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The Hooded Nitrous jacket from Mountain Hardwear is one of the best lightweight down jackets out there, available while stocks last at Outside for just £89 - the RRP is £180!
The 800 (US) fill down jacket is ideal for any cold weather activity where you need an extra layer that is not going to weigh you down. At 401g this is one to the lightest hooded down jackets that you can get. It's perfect as an extra layer in winter or as a belay jacket in milder temperatures.
The Nitrous jacket offers a simple, sleek fit that maximises your body's heat and packs down into a very small stuff sack. The two front pockets allow you to bury you hands in the jacket to keep them warm, and the hood is low profile and snug to the head.
Ultra lightweight down jackets are becoming increasingly popular at the moment. This is because they offer an excellent alternative to heavier synthetically insulated tops. A light down jacket can be used in a multitude of different circumstances.
If you are going somewhere cold like the Alps and want to take some emergency insulation then it really fits - lighter and less bulky than a full on down jacket it can still provide a massive boost to your layering system.
With full weight down jackets you have to worry more about moisture as you'll be wearing the jacket on the outside, while the down sweater can normally be worn underneath your shell jacket. This is not ideal for actually climbing in, but as a lightweight way of boosting your warmth at bivies, or any time when you are not being active in the mountains, it's ideal.
At the same time, the Nitrous jacket can be used as a great belay jacket when rock climbing in dry, cool conditions where you know you'll be in danger of feeling the cold on stances. Packing down small into a stuff sack, the down sweater is easily carried on the back of your harness without weighing you down.
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