I recently had two of my preconceived notions shut down. The first was that deserts are warm. The second was that down skirts aren’t an essential insulating layer. I’ll be the first to admit that I doubted the down skirt. I’m a big fan of down jackets, mittens, pants, and whatever else those gear manufacturers can come up with, but a down skirt seemed too far. Especially a DownTek skirt, meaning that the feathers were treated to stay dry in wet conditions.
Big Agnes Zirkel Review
Big Agnes was able to change my mind when I woke up shivering in my sleeping bag at 2 AM. I’d decided to leave Jackson for the month of November to chase warm, sunny days of climbing sandstone in Indian Creek. Looking out my car window, I saw that it was snowing over the desert towers, and I was freezing. I reached for an extra layer, and found my down skirt. Big Agnes designed their skirt with easy snaps instead of zippers, meaning that my frozen hands didn’t have any trouble getting it around my waist. It instantly warmed up my core and sent blood pumping to my extremities. I slept soundly for the rest of the night.After that, my down skirt rarely left my body. I slept in it, cooked in it and wore it around camp to keep warm. I would have climbed in it too if it was harness compatible. Not only did it keep my lower core warm, but it also worked as a great insulating layer when I wanted to sit down at the cold picnic table in our campsite in the morning. Essentially I felt like I was wearing part of my sleeping bag around all day.
The snap on system is also adjustable, making it easy to fit my skirt over as many layers as I want. Most women who spend a lot of time in cold environments know that we get cold faster than our male counter parts. Having less meat on our bones causes blood to recede to the core faster. While a down jacket keeps your chest warm, I often find my butt literally being left out in the cold. Wearing a down skirt kept my stomach and butt warm, meaning that blood flow increased to my toes and fingers.
After being saved in an unexpectedly cold desert, this skeptic is now a true believer in the down skirt. I’m still just waiting on that harness compatible version so I never have to take it off.