The jacket that strikes a balance between excellent warmth, great fit and packability.
- Secure hand warmer
- Outer and inner chest pockets
- 130 g Fill weight
- Stuff sack
- Outer fabric – 40 g/m² 100% polyester face with DWR
- 650 fill down
- Inner fabric – 67 g/m² 100% Tier 1 recycled polyester lining
- GoLite Index
- Environmentally Preferred Materials – 1.5
- Responsible Sourcing & Transportation – 3
- End-of-Life Responsibility – 3.5
- Measured size medium
- Weight – 460 g (16.2 oz)
- Center back – 71 cm (28 in)
- Pit to pit – 58 cm (22.8 in)
- Sleeve length – 87.5 cm (34.4 in) clam-shell cuff sticks out 2 cm more
- Retail – $175
If you do not know a lot about GoLite, you should take a look. They make apparel and gear for the outdoors with a focus on lightweight and sustainable products. Their products are built to inspire people to get outdoors and enjoy nature. At the same time, they look to create a smaller footprint and be good stewards of our planet while not compromising performance. I was able to work with GoLite to test this down jacket. The Beartooth jacket is the first GoLite jacket I have ever used, but I do not think it will be the last.
I have been testing this jacket all fall and into the winter. While we have had a pretty mild start to the cold season here in Bend. I have had some opportunities to test the jacket while hiking, around town, and even on a cross-country skiing trip.
The GoLite Beartooth 650 Fill Down Jacket is a lightweight but warm down jacket. The jacket finds the middle ground between being uber-lightweight and warmth. At just over a pound, 460 g with my scale in a medium, the Beartooth does not make much of a sacrifice in the weight category. The outer fabric is a 40 g/m2100% polyester. While being very light the outer fabric is still rather durable. It has been treated with a DWR finish to help repel water and protect the down. GoLite uses 130 grams of 650 weight Down fill to insulate the jacket. This high quality down has excellent warmth to weigh characteristics. GoLite uses a 85/15 cluster to feather ratio for their down. Well above the standard level of 70/30. Down also compresses exceptionally well. The Beartooth jacket comes with its own stuff sack that the jacket can be stuffed into. If you would like to learn more about down, just follow the link on the banner below.
The inner lining of the jacket is made of 67 g/m2 recycled polyester. This fabric has a slightly thicker feel than the outer fabric but is 100% recycled and does not sacrifice performance. The collar uses a brushed polyester to give comfort around the neck and to the chin. The Beartooth has four pockets in total: two hand warmer pockets, a chest pocket, and an inner chest pocket. The inner chest pocket does not have an audio out but there is a headphone guide just above the pocket. Behind the front main zipper, there is a draft flap to prevent chilling winds from penetrating through the zipper. To aid in the fit as well as keeping cold winds from coming up from below, there is a drawcord at the bottom hem. It can be adjusted on both sides of the jacket for the best fit. The wrist cuffs have a clamshell shape to them, so they partially cover the back of the hands. Underneath the wrist are an elastic section to make for easy on and off and a relatively close fit.
It is sometimes difficult to comment on the appearance of a jacket as it is very subjective. The Beartooth is relatively subdued in appearance. There are four colors available and none are over the top, in my opinion. The one I tested is a charcoal grey color with contrasting orange zippers. If you do not mind looking puffed up in a down jacket, I think it looks sharp. Others might disagree so I will leave it up to each person to decide. The jacket seems to be well made. On occasion an occasional feather has come out but not nearly at the rate of some other jackets tested.
One of the cool things GoLite does with all their products is the GoLite Index. The GoLite Index is a report card that measures each product GoLite makes against their social and environmental impact goals. They use sustainable design principles and rigorous grading criteria on all their products. Each product is scored in three major areas: Environmentally Preferred Materials, Responsible Production, and Education & End-of-Life Programs. These categories get at the environmental quality of the materials they use, the human rights performance of the factory where the product was made, and the responsibility GoLite takes for their product’s end-of-life. For more information or to let GoLite know what you think, just go to their site. The Beartooth 650 Fill Down Jacket scores a 1.5 in Environmentally Preferred Material, 3 in Responsible Sourcing & Transportation, and 3.5 in End-of-Life Responsibility. I think it is an awesome program by GoLite, keep up the good work!
Arm Length (30%)
Comfort Next to Skin (10%)
Ease of Movement (10%)
Torso Sizing (30%)
The GoLite Beartooth Jacket is super comfortable, but some of the dimensions were a bit off for me. GoLite specifies the Jacket as a relaxed fit and I would agree with that. The jacket was at or above average on all aspects except for the arm length. I really liked the clamshell shaped cuffs and elastic opening but felt like the arms were slightly short. I did not have any issues with the length when my arms were down, but if I reached out, then the short length was apparent. I wish the arms were about an inch longer, and that would have been perfect. The jacket is still very comfortable. The inner fabric while slightly stiffer than the outer is soft against the skin. The collar is nice against the neck. The size around the neck is also about right for me. I do think by not having an adjustable collar the jacket is missing a bit of adjustability. You may or may not agree, depending on your neck size.
The length of the jacket is good. With a down jacket, you do not want it to be too long so it sticks out below your shell. This jacket hits me about halfway down my butt, which is shorter than most, if not all, my shells. The arms are not gusseted, which may be a reason for them feeling short when I raise my arms. The jacket is still very unrestricting.
Water Resistance (15%)
Wind Resistance (15%)
the GoLite Beartooth Down Jacket is very warm for a one-pound jacket. Even wearing it out in the snow and wind the jacket kept me nice and toasty. The jacket blocks a fair amount of wind but since the seams are sewn through, wind can get through there a bit. It is not much of an issue in the conditions I have used the jacket in, but it is worth mentioning. The jacket does have a DWR finish, but I would not consider it for blocking mush more than light rain or snow. Since the jacket is down it will lose all performance characteristics if it gets wet. Light rain or snow will bead up and roll off if needed. On my snowy cross-country skiing trip, the jacket had no issues inside or out. I primarily use this jacket as an insulation piece and stuff it in my jacket since it packs down so small. When I take breaks or reach camp, the Beartooth is a perfect jacket for throwing on quickly to stay warm.
Down jackets are great since they are lightweight and packable. I like to stuff them into my pack for this reason, and this jacket is no exception. If you layer it with a shell, you can stay warm to temperatures way below freezing as long as you are moving around. The Beartooth breathes fairly well, but it is an insulated jacket so it is easy to overheat if you are very active. As with all down products, just make sure to keep them dry, not only do they dry very slowly, they also lose all warmth when wet.
Overall, I have been pleased with the GoLite Beartooth Jacket. I am impressed by the level in which GoLite has committed to being fully transparent and built to promote a more sustainable product. While the jacket has some sustainable practices built in, it does not suffer in performance, which is the key. Apart from the arms feeling a bit short for me the jacket has been a welcome addition to my pack. The jacket is only one pound, which makes it easy to take on any trip and packs down very small as well. The Beartooth is a good option for around town, hiking, climbing, and any other activity where you need to stay warm and comfortable. Like I said above, the DWR finish will repel light rain and snow but don’t count on it to do any more than that. At $175 retail the Beartooth is comparable to other jackets if not a better value than some. As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- Sustainable manufacturing practices
- Good warmth to weight
- Clamshell shaped cuffs
- Very packable
- Arms felt slightly short
- No audio port for inner pocket