Haglöfs LIM Down Vest Review

I got a hold of the winter LIM stuff months ago, and it’s just as well. Although folk think of down insulation as just being for winter, on cool camps high on the hill in summer a light piece of down kit is perfect. Then in winter it becomes your best pal on every trip.
The LIM Down Vest has seen an awful lot of use. I’ve carried it dozens of times, compressed into a stuff sack. It’s been wet from rain and snow, I’ve slept in it, spilt my cuppa and dinner on it, loaned it out at camp to colder looking people than me and it’s sitting over there on the back of the chair just as fat and shiny as it was when I got a hold of it.
The fit is perfect on me, especially for layering over thinner, close fitting midlayers. It works well over a Primaloft top for my favourite camp combo. The neck is high and is just wide enough to accomodate other layers (even with a hood), and the stitching lines are vertical to keep the down in place and give the collar proper form. The armholes’ elastic make for a heatloss free snug fit and the long body keep your kidneys covered when bent over your stove. The deep handwarmer pockets put your cold fingers right between your belly and a fat, down filled tube for instant happiness. In fact, pulling this on when you stop there is a remarkably instant feeling of coziness. It’s design, it’s loft and fit are just right for the job, that is stopping heat loss from your core in it’s tracks.
The sci-fi good looks might make folk think it’s a lifesyle piece, apres ski wear, for wearing around Ambleside so folk know you’re a mountaineer. But no, it’s a hardwearing, superbly performing piece of technical kit.
I know it’s expensive when you look at the ostensibly similar items from other brands on the racks, but the weight is only 15g more than a Rab Neutrino Vest and way less than a TNF Nuptse, and the detail in the LIM’s design trounces both of them.

33 thoughts on “Haglöfs LIM Down Vest Review

  1. So is the LIM down vest getting more use than the PHD Ultra?

    I know what you mean about down kit though – it just feels so reassuring :))
    We were out overnight on Aran Benllyn on Sat/Sun – snow on the ground, break the ice with the adze for water, and -9C overnight…. but toasty and warm with a Yukon pullover, and slept well with a Downmat 7 and my Minim 400.

    I agree too that down has it’s uses in summer – and the PHD Combi Bag offer just forced me to bring forward my purchase of the Ultra Bag and Vest too – damn!! ;O)

  2. The two vests have turned out to be very different in application for me. The LIM is that instant throw-on warmth, the PHD’s lack of bulk layers better and is better to sleep in.
    I’m not finding I’m needing it in winter as the PHD bags are so bloody warm. The LIM is better for rest stops, the body thickness and the lycra armholes make big difference if it’s an outer layer.

    Good call on the Combi offer, the utter joy that sleep kit has brought me :o)

  3. The Ultra has some elastication on the arms, but I wonder if it did have tighter arms if it would be really awkward to get it on and off as it’s a pull-on?

    As you say, it’s nice to have choices :o)

  4. Just a thought folks…

    The LIM vest and jacket have design tweaks for next winter, the pockets are different and there’s an all-black option.
    Knowing UK store buyers, you’ll only find the black in the UK next year.
    You have been warned… :o)

  5. When you say about the LIM vest “It works well over a Primaloft top for my favourite camp combo”. May I ask you
    – which Primaloft jacket you are using?
    – do you where another fleece below the jacket?

    Btw, about the Montrail Hardrock mid, do you still recommend them or you recommend stg else?

    Tks!!!!

  6. No problem!

    In the photies above, under the LIM Vest I’m wearing a LIM Barrier Pullover (the gret sleeves) and a Montane Prism 2.0 (the red sleeves).
    These work really well as they’ve got a lighter Primaloft fill (60g) so aren’t too bulky and let the vest loft properly. I wear 100 weight fleece or Powerstretch as a midlayer under this as well. Always slim fit models, so again not bulky.
    It all depends on your body shape I suppose, but a light synthetic jacket and down vest is just so versatile as it’s so warm and at the same time so unrestrictive when you’re in the tent.

    I’m still loving the Hardrock Mids, much better than the similar Salomon Fastpackers that came in at the same time.
    They’re still waterproof as well, that’s the biggest worry that the liner breaks down and leaks. If it does I’ll be on here straight away!

  7. Many thanks for all those answers !
    – did you already tried the Haglofs Barrier Hood?
    – do you how to get the Montrail in Europe?
    Thanks and happy NYE !!!

  8. Yeah, I’ve been wearing a Barrier Hood for a couple of years. Fantastic jacket, it’s maybe a little bulky under the LIM vest on me. But on it’s own it works really well, the neck is cut so that you can wear it over a waterproof and not crush your neck. Aye, highly recommended. I’ll get a review up at some point.

    Montrail are distributed in Europe by Columbia from their base in France (that’s who I deal with for test kit). I saw the stock list and they’re holding a good range, you just need to track down a dealer.

    Happy New Year to you too!

  9. Yeah, The Photon Hoodie is good, packs down very small and it’s light. A good match for a down vest.
    I haven’t had it on in a while, I’ll take it out next trip and report back.

  10. After a recent introduction to the LIM range they’ve become a firm favourite, however, I can’t for the life of me lay my hands on the LIM barrier pullover. Everywhere either is out of stock (restocking in winter 2009 say some) or in the wrong size. Could you suggest a suitable (available) alternative?

  11. I think you might have to start looking overseas, maybe Barrabes.com or some links from the Haglofs site.
    What’s in the shops is all there is, no stock left at Haglofs all.
    My Mate Bobison got what he’s convinced is the last size large in the UK last week.

    Happy hunting, it’s such a great bit of kit.

  12. I like the theory of the down vest over the top of a synthetic insulating layer (and have been giving it some thought).

    But as I’ve already got a long sleeve minimus jacket, is there any reason why wearing a synthetic insulated vest (e.g. a rab generator or PhD Sigma vest) under a long sleeve down jacket wouldn’t also work for the coldest winter nights, as long as the synthetic insulation wasn’t too bulky?

    Obviously no need to also take a long sleeve insulated jacket when the synthetic vest, down jacket combo is used.

  13. That still gets the same extra core warmth and better arm mobility, and I’ve been doing the exact same with the synthetic Haglofs Barrier Vest (review soon).
    Freedom of movement maybe won’t be so good depending on how the layers stack ip together (might be better though?), but being able to taking the jacket off abd get in your sleeping bag with the vest still on sounds like that way round is oright n the money.

  14. Cool – and I await the review with interest.

    The Haglofs, Rab and PhD vests are all pretty much the same design and weight (the Rab is 20g heavier than the other two). The PHD is £20 more than the competition(the price of making things in the UK!)

    All three use different insulating materials, however. I wonder if it makes much differnce in terms of performance? Fit and warmth is probably preferable to overall warmth

  15. The PHD one has the bst quality down, the best warmth for the weight and you can layer it as it’s low bulk. The Haglofs LIM has the best features, lycra armholes and hem (stops bady movement pumping hot air out), big pockets and it’s plenty warm as well. Tne Rab one is just a bog standard down vest, they could make it much better if they tried.

    But a down vest is such a good bit of kit, so whaterever fits the best is going to be good even if the spec sheet doesn’t read as perfect.

  16. You are juggling too many topics! I was talking about the synthetic vests

    The PhD vest uses Thinsulate, the Haglofs has Thermolite and the Rab Generator uses Primoloft 1. Otherwise they look pretty similar.

  17. …it’s this cold…

    Aye, right. The PHD will be the coolest and smallest packing I think, the Haglofs the bulkiest and most robust, the Rab the best warmth to weight but the most vulnerable outer fabric.
    I think :o)

    I used to think that Thermolite was pretty inferior to Primaloft, but in use it’s plenty warm, just not as compressible.
    Fit wise I think Haglofs is a little slimmer than Rab and PHD’s clothes sizing is a little looser, I’m, probably a medium and a half with PHD and a large in Haglofs and Rab.

  18. Many thanks – that’s a help

    I was actually in toon at lunchtime and was fondling a Haglofs vest (no XL or XXL though). Very nice. It is not especially ‘lofty’ and doesn’t look like it would be as warm as a primaloft/quantum combo, but it looks like it might sit more neatly under a down jacket. As I say, I look forward to your review.

    Sizing and fit might be an issue though, as I am usually a ‘traditional’ XL.

  19. I’ll get some photies next time I’m out and write something up.
    Karrimor made test samples of a Primaloft/Pertex version before they got bought out and they were very good, three pockets, tiny pack size.
    I should do a gear-never-made piece as well.

  20. After all that brain pricking and pratting about looking at synthetic vests, I’ve only gone an ordered a Patagonia down sweater vest.

    It far from the the thickest down vest around (it only weights 200g). But I reckon that layered over a Cioch Glamaig and a warmish synthetic jacket it will be plenty warm for most occasions…

    …and its only costing me £65 including shipping (the clincher!)

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