Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Down Jacket Review from Compass Sport, May 2014 by Duncan Archer.

Hangar 18 Down Jacket Review Compass Sport Magazine May 2014.
by Duncan Archer CLOK

Hangar 18 Off Road Running [H18 ORR] is a relatively new entrant in the very crowded outdoor clothing market. However it fills a gap for specialized lightweight clothing for outdoor extreme sports, such as hill and mountain marathon running, hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking. It was founded in early 2013 by Jim Mann and Stuart Ferguson. Both have extensive experience in the sports manufacturing market, and both are active runners (Jim Mann won LAMM Elite 2011 and 2012 and holds the winter Bob Graham record). H18 ORR have a small but focussed range of clothing, with all products designed in the UK and rigorously tested in demanding environments.

I was given one of their down jackets to review. After unpacking from its stuff sack the down quickly plumped up to show just how toasty warm it can be. This is a great jacket to have at orienteering events in cold weather (a shame this winter hasn’t delivered many freezing conditions to properly test it out!). It is ideal for keeping warm whilst chatting in the car park before your run (your pre-race “warm-up” could even just consist of standing around in this jacket, rather than any physical exertion!), or if you are helping. Then just throw it on again after your race to stop a chill setting in. The roomy pockets keep your hands warm, and there is a small breast zip pocket for keys etc. It packs small and at 320g is not too heavy – the mountain marathon enthusiast who favours a degree of comfort over absolute minimal weight might consider it as their warm layer for the overnight camp. One feature I particularly liked was that it is reversible, black on one side, red on the other – take your pick to suit your mood (which often varies depending how well you have run at a race!). Other technical information: Outer of 400T 22D nylon Rip Stop, Down Proof and Showerproof fabric. Stitch through construction. 90% new duck down with 650 fill power. The website price of £160 might seem quite steep, but you can easily pay over £200 for competing products of similar down fill power and quality (don’t be misled by cheaper inferior products – you get what you pay for with down), so I felt this was good value for money.

Other products from H18 ORR include a lightweight sleeping bag (in various weights, 380g, 480g and 650g, these are definitely MM worthy bags), down vest, minimalist waterproofs (again very suitable for MMs or “no cag no go” orienteering races), technical clothing (vest, t-shirt, shorts, tights, and alpaca wool socks) and other accessories. Check out for more details (and if you want to know where the Hangar 18 name comes from, you’ll have to do some research on “Roswell”).

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