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#10842 - 02/14/11 07:21 AM down jacket sizing
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
how do you wear your down layer in the mountains? Take off hard shell and use it on whatever you had under it, or do you like the down jacket sized large enough to go over everything?

I'm thinking winter use - not summer down sweater layers, but a warm jacket with hood similar to Patagona Fitzroy or MHW Sub Zero.
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#10845 - 02/14/11 11:39 AM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: Fishmonger]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
I wear one or the other - not both. In cold weather I use 3 layers under a hard shell, and if I carry a down jacket it's usually for emergencies. I size my hardshell to fit over the layers.

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#10850 - 02/14/11 05:42 PM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: Bee]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2249
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Down jackets are named that way because you very rarely need to wear them on the way up.
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#10859 - 02/15/11 04:27 AM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: wagga]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: wagga
Down jackets are named that way because you very rarely need to wear them on the way up.


I don't think I'll be wearing it on the way up. The key question for me is - do I want an XL to fit over everything, or an L to fit over the layers minus the hardshell. My hardshell will never fit over everything, nor do I need it to. The down jacket I am looking at will be water resistant as well.

The thought was to get something that if I should get extremely cold on extended trips, I can just sit aroound wearing every piece of clothing I brought, but I guess an extra layer of long underwear or a thicker fleece will do the job. XL seems like the choice that does it all, but I think a jacket that fits too loosely when worn with less layers may not be as warm as one that fits. Right or wrong?

going to REI today to do some trying on of different brands, with all layers and with just a few.
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#10860 - 02/15/11 05:13 AM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: Fishmonger]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: Fishmonger
...My hardshell will never fit over everything, nor do I need it to. The down jacket I am looking at will be water resistant as well.


I have several "hardshells" for different conditions. My lightest is a single-ply Marmot Precip, and it's the one I use either in summer conditions or on lower peaks in the West because it's rarely cold enough to warrant anything heavier - no polar air masses to deal with. On the other end are a couple of 3-ply, expedition-grade jackets for subzero, windy conditions. Regardless of 1-, 2- or 3-ply, they're sized to fit over layers, as that's their function, at least for me.

As for a water-resistant down jacket - if it's warm enough to rain, you probably don't need a down jacket. Down gets its warmth from loft, and that means the fabric is probably wind-resistant but probably not water-resistant.

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#10863 - 02/15/11 06:01 AM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: KevinR]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: KevinR

As for a water-resistant down jacket - if it's warm enough to rain, you probably don't need a down jacket. Down gets its warmth from loft, and that means the fabric is probably wind-resistant but probably not water-resistant.



I thought water resistance and loft are unrelated. In the case of my sleeping bag, it uses what they call Conduit SL fabric to keep that breath in the freezing tent from turning the bag surface in front of my face into a wet sponge. My summer bag did that a few times, so I have a winter bag with the membrane fabric to keep the down dry. On a Jacket, you're probably right, there's much less of a chance for moisture to get into the fabric and melt from interior heat.

I also have a Marmot Precip for summer - fine exept that I need to treat the fabric to repel better. Clings cold and wet to your body when the rain soaks the oustide fabric.

For Winter I have a 3-layer Goretex shell, all the fancy features such as hood big enough for helmet, vents, snow skirt, etc., heavier, big enough to fit over everything but not the down jacket. But the more I think about it - there's really little point to layer over the shell, as it doesn't add much insulation (one more air pocket at best, if not compressed totally). Suppose that's what they make down sweaters for.
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#10871 - 02/15/11 08:30 AM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: Fishmonger]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
I think there's a relationship to water-resistance and loft simply because of the heavier, less flexible fabric.

As for the Marmot Precip - you might have one of the older ones - I know I did. Great for wind, but leaks like a sieve in a good downpour. I think Marmot will replace the older ones - I intend to try that route. Last summer I had the older one - it's an anorak which I prefer - and was caught in a heavy shower on a hike to Balu Pass up in B.C. It leaked so badly the water accumulated at my elbows as I was using poles, and about every 10 minutes I'd have to straighten my arm and let about 1/2 cup of water drain out. I bought a new one, and have been assured Marmot fixed that problem.

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#10875 - 02/15/11 10:56 AM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: KevinR]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: KevinR
I think there's a relationship to water-resistance and loft simply because of the heavier, less flexible fabric.


if it's a baffled chamber construction, especially on the vertical plane of the garment, this should not be a factor regarding loft. The membrane fabric is certainly less flexible and heavier, but that sleeping bag I have just lofts up like anything else. I can see it being restrictive when expansion requires puffing out stitched-through chambers. Weight of the fabric on horizontal surfaces may make a small difference.

My Precip jacket doesn't really leak - it's the nylon that soaks up with water on the outside, making it heavy and cold on the skin below. Water never really got inside.

PS just came back from REI. Sad state of affairs when the entire store in winter in Wisconsin has only a rack full gecko-colored $200 Patagonia down sweaters thinner than my pinky, and one TNF Nuptse fashion puffer coat. That was it for down jackets.

Bought some liner socks and left.
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#10880 - 02/15/11 12:40 PM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: Fishmonger]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 595
Loc: Manchester, NH
You might check out Cabelas for a down jacket. I've got two lighter ones of varying weights, but needed something a bit warmer and a couple of weeks ago got an email from them about a sale. I bought a 750 weight goose-down jacket for about $50. It doesn't have a hood, but I don't want one on a down jacket anyway.

Several years ago I was driving home from a Baxter SP winter trip and stopped at LL Beans in Freeport about 2AM - they're open 24 hours - and bought a 600w down jacket for about $50. Many of these big outdoor retailers will have good deals on excellent gear. Several years ago I bought 3-ply Goretex bibs, with full side zips, and a fly (something that was nearly impossible to find in other brands at the time) from Cabelas for $179, which was half the price that NF, Mountain Hardware, ArcTeryx, etc charge. And the quality/detailing is excellent. As a plus, the suspenders are detachable.

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#10885 - 02/15/11 04:30 PM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: wagga]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 627
Loc: OrangeCounty
Down jackets are named that way because you very rarely need to wear them on the way up. wagga, this comment cracked me up.

When I buy a down jacket, I always buy a size larger than what I normally wear because I can always hear my mother's words (God Bless Her Soul) speaking to me as if she's still alive, whispering in my ear, saying to me (as she would when I was a little girl), "Lynn, don't worry honey, you'll grow into it", and I always did, and I still always do, DARNIT!


Edited by lynn-a-roo (02/15/11 04:33 PM)

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#11359 - 03/05/11 10:29 AM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: lynn-a-roo]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
well, I got a mountain hardwear sub zero SL with hood in L (my normal size) - it fits under my sized L hardshell, and it fits over it. Just a little shorter than I'd like, but it's fine.

Scratch one more item off the gear list. Not much left to get unless Gregory doesn't send my pack back in time for my trip this month (warranty repair...)
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#11379 - 03/06/11 03:52 PM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: Fishmonger]
Akichow Offline


Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 659
Loc: SF Bay Area
I love gear and gear talk.

I just bought one of the aforementioned Patagonia sweaters (Special Edition, 900 fill) on Ebay. I wear down under my shell if it is windy or rainy, so I went the small size route. Less volume and weight to carry! For me, (1) base layer, (2) fleece layer, (3) down sweater layer, and (4) uninsulated, gore-tex shell will handle any weather condition that I am likely to encounter, but they have to fit in that order, like those nesting Russian dolls. But I don't do hard core winter mountaineering ... yet .... I just don't like to get cold in the evenings at camp.

And I can't believe I did this, but I just bought my first set of mountaineering boots, Scarpa Charmoz GTX, great price off sierratradingpost.com. Need something crampon compatible for Shasta.... And here I thought hiking/backpacking was the cheaper alternative to hotel vacations...

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#11395 - 03/07/11 07:13 PM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: Akichow]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 627
Loc: OrangeCounty
Akichow,

OMG, you said it correctly, "And here I thought hiking/backpacking was the cheaper alternative to hotel vacations..." , hiking and backpacking can get very expensive because there is sooooooooo much neat gear on the market and neater and newer gear every year, YIKES!

Take Fishmonger's Gregory pack, I bet that cost a pretty penny. I hope it's made in the USA. I read an article on Gregory packs and, from what I understand, Gregory packs are high quality packs and I thought they were produced here in the United States...I sure hope so, I don't mind paying a little more if the product is made in the USA.

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#11396 - 03/07/11 07:16 PM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: Akichow]
Mike Condron Offline


Registered: 11/05/09
Posts: 215
Loc: Now Manteca, CA
Only the room is cheaper.
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#11398 - 03/07/11 08:56 PM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: lynn-a-roo]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Originally Posted By: lynn-a-roo
Take Fishmonger's Gregory pack, I bet that cost a pretty penny. I hope it's made in the USA. I read an article on Gregory packs and, from what I understand, Gregory packs are high quality packs and I thought they were produced here in the United States...I sure hope so, I don't mind paying a little more if the product is made in the USA.



sadly, the Gregory Whitney 95 is made in China. They still make the Denali here, but not much else. Black Diamond now owns the company; no idea if that is why they are made in China now - almost everything else is made there. I am having it fixed under warranty right now, but may have to get a new pack this week if they can't ship it back in time for my trip on 3-18. I looked at some of the US made stuff like Mystery Ranch Packs, but those are currently well beyond my price range. I bought the Gregory on ebay for less than half of retail and even that was a lot.

http://www.mysteryranch.com/s.nl/it.A/id.3651/.f?sc=11&category=7

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#11439 - 03/09/11 08:03 PM Re: down jacket sizing [Re: lynn-a-roo]
NJ hiker Offline


Registered: 02/18/11
Posts: 74
Loc: Northern NJ
Hi Lynn-a-Roo. Phenominal bargains can still be found with patience and some luck of being at the right place at the right time in good local gear shops if you have done your homework with researching brand, price and quality. I am re-gearing both myself and hubby from our 1984 items-classics but HEAVY! Hubby loved his older than dirt (and about as clean) 6 lb EMS pack. I was browsing the clearance rack in a local sporting goods store and spotted a Gregory Z55 pack in size large with the markdown price of $68 on it. After rubbing my eyes and confirming it was the actual price and not missing a leading digit (apparently a post holiday return taking up floor space needed for new models), I took it home, he tried it on, and declared with a shocked grin that it was the best thing he had ever worn. I did correct him that the color of the pack is 'Sonoran Gold', not 'Bear Piss Yellow' (lol). I had similar luck finding a half price down sweater (for layering), 30% off hiking boots, and a closeout 15 degree down sleeping bag for myself (no, not all in 1 day-I wish!). I also got a used Isis down vest from EBay for a few dollars, washed it, and it lofted beautifully. Gotta love recycling! But even with these finds, it *is* undeniably an expensive hobby, but soooooo satisfying..... wink

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