Big Agnes Fire Tower Belay JacketGET IT
Of the jackets tested, the Fire Tower felt the most like wearing a sleeping bag. On Utah’s San Juan River in November, when the water bucket froze an inch thick, I had the hood pulled tight, a hot mug of coffee in hand, and it was like I never got out of the snug tent. I also like the touches of durability and lack of frills. The hood is roomy enough to wear over a helmet, but pulls tight. The zipper is mid-weight and durable, the torso is long enough to pull down over my butt, and there are enough pockets (but not too many). The jacket offers 700-fill down, a nylon shell, and solid warmth on the coldest of trips, without unnecessary gee-gaws. The tradeoff is a bit of bulk. The jacket fits into a stuff sack about the size of a summer-weight down sleeping bag.
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