Behold, Guthook’s GooseFeet Down Parka! I’m going to name this particular parka after myself, because it was made by hand specifically for me. How cool is that? In fact, it’s the first piece of clothing I’ve ever had tailor-made for me. I wish I could do this more often.
As for features, I wanted minimal, so that’s what I got. The hood has a thin drawstring to cinch it around my face, the zipper is light and simple, there’s a pair of hand-warmer pockets, a fixed-elastic hem, and fixed elastic cuffs. The outer shell is 20 Denier nylon (oops, I originally posted 15D, but it’s 20), and the inside is 7 Denier nylon.
|Fixed elastic hem rather than a drawcord. I added a little zipper pull as well.|
The fanciest thing Ben put into the design (and this is actually quite fancy) is internal baffles in the sleeves and body of the jacket. Rather than sewn-through baffles, which create pinched spots throughout the insulation, baffles keep the insulation wide and puffy everywhere (this was Ben’s first attempt at baffled jackets, so the seams where the arms connect to the body and where the front of the jacket connects to the back are sewn-through, but I’m still majorly impressed). The result? The jacket is incredibly warm for its weight.
|The sleeves are mighty puffy, with elastic cuffs.|
The jacket did cost a pretty penny, more than most of the others I planned to check, but for a custom, hand-made, ultralight product with the finest materials and attention to detail, it is worth every dollar. The major downside for the jacket is that, between the price and light materials, I’m already very paranoid about damaging it. I’m generally very good about keeping my equipment from harm, but I’d be more terrified of hurting this than most things.
|Very tiny drawcord for the hood, and note the different, lighter material inside.|
Ben is pretty great to do business with. We emailed back and forth dozens of times, and talked on the phone to work out the details of the jacket and so that Ben could explain the baffles and fabric to me. Ben probably spent more time talking with me to make sure this jacket was exactly what I would want than it actually took to construct the jacket.
GooseFeet’s only advertised products as of now are booties and pillows, but I’ve seen Ben’s handiwork in down pants, balaclavas, jackets, and mittens. If you’re interested in anything with down insulation, check his website, and this wonderful interview. And be impressed.