Style Meets Function
Before purchasing a down sweater I researched intensively about 10 different down sweaters on the market. End the end I chose this jacket and here's why:
It has the highest possible fill down available on the market made from mature Canadian Hutterite Geese. It's rated 850+ by EU standards, but the US rating would be something more like 884-900. I think the fill weight is 3.25 oz.
It's light. I got the medium and it weighs about 12 oz. Pertex Quantum shell fabric adds to this.
Multifunctional- It stores itself into the chest pocket conveniently the size of a camping pillow.
Also it cuts through wind and cold with no problem. The hand warmer pockets are large and secured by zippers. The hem draw cords work well.
Somehow it always seems the best technical gear limits it's use to the woods where people won't see you wearing it and gawk. Not the case here. It is cut and feels like a more expensive fashion piece. You will get lots of compliments. At the same time, you won't be uncomfortable because it doesn't make you look like Russell Brand.
There is still room to layer underneath but unlike some down sweaters that leave enough room to actually layer another down sweater (cough cough Zeus).
Here are the cons:
Don't wear this in wet wet weather. It is not waterproof. It resist precipitation momentarily but eventually the down will get wet and when it does you will be in trouble. I work outside and stood in near freezing rain for 10 hours (what a great opportunity to test its merits). I was wearing a T shirt, the Chilko, and an REI eVent shell. the cuffs on both began to wet out around hour 5 (to be expected). Hour 7-8 I noticed that my right arm started to get cold. I took the eVent shell off to find the cactus holes I put in it from a previous camping trip started to leak onto the Chilko and over time it got to the down. I finished the night fine but I learned that Goose down might as well be cotton candy when it gets wet. It's just the limitations of that technology.
My only other concern is when I pull the draw hem cords moderately tight the bottom zipper (this sweater has a two way zipper to open from the top or bottom) will budge and ride up the sweater thus opening the jacket partially from the bottom. It's not a big deal but worth mentioning. I'd have preferred a conventional one way zipper.
Bottom line- this jacket is at the apex of the marriage of form and function. The data speaks for itself. The cost is worth it, you will be glad you did.
Westcomb is the Schnizzle!
Really, really like the Chilko so far... light, warm, details everywhere like the sleeve ends, velour-like interior of pockets, easy-zipping front zipper, etc. Slips on and off effortlessly.
The weight (lack thereof) is insane, and I find myself grabbing this jacket more than any other jacket this winter. Handles a wide array of temps, from low teens right through the 40's, all are equally comfortable.