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Western Mountaineering Flash Down Jacket - Men's



Flash Down Jacket

The Flash Down Jacket from Western Mountaineering dishes out a measured balance of warmth and light weight. Perfect for working the alpine line when you don’t want to lug around that massive yeti of a coat you’ve had in the back of your closet for years.
  • 850-Fill down gives you ultimate loft, compression rebound, and a sweet warmth-to-weight ratio
  • Down pockets and hood keep you toasty around the edges
  • The outer shell’s 0.9oz Dot-Rripstop nylon boosts the jacket’s tear resistance and toughness
  • Down-filled zipper tube stops drafts from sneaking in
  • Lightweight elastic piping around the hood and waist seal out the cold without cordlocks
  • Item #WES0048

100% nylon
850+ fill goose down
Fill Weight
3 oz
Center Back Length
[medium] 27in
2 hand
Claimed Weight
Recommended Use
alpine & expedition, skiing
Manufacturer Warranty

Tech Specs

What do you think about this product?


>Rating: 1

No Customer Support

I've used it several times

I purchased a Flash Jacket from Western Mountaineering. The elastic on the hood and the cuffs went bad and is not tight. Unfortunately without functioning elastic, there is no way to tighten these as there is no drawstring. So now I get tons of drafts on my expensive down jacket and have to resort to using ponytail holders on the sleeves. I have tried to contact Western Mountaineering support for over a year to repair/replace the elastic with no response. They do not provide a phone number for customer and only have an email for customer support which is apparently run by a 3rd party who do not respond. Customer support does not answer emails. The lifetime warranty on their products is pretty much worthless. Avoid this company. They have some good products, but good luck if something goes wrong. 09/2020 Update - Still have not been able to get in touch with customer service And the customer rep has never responded to this review. Regardless of this being an ultra lite jacket, the elastic shouldn’t go bad this quickly. This company’s quality control is a problem especially when combined with their non-existent customer service.

I have not had that experience with the customer service. It is not run by a third party. The do not have a direct phone number but they respond quickly to emails. They are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I think the issue is that you really cant fix that issue. it would be very difficult for a seamstress to do without altering the jacket substantially. Elastic wrist cuff stretch a bit, thats just a trade off for the ultralight nature of the jacket. I mean, maybe they were made too wide to begin with, in which case they should alter the design. But all ultralight down jackets of a similar nature have this issue. No hood adjustments kind of limits its usefulness without a climbing helmet. However its meant to be under a hardshell most of the time which does have adjustable cuffs and hood . All elastic will stretch overtime, but i think you would be better served by a jacket with adjustable cuffs and hood for more urban use. This is for the ultralight crowd and there are tradeoffs. Not meant to be worn as a standalone for long periods of time.

Yeah, I agree with Matt. I had a bag overfilled this summer and they both were super helpful any time I tried to contact them and super quick with the service itself. They are a southern California and it seems like your issues likely coincided with the state shutdown.

>Rating: 5

Yes, it is worth it.

I've put it through the wringer
True to size

Wish I had the Flash Down years ago, I live at 8000 ft in the Colorado mountains and this is a great piece of gear. I own the Ultralite sleeping bag and Meltdown jacket the quality is excellent with Western Mountaineering.

>Rating: 5

Must have in your pack

I've put it through the wringer
True to size
Size Bought
6` 0"
180 lbs

You don't even know it's in your pack because it's so light...great for touring, backpacking, wearing around town, climbing etc. When I take it out I usually wear a hardshell over it. Super durable because it was made in San Jose and not in China by 30 seamstresses. Do yourself a favor and buy something that will last a lifetime. WM for the win everytime.

Mark - thank you for the great review! Leta Western Mountaineering Rep

>Rating: 5

The Layer Slayer

I got this layer with the knowledge that it would make all my other layers obsolete. I live in Denver and love the 14er summits. I wanted something that I could wear to a wedding and could also buy me 45 minutes on a 14er summit. Having fun outside does not have to be ruined with bad clothing choices. Sometimes you need to travel to Patagonia to get a puffy jacket recommendation.


Thanks Taff! Leta Western Mountaineering Rep

>Rating: 5

The perfect puffer

I've used it several times

I've used the flash jacket around town in mid 30 degree (f) weather for a couple weeks and took it on a 16 mile hike in the Ouachita Mountains after Christmas. Temperatures were in the 40's (f) during the day and too warm for anything more than a base layer, fleece and shell. However at night the temps dropped into the 20's and teens by early morning. This puffer was the perfect solution for these cold temps. A perfect part of a 4 part system. Base, fleece, puffer, shell. I originally thought I wanted a puffer with no hood, but on my recent trip I really appreciated the hood and wouldn't even consider ordering a puffer for trail use without one.

>Rating: 3

Great weight/warmth ratio but BLEEDS feathers

This is a great jacket and a great company but for me it had an issue that couldn't be overcome. I used it a few times this hunting season to stay warm when not moving and found it to be exceptionally warm for the weight - I barely knew it was in my pack. I returned this however because the light-weight shell fabric used has a propensity to bleed more feathers than I've ever seen before Its up to you, but personally I want my jacket to be a bit more durable than that. I still like the company a lot and traded up to their XR Flash series which is heavier but more feather-proof. Am very happy with the upgraded version.

>Rating: 5

Flash 3 years old. Answers one year late!

So sorry that I've not addressed your questions for such a long time. Let me attempt to do that now as objectively as I can. The Rab Microlite Alpine is a vastly different animal. It has a W/B outer shell and weighs in at 21 oz. vs. 9 oz. here. The Flash sweater is intended as an outer layer for moderate days and should undoubtedly be layered under a W/B shell when skiing trees or when the wind is howling. Yes, the lightweight fabric will snag on tree branches when cruising by in the steeps. The combination of 850 minimum fill power down and lightweight, completely breathable fabric causes it's comfort range to be extremely versitile. From 65 degrees F to 20 F, I typically feel like I'm at room temp while wearing my Flash. Adding a waterproof/breathable layer to the outer fabric increases its durability (still risky in the trees) and it makes it warmer but will also narrow it's comfort range. Warmer temps will more readily cause overheating. I have both the Flash XR and the regular Flash. Probably if I lived in the Pacific NW, I'd wear my XR more. Here in Colorado, I don't even carry fleece in the backcountry anymore. This jacket with a lightweight Gore layer on top and 1-2 thin wool layers underneath is the most I've ever needed on our coldest -10 degree days. Hailing from Minnesota, these Colorado temps are admittedly pretty moderate. For the record, the Flash XR is plenty water resistant for any wet weather I've encountered short of a downpour. I've uploaded a photo of my Flash after 3 years of use. If I'd skied trees with it unprotected, it would have patches all over it. Having said that, I've not babied it either. It is either in my pack or thrown in the back of my car or stuffed into the tankbag of my motorbike whenever the temps are anticipated below 40. Regarding its durability, as Yvon Chouinard so aptly put it: (paraphrasing) Having the best gear is no replacement for knowing how to use it. Use this jacket wisely (not over-protectively!) and it will last a very, very long time. It will also become your most used jacket as it has become mine.


Tom, like you I'm also a Colorado based back country skier. I'm trying to decide if the Flash or the Flight (heavier but no hood) would be best for me. I almost always wear a hooded baselayer that fits nicely under my helmet. Of course my W/B shell has a hood. I'm wondering if a hood on my down sweater is one hood too many.

Thomas, I am not Tom, but I do work with him. For backcountry skiing, I personally like having the hooded down sweater and a non-hooded baselayer. One less hood to work around. However, in your situation, here are some things to consider. While the Flash's hood is just as smooshable as the rest of the jacket, you still feel it if it is under your jacket--but I find it an additional awkwardness when the hood is out of the jacket. Now add your baselayer hood to it as well! Another note, the down hood does not fit over a helmet (of course) and if you have the baselayer hood under your helmet, the down hood might be too much. Also, the Flight is a touch more durable if you ever use your sweater as a regular jacket--and I don't know a single Coloradan who doesn't.

>Rating: 5


This is an incredible jacket! I can actually ski in it and not over-heat as I usually do with other higher loft jackets. The shell of the jacket repels snow well. There is a tradeoff for the extremely light-weight material: It rips easily, so you have to be very careful skiing by trees or bushes. I have patched a few areas because I am not careful. I now wear a light shell to protect the jacket when I am skiing in the trees. Recently I purchased the XR version of the Flash jacket. It has a more waterproof shell, an adjustable hood and zipers on the pockets. For wet snow weather, I will probably use the XR model. The Flash jacket is the warmest jacket for its weight. Westernn Mountaineering uses high quality down and produces high quality products. All their products, including this jacket, are worth the price.

>Rating: 5

No better sweater

You need to know right off the bat that I'm the sales rep in the Rockies for Western Mountaineering. I'm unabashed about extolling the virtues of Western down bags, jackets, pants and booties. I've owned many down sweaters in the course of my work in this business. This is the best I've ever used. It's lighter, more compact, warmer and more comfortable than any other. Here is my experience: The jacket with stuff sack weighs 9oz. on my postal scale. The fit is generous with a very comfortable hood design. Don't look for fashion here. You won't find it. Instead, decide if you're looking for the lightest, most compressible, warmest down sweater on the market. If it is, you'll keep it in your pack at all times like I do, waiting for the next opportunity to put it to the test. You'll love it too!

Hey Tom (and anyone else who might weigh in) I'm wondering what the advantages of going with the Flash XR over the Flash would be. I know the shell is a different material, the pockets are zippered, and the hood is adjustable. I guess my biggest question is concerning water-resistance. I've read that the Proloft material is more resistant on the XR, but water still penetrates where it is sewn. So, is it worth it? I tried on the Flash, and the non-adjustable hood was bothersome as I couldn't see when I turned my head. I currently have the Patagonia Hooded Down Sweater. Would the Flash or Flash XR be a worth-while upgrade? Thanks!

hey tom, i,ve got a question too; would the 85grams of down in this jacket be comparable in warmth to a jacket with 140grams of 750 loft, eg rab microlight alpine, cheers

Tom, My wife and I own several WM bags and believe there are no better on the planet. I was delighted when she bought the Hooded Flash for me last Winter. I love it. However, the fabric has had several runs/pulls in it. I know I'm being picky, but, it drives me crazy each time I find one. We can't remember where she bought it from. Will WM help?

"Don't look for fashion here." I don't know about that. I have a pretty good fashion sense, but of course wear more "rugged" clothing that wouldn't be considered "fashionable" by the elites. I haven't tried it yet but from the photos it appears to be the best looking looking down jacket/sweater I have ever seen - that's including overpriced fashion brands such as Moncler. I like that there appears to be no visible logo except for the small one on the zipper and side pocket. Please keep doing that. Too many outdoor clothing companies put big logos all over their clothes, and some people may like that, so I am glad that at least one company is making simple understated clothing that doesn't force their customers to be walking billboards.

I purchased one of these jackets at retail price from Bent Gate Mountaineering in Golden, CO after trying it on in the store. Please note, this is very unusual for me... Even after determining my need for a product and researching the heck out of my options, I'm still very hesitant to part with money -- especially on the order of $hundreds. I would like to reiterate what dollivera stated above: one of the things that drew me to this jacket over many others was the lack of some big, tacky logo emblazoned across the front. To me it shows that WM values a quality, functional product over brand-name recognition. Oh and by the way, the jacket is incredibly... I'm not a big dude and the small fits perfect... slim enough to prevent any gaps to let cold air in, but long enough in the sleeves/torso so that I don't feel like I should have sized up. Thank you for creating such a fantastic product -- please, don't change a thing :)

To bri3655325 - WM is a fantastic company to work with. They back up their products, which are generally significantly better craftsmanship. Go their website ( to find a local dealer or give them a call (408) 287-8944.


is the silver color more of a grey as pictured in the photo or is it actual silver ? ie. will I look like I'm wrapped in puffy tin foil?

Caitlin, It's definitely more grey - you will not look like you are a puffy piece of tin foil! :-) Leta Western Mountaineering rep


What size should I pick? I'm wearing 15.5/16...

What size should I pick? I'm wearing 15.5/16 with 32/33 shirt.

I'm 5'11, 16neck, 32/33 shirt @ 175# and the medium is perfect.


What is the difference between the Flash...

What is the difference between the Flash and Flash XR ?

The XR series are made with the Proloft XR material which is more waterproof and breathable. So if you are going to be in wetter or more humid conditions you might want the upgrade.


Can anyone compare this to the Patagonia...

Can anyone compare this to the Patagonia ultra lite down offering ?

It is loftier than the Patagonia UL. Additionally it is made in Canada (which is nice). The Patagonia is 264g in the same size so this is a bit heavier but a bit warmer.

No comparison. I opine Patagonia is for the mall. WM is for the alpine.


How is the sleeve length on the Large. I...

How is the sleeve length on the Large. I have long arms, normal shirt size 36"

I think they'll be a bit short for you. I had a large (temporarily) that fit me well and I wear a 34" shirt sleeve.


Anybody know how this compares to say...

Anybody know how this compares to say Montbell UL Down Inner Parka? I know it should be slightly warmer but anything else? How about temp rating? Thx, Jim

I have both, and they're both great jackets but differ a lot in the details. The WM jacket is warmer because it has more down. The WM has down on both sides of the pockets; Mont-bell just has has nylon on the inner side. The WM has their great no-snag dacron along the zipper, just like their sleeping bags; Mont-bell doesn't. WM uses beefy "American" sizing, so the chest on my Large is probably 46 inches where I'd guess Mont-bell is more like 42. The WM arms are much bigger around too. WM isn't adjustable at the waist but the Mont-bell parka is, with a shock cord that runs into the pockets. The WM hood is not adjustable either but the Mont-bell is, both to tighten around the face and to adjust overall volume with a velcro tab at the back of the head. The nylon fabrics and down quality are nearly identical between them. The Mont-bell has a little more attention to style with different angles to the baffles under the arms, and some interesting contouring to vertical seams on the front and back baffles. The WM doesn't bother.

Thanks. Which do you find yourself using most often and why.


does anyone have a photo front/side or...

does anyone have a photo front/side or description of how this jacket fits around your head, does it come over your chin or below, how well does it seal out the wind around your head etc. the silver colour looks blueish, is that photo realistic, anything else to mention? a photo in its stuff sack next to something would be cool... to see the packed size, if anyone could be bothered, thanks in advance... rich

I find the fit around my head to be flawless. It does come up over my chin comfortably so it seals out the wind beautifully. To my eye, the photo of the silver is accurate. Here's a photo of my size large jacket stuffed. I prefer not to "over-stuff" it. It will easily compress to 2/3 of the size shown.


what is the sizing chart for this coat

what is the sizing chart for this coat

Hi there! Tom here. I'm the Western Mountaineering rep here in the Rockies. I've been bugging Western to put some kind of sizing chart together but they're busy sewing jackets and bags. Sorry 'bout that. The jackets run quite full. Most folks I know wear their normal size. If in between sizes, going down will usually work. I prefer to size up for comfort and ease of layering. The fabrics are so light and the down so "drapy" that sizing up will usually yield an acceptable fit. Sorry to be so vague but without specs, that's all I can do. Next step will be to request a sizing chart once again. Let's see what happens!


Is this jacket the same weight and feel...

Is this jacket the same weight and feel as a down sweater ?

I tried this jacket on in a specialty shop recently & it is not as heavy and over filled as say an expedition parka, but it definitely packs more in than say, Patagonia's Down Sweater or something along that line. You can definitely use it for layering under a shell if thats what you were thinking about. I'm 5'10 170 and the large fit great, plenty of room for base layers underneath and mobility while wearing it was fluid. Now I wish I bought it!

One of the answers above lists the down fill weight of this jacket at 85 grams, which is the same as the Patagonia Down Sweater, although this is an 850-fill vs the 800-fill in the Patagonia. Since this is hooded, I'm guessing the down is distributed a bit more sparsely throughout the jacket. Maybe Tom can weigh in on this, but it looks like he hasn't checked in since October of last year. The overall weight of the piece is very impressive, though, especially for a hooded jacket. I would say that the new Patagonia Down Special Edition Sweater is a closer competitor to this.