Crescent Down Works, which has been producing made-to-order down apparel in a historic Seattle factories for decades, is the place to go if you're serious about insulation. The company's goose-down parkas, overshirts, and hoodies are no-nonsense Northwest classics. That's why Eugene, Oregon-based brand Archival Clothing, decided to collaborated with the prominent featherer to create a new down vest based on an "Italian Vest" pattern.
The Waxed Down Vest features Archival's signature waxed cotton for the exterior (also seen in the brand's duffels, roll-top commuter bags, and rucksacks) and a comfortable nylon interior shell. Sandwiched between the rugged outside and the soft inner are 5.5 ounces of 700-power goose down that work with a draft-smothering elasticized hem to provide warmth.
Normally, a garment that attempts to bring together every material in the cold-weather hall of fame - Filson-style waxed cotton, the lightweight nylon/down combo of puffy insulators, a worsted-wool knit collar courtesy of Centralia Knitting Mills - would be more likely to raise an eyebrow than our heart rate. But the Archival x CDW vest is both handsome and durable. Having spent years shedding feathers from our down gear like a molting goose, we consider the dense waxed twill a common sense upgrade. [Navy or olive, $325; archivalclothing.com]