Gear Review: KUHL Spyfire Down Hoodie

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The KUHL Spyfire Down Hoodie is a stylish and lightweight jacket with loads of comfort and features. Coming in under 16oz and built with a performance fit, I’ve found that the Spyfire handles hiking, backpacking, and travel equally well. I took this jacket with me to Iceland and have since used it on a few backpacking overnighters. In this review I’ll cover the fabrics and build of the Spyfire, as well as provide my thoughts and opinions on it’s performance out in the field.

Purchase The Spyfire Hoodie: Zappos | Backcountry | REI | KUHL

Gear Review: KUHL Spyfire Down Hoodie

Fabrics and Build

The KUHL Spyfire Down Hoodie is one of the most comfortable and best fitting jackets I’ve ever reviewed. I wear a size medium in the Spyfire which fits my 5’11” 182lbs frame just about perfect. I have a 42in chest and 31in waist for reference.

The Spyfire Hoodie is made using three distinct fabrics. The first fabric layer is a DWR coated shell that is windproof and water resistant. This shell is a 20 denier, 24 high filament nylon manufactured on a Japanese mill for great durability without impacting comfort. This fabric comprises much of the Spyfire Hoodie. On the shoulders of the Spyfire Hoodie, KUHL uses a reinforced soft shell fabric. This provides protection and durability for those that hike with a heavy backpack or for those that carry skis. The third fabric is a lightweight knit panel under the arms. This allows for ventilation while wearing the Spyfire Down Hoodie during outdoor pursuits.

Starting at the top, the Spyfire Hoodie has a 5-panel hood with two adjustment cords in the front and one in the back. This hood was amazing in the windy and rainy Iceland weather. Even with cold and wet wind gust, the hood never budged.

Gear Review: KUHL Spyfire Down Hoodie

The Spyfire Hoodie is made with 800-fill goose down. The down is ethically sourced, meaning no force feeding or live plucking. 800 fill down has a great warmth to weight ratio. For those unfamiliar, fill is not the amount of down used in a jacket. Fill is a measure of volume for the amount of cubic inches one ounce of down will “fill”. One ounce of 800 fill down will have a higher measured volume than 700 fill down, leading to the better weight to warmth ratio.

KUHL uses body mapping with varying baffle sizes to provide warmth where the body needs it. The Spyfire Hoodie has thin and small baffles under the arm which allows for a fluid arm movement when walking and hiking. The baffles around the core are larger to provide warmth to the base of the body.

The wrists on the Spyfire Hoodie use an elastic band that work well to keep the wind out. The inside of the Spyfire Hoodie has one large side pocket that fits a large smartphone nicely.

The front of the Spyfire Hoodie has a 20D, 24 filament nylon top sheet to block wind, snow, rain, and abrasions. There are two hip pockets and two chest pockets. The hip pockets are a little on the small side. I find it tough to keep my hands secured in the pockets on cold days when I don’t have my gloves. The pockets are a part of the top sheet, which means they are not insulated. The chest pockets are really nice for quick access to small accessories.


The Spyfire Hoodie has been one of my main go-to layers over the past few months due to it’s versatility. While in Iceland, we had a few days of constant rain, cold, and drizzle. When the rain was falling hard, I put a waterproof jacket on top of the Spyfire Hoodie. When it was just drizzling and windy, the Spyfire Hoodie did well on it’s own. Even when I got hit by Iceland’s notoriously furious wind gusts, my core temperature was able to maintain a very comfortable temperature. On it’s own, I’m comfortable in this jacket down into the 30’s. With a fleece layer underneath, the Spyfire Hoodie can easily handle much lower temps.

Gear Review: KUHL Spyfire Down Hoodie

I did some hiking while in Iceland wearing the Spyfire Hoodie while carrying my son. I almost never wear a jacket while hiking, as I tend to overheat very quickly. There were a few occasions in Iceland where it was cold enough to warrant me keeping my jacket on. The breathable armpits work well and the full zip front allows for nice ventilation.

Gear Review: KUHL Spyfire Down Hoodie

Since returning home from Iceland, I’ve taken the Spyfire Hoodie on a few overnight backpacking trips. Just like the Spyfire’s hiking and travel performance, it’s been stellar for a ‘kickin’ it around camp’ jacket as well.

Purchase The Spyfire Hoodie: Zappos | Backcountry | REI | KUHL

Closing Thoughts

The KUHL Spyfire Down Hoodie is an ideal down jacket for hiking, traveling, and backpacking. The Spyfire will work best for those that enjoy a modern performance fit. The combination of warmth, function, and features have me reaching for this jacket more often than any of my other down layers at the moment. I wish that the pockets were a little larger and that they had their own insulation, but it’s a small complaint. At $260, the Spyfire Down Hoodie isn’t cheap, but that price is par for the course for jackets combining this feature set.

KUHL also has a nice range of other jackets and vests to round out their outerwear lineup. You ca see all of these at

Gear Review: KUHL Spyfire Down Hoodie


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