Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
0 registered (), 10 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3781 Members
10 Forums
5600 Topics
51223 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Topic Options
#19540 - 11/03/11 01:21 PM Down Jackets, Any Suggestions?
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 252
Loc: SoCal
I'm gonna need a down jacket for this winter. The jacket I use as an insulator now didn't cut it on the overnighters last year, so best I get myself a little better prepared.

I've always been impressed with my Marmot jackets, so I've been looking at their Zeus model. Anybody have something that they use that they swear by? I'm all ears before I spend a couple hundred dollars on an article of clothing...
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

Top
#19542 - 11/03/11 01:56 PM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: GandC]
Glenn Offline


Registered: 09/16/11
Posts: 105
Loc: Oklahoma
I've been real happy with the Feathered Friends Volant Jacket. That might be a little lighter duty than what you're looking for, but Feathered Friends has a variety.

But my current favorite serious cold jacket isn't down at all. Check-out the Patagonia DAS parka. I think that thing generates heat! I found mine a few years ago for half price as a close out of the previous year's colors.

Top
#19543 - 11/03/11 02:52 PM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: GandC]
hikin_jim Offline


Registered: 11/07/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Originally Posted By: GandC
I'm gonna need a down jacket for this winter. The jacket I use as an insulator now didn't cut it on the overnighters last year, so best I get myself a little better prepared.

I've always been impressed with my Marmot jackets, so I've been looking at their Zeus model. Anybody have something that they use that they swear by? I'm all ears before I spend a couple hundred dollars on an article of clothing...


I got a really nice North Face #700 down jacket at Sierra Trading Post (a close out website) a few years ago. If you're looking for something in a hurry, they won't always have it, but if you can wait a little, something invariably comes up. Sign up for their emails. They're constantly giving out coupons. I never pay their full asking price.

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

Top
#19548 - 11/04/11 05:14 AM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: GandC]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
Last year I bought three different insulated jackets (Steep and Cheap just kept offering them up, yes, and I have since signed up with a 12-step gear addiction program)

I love the lightest jacket of the bunch, but I haven't used it in the mountains yet, It is light and warm, but no hood and really too thin for anything but summer, I think, unless you also bring a fleece to layer with it. It is super light and packs into its own pocket, making it a standard gear item for summer trips.

My redneck office mate said I look like a girl from New Jersey when wearing it... Mine is last year's model, 800 fill, all shiny black, but I got it for less than $100.


For possibly wet and overall not so friendly weather I have a Mammut Stratus synthetic fill belay jacket with hood (also a Steep and cheap steal at about $100). I would probably take this one on a longer ski tour - the risk of down getting wet has me somewhat worried when heading into place where I cannot back out for days when things turn ugly. A bit heavier than your usual down jacket for its level of insulation, but still well under 2 pounds. http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=849


And the third and warmest jacket is a Mountain Hardware sub zero with hood. Just thin enough to still fit below my hardshell, but seriously puffy when worn alone. It's warmer than the Mammut, not much heavier, and has a conduit fabric layer to help keep things dry. I have not had a chance to test how well that actually works.
http://www.backcountry.com/mountain-hardwear-sub-zero-sl-hooded-down-jacket-mens

I had the MHW Sub Zero on Whitney in April - definitely the right amount of insulation for the temps then when in camp. Didn't need it during the day when moving.

Great on those cold Whitney mornings in early April when your Jetboil Helios pot lid takes a frisbee flight down the mountain and you have to get out of the tent to retrieve it from the frozen surface of Frog Pond, 400 feet below:



When shopping for the warm jacket, I was initially looking at the Western Mountaineering Flight jacket (now called the Meltdown Jacket), but it seemed rather expensive for the 6 ounces I could have saved, and the Flight jacket didn't even have a hood. Even the the Patagonia Fitzroy seemed like a better choice at the time, but when the MHW went on sale ($139, I think), I grabbed it. Like it a lot, even if it's just 650 fill - that kep the price down. It's twice as heavy as the North Face Diez but also much warmer.



_________________________
My Stuff on Flickr

Top
#19564 - 11/04/11 12:26 PM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: Fishmonger]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 252
Loc: SoCal
Thanks for the input guys. The one that seems to be getting pushed the hardest at REI and Moosejaw is the Patagonia hooded down sweater. I went and tried some on today, and it felt pretty good, but I'm not sure about the warmth with it being so darn thin. The MHW Sub Zero is another popular one, as Fishmonger pointed out, and that one was pretty comfortable as well.

Appreciate the advice!
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

Top
#19567 - 11/04/11 12:50 PM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: GandC]
Fishmonger Offline


Registered: 01/07/10
Posts: 1033
Loc: Madison, WI
that Patagonia down sweater is on Steep and Cheap every other day - doesn't sell even there. Lack of a real zipper kills it for me.
_________________________
My Stuff on Flickr

Top
#19568 - 11/04/11 01:27 PM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: Fishmonger]
hikin_jim Offline


Registered: 11/07/10
Posts: 148
Loc: Los Angeles, CA, USA
I've got the Patagonia down hoodie "sweater". It only has a 1/2 zipper, but it works pretty well. I love sleeping in it. The combination of the hood and my sleeping bag's hood keeps me toasty warm.

I had to choose between hood with 1/2 zip vs. no hood with full zip. I choose hood. I've been happy for the most part but of course would rather have a full zip.

In "middling" weather where it's not all that cold, I can't really vent the sweater properly. When I'm in my sleeping bag (which does have a full zip), It's not as much of a problem because I can use the sleeping bag's zipper to vent.

HJ
_________________________
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving

Top
#19635 - 11/05/11 08:35 PM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: hikin_jim]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 252
Loc: SoCal
I know it's not down, but do any of you guys have experience with (or know anyone who does) the Arcteryx Atom LT or SV? All of the online reviews that I've seen are pretty darn good, but who knows who's writing those things...
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

Top
#19641 - 11/06/11 09:37 AM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: GandC]
Glenn Offline


Registered: 09/16/11
Posts: 105
Loc: Oklahoma
I've gotten to be a big fan of synthetic insulated jackets. They can be very warm and weigh very little. And they take a fair amount of abuse, they're easy to wash, are almost as compressible as down, and they aren't as sensitive to getting wet. It also seems like one jacket can cover a wider range of temperature conditions making it a little more versatile (or maybe I'm just imagining that part). I don't really know if the longevity of the insulation will be the same, though. I think down sleeping bags, for example, can last many years longer than synthetic ones.

I don't know those Arc'teryx models, but from their website the Atom SV you mentioned looks like it might be similar to my favorite, the Patagonia DAS that I mentioned above - a seriously warm hooded jacket. The other one, Atom LT, looks similar to a midweight MontBell jacket I use a lot which is also similar to a Patagonia Micro Puff (not to be confused with the lighter Nano Puff).

Arc'teryx can have a reputation for being high priced, but my limited experience with them (two pairs of pants), and what I've heard, suggests that generally their stuff is well designed and well made. So if I was in the market for a new jacket I'd probably look at those and try them on.

I wore my DAS parka to 19,545' in Yukon, Canada last June. OK, I know what you're thinking, "Summertime", but with the wind chill it was said to be around 35 below (C or F, take your pick). Admittedly, there were more layers underneath, but without that jacket I'm sure it would have seemed a bit chilly. For the record, down was used by others on that trip and they were happy too.

Let us know what you decide on.

Top
#19642 - 11/06/11 10:44 AM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: Glenn]
trail runner Offline


Registered: 06/30/10
Posts: 51
Loc: Florida
I have an Arc'teryx Atom LT and really like it a lot. I also have a heavier synthetic, (Wild Things Hooded EP), that I like too as well as a couple of down jackets. The Core Loft Arc'teryx uses in the Atom LT is really good stuff. I chose the Atom LT over the Nano Puff, but they are fairly similar. Down is still the lightest and most compressible until it gets wet, but the synthetics are getting closer. From what I can tell, Montbell, Westcomb, Western Mountaineering, and Feathered Friends make the best down jackets, but several others are very good too.

Kent

Top
#19645 - 11/06/11 11:34 AM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: trail runner]
lynn-a-roo Offline


Registered: 08/14/10
Posts: 627
Loc: OrangeCounty
My friend, Tammy, bought a Mont Bell down jacket at the Elevation store in Lone Pine. She swears by that jacket that it keeps here extremely warm (and its an extremely lightweight jacket too).


http://www.montbell.us/

Top
#19651 - 11/06/11 04:00 PM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: lynn-a-roo]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1023
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
your question is about a down jacket, but let me sidetrack to down sleeping bags to make a point. You can buy all the down you want in a bag, but if the inner liner is slick and smooth, it still feels cold and you must sleep in long underwear and dry socks. After all, YOU are warming the bag up, not the other way around.

Same for the coat. So is the problem with your down coat not enough other warm layer under it, or not enough wind stoppage layer on the outside? If the latter is a problem, just put your loose fitting raincoat over the down.

sorry. you may already know all of this.

Top
#19659 - 11/06/11 09:39 PM Re: Down Jackets, Any Suggestions? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 252
Loc: SoCal
Thanks for the tips, Harvey. The problem with my down coat is that I don't have a down coat. And the way it's looking, that's not going to change right away. BC.com had the Arcteryx Atom SV on sale for $125 today, so I'm going to give it a shot. It's not down, it's CoreLoft, but I've been hearing good things.

I wouldn't doubt that I'll end up with a down jacket as well pretty soon here though. Some of the down jackets that have been pointed out here in this thread have really got my mouth watering, so to speak.
_________________________
One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

Top