I have been testing the CimAlp Ecrins 2 down jacket. The jacket is made with CIMALOFT® padding, which is claimed to be one of the industry’s highest-performing “blowable” insulation. Made of 30% biological fibres and 70% polyester fibres, it provides the look and feel of natural down.
You can wear this jacket alone, or as a mid-layer with a wind vest or under a winter jacket.
What’s good about the CimAlp Ecrins 2 puffer jacket?
I like the length. This jacket is longer than others, keeping my back better covered which makes a difference when the wind is blowing.
The jacket has the standard pockets. There is one chest zipped pocket, two side zipped pockets, and one inside zipped pocket.
The hood is spacious and has an elastic edge to it so as to keep it close to your head. It is also adjustable with an elastic drawstring to cinch it down tighter in wind.
Layering is one of the main bonuses of this jacket. While traveling, I have little desire to lug around a full winter jacket and also my running jacket. What I love about this jacket is that I can easily wear it on its own, or layered for a variety of uses. It saves me the headache of having to determine which jackets to take when I am jumping between a variety of weather and activity needs.
This is a great jacket for walking around town, staying warm in a draughty room, or hiking up in the mountains.
When I’m not wearing it, this jacket packs down into the interior pocket. That means one less stuff sack to keep track of, and also a lower risk of my jacket getting caught in the zipper of my bag, or the sleeve falling out when I am reaching for something.
CimAlp’s CIMALOFT® insulation is probably one of the main draws for this jacket. It is advertised to keep you warmer with with less insulation, while still being made up of a mix of 30% biological fibres and 70% polyester fibres.
This means it looks and feels like natural down, but incorporates renewable plant-based materials. I personally haven’t noticed a difference positive or negative between this and natural down, besides not feeling the feathers. I suppose that is a good thing!
In addition, the YKK full central zip with chin protection is standard and the elastic wrists are nice to keep the cold air out.
As far as sizing, there are no special considerations. I have found their sizing to line up with the industry standards, so if you normal wear a medium, buy a medium.
CimAlp also has a hood-less version, and a women’s version available.
What’s not so good about the CimAlp Ecrins 2 puffer jacket?
While I like the idea of the hidden pocket on the front, the chest pocket zipper is small and lacking. I can’t grip it with gloves on. I would much rather have a full zipper with pull tab than the hidden zipper feature.
In future jackets, I would like to see reinforced shoulders like CimAlp has on other jackets. It just makes sense if you are going to toss on a pack, you are out skiing or you are carrying a child who refuses to walk any further.
Conclusion: A puffer jacket is a key bit of kit for any outdoor enthusiast. CimAlp’s edition, the Ecrins 2 ticks the boxes for those who want to stay warm and yet want more plant-based materials. I plan on getting a lot of use out of this jacket.
I received this jacket in exchange for an honest review.