SUB ZERO Down Jacket Review
Sub Zero Down Jacket Review
The Sub Zero down jacket is a super lightweight and packable insulated jacket from UK based company Sub Zero which is ideal for both men and women alike. It uses specially selected materials to keep the weight to a bare minimum and uses ethically sourced 750 FP down and feathers to secure your body heat. Not only is this lightweight down jacket great for holding heat but it is also incredibly durable and designed to work in all kinds of harsh weather conditions. I have been wearing this jacket every day for the past 3 weeks to help make this Sub Zero down jacket review as informative and helpful as possible.
- Fabric: 100% ultralight 36gm² polyamide mini-ripstop shell
- Insulation: Ethically sourced European hydrophobic goose down and feathers (90/10)
- Weight: 395 g / 13.9 oz
- Down fill weight: 132 g / 4.7 oz
- Sizes: X Small – XX Large
- Pockets: 2 x hand warmer pockets, 1 x outer chest, 1 x internal chest, 1 x internal open pocket
- Sun protection factor: 100+
- Fit: Unisex regular
- Washing instructions: 40°C wash with a soap solution or special down treatment and tumble dry only
My first impression of the Sub Zero down jacket is that it is way less bulky than all my other down jackets and very lightweight. I I knew that it would be light and packable but when you actually hold it in your hands it is hard to understand how it keeps you so warm. Unlike all my other down jackets, the Sub Zero does not have a hood however you can get it in a smock version which does have a hood if you like. Because I plan on using this jacket for long-distance hiking and backpacking I am very happy with the weight, pack size, and warmth to weight ratio.
The weight and pack size are for me the biggest selling points of this jacket and are also the main reasons I recommend it to people. At just under 395 grams for the large size, it is seriously lightweight and compact when packed. If you are backpacking or walking any kind of longer distances then having lightweight gear is crucial to maintaining your freedom of movement. A lightweight down jacket like the Sub Zero is ideal for keeping you warm without carrying a tonne of jumpers or multiple layers. Whether you are wearing the jacket all the time or carrying it in your backpack, its feather-light weight is instantly noticeable which makes taking it wherever you go a no-brainer.
As I am writing this Sub Zero down jacket review I am also wearing it (yes indoors) and can honestly say that it is very comfortable next to the skin*. The polyamide fabric is down proof to prevent feathers from piercing through the lining which also makes the inner fabric feel very soft and smooth. As well as keeping you warm and comfortable, the Sub Zero down jacket is also very breathable which helps to regulate your temperature and prevent overheating. The full-length zip features a wind baffle and microfleece chin guard for extra comfort when the weather is beyond bad.
*If you don’t like wearing your jacket next to the skin then take a look at our Sub Zero base layer review!
Being close to 6 feet tall I always go for a large size when it comes to jackets. This particular fit is excellent for my frame but it would also suit many other body types and is indeed designed as a unisex down jacket. The sleeves aren’t too long or short and don’t pull up when you stretch or reach up to climb. The torso is also very well fitted and isn’t too baggy or tight to accommodate all kinds of body shapes and additional layers. At the rear, the tail of the jacket drops down lower than the front to cover your lower back and overall the jacket is very well proportioned.
Using high grade and ethically sourced 750 FP European down and feathers with a ratio of 90/10 for the insulation, you can be sure the Sub Zero jacket will keep you warm when you need it. The high quality of the down means that it retains its loft very well, even after being packed down, and the loftier the insulation is the more warm air can be trapped. The down is also treated with a durable water repellent finish which helps to retain loft if it gets wet and also dries faster. You can put the jacket on first thing on a frosty morning and straight away feel the insulation get to work, this is why I love down clothing so much.
During this Sub Zero down jacket review, I have tried my best to put it through its paces to see where its limits lie (without actually breaking it). I have pushed my way through numerous brushes and even snagged a few brambles with not a sign of damage to it. I wore it for a bike ride and managed to splash mud up the back which just wiped of with a damp cloth. My dog who constantly uses its paws to get my attention seems determined to scratch it but has so far proved unsuccessful. The jacket is relatively windproof but like all sewn through constructions, it will never be 100% windproof. In light rain, water is repelled to a certain degree but I do not advise you wear any kind of down insulated gear in heavy or sustained rainfall.
I have many down jackets and gilets in my gear room but this has got to be one of the lightest and packable of them all. The warmth to weight ratio is very impressive without being too warm to use while walking or on a mild evening in England. The length of the arms and torso seems to be just right for me and is adjustable with waste toggles to get the perfect fit. There are plenty of pockets to keep your items which also improve breathability when open. While the jacket still looks very minimal and stylish it meets all the needs you might have for an insulated down jacket. For all these reasons, I would recommend this jacket to anyone looking to stay warm without carrying too much weight or bulk.