Millet Expert Down Parka

Imagine a big ol’ smothering hug from Big Momma, and you know what it feels like to slide into Millet’s Expert Down Parka.

ULTBL.jpg$250 www.milletusa.com 4 stars

IMAGINE A BIG OL’ smothering hug from Big Momma, and you know what it feels like to slide into Millet’s Expert Down Parka.

It had been about 20 years since I’d worn a down coat, and, climbing and shuffling around in pile and fleece jackets, which I felt obliged to wear for some unexplainable reason (vanity, probably), I’d forgotten what it was like to actually be toasty warm and not have the wind boning you. Stuffed with an ample shot of goose down, lined, and sporting a hood, the mid-weight two-pound parka is The Bling for cold, dry conditions like those in the Rockies. Two zippered, hand-warmer pockets and two Napoleon pockets squirrel away gloves, a headlamp, a tin of Altoids, bottle of ibuprofen, cap, wallet, car keys, reading glasses and a small jar of Joshua Tree salve. The only thing I had trouble with was the Parka’s main zipper. For some European reason, the zip is left-handed. While I have often been told that I actually have two left hands, it still took me several weeks to dial in the zip.

I can’t tell you precisely how warm the Parka is, but I wore it in temps down to minus 15 F and up to 20, using it for belaying ice climbs, around town and booth duty at a four-day ice festival, and was never cold, not even a tiny bit. I especially liked the attached hood, which was always conveniently there, ready to embrace your head like Big Momma’s bosom. Yes!