Now in its second generation, the REI Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 nicely balances solid warmth with clean looks. Featuring a durable Pertex Quantum shell, responsibly sourced 850-fill goose down, and a packable design, the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 makes a solid companion for shoulder-season backcountry trips. Below we break down the REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0’s warmth, weather resistance, weight, durability, fit and sizing, and more. To see how it stacks up, see our article on the best down jackets.
As a lightweight down jacket, the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 provides substantial warmth for the shoulder seasons but falls short of being a true winter piece. REI stuffs the jacket with 4.2 ounces of responsibly sourced 850-fill goose down. This generous fill weight—the actual amount of down used inside a jacket—outdoes competing lightweight down jackets including the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody (3.7 oz. of 800-fill down) and Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody (3 oz. of 800-fill down). In addition, REI uses Pertex Quantum as the jacket’s face fabric (more on that below), which is more wind- and water-resistant than standard nylon shells found on most models in its price range. Finally, the baffle behind the main zipper does a great job of keeping warmth in and strong gusts at bay.
As a standalone jacket, the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 isn’t built for the extreme cold. With just a lightweight baselayer underneath, it was comfortable into the low 40s Fahrenheit, but as temperatures continued to drop, pairing it with a more substantial midlayer was necessary (and throwing a shell over the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 gave it an instant boost in warmth). But if you spend a lot of time in temperatures around freezing and below, it’s worth investing in a heavier-duty down jacket like the Mountain Equipment Skyline, and REI also makes the winter-ready Stormhenge 850 (you can read our full review here).
For a lightweight down jacket, the REI Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 offers decent protection from wet and windy conditions. The Pertex Quantum face fabric features a DWR coating that beads water on the surface, and the jacket easily fends off blowing winds and light snow. Having said that, I recently subjected the jacket to about 10 minutes of heavy rain and had mixed results. Water initially rolled off the jacket’s exterior, but as time passed, it quickly began to wet out (a concern because the down isn't coated and will stop insulating when drenched). If you plan on spending any extended period of time in wet weather, it’s best to pair the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 with a rain jacket or hardshell.
In all fairness, down rarely excels in wet environments. If you’re looking for the best insulation performance for damp conditions, we recommend picking up a synthetic jacket instead. Unlike down, synthetics continue to insulate when wet and dry out much quicker. Additionally, certain models like the Arc’teryx Atom AR feature a more weather-resistant shell that does a better job of keeping wind and rain at bay.
Weighing in at exactly 12 ounces on my scale for a men’s small (the claimed weight is 13.75 oz.), the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 is well-positioned in terms of weight in the down jacket market. It undercuts popular models like the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody (15.1 oz.) and Outdoor Research Transcended Down Hoody (16.4 oz.). However, it’s significantly heavier than ultralight options like the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 (8.8 oz.) and Arc’teryx Cerium SL (7.6 oz.).
Given its relatively low weight, thin materials, and high-quality 850-fill down (which is more compressible than lower-quality options), the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 packs down quite small. The jacket stuffs into its own left-hand pocket and measures about 12 x 4 inches packed down, which easily slides into the bottom of a daypack.
The Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 is well-built and decently durable for a lightweight down jacket at this price point. REI smartly chose to use a Pertex Quantum face fabric, which is tougher than standard nylon. The zippers are lightweight but not fragile-feeling, and the stitching and seams are clean and neat. Oddly, REI doesn’t list the thread weight (denier) of the jacket, which gives you a good idea of how it will stand up over time, but it does feel fairly thin in hand. If we had to estimate, we’d guess it falls somewhere around 15 denier.
Compared to the rest of the down jacket market, the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 feels noticeably more robust than ultralight options like the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 and Arc’teryx Cerium SL, but it doesn’t inspire as much confidence as the Patagonia Down Hoody Sweater. That said, I’ve repeatedly stuffed the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 into my hiking daypack or had it rolling around the back of my pickup, and the jacket still looks brand new. I’ll continue to use and abuse the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 throughout the winter, but as of right now, all signs are positive.
Features: Hood and Pockets
The Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 has a nicely sized hood that that works well both for casual and backcountry use. It’s large enough to easily fit over a small beanie, but it’s not so big to restrict views when looking side to side. The single drawcord wraps around the brim and circles around behind your head, where it’s adjusted by a simple cinch. My only complaint is that when the hood is tightened down, there is a noticeable gap around my chin, which allows wind and blowing snow to enter the jacket. Also of note: the hood just barely squeezes over a climbing helmet and significantly reduces range of motion in the process.
In terms of storage, REI kept it simple with two handwarmer and one exterior chest pocket. Personally, I love Napoleon-style pockets—they’re perfect for storing a phone on cold days to keep the battery from dying. And the hand pockets work well for keys and snacks. That said, I find the hand pockets to be oddly small, to the point where I can barely fit my hands in the bottom of them.
Like other REI Co-op jackets I’ve owned in the past, the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0’s fit is on the larger side. In a size medium, the jacket paired well with a midweight midlayer underneath (the Arc’teryx Atom LT). But with just a baselayer on, it hung awkwardly off my body (for reference, I’m about 5’9” and 160 pounds). And because the medium was so large, it didn’t layer well under a shell. Sizing down to a small was ideal for casual use with just a t-shirt on, but with anything more, the jacket became overly constricting in the shoulders and hips (even with the waist cinch completely loosened). I eventually came to the conclusion that neither size was good for me. Having said all that, if you’re looking for a more streamlined fit, you may want to try sizing down.
Other Versions of the REI Co-op Magma 850 2.0
We reviewed the men’s Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 here, but REI makes the jacket in a women’s version as well, which features a similar design overall with different colorways and a trimmer cut. Further, the women’s REI Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 model weighs 11.5 ounces, which is about 2 ounces lighter than the men's and includes a little less down (3.9 vs. 4.2 oz.). REI does not currently make a non-hooded version of the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0, but considering that the jacket’s first generation came with this option, we wouldn’t be surprised to see one in the future.
Sustainability: Responsibly Sourced Down, Bluesign-Approved Materials, and Recycled Fabrics
With the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0, REI continues the trend of sustainability with its in-house products. The jacket’s down is certified by the Responsible Down Standard (RDS), which means that the animals were not force-fed or live-plucked. In addition, all materials are bluesign-approved, which indicates that REI took steps during production to minimize overall impacts on the environment, workers, and consumers. Finally, the 650 Down Jacket 2.0’s shell fabric is recycled nylon. All in all, we appreciate the transparency and extra steps that REI took with this revamped jacket.
What We Like
- With over 4 ounces of 850-fill down, the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 is warm, light, and packable.
- For $219, it easily undercuts most of the competition in price.
- The robust Pertex Quantum face fabric is pretty durable and does a good job of keeping wind and moisture at bay.
What We Don’t
- At 13.75 ounces, the Magma 850 is heavier than the ultralight competition.
- We weren’t able to fit our entire hand in the small pockets, which made for cold wrists.
- The jacket’s large, boxy fit may be a problem for some.
|REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie||$219||13.8 oz.||850-fill down||4.2 oz.||Unavailable|
|Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody||$279||15.1 oz.||800-fill down||3.7 oz.||20Dx30D|
|Outdoor Research Transcendent||$225||16.4 oz.||650-fill down||4.2 oz.||20D|
|MTN Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2||$325||8.8 oz.||800-fill down||3 oz.||10Dx10D|
|REI Co-op 650 Down Hoodie 2.0||$119||13 oz.||650-fill down||Unavailable||Unavailable|
The REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 is a lightweight down jacket that offers solid levels of warmth, and the long-time leader in this category is the Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody. Compared to the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0, the Down Sweater Hoody uses less down (3.7 oz vs. 4.2 oz.) and of a slightly lower quality (800 vs. 850-fill), which in theory make for a cooler jacket. However, in practice, we find the Patagonia to be comparable to the REI Co-op in terms of insulation and coziness. The more robust 20 x 30-denier fabric of the Down Sweater Hoody certainly has something to do with it, not to mention that it will likely stand up better over time. We also prefer the Patagonia's fit and sizing, which is far less bulky in our standard men's medium than with the Magma. But the REI weighs and costs less, making it the better value option.
The Outdoor Research Transcendent Hoody has been another popular down jacket option for years. With the latest model, for a reasonable $225, you get 4.2 ounces of responsibly sourced 650-fill goose down, casual good looks, and one of the coziest linings on the market. The REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 is the better performance piece, however, and here’s why: the 4.2 ounces of 850-fill down offer more warmth, the jacket stuffs down much smaller, and the Pertex Quantum shell does a better job of fending off moisture (the OR almost immediately wets out). For around-town use, it’s hard to beat the OR (and we greatly prefer its comfortable fit), but for backcountry outings, we give the nod to the REI Co-op.
If both of the jackets above are too heavy, then the ultralight Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer/2 is worth a look. Offering similar levels of warmth and undercutting the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 by an impressive 5 ounces, the Ghost Whisperer excels at fast-and-light adventures. However, these weight savings do come at a cost: the Ghost Whisperer/2’s thin 10 x 10-denier shell is less robust than the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0, there are no hood adjustments, the zippers are more fragile, and the jacket omits the chest pocket. In addition, the Ghost Whisperer/2 costs about $100 more than the Magma 850 Down Hoody 2.0 (for more, see our in-depth Ghost Whisperer/2 review). In the end, the choice comes down to how much you value weight savings.
Last but not least, REI Co-op makes an interesting alternative to the Magma 850 in the 650 Down Hoodie 2.0. Like the Magma, this jacket was updated for 2019, but the similarities mostly end there. The 650 is much more casual in nature, with 650-fill-power down and a more streamlined feature set including one fewer pocket, no waist cinch (for the men's version), and no Pertex Quantum shell. However, you still get a healthy dose of down (albeit with less warmth due to the lower fill power), and the $119 REI 650 Down Hoodie is a great budget option for casual use, resort skiing, and light adventuring.
Editor’s note: We usually provide a live price comparison table below our outdoor gear reviews, but the Magma 850 is sold exclusively by REI Co-op. You can see the Magma 850 Down Hoodie 2.0 page here and support us in the process. Thanks!