- Uniqlo’s Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka is only $69.90 but delivers the warmth of a much more expensive product.
- This jacket is very thin, it weighs less than a pound, and it can be rolled into a compact pouch for easy storage while traveling.
- Fall weather requires a jacket that is warm without being too heavy, and this jacket delivers on that with its lightweight, flattering cut.
I spent my college years in upstate New York, an area known for its frigid winter temperatures. Naturally, weeks before my first year began my mom insisted on taking me shopping for winter essentials – think heavy jackets, snow boots, and fleece gloves.
Shopping for winter jackets in the summer can be quite trying, especially when you’re a teenager who wants nothing less than their mom telling them what to do. So, when my mom insisted I buy this Uniqlo jacket after a draining day of trying on too much down and wool, I said fine, packed it in my bag, and brought it to school with me. Shortly after, I ended up losing it at a party without much thought.
Fast forward two years, I was about to head off to study abroad in Spain. With limited packing space for four months abroad, I needed a jacket that would keep me warm for my travels throughout Europe without taking up too much space in my suitcase. I thought back to the Uniqlo Ultra Light Down jacket I had lost two years ago, yes the one my mom insisted I buy but I could have cared less about, and realized it was just what I needed. There began my love story with this jacket – and I have never worn it to a party, or let it get lost, since.
If you are looking for a heavy-duty winter coat, one that can withstand below freezing temperatures, this is not it. What this jacket is, though, is a thin down layer that is deceptively warm and very affordable at about $70.
While there are a few styles, I have the Ultra Light Down Seamless Parka. It’s hard to imagine that this coat could provide any substantial warmth from just looking at it. The jacket itself weighs less than a pound; Uniqlo compares the weight of the jacket to the weight of three eggs. But, surprisingly, this super thin jacket is pretty warm.
The shell is 100% nylon and it’s filled with 90% down, with a fill power of over 640. Fill power refers to the quality of the down used and a higher fill power correlates with a greater ability to retain heat. So, even though this jacket is very light, the high fill power means it provides a substantial amount of warmth for its weight.
The jacket comes in many colors and a simple, fitted cut that will complement anyone. This can be credited to the vertical quilting Uniqlo uses to achieve a more flattering look. Of course, I think this jacket is better used for function than fashion, but the fact that it’s nice looking is a plus.
I tend to size up in down jackets, as I like having the ability to layer as much as I want underneath my coat in order to stay warm. In wanting to keep with the fitted look of this one, I stayed with my regular size and I still am able to fit a few layers beneath the coat comfortably.
What sets this jacket apart for me is that it can be rolled into a small pouch for easy storage and portability.
Each jacket in the collection is accompanied by a drawstring nylon pouch which, when used, transforms your jacket into a light, compact little cylinder. It easily fits in a backpack, larger pocket, or even a purse. When I traveled abroad, this feature became especially useful as I usually only travelled with a small carry on bag, even for longer trips. In attempting to pack smarter, some items had to go, but this small jacket always had a place in my luggage. For the warmth it gives, I would have given up even more of my suitcase space to keep it with me, but luckily it barely takes up any room at all.
- Uniqlo Instagram
It should also be noted that his jacket has a water-repellent coating, but is not weatherproof. It is enough to withstand light rain and snow, but can’t promise to keep you dry in a monsoon. I have got caught in heavy rain in this jacket before, and while it doesn’t compare to a slick windbreaker, it does a decent job of keeping out the water. The jacket itself absorbs most of the water, making it wetter and heavier, but for the most part your body and any layers of clothing you are wearing underneath won’t be sopping wet. When you zip the jacket all the way up and put on the hood, the hood does a good job of covering your face, which I feel is one of its best features for more severe weather conditions like wind and snow. Again, though, this isn’t a rain jacket or ski jacket and it isn’t trying to be.
This jacket sits in my closet sandwiched somewhere between my heavy-duty winter parka, which provides tons of warmth and insulation, and my denim jackets, which provide barely any. This jacket is a happy medium perfect for brisk fall days, when the average temperature is somewhere around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. When it gets colder, this jacket can easily be worn over a heavier sweater or under a larger coat. I go with the former combination often, layering a T-shirt and sweater under this coat for added warmth.
It’s hard to now imagine my resistance to buying this piece those five years ago, but I am so glad I made the choice to re-purchase. For fall, winter, and spring, this jacket is now a staple of mine. It’s not the warmest jacket I own, or the best-looking, but at only $69.90 it’s the best value I’ve found and a product that now has a forever hanger in my closet.