First, it's difficult or impossible to find any weight down parka with a hood. This one not only has a hood (that is, if you choose the hooded option of the Alpine Light Parka) but also has a soft, microfleece layer inside the neck that keeps you are cozy whether the zip and hood are up or down. On top of that, the parka is warm enough (800-fill) to wear on its own or underneath an outer layer. For around town, I wear mine under a roomy OR softshell when I need it and couldn't be happier. When skiing I wear it under a Gore-tex shell and same thing. As toasty as if it were a big puffer parka, but you can barely see that there's a down layer under your shell - and, the material has a windblock effect as well. There are other benefits to having a hood - when it's rolled down around your neck it acts like a puffy neck warmer and keeps the cold mountain wind from seeping in (lack of substantial down in the neck cuff and no fleece liner at neck was what made me return the OR Ergo Down). I have not had the torso length issue others have had but I am a bit short in the torso! But having read those reviews, I tried the small and medium and opted for the medium because I didn't want the super close fit. That medium also gave me an extra 1/2-1" length in the torso. One last unique thing about the parka is that instead of one seam from the armpit to the waist there are 2, 4" apart, for better fit. Lots of high-end details in a very functional, very warm and very lightweight parka.