First Look: REI ‘Magma’ Down Jacket

An approachable price and quality construction (and materials) make the Magma a solid bang for your buck.

REI Magma down jacket review

This year, REI adds a premium down jacket model to its store-brand rack: the 850-fill Magma jacket for men and women. The mid-weight down jacket is great for three-season use (or as a liner or layer during the coldest pursuits).

The jacket compresses small to disappear in the backpack. But unfurl it and the Magma gives copious warmth for its weight.

Compared to competing products, the Magma has about the same temperature range as a jacket like the Patagonia Down Sweater (a similar coat that costs more). Our staff reviewed the women’s Magma through a range of winter activities, from Nordic skiing to fat biking. Here’s a first look at our test.

REI Magma down jacket review

REI Magma down jacket, men’s (left) and women’s

REI Magma Jacket: At A Glance

  • Weight: 8.8 oz. (women’s); 10.8 oz. (men’s)
  • Shell: Pertex Rip-stop Nylon
  • Insulation: 850-fill, DWR-treated goose down
  • Fit: Athletic
  • $189
  • More Info: Women’s / Men’s

REI Magma down jacket review

At first blush, the women’s Magma has an athletic cut that silhouettes around the hips, giving it an attractive, form-fitting look. The sleeves are long and taper around the wrists, conserving volume and preserving heat.

The durable water repellent (DWR) down is stylishly stacked through variable chevron baffles.

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These semi-broad baffles plate the torso and arms; narrower, baffles articulate under the arms, reducing bulk and providing a greater and more comfortable range of motion.

REI Magma down jacket review

The jacket has quality construction; metal eyelets protect cord ports, and the drawcords are tacked to the inside of the jacket to keep them from flopping or catching.

Two hand pockets are above the waist to comfortably layer a pack hip-belt over the jacket. A third pocket sits inside the left chest panel. The jacket stuffs into its left pocket for storage.

REI Magma Jacket Review

In the field, we used the jacket as a liner while skiing and as a shell for more active pursuits, like fat biking. The Pertex shell keeps the down from poking through and did a fine job at blocking wind.

While the Magma cannot be classified as a breathable, active-insulator jacket, our tester found it comfortable for more rigorous adventures in the cold.

REI Magma down jacket review

The Magma is an easy jacket to throw on for around-the-town use and can be worn by itself down to 20˚F.

For cooler temperatures, we layered it over a sweater or under a shell and it kept us warm down in the single digits (F).

Pros

  • High-quality, 850-fill, DWR treated down
  • Great attention to detail
  • Form-fitting and comfortable
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • No hooded option available

REI Magma down jacket review

Who It’s For (Women’s Magma)

Style-conscious women who want a jacket for in-town and day-long backcountry trips should try on the Magma. It’s a nice wear-everyday piece for anyone who lives in the mountains or northerly latitudes.

Why Consider The REI Magma

When looking at down-insulated jackets, the fill number indicates how well the down will loft. The higher the number, the higher the quality, the lighter the jacket. At 9 oz., and with 850-fill down, the Magma certainly is lightweight and warm.

REI Magma down jacket review

The rub? Generally, higher down fill becomes increasingly expensive. But not so for the Magma.

Priced at $189, the Magma is positioned as a more affordable option to Patagonia’s Down Sweater and other similar jackets, which typically run between $200-$300.

The price tag, coupled with REI’s 850-fill (over Patagonia’s 800-fill), makes this ultimately why shoppers will consider the Magma from REI.

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