The Packaway Fuse jacket from L.L.Bean is a lightweight, highly breathable packable jacket designed to fill that need for light weight warmth in the spring, summer, and fall.
It’s a quite straight forward jacket, made of a thin PrimaLoft chest, back and upper arms, with a very breathable, vent like, stretchable nylon panels under the arms and down the ribs. This allows the jacket to be used in times of high activity without building up excess body temperature. A couple zippered hand pockets and a check pocket add some hand warmth and organization, while a light collar helps with those windy evenings. The Jacket retails for $159.
What I liked
It’s designed to be used in motion. This is nice for those shoulder seasons transitioning into or out of summer when it’s chilly at night and early in the mornings but too warm for bulky insulation. Ample ventilation does a great job of preventing overheating and sweating.
The jacket fits great, and feels great. Soft materials all around sit gently against the skin, and stays in place well. I rarely even notice I have the jacket on, even while working inside the cramped corners of a tent.
It’s a regret free just in case layer. It packs down absolutely tiny, rolling into a ball about 6” in diameter, and weighs just under 13 ounces on my scale. Great for those fast and light trips where weight is a key concern, but you don’t want to risk leaving a layer behind that you’re not sure you need.
Does an ok for fighting off a light drizzle and dries quickly. Does a great job of blocking wind.
What I didn’t like
I’ve had some piling on the stretch fleece on the sides. It’s minor, but still bothersome.
The light weight, ultra packable design is possible using light weight materials. Some TLC will be required. Just stay out of the briers and it will be fine.
Not a true winter jacket, and it’s not supposed to be. It’s lightweight insulation, designed for shoulder use and for times of high activity.
It’s a great jacket when used in the intended conditions. Lightweight, packable, and an extra layer of insurance during those warmer shoulder seasons or fast and hike backpacking trips. Take care of the lightweight build, and you’ll find a great shoulder season option.