One of the most recommended pieces of gear for climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is a down jacket. I took the GoLite Roan Plateau jacket with me. There are two versions of the jacket, hooded and unhooded. I used the unhooded version. The jacket has insulated zippered pockets, an internal media pocket, and a stretch cuff that seals you in nicely without constricting your wrists. A stuff sack is included but the draw string had problems shortly after I got it, meaning the cord and eyelets started to break down.

The it weighs that much even–when you pick it up it feels weightless. This raised initial concern with me and I became a little worried about the hardiness of the jacket and whether it would hold up to rugged terrain or even just usual wear and tear. The fabric on the outside felt like it might tear at any time, but I trusted it would function well and it did.

Roan Plateau Jacket Features:

  • 800-fill down insulation
  • Interior billow pocket
  • Stretch knot cuff liners
  • Media pocket with internal cord routing
  • Secure zip side pockets
  • Concealed shock cord bottom hem closure
  • Stuff sack included
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • MSRP: $225

GoLite Roan Plateau Down Jacket Review

Temperatures on Kili can swing rapidly, partly due to altitude but also because you are at the equator. If the sun is out it will burn you up–granted we did not see much of the sun–but when it was out it was intense. The moment the sun moves behind cloud you might get a 20 to 30 degree swing. Because of this you need to be able to alter your insulating layers very quickly, and so the puffy stayed at the top of my pack every day, except day one and day six, both of which were spent in the rain forest.

We had rain every day, with some days mixed with snow and sleet and so my most valuable piece of equipment was my Arc’teryx Gore-Tex Pro Shell which I wore constantly while hiking however it had no insulating capabilities so once I stopped moving I would instantly start to chill. That is where the Roan came in. I would stop, slip it on and I was set. I became convinced that I could tackle any weather condition with just my shell and this down jacket. I could have ditched several other forms of insulation and just gone with this combo. It was just the right formula for comfort and warmth.

I am happy to report that the jacket is tougher than it feels. I recall feeling the jacket snag as I moved next to a tree and instantly I was worried I had ripped the sleeve wide open. When I inspected the sleeve I couldn’t find a mark at all to show for my concern. I caught it a few other times and the result was always the same… as good as new.

Good Roan Plateau

  • Very light
  • Excellent warmth to weight ratio
  • I personally love the cuff liners, they were very comfortable
  • The neck zipped up very high, I thought I would find it annoying but it wasn’t at all.

Bad Roan Plateau

  • When you are cold and trying to zip the jacket, it can be difficult due to the dual zips, as the bottom zip might not be all the way down.

Bottom Line: GoLite Roan Plateau Down Jacket

Overall…. I love the GoLite Roan Plateau down jacket. You will be hard pressed to find a warmer jacket with that kind of weight.

Buy Now: Find Down Jackets at REI

Editor: Andrew Butterworth just returned from the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. His adventure was the perfect testing ground for several great pieces of expedition-worthy equipment. This review is based on his actual use of this product while on his Mt. Kilimanjaro expedition.

About Author

Andrew has always had a sense of adventure and doesn't believe in travel if it does not include some adventure. Andrew grew up in Australia and has since moved to the US where his love for the outdoors and back packing has grown.

1 Comment

  1. I bought the Hooded Roan jacket last year on sale, and since it was on sale, I compared the advertised weight to the weight I obtained when I weighed my jacket at Fedex. The weights were identical and I therefore believe that I was not shortchanged on down fill. Also, I used the jacket in the Chiricahua Mountains over Thanksgiving long weekend, with temperatures getting down to 20 degrees. I felt quite warm and enjoyed the hood.

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