I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for wool, especially when it’s for gear that takes a bit of a beating. But when you want pure warmth-to-weight goodness, no insulators (barring aerogel) have a higher CLO rating than down. Good down is as warm as it gets.
So, I wasn’t too surprised when I stayed warm during below-zero weather in the ARTILECT Divide Fusion Stretch Down Hoodie. But this puffer jacket goes beyond simple warmth. It’s among the first products in the world to use ExpeDRY 700 fill-power down. Created by Allied Feather and Down, this stuff is literally infused with gold particles. The result is down that stays dry in a whole new way.
This has been my go-to jacket for the past 3 months of winter in Colorado. And in regular testing, it’s proven to be a top-tier tech piece.
In short: The ARTILECT Divide Fusion Stretch Down Hoodie ($380) is a versatile insulating jacket. It uses the best down I’ve ever tested in terms of moisture management. Wear it as outerwear, or layer over it with a shell jacket. It moves with you thanks to the stretch fabric and can cover a broad range of weather and activity. It also checks a lot of boxes for sustainability. But it comes with a moderately high price tag.
Divide Fusion Stretch Down Hoodie
- Allied RDS ExpeDry Ultra Dry Down featuring FUZE technology – 700 fill power in main body & sleeves
- Active-drying chemical free alternative to hydrophobic-treated down
- 60gsm Lavalan Sport European Wool in side panels, under arms and hood
- 2 YKK zippered hand pockets with 100% recycled lining
- 1 zippered chest pocket
- 2 recycled taffeta inner dump pockets
- Adjustable hem & hood
- Center front YKK Touchlink Zipper with LifeKey and Smartphone compatibility
- Fast drying
- Great hood
- Warm but versatile
- Breathable wool pannels under arms
- Athletic fit may not work for all body types
ARTILECT Divide Fusion Stretch Down Hoodie Review
ExpeDRY 700 Shower Test
The biggest claims made about this jacket are around the down’s ability to stay dry. So, I pulled out one of my favorite old gear testing methods — I wore it into the shower and soaked it for a minute.
Then I went for a run with my dog. The temperature was -3 Fahrenheit.
To be clear, this is in no way a waterproof jacket. After a minute in the shower, it was good and wet. The down was saturated. The exterior Torray stretch fabric, wet. Only the inner fabric remained somewhat dry.
I hit the sidewalks around Denver on my regular running route. Expecting a burst of cold, I was pleasantly surprised. As I ran, the jacket almost immediately regained its loft. By the end of a 45-minute run, I was actually sweating inside the jacket. And while the outer face fabric was icy and cold, the down inside seemed to be largely unaffected by its earlier bath.
Sure, this is an entirely unscientific test. But it did seem to work well in a pretty harsh scenario.
Fit and Features
So, is the down good? It seems to be in this early testing. But, what about the rest of the jacket?
I’ve been wearing the Divide Fusion Stretch Hoodie since early November. And it has rapidly become one of my favorite midweight puffer jackets, possibly of all time. It seems dialed from every angle.
First, the fit is slender and athletic. I’m 5’8″ tall and about 155 pounds. A men’s small fits me like a glove. It’s an athletic fit, not surprising for its European roots.
The jacket has two substantial pockets on the front that allow you to put your hands inside them at about belly-button height. There is one chest pocket large enough for an iPhone 14 plus quite a bit of other stuff. All these pockets zip shut securely. The front zipper is a YKK Touchlink Zipper, which allows it to share information on a smartphone held close to it. It’s another piece of speartip tech packed into this jacket.
This ARTILECT jacket is also one of the first pieces of apparel to incorporate the YKK Revived zipper system. That allows wearers to remove and replace the zipper pull on their own, should it ever break.
The hood is great. It hugs the head snugly and turns to look where the wearer is looking. The wool side panels are quite breathable yet insulating. There are no pit zips — they really aren’t needed.
Divide Fusion Stretch Down Hoodie: Conclusion
After a few months of using the ARTILECT Fusion Stretch Down Hoodie, I’ve really come to love it. I wear it as an insulating layer for skiing and I wear it around town or to the store. I even wore it under camo while goose hunting. It’s remarkably good.
The only con I’ve found so far is the price. At $380, this jacket is a big investment. But given the pile of high-end ingredients, you get what you pay for.
Those looking for a world-class puffy jacket that serves broad use, from insulating under shells to an outer layer during aerobic activity in very cold weather, should check it out.