On a climbing, hiking or running trip everything should have all the features, be super durable and weigh nothing.
Perfect world right. I wish.
Oh and it won’t cost much.
It’s the perfect triangle of the gear. Durabilty, weight, and cost. You can have 2 but never the third. Take one of them far enough and you only get one, weight for example.
Some brands are getting closer though. The Italian brand Crazy, is putting together some incredible products and just starting to launch in the US.
Take the Levity Jacket for example. 5.4 ounces for a mens hooded down jacket. Ridiculously light for a body-mapped jacket with a hood. Lightest down jacket with a hood out there, says Crazy. The Montbell Plastma is 4.8 ounces but doesn’t have a hood.
The hand-picked Diamond Down feathers end up being about 950-1000 fillpower. Most down jackets are 600 to 800.
That body-mapping process builds a jacket around where our bodies need heat and where they need heat to escape. Most jackets are just built the same all the way around. Same thickness, same insulation.
Let’s have a look at some specs, who Crazy is and how it performs.
- 153 grams (5.4 ounces) for men (172grams, 6.1 ounces for women)
- 950/1000 fill down (!)
- Molina Hydrodown-treated feathres
- Packs into pocket
- 1 chest pocket, 1 interior stash pocket
- Extremely lightweight
- Very soft comfortable fabric
- Packs down small into a pocket
- delicate face fabric
Who is Crazy?
Never heard of Crazy?
The Italian brand were one of the first to start fast and light back in 1989. September 2021 they launched their ski touring and mountain running gear in the US.
Founded by Valeria Colturi, an accomplished cross-country athlete, they focus on iconic performance, proprietary design and heritage Italian fashion.
They want their gear to move with the body and act like a second skin. Everything elastic to move easily and lightweight to pack down well. The goal is clothing that feels like it’s custom.
Their focus on fast and light results in less weight in the gear and less waste while building the product. They use paper for packaging, saving 200,000 plastic bags a year.
“Be fast. Be light. Be crazy.”
This review about the Levity jacket but they have jackets, pants, vests and accessories on the site. The Cervino jacket and pants are focused on ski touring. As is the Resolution pant, a softshell pant without a membrane.
Now, back to the jacket, or the Levity Jacket Man as the translated Italian says on the site.
Insanely Lightweight down
The hand-pcked Diamond Down ends up being about 1000 fill power. Every one of the feathers is from a certified sustainable source.
Each of the cells in the jacket keep the down where it’s supposed to be and are taped so they’re lighter.
The down is treated with Molina Hydrodown, an eco-friendly treatment that recovers the original waterproof characteristics of the feathers. It doesn’t prevent the down from getting wet but it helps it loft better when it is wet and reduces the drying time. The jacket gets wet, it will reduce the loft of the down, reducing the insulation.
A coating of DWR (durable water repellency) on the outside makes the water bead off instead of soaking through. It’s not going to keep you dry in a downpour but more of the light snow and rain will slide off instead of soaking into the down.
Fit and Comfort
The fit is European which is a bit smaller than standard North American sizing. I usually wear a medium but a large fit well in the Levity. It’s got a bit of length too it but not too much. The arms and body fit snug and puff up nicely because of the considerable amount of high loft down inside.
The face fabric is the same on the inside and out. It’s impossibly thin but is soft to the touch and doesn’t feel like the typical puffy jacket with a stiffer face fabric. I really like how it feels, even when against the skins. Some jackets are great when you have a sweater or hoody on but can be uncomfortable against the skins. I don’t wear it much unless it’s pretty cold and usually have some kind of sweater or hoody on under it.
Because of the very high loft of the down used, the Levity packs down to a very small size. Even with the fully insulated hood and larger amount of insulation inside it still packs down smaller than any of my current jackets.
Verdict: Crazy Levity Jacket
Verdict: Highly Recommended
The feel and weight of the Levity Jacket is absolutely, well, crazy. It’s the lightest down jacket I’ve ever worn. For most hikers and climbers the price is going to be steep. It’s in the very premium class of gear like brands like Arc’teryx, where you know you need it and can (sometimes) afford it.
If you need the absolute lightest hooded down jacket out there, then this is for you. Doesn’t hurt that they look bomber too.