Touted by Westcomb to provide “encapsulating warmth on a cold winter day,” the Flores Hoody is a no-fuss, high-quality down puffy. The construction is thoughtful and functional, with every feature accomplishing exactly what it should. I tested this jacket in a myriad of climates, elevations, and terrains. I fell in love with the Flores Hoody’s warmth, style, and excellent color.
Westcomb Flores Hoody Features:
- 2-way center zipper and YKK VISLON Zipper
- Zippered Hand Pockets
- Adjustable hem
- Compressible goose down fill (900-fill power)
- Insulated draft flap behind main zipper
- Elastic wrist cuffs
- Weight: 11oz/318g
- MSRP: $450
Simple and well executed, even in the details.
Honestly, one of the first things I noticed about the Flores was the incredibly smooth zipper track. Throughout my use of the Flores, the zipper functioned beautifully. Never snagging or sticky. The main zipper is backed by a storm flap to eliminate draftiness. This same flap functions as a zipper garage, which is comfortable against the chin when the jacket is completely zipped. I didn’t find the two-way main zipper particularly useful. The cuffs are a basic, thin elastic. At first the cuffs were uncomfortably tight, but after a while the elastic stretched enough and I stopped noticing them.
Consistent with the overall minimalism of the Flores, the hood doesn’t have any adjustments. I loved the high collar, as well as the thick band of synthetic insulation around the face. This cut around the face is cozy–rather well-fitted and not baggy, and the insulation is comfy and keeps my cheeks warm. I was able to fit the hood over a helmet, but it was tight. The hood construction is much more comfortable without the addition of a helmet underneath.
The interior hem is the jacket’s single adjustable feature, and the sprung-toggle was a breeze to adjust quickly to shut out the elements. This was especially helpful atop Arizona’s Humphrey’s Peak this past December, with gusts of about 50 mph at the peak. Cinching the hem was easy, and I was grateful for the adjustment to seal out the wind.
Now, my shoulders are rather narrow, and I found the Flores to fit quite nicely. The jacket is cut in an athletic style, with the hem reaching just below my hips. (For reference, I am 5′ 4″ and wear a size small in just about all tops and jackets.) This meant ample coverage and warmth, even when in motion. However, the top baffles on the arms were uncomfortable for my friends with broader shoulders. The seams would cut in slightly, applying pressure on the upper arms and limiting their range of motion. The different fit was visually evident as soon as they slipped on the jacket.
In general, the arms and shoulders seemed to be disproportionately slim in relation to the torso. While the fit of the shoulders worked well for my stature overall, I would have appreciated a bit more give in the sleeves. Trying to wear anything thicker than a form-fitting fleece made the jacket feel constricting. That being said, this jacket functions beautifully as a mid-layer and slides underneath additional layers–like a rain shell–with ease. Westcomb intended this jacket to be “tailored to fit closer to the body.” Therefore you probably won’t be able to wear much beyond a fleece underneath, and be aware that the Flores is more comfortable for women with narrow shoulders. However, the tailored fit is flattering and made this jacket a great piece to wear around town, as well.
As far as materials, I was particularly impressed with the wind resistance of the Pertex Quantum shell fabric on the Flores. The high winds atop Humphrey’s Peak gusted at 50 mph, and the wind chill was somewhere around 14 degrees. Nevertheless, the Flores kept my upper body and core comfortable and warm.
In addition to being wind-resistant, the Pertex shell is also surprisingly durable. The fabric withstood a real beating throughout my thorough testing. I brushed against cacti, scraped up boulders, and slid down sand dunes in this thing. And at the end of the day, no tears to report. Another perk to the dense weave of this material is great retention of the goose down fill. The thicker weave of the Pertex Quantum is durable, that’s for certain, and soft to the touch. It feels fine on bare skin, if you just want to wear a t-shirt underneath the Flores. The DWR finish on the outer fabric offers sufficient protection from very light rain or snow. Honestly, if it’s any wetter then you should probably wear a shell anyway.
Now, for the big question you are probably wondering: “just how warm is this thing?” The Flores is warm. Like, really warm. The 900-fill is ethically sourced, mature goose down. The down is hypoallergenic premium insulation that comes from Poland. The 900-fill boasts minimal clumping and maximum warmth. I noticed that, overall, the down retained its loft despite heavy use. However I can’t say that there were zero flat spots. One thing I noticed was the down’s propensity to clump in high-mobility areas, like my elbows and underarms. This resulted in noticeably less protection from cold and wind in those areas. Nevertheless, the garment as a whole was quite warm. The wear in those areas seemed understandable, considering the use and activity I put the Flores through.
The Flores also includes Primaloft Gold 200 insulation in specific areas. This insulation is an innovative blend of down and synthetic fibers, boasting “high-performance warmth and comfort in variable wet and dry conditions.” Primaloft Gold 200 also retains 95% of its warmth when wet. Look for this type of insulation lining the hand pockets–by your core–as well as on the top of the shoulders and around the hood. These areas tend to be more susceptible to moisture, and the coupling of synthetic with down insulation affords more comprehensive warmth.
The Flores weighs in at 11 oz, striking a great balance between weight, warmth, and durability. The 900-fill goose down boasts an excellent weight-to-warmth ratio. The tight weave of the shell material is heavier than, say, the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer, but it is also arguably far more durable. Because of the jacket’s durability and warmth, I would not hesitate to bring it with me on an adventure. Plus, the color is fantastic.
- Excellent balance of warmth, weight, and durability
- Smooth zipper track
- Simple design that is both effective and comfortable
- Impressive wind-resistance
- Made in Canada
- Stylish and flattering for a puffy
- Doesn’t stuff into it’s own pocket (and no stuff sack is included either)
- Down clumped by elbows and underarms, compromising warmth in those areas
- Too tight for women with broad shoulders
The Bottom Line: Westcomb Flores Down Hoody
The Flores is a warm, simple, and elegant down hoody. Between the 900-fill power down, the Primaloft Gold 200 insulation, and the wind and water resistance of the outer fabric, I could wear this jacket in sub-freezing temperatures comfortably. It is well suited as a mid-layer for backcountry adventures, and will keep you toasty whether you’re just relaxing at camp or out exploring wild places. The tailored fit means that you’ll look stylish when around town, as well. This is a puffy that you’ll feel good buying and look good wearing.
Buy Now: Available at Campsaver.com
I rarely comment on blogs, but thank you for your excellent, thorough review of this jacket – especially your observations about the fit in the shoulders. That is my #1 hardest area to fit – I’m normally a 6 in anything that doesn’t involve shoulders – but for jackets I often have to go to a 10 to make room for my linebacker shoulders! I look for shoulder measurements on every garment I buy, but outdoor gear rarely has this information. Thank you!
Thanks for reading, and for the feedback! I’m glad that you found the review helpful. I really loved this jacket overall, but the shoulder fit is certainly something to take into consideration, as it seemed narrower than most. Hope you’ve found a jacket you love!