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Jacket vs. Vest
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Matthew Adams
(mja75) - F

Locale: Midwest....unfortunately
Jacket vs. Vest on 10/26/2008 16:59:42 MDT Print View

I am trying to decide between using an insulated jacket or an insulated vest during my cold weather backpacking trips (assuming both are the same make/model/manufacturer) and was wondering about the pros/cons of each. The lowest non-sleeping temps will likely be in the low 30's. I am looking for something I can hike in and wear around camp. Thanks for any info!


Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Jacket vs. Vest on 10/26/2008 18:10:13 MDT Print View


Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Jacket vs. Vest on 10/26/2008 18:29:04 MDT Print View


How about a combination? I am pretty happy with my combination of a Patagonia Micropuff hooded jacket with Polarguard insulation and a loft of 0.6" This piece is sized with plenty of room to layer a puffy underneath. Then I add a down vest, Montbell Alpine vest, underneath. This is a 1.5-2" loft with baffles (not the very thin Alpine light).

I like this combination because it puts the synthetic jacket on the outside which can be a little wet while protecting the down vest. I'm not willing to wear just a thick, down jacket because I'm afraid of getting it wet but, for very little weight and volume, the down vest adds a whole lot to the combination.

With good gloves and a beanie/balaclava, this should take you well below freezing in camp. YMMV

Matthew Adams
(mja75) - F

Locale: Midwest....unfortunately
Thanks! on 10/26/2008 20:56:17 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info guys! I am looking at layering, but not sure exactly how I want to do it. Since my OP, I purchased the MontBell Thermawrap Jacket (c'mon, it was ON SALE!) so I am excited to see how it performs this winter with some thermal base layers. I figured that I would be comfortable hiking in a vest, but it would be too cold in camp, but I could probably layer to be comfortable while hiking in the jacket. Oh, and sorry about the thread location. I didn't realize I was putting it in the MYOG forum. Thanks again!


Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
best of both on 10/29/2008 21:59:28 MDT Print View

You can always buy the jacket, buy two zippers over at for $10 and have a local alteration place put them in for about $20. That way you have zip of arms and you are ready to go.

Matthew Adams
(mja75) - F

Locale: Midwest....unfortunately
Actually considered that.... on 10/30/2008 20:02:22 MDT Print View

I actually considered doing something like that, but would hate to butcher nice new gear! :D ....still considering it though....