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The REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 blends high-quality down insulation with an action-oriented design and a competitive price-to-value ratio. It’s one of the best down jackets of the year.
To get us a closer look, REI sent Man Makes Fire a review unit. This is what we learned:
Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 Review
The REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 uses excellent 850-fill-power goose down to provide lofty insulation. Even better, the down is hydrophobic, meaning it’s been treated to repel water and dry fast. REI uses this same “850” quality down in other products, most notably the excellent REI Co-op Magma 15 Sleeping Bag.
The shell is made from Pertex Diamond Fuse fabric, which uses diamond-shaped filaments that lock together to keep down inside each baffle. The Pertex shell is also abrasion-resistant. It too has a DWR coating to help shed moisture.
As part of the overall design, REI uses baffles of varying sizes and angles. These are mapped to your body to deliver more insulation to areas you need it and less to those you don’t. For instance, the baffles under each arm are much smaller, which improves your range of motion. As a design element, we think the varied baffle design ends up making the jacket more stylish, too.
To seal out drafts, REI includes drawcords at the hem.
The cuffs have just a bit of elastic stretch and don’t do a great job of sealing out drafts; however, with a long-sleeve base layer, the fit is pretty good. This design can be a bit of a trade-off — tighter cuffs are better with short sleeve shirts but they can bind or bunch when worn with long-sleeve mid layers. Because we tend to wear long sleeves in cooler weather, the more open 850 Magma cuff is not a big deal for us.
Built for Action
While you can easily wear the REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 on city streets, REI errors many of its designs toward outdoor activity. The shoulder seams are rolled forward to prevent chafing under backpack straps — and indeed, the 850 Magma Down Hoodie 2.0 is comfortable with backpacks.
Similarly, REI places the pocket openings a bit higher to make sure they are compatible with a backpack’s hip belts. Nice. In everyday usage, they don’t feel out of place. You can still put your hands in your pockets and stroll down a cold city sidewalk.
The hoodie itself is warm and well-baffled without being too big or bulky. It lays particularly well when you’re not using it, which we appreciate. In use, it has a draw cord adjustment at the rear to help you dial in the fit. In our experience, it’s about average when it comes to usage. You get good coverage for your neck and head, but when you turn your head without turning your body, your head doesn’t usually turn the hood, too. One of your eyes will inevitably slide behind the hood. To be fair, this is a very common problem with most hood designs. We solve it by wearing a baseball cap, because the cap forces any hood to stay out of the way.
In general, we don’t knock hoods that don’t move perfectly with your head side-to-side because everybody’s head size, shape, neck, and fit so often make a perfect hood fit ridiculously hard to nail down. Plus, nylon is slick. Your head is going to slip underneath it.
The REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 version seems to fit slightly larger than the previous version, giving it a solid “regular” fit. The sleeves are just a bit longer than before, too. What this means is that fit gives you plenty of torso room for two solid layers underneath. If you wear a base layer or a t-shirt, along with a fleece pullover, for example, the 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 will layer easily and fit well.
If you’re athletic or thin, you could size down for a trimmer fit — unless you have long arms. REI has started offering a tall version of its REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket 2.0, but not yet for its 850 Down Hoodie 2.0.
The Magma 850 weighs in at a respectably light 13.75 ounces, making it a lightweight jacket. We noticed that some of REI’s online customer reviews seem to come from people with expectations for warmth that don’t match what the jacket is designed for. If you’re looking for a layering piece that blocks a good amount of wind and delivers above average warmth, you’re heading in the right direction. If you want a true down coat, check out our guide to the best down jackets, coats and parkas to find the insulating level you’re looking for.
The 850 Magma 2.0 Verdict
All-in-all, the REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 is a fantastic overall down jacket. It’s built ready for outdoor action, and better yet, it comes in at an outstanding price point. The value is truly excellent, and when it goes on sale, it’s hard to beat for the price. If you need a regular fit down jacket, the Magma 850 Down Hoodie offers truly solid construction at a friendly price point. Highly recommended.