This is my first ever down apparel. After reading other reviews, I decided I must try on some before I buying. I agree the zipper is a little on the awkward side, but it's do-able. I just hope it's something that won't change when my hands are freezing and touch is a little more unmanageable. The Velcro overlaps are somewhat of a nuisance when unzipping, but I just bet they will be much appreciated in the wet or cold windy conditions. So I tried the Sub Zero jacket on. It seemed to eliminate all these issues. So why the Sub Zero SL hooded jacket? I tried it on and it felt warmer for some reason. I think it is the lining material inside the jacket- it really doesn't have any more down than the Sub Zero. It seems a little puffier as well? Anyway, then I put the hood up-wow! $100 more for a hood and a little water resistance? In spite of this, it suddenly seemed worth it (to me). With the hood up it is way warmer. I occasionally find myself with friends up in higher, colder conditions with astronomy gear. We don't have a lot of moving around, so there is nothing worse than being really cold and standing still trying to focus with numb cheeks and fingers. This jacket fits the bill perfectly. It also will beat the full body gear when it comes to the occasional breaks necessary when drinking too much hot coffee. A last comment on the length of the jacket. Yes, it does seem a little on the short side. With 2-3 more inches in length, and made somewhere else besides China, this jacket would be a six star jacket. With all this in mind, it is a warm, easy to move in, well made jacket that has a lot of pluses- stuff-able,Velcro sleeves, removable hood, water resistance, cords to tighten the fit as needed and what appears to be a more wear resistant fabric than some.