Peak Performance, a Swedish brand founded by a group of skiers in 1986 who questioned why was no one making clothes that they wanted to wear? Fast forward over 30 years, and the brand has expanded beyond ski wear, with clothing ranges from training to golf. Growing from, quote, a “garage-size company to a market-leading brand”. I’ve been testing their women’s helium printed down hood jacket for the past month, see what I thought below.
I’m currently training for Brighton Marathon and have worn the jacket on a weekly basis over the past month; travelling to training, on a few runs, and to and from the London Big Half Marathon a few weeks ago. Wearing it to travel to training has been great; although it feels quite thin, it’s incredibly warm and so much smaller than my other winter down jacket that takes up my entire locker when I take it off.
The jacket is described as insulated with cosy duck down, and cosy it certainly is. The jacket contains Allied Feather & Down®; the world’s largest supplier of down to the outdoor and apparel industries. The material is 100% Polyamide, and combined with the duck down insulation, it’s super soft, it feels like you’re snuggled in a soft sleeping bag from the moment you put it on. I wore the XS and was very happy with the fit. It was fitted (not bulky like so many down jackets I’ve tried in the past), but I could still move in it; helped by the elastic binding at the cuffs and hems, which keep the jacket in place around my waist when running and gave me easy access to my watch to keep an eye on pace.
I’ve also worn it on a few runs and firstly the comfort level was great. I’m currently running 5-6 times a week ranging from short recovery runs, to the long runs each weekend. I am therefore washing a LOT of kit and choosing comfort over everything else. For me, tops should not rise, trousers need pockets, and I need to be at the right temperature. I wore the Peak Performance jacket on two consecutive runs, day one it was early evening and I was running in the New Forest, just a short recovery run, and it was perfect with just a t-shirt underneath. Day two, a 30-minute easy run in the morning…I had to remove my t-shirt and ended up running in just my sports bra with the jacket unzipped. Personally, I think it needs to be around sub 5 otherwise you will get too hot. So, word of warning, great for cold days, but mild days, you’ll be far too hot. However, it is small enough to fit in my running vest, I just didn’t have it with me that day, but the jacket will definitely be accompanying me on my final long runs over the next few weeks. Perfect to pop on as soon as you finish when you’re in the coffee queue!
I also wore it to and from the London Big Half Marathon a few weeks ago. The morning of the race, the UK had a visit from Storm Gareth; not ideal running conditions! I wore the Peak Performance jacket to travel to the race (a nice 1 mile walk due to road closures), whilst others searched for cover and stood shivering whilst they waited to get into the start pens, I was really warm with just this and a pair of shorts. Having worn it in a storm for over an hour, I can vouch for it being water-repellent and windproof! Keeping it on for as long as possible, it then rolled up super small, and took up less space in my kit bag than my post-race snacks, perfect! I was lucky enough to PB at the Big Half, however with Brighton Marathon being my number one goal, post-race recovery was my priority. Whilst I watched so many other runners wearing their foil blankets over their clothes after they’d picked up their bags, the first thing I did was get the jacket on asap. No post-race chills for me!
I can honestly say it’s become a firm staple in my wardrobe already, and I’m not sure how I’ve managed without one for so long. My one negative, after the hot run last week, it needed a good wash. Unfortunately, post washing the down has clotted a bit. However, I didn’t tumble dry it and instead let it air dry, and this is where I think I went wrong. Next time I will follow their detailed instructions:
- Tumble dry with tennis balls for approx. 5 hours
- Take out garment every half hour and distribute down by hand to avoid down from clotting
The Peak Performance Helium Printed Down Jacket currently has 50% off, at £130.00, down from £260.00. Take a look at #PeakPerformance on Instagram, and it’ll have you dreaming of the trails or booking that ski trip. Read more about Peak Performance here.
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