First Ascent Compass jacket review

When I’m cold and need to warm up quick, I reach for the Compass jacket. It’s like wearing a duvet, and the fleece-lined pockets are a favourite!

Dealing with the wet

First Ascent Compass jacket model Sportsmans WarehouseI’ve worn it in drizzle which just slid off without penetrating. It blocks out all windchill too.

The great thing about using a synthetically insulated jacket instead of a down jacket, is you can get it wet. Wet weather is when you most need a warm jacket, right? And if your winter night is spent sitting around a campfire, you don’t hesitate to throw it in the washing machine to get the smokey smell out. And then, of course, there are the ethical and price factors which make insulation a winner.

IT stays really light at 512g for a women’s medium.

When I washed the campfire smoke out of my jacket, it dried really quickly.

Staying warm in the Compass jacket

The chosen insulation for the Compass jacket is First Ascent’s Thermo-Shield. The micro filament insulation is soft, light, and warm. Just a thin layer is enough to trap your body heat. Being hydrophobic means it can keep you warm even if it gets damp.

If I’m moving vigorously it can become too warm quickly, and my perspiration sticks to the fabric, as it isn’t lined. Another slight irritation is the fabric making crinkly noises in my ear when I have the hood up. That didn’t stop me wearing it to sleep while camping in the freezing Southern Drakensberg.

First Ascent Compass jacket IMG_6252
Zipped, fleece-lined hand-warmer pockets are a treat!

The collar and zip go right up under my chin, and the hood is large and cosy. You’d better tighten the hood’s drawcord though. If you turn your head while wearing it loose, you’ll have a face full of Microtex.

My favourite feature is the fleece-lined pockets. They are perfectly cosy, and the zips don’t bother me like some of my other jackets. It’s handy that the pockets zip shut if I want to keep my phone or keys safe in them.

Where the Compass jacket fits in the First Ascent range

If you’re a collector of First Ascent shells, you’ll be pleased to discover that the Compass jacket is part of the Interconnect range. The loops on the back of the neck and sleeve cuffs Allow you to clip on a waterproof outershell.

Another thing you may notice on the back of the jacket, is the Edge logo bellow the collar. First Ascent’s Edge gear is their high-end stuff, made with their best materials and designs.

First Ascent Compass jacket IMG_6253
First Ascent: Performance Tested Gear

Invest in the best

After using the jacket for a few months, the YKK zip is still in great condition. In fact, the jacket looks as good as new. A good investment for the long-haul.

An insulated jacket that acts like a soft-shell is not only in style, but extremely useful when there’s snow on the mountains.

I have mine in classic black, but it is also available in deep garnet, navy, sapphire, taupe and truffle for the adventurous. The men’s version comes in black, dark charcoal, deep forest, navy, and shadow.

Get your Compass jacket here

First Ascent

Outdoor Warehouse

Sportsmans Warehouse


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