MyTrail jacket review – tested in Alaska!

Snowgrrl review of MyTrail light down jacket
MyTrail takes to Mendenhall Glacier!

Mountain tested:  MyTrail Women’s 850 Fill HL Hooded Down Jacket

I’m always excited to try products emerging from Colorado companies, especially those who take pride in ethical sourcing.  So, when offered the chance to do a MyTrail jacket review, I jumped at it.  My Trail acquired the designs of GoLite in 2015 to become a leader in lightweight outdoor apparel and equipment.  The company is based in the mecca of outdoor recreation: Boulder, Colorado.  My Trail aims to bring back improved versions of the GoLite products, then innovate from there.

The MyTrail jacket review and test was conducted in the cool and varied landscape of Juneau, Alaska.

Initial reaction

MyTrail runs a small retail store on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.  I enjoyed an afternoon in early May wandering around the pedestrian mall.  The MyTrail store features an array of brightly colored, technical-looking clothing, including tops, shorts, and jackets in primary colors that caught my eye as I walked into the store.  The prices seemed quite reasonable – most of last season’s merchandise was marked way, way down.  I left the store with a jacket to review and many new items on my wish list for the future.  The down jacket I chose is extremely light, weighing far less than heavier down jackets I’m used to.  I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical about how warm it would actually keep me.

Exploring Mendenhall Glacier

Summer in Alaska

Where was it tested?

Having acquired the jacket in early summer, I was a bit concerned that I might not have an opportunity to test it in appropriate weather for quite a while.  Then again, I remember snow in Denver one Memorial Day.   It didn’t snow in the weeks or months immediately after I obtained the jacket, but I finally had the chance to try it out during a cruise to Alaska in July.  Much to the amazement of my friends, I fit all of my belongings for a week into a carry-on bag, thanks in part to this jacket, which scrunches up into a little ball for packing.

The middle of our journey took us to Juneau, Alaska.  When I woke up at 5:30 a.m. (the sun rises very early in Alaska in the summertime; I’m sensitive to light, and the blackout curtains on the cruise ship cabin still let in a tiny sliver of light),  I went out on the veranda to see the most spectacular landscape.  We were cruising inside Tracy Fjord, where we saw Mendenhall Glacier “calving,” or breaking apart.  The day was cold and windy, especially on the top deck of the ship, so I figured it was a perfect day to do my MyTrail jacket review and see if a lightweight jacket could really keep me warm.  After lunch, we docked in the town of Juneau.  We spent a few windy hours walking around the downtown area, then took a helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier in the afternoon.

Technical Specifications

  • Windproof Outer Shell: 20-Denier ripstop nylon with DWR (durable water repellent) finish
  • Fill weight: 125 g
  • Weight: 9.5 oz
  • Lining: Polyester
  • Full length front zipper with internal storm flap to prevent drafts
  • External zipper garage to protect skin
  • Insulation: 850-fill-power ethically sourced down – materials that abide by the Responsible Down Standards (RDS) which I learned about at the 2018 SnowShow
  • Elastic cord hem adjustment
  • Elastic cuffs
  • Zippered microfleece lined hand warmer pockets
  • Reflective logo for safety

How did it perform?

The MyTrail jacket kept me toasty warm in the city of Juneau as well as on Mendenhall Glacier.  I noticed that our helicopter pilot and guides wore shells, so I was a little worried that my super light down jacket might now be hardy enough to withstand the strong wind up on the glacier.   Happily, when I put the hood up and zipped up my jacket, I was insulated against the elements.  The wind still whipped at my face, but my upper body stayed warm.  The lightweight jacket really did its job!

Room for Improvement?

As with all down jackets, I noticed a few feathers trying to poke their way through the nylon fabric of this jacket.  If any new technology makes the nylon totally immune to such occurrences, MyTrail should incorporate it.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing about this jacket, and I’ll likely pack it on future trips to cool climates.

Consistent with all snowgrrl reviews of products tested, this review states my honest opinion about the MyTrail jacket received at no charge from the company.

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