By Rick Shandley
Cloudveil sticks to the basics with their 650-fill down jacket, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The Cloudveil Inversion jacket is a staple for delivering lightweight warmth whenever you need it. Regardless of the time of year or specific geographic region you might find yourself, having a jacket that will stuff small enough that you can transport it in your day pack, multi-day backpack, or carry on luggage is an asset.
Inversion reminds us of the earlier generations of down jackets for its Spartan design approach, yet it brings modern materials that mesh perfectly with that traditional insulation found in high-quality goose down. Use of material is kept to a minimum. You’ll find no big-ticket bells and whistles on the Inversion. This down-filled Bunsen burner has exactly what it needs to keep you warm and little else. And for a quality down jacket that will keep you warm in many conditions, the $200.00 suggested retail price offers a lot of value.
Three zippered pockets keep things to a minimum for the Inversion jacket. Two hand warmer pockets and an angled interior
pocket in the upper left-hand side offer adequate room for storage. Used strictly as hand warmer pockets, the two exterior pockets are deep enough to shove your chilled digits in and near your body heat to thaw up. These same pockets are also large enough for your gloved hands to get into and retrieve whatever you need to get at.
This is not a zero-degree jacket or an expedition parka that will insulate you down to -40° F all by itself. Naturally, that is not the intended use. But the cut is roomy enough so you can layer up underneath the Inversion, and the jacket easily lends itself to use under a weather proof wind parka. And, by the way, this is the one jacket that saw the most frequent use during the winter of 2010 for precisely this capability of:
- Providing excellent warmth across the widest range of temperatures.
- Inversion’s capacity to work with under and over layering.
- The ability to stuff the Inversion into its stuff sack (included) and take it anywhere we had the opportunity to visit.
While living with the Inversion for a while, it worked great in temperatures starting about 50° F and windy and down the thermometer to the 29° F range all with moderate activity such as walking and hiking, loading up the trucks, or feeding the outdoors ranch animals. And though Cloudveil does not brand the Inversion as water resistant, the materials and finish were exposed to plenty of rain, freezing rain, and snow. Moisture did sink into the fabric, but it never touched the skin – old-style down jackets would become useless for warmth when exposed to rain and heavy moisture. As a wind barrier, the Inversion never let on that it didn’t have some pretty modern materials that kept the driving air form getting to the body.
By now, Inversion has been on all backpacking trips from spring through fall 2010, the Inversion has been the one piece of kit to come out in the evening and stay on until the high-elevation sun forces it back into its little stuff sack. Same as the simple down jackets of decades ago, this jacket is perfect for backpacking and day hikes. Yeah, it’s fashion friendly for those times you slink into the office on a cold day. The “Puff” factor is in no way egregious from an aesthetic view point…of course that is subjective and you will have to determine that for yourself.
Both the interior of the collar and the chin guard are lined with soft material to, amongst other benefits, ward off that icy and
Yes, it would be nice to have the option of a down insulated hood for the Inversion. But for all the reasons mentioned above, it’s not a deal breaker. Inversion is a Spartan jacket that works extremely well for Spartan pursuits.