A couple of weeks ago I found a ''packable down jacket'' at walmart for $29. Couldn't really afford it, but couldn't really afford to not get it. Royal Falcon is the brand. I've found references on forums it's sold under a couple of names. 14oz even for the extra large. I've been using it as a second liner for my Columbia ski jacket. Very warm combo. Too warm, really. It sticks to my arms really bad if I sweat in it, so I don't think its very breathable.
I was thinking that it being a packable coat, it would make a good sleep coat.
Today I decided to put it through its paces while shoveling Chicago's 8 inches of snow. I put on a long sleeve polyester shirt i got on clearance for $5 this spring. Essentially an under armour knock off and delightfully ugly. My insulated pants, bomber hat, some good gloves and my hiking shoes I wear every day with some freshly patched wool blend socks.
4 to 6:30. Shoveled out my driveway. Then I spent half an hour standing under the hood of a car futzing with a battery cable. Then after dark I fired up the grill for some steaks and cleared the deck while the temps dropped down to 7 degrees.
Near the end I was no longer warm, standing around waiting on the steaks. Not cold, but not warm – about the same feeling as a tshirt in my basement.
I am actually amazed by how well it worked. I dressed lightly knowing all that snow was going to be work. I paced myself so I wouldn't sweat up bad, but did a little. I expected to freeze while wrenching on the car. I didn't. The gloves are good, warm hands even though the wrenches would freeze to them. Standing out in the wind in a foot of snow, still not cold.
It's amazing what the right combination of light weight gear can do.
I remember as a kid bundling up in layers and layers and still getting cold.