The Nilas Jacket is the centerpiece of the Speed Alpinism collection developed by Mountain Hardwear in collaboration with Swiss climber Ueli Steck. Designed for fast-moving, arms-up alpine climbing in cold temperatures, the Nilas packs expedition-parka-like warmth into a garment that weighs just 631 grams; some users report that they are comfortable using it as their warmest layer on Denali, where the average parka weighs well over a kilo. The Nilas is stuffed with 850-fill Q.Shield water-repellent down, so you can safely stay warm even if your hydration bladder leaks all over it in your pack. The torso is fully-baffled, while the arms are sewn through for less weight and bulk.
In keeping with Ueli Steck's personal style, the Nilas is pretty minimalist in some respects; it doesn't have a chest pocket, and there is only one pull cord for the hem adjustment. The stealthily hidden hood adjustment cords require you to unzip the jacket slightly to make certain adjustments, but on the other hand, the cords won't whip around in high winds. The Nilas has a one-way zipper, so belayers should take note. The two stretch mesh pockets on the inside are generously sized for water bottles and other necessities, and have been universally praised for their utility.
The cuffs at the end of the sleeve are one of the Nilas' best points. Made of Mountain Hardwear's "Butter Jersey" material, you can slip your thumb and fingers through them to create a perfect seal with gloves, or put your whole hand through the big hole when you don't feel like dealing with thumb loops.
All in all, we would venture to say that the Nilas is the finest down jacket ever to grace the racks of Outdoor Gear Exchange. Pair it up with the Nilas down bib pants and you've got Himalayan-style protection at a much lower total weight. Mount Washington via Huntington Ravine in January? A winter ascent of Katahdin via the Cathedral trail? Ice climbing in the Dacks when it's cold as all get out? The Nilas is the jacket to have for all of these.
- Q.Shield™ down protects individual down fibers from moisture so they keep you warm even when wet
- Baffle construction for maximum loft and warmth
- One-handed hood and hem drawcords for quick fit adjustments
- Low profile, insulated hood
- Weight: 1 lb. 6 oz. / 631 g.
- Center Back Length: 30 " / 76 cm
- Additional Information
Material Synthetic Properties Insulating
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