I was sent a Snugpak SJ3 jacket to review a few weeks back. I knew Snugpak as the makers of sleeping bags. I hadn’t realised they also made insulated jackets – in this case the ‘Softie Jacket’ / SJ range.
I also hadn’t realised they are a Yorkshire company, which – flying the flag for my home county a moment – was ‘right good to hear’ (sorry).
The insulation / jacket type in the SJ range goes from SJ3 (the jacket I was sent) to SJ9 (that is said to keep the wearer comfortable in temperatures as low as -10°c).
The SJ3 is an autumn and spring / summer jacket .. great for cold days on the hills but not overly hot if the temperature rises a bit.
The tech spec suggests it is comfortable down to 0 but still effective down to -5C. I wore it on a few moors yomps in Feb and March and a couple of those were consistently below zero (I’d say around -1) – and with just a long sleeved merino base layer under it, it was more than warm enough.
The ‘Softie’ insulation used isn’t down but a polyester – Snugpak use a mix of ‘randomised’ yarn elements and resins that give a down feel with lots of insulating loft.
There are pros and cons to down versus synthetic, which you can read a LOT about in various places but essentially down has a great for weight to warmth ratio. BUT synthetic jacket fills retain their thermal properties better when wet. The SJ3 is water repellant and windproof .. helpful for sure in the part of the country that I live.
The jacket has a stuff bag and weighs in at 580g, so easily transportable if you had it in your backpack. That’s the only slight downside for me, keeping the stuff bag to hand and remembering to take it out on trips (e.g it isn’t an integral pocket that folds in to itself). And yes I know I could keep it in the interior jacket pocket.. but I’m always emptying pockets and forgetting to put stuff back in them.
The SJ3 has a stashable hood – something of a favourite for me – I like to be able to stash a hood into a collar when not in use. And the collar and waist are adjustable to keep out any chilly winds.
The arms have thumb holes / loops, if you wanted to wear the jacket as a mid layer and keep the sleeves from riding up underneath a rainproof outer. Or just to keep your arms warmer or to tuck into some gloves, which is a nice feature.
In summary, this is a great jacket.