hood.

Weight

At a measured weight of 351 g for a Medium, the EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket is on the lighter end of down mid layers. The similarly warm Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody comes in at a stated weight of 428 g. The Montbell Alpine Light Parka (one of my favorite down pieces) comes in at a measured weight of 414 g, but it is significantly warmer. The Rab Zero G Jacket, which is currently the best warmth-to-weight ratio piece we have used, weighs 284 g for a Medium and is similarly warm to the Alpine Light parka.

Sam Shaheen reviews the Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket for Blister

Sam Shaheen in the Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket, James Peak Wilderness, CO.

So, the EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket does save a few grams over the competition (likely due to the minimal feature set and lack of sewn baffles). If you’re really aggressive with your gram counting though, there are other, lighter, warmer, and more fully featured competitors.

Weather Resistance

When I first got the EverTherm, I was extremely impressed by Eddie Bauer’s StormRepel Super DWR. It gave the face fabric a sort of rubbery feel, but it shed water like crazy.

However, now that I’ve washed the piece twice (cold water, gentle detergent), the DWR quality has diminished significantly. A broken-in EverTherm won’t keep a sustained light rain at bay, but it will keep the occasional snow squall or brief drizzle from wetting out the down insulation. Though it’s not as extraordinarily water resistant as it was when I got the jacket, the DWR on the EverTherm still beats many of my other insulators, even after several washings.

Keep in mind that, even though the EverTherm feels like synthetic monofilament insulated jackets (e.g. Primaloft) that have been around for years, it is still a down piece and will lose all loft and warmth when it gets wet. If you live somewhere wet, I suggest synthetic insulations.

Breathability

As with its baffled down counterparts, the EverTherm offers essentially zero breathability. For high-output activities, don’t plan on being able to leave the EverTherm on for long.

Durability

After spending many days stuffed in the bottom of my pack, used as an outer layer when skiing downhill, and used as an everyday jacket while traveling to Europe, I haven’t had any durability issues with the EverTherm down Hooded Jacket.

The face fabric seems rather hard-wearing for its weight and the cuffs still look brand new.

As always, I’ll update this review if any durability issues arise.

Who’s It For?

If you’re sick of the traditional, baffled / quilted puffy jacket aesthetic, looking for a midweight down jacket that cuts out a bit of weight, and / or require a more generous fit for your mid layers, then the EverTherm is definitely worth a look.

Bottom Line

Eddie Bauer has created a unique piece in the world of down insulation. The EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket has a good warmth-to-weight ratio and a clean look that separates its from traditional, quilted / baffled down jackets. The Thindown insulation punches a bit above its weight class in terms of loft and warmth, and the minimal feature set has almost everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

If the generous fit works for you, the EverTherm is a solid choice of down insulation.

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