You may never of heard of Eddie Bauer if you're from the UK or Europe, but I think you soon will. It’s a big American brand that has some pedigree in the outdoor scene. Started by Eddie Bauer in the 1920’s, he started making outdoor clothing after developing hypothermia on a fishing trip. He patented the first quilted goose down jacket in the US and kitted out the first American to climb Everest, plus other Himalayan expeditions.
Since then the brand has grown and like a lot of outdoor clothing companies has developed a range to cover all outdoor needs. With sub ranges such as the First ascent line that is aimed at the more technical outdoor kit.
They have had a presence in Europe for a while, but only small one. That is set to change with the launch of Eddie Bauer Europe.
MicroTherm 2.0 down vest from the first ascent range.
The micro-therm is a very light weight down vest, made with top quality material.
The fit & look
It is classed as athletic fit so it is figure hugging, I am 6’2 (187cm) and wear a medium in most t-shirts and jackets and the medium fits me very well, it has fleece panels at the sides which gives it a bit of stretch and breathability. I have worn it over just a t-shirt and on top of a thin fleece, it could maybe stretch over a thin soft shell, but more than that and I would need a bigger size.
I have it in the spring green which is quite bright, it is also available in darker colours. Seeing the amount of comments I get from people who have seen me it it about how great it looks and asking where its from, I am guessing it looks good.
It’s really light weight at only 226g and definitely a thinner down vest. It looks similar to the Patagonia nano puff vest, it’s almost the exact same weight but down as opposed to primaloft.
I have to admit, I have lived in this jacket since getting it. It's a little cold today and I am actually wearing it while writing this. It works well during active sports, I have worn it ski touring, climbing, walking, camping and doing via ferrata. I find it really good as a thin insulation layer, I tend to wear it over a t-shirt or thin fleece.
The stretch fleece side panels offer a degree of breathability. Which I think is about right, because if it’s that warm you probably don’t want a down layer on.
I can get away wearing it while being fairly active in cold temps. In terms of a back up layer to have in the bag its great, it is so light and packs really small.
I think I will still go for a full down for mid winter ski touring but for spring or warmer days I will just take the microtherm.
It has 2 hand pockets at the front, a small chest pocket on the left side all withs zips and two big open pockets in side on either side.
A small thin down vest, perfect as part of a layering system and works for so many activities. I think this is a piece of kit I will keep coming back to, and will be with me on many adventures and trips.