Bargain of the Year – a down jacket for £30!

Those who regularly read this blog will know that I tend to do my backpacking on a bit of a budget, where possible, so it’ll come as no surprise that I’ve learnt the art of sniffing out a bargain, when there’s one to be had!

I went to Sterling Mills, a shopping centre at Tillicoultry, at the base of the Ochil Hils this morning, when I happened into the Nike Factory Store.

I managed to get the down jacket shown below for £30

Now for a bit of stats on it… after all, there’s immediate alarm bells at a £30 down jacket (despite the less than pleasing colour!)
It’s 700 fill power down, as stated on the picture below. It doesn’t specify if that is US or EU spec, but I reckon, since it’s Nike we’re talking about, it’s most likely US spec. It also doesn’t mention the fill percentage, so there could be a whole lot of feather in there. It doesn’t even mention if it is duck down or goose down (I reckon duck down is a reasonably safe bet)

It also advises that it is packable, and can pack into its own pocket. This claim is indeed true, as can been seen in the photo below. It certainly isn’t small, though!

It does, however compress reasonably well, and it fits with absolutely no problems into the XS Sea to Summit eVent Compression Drysack, and I reckon if the drysack allowed it, I’d be able to compress it smaller still.

On my scales, it weighs in at 528g (size XL), which is about 130g lighter than my Alpkit Filo, but it’s definitely thinner and not as warm. There’s very little comparison, though… the Filo is much superior in terms of warmth, but at the same time is bulkier and heavier. Maybe the Nike is going to be a good option when it’s just not going to be cold enough for the Filo, but it’s too cold to be going without?

Additionally, the hood on it is god awful. If I could remove it, I would! It’s not adjustable in any way at all, and just flops about.

So, bearing in mind the above (including the less than pleasant colour choice!), is it really a bargain at £30? From what I can tell, it’s the Nike Cascade Hooded, which is currently selling on the Nike store for £134, so from that perspective, yes, it is definitely a bargain. However, is it really all that good for a backpacker?

If you agree with me and think it is, then pop along to your nearest Nike Factory Store (there seems to be quite a few throughout the UK, at most designer outlet villages) – who knows, maybe they’ll have one in stock in your size (and maybe even in a different colour!). They even had down vests at the Sterling Mills store, at the same price – but as they were in bright Purple, I chose the jacket as a better choice!

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