Fired up about Eddie Bauer’s Igniter jacket |

Fired up about Eddie Bauer’s Igniter jacket

I think I’ve finally found the all-around jacket – it’s been tested in the rain, sleet and snow, as well as in cold, windy weather and in the suitcase. And so far, Eddie Bauer’s Igniter Jacket has performed well in all scenarios.

Eddie Bauer has refocused its outdoor gear products and has included mountaineering, designed by guides like Peter Whittaker and Ed Viesturs.

While perusing, my curiosity was piqued by the Igniter because Whittaker said it’s his “favorite piece, period.”

I would imagine it’s versatile enough that he wears it when guiding and alpine skiing. So far, I’ve worn it while hiking above tree line around Aspen, as well as walking through the mountains outside of Santa Fe, N.M., and camping in Minnesota.

I expect it will hold up nicely while skiing, which soon will be a reality as the season is less than three weeks away. Because it’s so light, I hope it’s enough as an outer layer on the mountain. But if it’s good enough for Whittaker to use at Sun Valley, I’m sure it will be warm enough for me.

The Igniter is part of the First Ascent line and its PrimaLoft One insulation kept me warm even when I was wet.

According to Eddie Bauer, ultrafine fibers are specially treated in a patented process and then combined into an insulating core that’s soft, lightweight and water-resistant. PrimaLoft One absorbs three times less water, is 14 percent warmer when dry and 24 percent warmer when wet than their competitors’ insulation, according to the company’s website.

I’ve had the thing pretty darn wet and I remained warm the entire time. Eddie Bauer got it right when designing a jacket built for cold, damp conditions.

The hood protected me from the elements and the cinching system enabled me to easily hunker down. Another bonus is that the hood is designed to fit over my ski helmet.

The jacket is super light and compressible – it packs easily in a small pouch, which was key for me both traveling and hiking. (It weighs 18.32 ounces).

Eddie Bauer describes the Igniter as an ideal base camp or belay jacket, or as an outer layer on ascents of sub-8,000-meter peaks.

I can’t wait to use it hiking this winter – gone are the days of having to carry a heavy jacket around my waist during the ascent. Now, I’ll just stuff the Igniter in its pouch, throw it in the backpack and not even know it’s there.

It comes in “peacock” (turquoise) or black and retails for $179.

Rating: Four stars out of five.

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