REI has been doing a great job of creating both men’s and women’s versions of its outdoor gear, taking special care to tailor its women’s versions to fit women’s body shapes. The REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 blends high-quality down insulation with an outdoor-ready design and a great price-to-value ratio. It’s one of our favorite down jackets of the year.
To get us a closer look, REI sent Man Makes Fire a review unit. This is what we learned:
Women’s Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0
The REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 uses high-quality 850-fill-power goose down to provide lofty insulation. The Magma 850 down also uses a hydrophobic coating that repels moisture and helps it dry quickly. REI uses this same “850” quality down in other products, most notably the excellent REI Co-op Magma 30 Sleeping Bag, which REI makes in a women’s version that adds hip space while reducing the shoulder width. The result is a body-mapped shape that’s more comfortable but also more thermally efficient.
The same goes for the REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0. While some down jackets still retain a fairly boxy shape for women, REI delivers a tighter waist and a bit of hip flair to the hem. In some ways, the women’s version seems to fit better than it does for the men’s version, which has a regular fit that’s more boxy around the midsection whether you need it or not.
In addition, the shape of the angled baffles flatter a woman’s figure, making the Magma 850 Down Hoodie appear to be a bit slimmer than it really is.
Our gear tester reports that the fit is spot on — very similar to previous generations of REI’s best down jacket.
Every down jacket we’ve ever tested has shed a few down feathers, but the best shed very few. The challenge is to use a tightly woven lightweight shell material to reduce any chance that a down fiber might work its way through. With high-quality down, the down is whispy and fluffy. When lower-quality feathers get into the mix, they can more easily poke through.
In our review unit, we’ve seen very little down escape, and the same goes for our men’s version as well.
The 850 Magma Down Hoodie 2.0 shell is made from Pertex Diamond Fuse fabric, which uses diamond-shaped filaments that lock together for a tighter weave. The Pertex shell is also abrasion-resistant, and REI covered it with a DWR coating to help shed moisture.
Body Mapped Baffles
REI body-mapped its baffles for better fit and comfort. For instance, the underarm baffles are smaller to improve your range of motion. The shoulder, chest and arm baffles are larger to provide a slightly thicker layer of insulation.
To seal out drafts, REI includes drawcords at the hem.
The elasticized cuffs are not particularly stretchy, and like the men’s version, they are a bit bigger than they need to be when wearing short-sleeved shirts. With long-sleeve layers, they fit better.
Our gear tester likes how the hoodie lays fairly flat against her back. As for the hood itself, it’s warm, and like the men’s version, doesn’t turn with your head. The vast majority of hoods, particularly those with slick materials, don’t turn well either, so this isn’t really a con on the design. Just a fact.
REI has raised the pockets to let you wear a backpack with a hip belt and still access the pockets. We were at first concerned they would be too high for everyday use, but we were surprised at how well they work overall.
Also for backpacks, the shoulder seams are rolled forward to prevent chafing under backpack straps.
The Magma 850 weighs in at a respectably light 11.5 ounces, making it a lightweight down jacket. REI doesn’t offer any temperature ratings, and for good reason: Everyone is different and weather conditions constantly change.
For our gear tester, two interior layers, such as a t-shirt and a long-sleeve fleece, create a very warm system capable of handling some temperatures that dip below freezing. But again, walking creates a lot more warmth than simply standing still, so everyone’s experience will vary. The key benefit of the REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 is that it is so versatile — you can fit a couple of warm layers underneath for extra warmth or throw it over a single layer to handle a wide variety of less frigid on-the-go temperature changes.
For more serious weather, you can even layer a waterproof shell over the top, which is what we do during early spring and later-season backpacking trips.
All-in-all, the women’s REI Co-op 850 Magma Down Hoodie 2.0 is an outstanding overall down jacket. The fit and finish is very good, as are the action-ready design elements. The real key, though, is the price-to-value ratio. The overall quality is better than its price point. Highly recommended.