Every once in a while you see a marketing piece online that comes across your desk; you look at it and you just cannot believe it. Sometimes those kinds of things don’t pan out to be worth a darn. And sometimes they get stuck in your head and they ruminate there for a few days and you go back to them and take a second look. The Zero Down Vest was one of those things that came across my desk. How could it be warm without down or fibers?
The great news is that the team from Zero Down Vest sent us out a vest to test. We took it to Colorado on a recent camping trip to evaluate how well it would hold up to winter temperatures. The short answer is that this vest is outstanding. Uninflated the vest is packable, lightweight and easy to throw into your pack so it is ready when you need it. The material is well made and easy to wash. I spilled mustard on the vest, but quick wipe with a wet cloth had it clean in seconds. This vest is made out of recycled plastic bottles, and it is rated as warm as 600FP down though I couldn’t verify that.
What I can verify is that the vest is warm down to freezing temperatures and it’s comfortable and easy to use. The inflation on the vest is quick and easy to use. You just blow into the valve in the collar and the vest inflates quickly and easily. You decide how much to inflate the vest, whether you are looking for a minimal look or you really are searching for that puffy look. The more inflation you put into the vest the more insulation you will feel in the vest. The vest looks good, it is easy to keep clean and the inflation works as it should. I liked how easily it packed up into the pocket of my backpack. They are currently offering this on Kickstarter for a reasonable price of about $79.00 which is $50.00 off the retail price of $129.00. Even the retail price in my opinion is more than reasonable.
Now, honestly, I am not buying this jacket because it saves any ducks. The savings I get on the jacket is just going to allow me to buy more ammunition so that I can spend more time in the field waterfowl hunting. I do like that the system is efficient and eco-friendly.
Check this out on Kickstarter: