Decathlon Forclaz Trek 100 23F Down Packable Puffer Review
The Decathlon Forclaz Trek 100, 23F Degree Down Packable Puffer Backpacking Jacket ($80) is a no-frills hooded down jacket designed for use as a lightweight three-season insulation layer when camping or during hiking and backpacking rest stops to avoid becoming chilled. Insulated with 800 fill power down, it’s surprisingly inexpensive compared to similar jackets that cost two or three or even four times more. If you want a down hooded jacket that will keep you warm down to 40F degrees and you don’t mind the jacket’s oversized hood, the Trek 100 is a good buy. For colder temperatures, we’d recommend purchasing a warmer down jacket from Decathlon or another value-oriented brand such as REI, Eddie Bauer, or LL Bean.
Specs at a GlanceMen’s and women’s models are availableTotal Weight: 11.4 oz in a men’s XLComfort range: 23F-41FInsulation: 800 fill power RDS-certified down (10% grey duck feather, 90% grey duck down)Insulation weight: 3.1 oz in a size mediumPockets: 2 zippered handwarmer pockets, jacket stuffs into a pocket.Construction: Sewn ThroughShell Fabric: 15d Polyamide
The Decathlon Forclaz Trek 100 is insulated with 800 fill power RDS-certified duck down which is a bit unusual for a jacket at this price. Most lower cost down jackets, like the Amazon Essentials Lightweight Down Hooded Jacket (~$50) are insulated with 650 fill power down. Before you ask, the 800 fill power duck down used in Forclaz Trek 100 is just as warm as 800 fill power goose down because fill power is a species-independent measurement. Duck down is less expensive than goose down however because there is a much larger supply of it.
The Forclaz Trek 100 has a sewn-through baffle design, where the interior and exterior fabric are sewn together to create pockets to hold the down insulation. While some heat can escape at the seams, this technique is the norm on budget-priced down jackets because it is simpler and less expensive to sew than the box baffled design found on warmer and more expensive jackets.
The Forclaz Trek 100 hood is oversized but helmet-compatible.
The Forclaz Trek 100 has a minimal feature set. It has an oversized, non-adjustable hood, a YKK zipper with a zipper garage at the top, two zippered handwarmer pockets, elasticated wrist cuffs, and a shock-cord waist adjustment to seal out drafts from below. There’s no chest pocket for storing a phone and no internal pockets for storing extra gloves or snacks. The hood is oversized and not adjustable to seal in body heat, but it is large enough to fit over a climbing helmet while proving good ear and chin coverage.
While the jacket is named the Forclaz Trek 100 23F Down Packable Puffer, Decathlon assigns it a comfort rating 41 degrees F. We think using the jacket’s lower limit in the product name is disingenuous in light of the fact that it doesn’t keep us warm below 40F degrees when worn over a long sleeve synthetic jersey with a mid-weight fleece pullover and fleece hat. But if you only need it for three-season trips down to 40F-degree temperatures, it gets the job done just fine.
Jackets like the Forclaz Trek 100 are meant to be worn in camp when you’re hanging out with friends or cooking meals or during a rest stop so you can quickly put something warm on to avoid a chill. They’re not a good active layering option when you’re hiking because you’ll quickly overheat when wearing one, they don’t absorb perspiration, and don’t wick it out of your baselayer like a fleece. See our Decathlon Quechua MH100 Review for a mid-layer fleece we recommend, which complements the Forclaz Trek 100 nicely.
The Forclaz Trek 100 in a size men’s XL is true-to-size in terms of sleeve length and torso length although it is a bit snug around the chest. The sizing is large enough to accommodate a base and mid-layer. The hood is large and non-adjustable. While its opening is bordered by elastic, it is too loosely tensioned to close the gap between the hood and one’s face. We recommend you wear a fleece or wool hat when using the hood to keep your head warmer.
You’ll want to wear a fleece or wool hat inside the oversized hood to stay warmer.
The Decathlon Forclaz Trek 100 Down Puffer Jacket is an inexpensive packable down puffer insulated with 800 fill power down that is priced far less than comparable jackets offered by other manufacturers. If you only need a down jacket for three-season hiking and backpacking use to keep you warm to about 40 degrees, then it’s a pretty good value for the money like many of Decathlon’s other products. But if you need a jacket for colder conditions, I’d recommend getting a heavier jacket with a better hood and more down insulation. Decathlon also makes a hoodless down jacket called the Forclaz Trek 500 which has a 32F degree comfort rating and may be a good option. The advantage of a hoodless jacket is that it can be worn under hooded rain jacket or winter shell more easily than a hooded puffy.
Disclosure: The author owns this jacket.
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