Denise Goldberg's blog

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

lightweight warmth

I don't know what made me decide I needed a new layer as the season edged colder but that instinct made me very happy as I was packing for my wander in southern Arizona. I have good cold layer layers but there have been times when I've felt like my layers have made me resemble a snowman.

The layer I purchased back in October in anticipation of winter cold is the LLBean women's Ascent Packaway Jacket. It's a good thing I followed up on my purchase instinct quickly; I just checked the Bean web site and these jackets are now sold out! (As of January 15, 2014 there is some availability; if you want your own magic jacket you might want to check the LLBean site.)

The description on the web site pulled me in:

A layering essential, it's just the right weight for wearing under a shell or alone for extra warmth.
>>> Remarkably light PrimaLoft One insulation is surprisingly warm.
>>> Ultralight ripstop nylon shell is treated to shed water and block wind
>>> A highly compact alternative to fleece; packs into its hand pocket

It feels surprisingly light, probably the result of the PrimaLoft One insulation. With just the single layer it seems like it won't be warm, but as soon as I add another layer - even a layer as light as a shell - the warmth is noticeable. I used this jacket for the first time at the end of last month, layered under light fleece. It worked quite well.

The thought process of preparing to travel from a cold climate to a relatively warm climate at first had me thinking I needed a heavy winter jacket for a very short part of my trip - from home to the airport, and from the airport to the parking lot to home on my return. I really didn't want to carry a heavy layer just for travel but the weather forecast calls for low temperatures for my early morning arrival back at Logan Airport. I need something with me that will allow me to stand outside waiting for a shuttle bus without shivering uncontrollably. I was planning to travel with a lightweight fleece jacket; I didn't think that jacket had enough room to add this jacket as an underneath layer. I was pleasantly surprised - I can easily add this jacket either under or over the fleece.

It feels like magic...

LLBean Women's Ascent Packaway Jacket