When choosing a lightweight down jacket one of the most important decisions you will need to make is whether to have a full length zip or a half length zip. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, so ruminate on our list before you make a decision.
Full Length Zip Positives
Easy to take on and off
Vent yourself easily if the zip is two-way
Can be opened out and used as a blanket
Access inner pockets quickly
Possible to join it with other jackets
Full Length Zip Negatives
Larger zip area leads to greater heat loss
More surface area for wind and rain penetration
More wear and tear on the zip
Half Length Zip Positives
More down area, so warmer
Less zip wear and tear
Better fit around the stomach
Less zip area for wind and rain penetration
Half Length Zip Negatives
More difficult to take on and off
Harder to access inner jacket pockets
Harder to vent your body during intense exercise
Lightweight Down Jacket – Full Zip or Half Zip?
At the end of the day both half zip and full zip lightweight down jackets are going to keep you warm. The decision you will need to make is do you want a jacket that is versatile – full length zip, or one that is slightly warmer and better fitting – half length zip.
If are poor at regulating your body heat and are constantly placing on and removing jackets then the full length zip is the style of lightweight down jacket best suited to you. If you feel the cold and very rarely remove a jacket over long periods of time outdoors, then the half zip version is going to be more useful.
And finally, what about your hair? If you like to look perfect and are constantly preening yourself then a half zip jacket is going to cause you untold grief, so they are best avoided!