SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Warmth Comes in Many Colors with Hi-Tec’s Timaru Down Hoodie

I’m certainly not alone when I say I have an unyielding affection towards winter. If you’re fortunate to live in a snowy climate, it’s a beautiful time of year that frosts the landscape into a sugary scene of winter wonderland delight. But for as much as I love winter, I don’t love the perpetual six months of ice-cold fingers, toes and other body parts that come with it. Which is why you’ll often find me bundled up in a hoodie or jacket in my apartment (hey, electric heat is expensive), let alone outdoors.

So when Hi-Tec sent me its new women’s Timaru Down Hoodie to test out for the season, I knew it’d be put to good use. This hybrid jacket/hoodie top is classified as an insulation layer, but I’ve managed to wear it as an external shell as much as I have a toasty mid-layer. And in testing this hoodie in temperatures between 0 – 40 degrees, it’s proven its warmth every time.

The new Hi-Tec women's Timaru Down Hoodie is a hybrid insulation layer that's ideal for sub-freezing adventures.

The new Hi-Tec women’s Timaru Down Hoodie is a hybrid insulation layer that’s ideal for sub-freezing adventures.

Above freezing, the Timaru Down Hoodie loses much of its function, and obviously so. Its 700-fill power down insulation is meant for ruggedly cold days. Yet for how warm it is, it packs a surprisingly low profile fit, thus keeping the bulk – both on your body and inside your pack – to a minimum.

Needless to say, I’ve found the Timaru Hoodie to be as versatile at home as it is around a fire during a winter camping trip, as well as a few hiking excursions in between. Though it doesn’t come with a stuff sack, it does pack down for efficient traveling.

Hi-Tec chose not to include any pit zips, but if you need them, you most likely don’t need to be wearing it — because, again, this piece is built for the cold. On the tech side, the Timaru features two zippered hand pockets and draw cords at the hem and hood. No bells and whistles here. Just good, ol’ warmth in a reliable insulating layer.

The women's Timaru Down Hoodie is Hi-Tec's first piece to introduce Color-Tec, a colorful stuffing for down insulation.

The women’s Timaru Down Hoodie is Hi-Tec’s first piece to introduce Color-Tec, a colorful stuffing for down insulation.

One detail, however, makes this hybrid jacket/hoodie stand out from anything else on the market: a transparent nylon mini-rip shell that’s stuffed with individually dyed feathers.

Hi-Tec is the first company to utilize this Color-Tec concept, which adds a new twist to down jackets and you transition from the trailhead to the apres lounge with a little boost of style and individuality.

In my opinion, Hi-Tec nailed this hybrid jacket for the recreational adventurist that needs a multi-functional warm layer. And given its price, it leans towards the affordable end of the spectrum for a performance insulation piece.

The Hi-Tec Timaru Down Hoodie retails for $189. For more info, click here.

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