Instant warmth that weighs nothing? Surely nirvana for lightweight hikers. This is the Haglofs L.I.M. Essens jacket.
The L.I.M. bit stands for Less Is More, and is the descriptor for a whole branch of kit under Haglofs’ Trekking range. It’s core remit is all about weight and functionality. Cutting down on the bells and whistles to just make solid performing kit that’s easy to carry. Lightweight kit made with the best materials? Count me in. I’ve got a few LIM pieces in to work with, and the Essens has stepped to the front of the queue.
This jacket is a cut down variant of the standard Essens, which I was already a fan of. The L.I.M. version is a polyamide 7d face fabric, stuffed full of 800 fill down. The sustainability aspect is covered, the down is 90/10 goose, all traceable and bluesigned. It’s box baffle construction and the contrast colours on my sample let you see the down distribution, the production colours slightly less so.
Features are scant, as you’d expect: two handwarmer pockets (no zips), a small main zip baffle and neck guard and a hanging loop on the back. It’s stripped down to keep the weight down and it shows when you hit the scales. My Large sample weighs in at 180g. It packs down to tennis ball size, so you won’t know you’re carrying it.
On the hill, when it comes to rest stops and hanging around at summits and camp, it’s nothing short of awesome. It’s a pocket furnace. Don’t bother wearing it on the move, you’ll be too hot and you’ll get the down damp. This is purely for standing about in cold places. Lunch break at summit? No problem. Sitting in the bothy on a frosty winters night? Sorted. Hanging about taking sunset photos at camp? Done.
The only real downside is erm… down. It’s not ideal for our damp climate, although hydrophobic treatments help. It’s not going to keep you warm in the hosing rain or really humid environments. Keep it for the sub-zero days. The zips a wee bit fiddly with gloves on, but that’s to be expected. You couldn’t have a lightweight piece with a huge chunky zip, compromises have to be made somewhere.
I’ve used this all winter as an insulation piece and frankly, I love it. It gives you everything you need and nothing you don’t. If you want your kit well designed, and manufactured in a sustainable way with high quality materials, you need to pay for it, so it’s not the cheapest insulation layer on the market, but it’s a luxurious piece that’ll make you smile every time you pull it’s cheery orange glow out of your pack.
It’s best-in-class kit. Essential.