First Ascent is like the Avengers, a team of climbing superheroes traveling the world to bag peaks. Officially known as Eddie Bauer/Whittaker Mountaineering First Ascent (it was so quiet you could hear a name drop…), we'll just refer to them as plain old First Ascent.
We're always suspicious of nameplate gear, but here's the low down: First Ascent is built to work high up. Down vests are a good test piece: if a company makes a good down vest, you can rely on the rest of their gear, and the First Ascent Downlight down vest is absolutely awesome. It starts with 800 fill down covered in superlight 1.06oz 20 Denier ripstop DWR nylon. The hems have elastic binding, the pockets (down on the outside to keep your hands warm as God intended) have a microfleece liner, and the neck is tall enough to cover SheFlogger's graceful cervix. Yes, cervix means neck. Look it up, perv.
The climbers at FA obviously run the design team. One small but illustrative touch: the left pocket has dual snag-free zipper pulls, one on the inside so you can turn the whole piece inside out and zip it into the pocket. Yeah, that's cool. The Downlight is slim but not over-quilted so it maintains its loft yet easily layers under a shell. In addition to the two exterior zipped handwarmer pockets there are two non-zipped inner pockets, narrow but deep. It would be nice if one of these was zipped so you could keep a wallet secure while using the handwarmer pockets, but hey, that's a minor quibble. If the SheFlogger is angry, go for the guaranteed get-out-of-the-doghouse-free berry color.