Gear Review: First Lite Uncompahgre Puffy Jacket

November 6, 2015 — Leave a comment

Aside from being impossible to spell correctly on the first try, the Uncompahgre Puffy Jacket is a phenomenal insulation piece. It bridges the gap between fowl weather gear and cold weather gear. I have had a few weeks of significant use with this jacket and there are a few features that are especially worth discussing:

Notables

Incredibly light

This is jacket is so light that if it wasn’t for the fact that you can feel it touching your skin, you would not know you were wearing it. Every time I pick it up and put it on I notice how light it is for its size. You can’t fully appreciate it until you hold one, but take my word for it: this is one light jacket.

Very warm for weight

For how light the jacket is, it is very warm. It breathes well but it also insulates your body temp very well. It has the highest heat rating/weight in its class and is a fantastic outer piece, or insulation piece when temps really drop.

Packs Easily

Because this jacket is so light, it also packs very well. The jacket will compress down and fit inside the hood. This allows you to pack the jacket without it taking up too much room inside your pack. Also, because it compresses so well, it is easy to put another jacket over the top of the puffy if additional insulation is needed on those extra cold days.

Water and Wind Resistant

The Uncompahgre is not as water tight as the Boundary Stormtight line, but it is pretty darn good at keeping wind and water at bay. It is my go-to rain jacket and it keeps the wind out pretty well too.

Very Quiet

Possibly the most surprising aspect of the Uncompahgre is how quiet it is. I tried to make as much noise as I could by rubbing my sleeve against the body of the jacket and I still don’t think it was loud enough to spook a deer or elk at close range. I have no reservations about drawing my bow while wearing this jacket.

Fits Big to Size

I noticed that while I am a true medium in nearly all First Lite gear, the small Puffy fits perfectly while the medium had quite a bit of extra room inside.

Drawbacks

Might Tear Easily

Light weight comes at a cost – thin material. The outer layer is very thin and might prove to be tear-prone in thick, thorny brush. This is not a brush-busting jacket by any means (that is a task more suited for the North Branch line); however, if you don’t beat the snot out this jacket, it will last for a very long time as it is well-made.

You Will Want More

I bought two (one in Fusion and one in Pine) and I wear my solid color puffy all the time. It is my go-to cold/rain jacket because it is so comfy and it blocks wind and repels rain very well. Once you own one for hunting, you will start planning on how to get the money to buy one for all-purpose wearing. It is a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless.

If you are looking for a great, lightweight, water/wind resistant jacket for your hunts, look no further than the Uncompahgre Puffy Jacket from First Lite. It is a piece that you will never go hunting without.

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