Overall, I like the vest. It’s very light and comfortable to wear, folds down into nothing and can be stored in a small purse. It does add warmth to the torso and the tall collar keeps my neck covered.
As far as styling it, I haven’t been terribly creative:
It’s just an easy piece to use. In my case, I’m wearing it as outerwear, but I can imagine it could go well under coats.
The meh: what I think is a lot of feather leak. Since I prefer wearing mostly dark-colored clothing, I notice the little white fuzzies very easily. Most of what escapes is small fuzz, thin fibers. But there’s enough of it to where when I look down I spend some time picking stuff off of myself. The seams of the panels seem to be the culprit and where I see the fuzz escape. Not happy with that. Then again, this is my first down-filled item, so maybe that’s just how those items work.
This vest retails at $49.90, which isn’t unattainable, but I’d still like my clothes to not make a mess on me as I’m wearing them. Depending on your budget and comfort level, I personally would suggest other brands if you want the vest to work as a full-fledged outerwear piece vs. as a layering piece. I like wearing mine on the outside, so should I pursue a black puffer vest in the future I’ll look at North Face or Patagonia.
Final thoughts: I would recommend this piece, with a caveat: buy it on sale. Its tendency to shed makes me unwilling to recommend it at full price, rather, if you have an opportunity to grab a ULD item on sale, go for it–it will be useful and warm, but I personally think one can wait for a sale. I wish I could report how other similarly-priced down vests perform (I would class the Uniqlo ULD with other packable vests,) but the only ones I’ve seen are TJMaxx/Marshalls diffusion lines (Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, and Michael Kors all make packable down pieces. Haven’t owned those, so I cannot comment, but the price point is comparable.)
Tell me what you think! Have you owned Uniqlo Ultra Light Down items? Is my feather leak problem standard, or should I just expect that from down-packed jackets? Do technical brands like North Face do it better, or do you know of other brands (LL Bean, Lands End, etc.) that work just as well?