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New MEC Primaloft Jacket
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Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/20/2009 16:24:19 MDT Print View

New MEC Primaloft Jacket. 9.6 oz, no hood.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302881207&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442630549&bmUID=1250806804551

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
MEC on 08/20/2009 21:42:13 MDT Print View

Interesting jacket. The price is definately right ($115) and so is the weight but I'm left wondering how warm it really is. I was in MEC this week so I should have checked this out. This jacket just seems too light to be very warm since it's using synthetic insulation. I also wish that it had a hood. As a quilt user I'd like to get a jacket with a hood for those cold nights so I don't have to carry separate head gear.

Another MEC jacket that has caught my eye is the high wire pullover.
http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442623467&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302699049&bmUID=1250825725658

It's a down jacket that looks like it has the right loft to be nice and warm for 3 season use. It also has some attributes that indicate it will be light (ie. no hip pockets, only a 1/2 zip) but I suspect it'll wind up weighing at least 350g because MEC choose to use mediocre 700 fp down. It's frustrating really. Go look at the comments for this jacket. The regular backpackers want more features/pockets and the ultralighters want some nice light 800+ fp down.

Anyways, MEC doesn't list a weight for this jacket on their site so I'm going to contact them. I'll still probably treat that with a grain of salt though. My wife and I bought a -10 Merlin sleeping bag (800fp down) at MEC about 5 days ago. MEC.ca claims it weighs 980g and in store the sign said that it weighed 940g. I wasn't sure which one was right but I figured it would be somewhere in there. We used it for a camping trip and then when we got home I weighed it at a disappointing 1045g.

EDIT: The MEC site lists this jacket at 367g. That's okay but I wonder how light it could be with 850fp down. Sub 300g? I think so...

Edited by dandydan on 08/20/2009 21:44:46 MDT.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
mec primaloft on 08/20/2009 21:45:21 MDT Print View

interesting- I see the Patagonia Nano uses 60 gram primaloft vs 40 gram for the MEC- not sure what that means for warmth??????- about the same weight- although the Nano is a pullover vs full zip for the MEC

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/20/2009 22:50:00 MDT Print View

Hey Dan - many of us like synthetic insulation for wet conditions and for using as part of our sleep system. Plus of course the price is usually right. For 3 season conditions, down jackets aren't even on my radar. For an extra 2 oz savings with down it would not be worth it for me - higher cost and not as efficient as a sleep garmont.

I am just pleased that these types of offerings are being provided by MEC, locally, and cheaply.

Edited by FamilyGuy on 08/20/2009 22:51:51 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/20/2009 23:13:55 MDT Print View

Why is down less efficient as a sleep garment? Because the insulation underneath you gets squashed to nothing? Is synth really significantly better or does it get mostly squashed too? It seems like if you have a amply warm sleeping pad and are able to keep the down jacket dry then it would be a better option.

I'm just transitioning now from a fleece to an insulating jacket like these and there's a lot of factors to consider. It is hard to argue with 274g (9.6oz) though.

I wonder which would be better....this jacket or the WM Flash jacket. I'm sure the Flash is a lot warmer and it has a hood, but it also costs 2.5x as much and it won't work so great when wet.....hmm.....so much to consider.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/20/2009 23:25:37 MDT Print View

When one sleeps, one emits body moisture. In cooler temps, this condensation can be significant and be absorbed into the down greatly reducing its insulative ability. Synthetic materials tend to be much less affected by this and do not incur as much insulation collapse. The theory (and apparently in practice), the synthetic insulation will absorb the moisture, keep your down bag internally dry, and still retain a lot of warmth. Plus, the synthetic jacket will dry faster.

For warmth per weight, down is still king however. If you do not plan on using the jacket as part of your sleep system on a regular basis then I would go for the down. The WM jackets are the best.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/20/2009 23:31:42 MDT Print View

I see.....that explanation makes a lot of sense. I do plan on using whatever jacket I buy as part of my sleep system on colder nights. I have an Ultra 20 quilt which supposedly isn't good to much below 30F on it's own, so I'll need to use my insulating layers in the shoulder seasons.

I wish this jacket had a hood, but I can probably find an insulated hat that's fairly light and doesn't look silly....I haven't looked into this.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Pullover on 08/20/2009 23:35:13 MDT Print View

Hmm....MEC makes a version of this jacket with a 1/2 zip and a hood called the Uplink Pullover and it's only 32g heavier (~1oz) than the jacket. That's lighter than any hat.

Sounds great right? The only problem is they only make it in a women cut. Perhaps a guys version is coming? I've emailed MEC to ask this.

http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302881203&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442630635

Edited by dandydan on 08/20/2009 23:39:53 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/20/2009 23:43:14 MDT Print View

Dan - the hood is a fantastic 1 oz. When I purchased the Cocoon Hoody I almost went for the pullover without the hood. For an extra ounce the additional warmth from not having heat leave my neck area and thus torso is significant.

Please let me know what MEC says - they must be coming out with a Men's version although stranger things have happened.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Pullover on 08/22/2009 02:20:11 MDT Print View

I'll post here when I get a response from MEC. Usually they take a few business days. Since this product is brand new, I'm hopeful that a men's pullover is coming too and it's just slightly delayed.

One thing I've been thinking about is how only 40g of the 274g jacket is insulation. That's a pretty crazy number. It goes to show how most of the weight of these insulating jackets is really just the shell, zippers, bungie cords, velcro etc. When you think of it this way, it really makes sense to ditch more features in exchange for more insulation.

I bet if you ditched the chest pocket and zipper you could add another 5-10g of insulation which would make the jacket 10-25% warmer. That's pretty significant. I'm not too sure how much insulation other similar jackets use, but 40g sure doesn't sound like much. I wonder how much insulation the BPL Light UL 60 Hoody uses. I really need to examine one of these in real life. I'm slowly being swayed towards synthetic for my insulated jacket since my quilt is down.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re : New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/22/2009 02:41:39 MDT Print View

Hi Dan,
You'll probably find that the 40g is 40g/m2, not a total of 40g.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
oh on 08/22/2009 02:44:41 MDT Print View

Ahh I see....that makes a lot more sense.

Dewey Riesterer
(Kutenay) - F
Jacket on 08/22/2009 03:12:34 MDT Print View

I have never cared for the use of insulated clothing as an addition to a sleeping bag not sufficiently warm enough for the ambient conditons, with the exception of either my Richard Egge "double duvet" down parka or my I.D. Dolomitti parka plus an "elephant's foot", my latest one is from "Wildthings" and is Epic over Pl.

Many will hotly argue and likely condemn my choices, possibly even deciding that they are not within the purview of this forum, but, I have used a lot of down jackets and several synthetics in western and northern Canada for 45+ years and find little difference between them. The DOWN is FAR superior in real cold, 0*F and colder while I like my Montbell Thermawrap Ultralite for summer use, my I.D. Rundle jacket ( I have two as a result of a gift from my wife when I had already bought one....hard to take, but....) for hunting and BC coastal use and the I.D. Dolomitti for interior winter trips.

When it is -20*F and one is out for several nights, a really good down parka and the old EGGE was the finest in it's day and still better than most I see available as only PHD in "merrye Englande" makes down parkas of that quality nowadays, is THE way to go. I have never had this wet enough to have problems and have even carried a full expedition-sized pack while wearing it and using X-country skis to come 11 miles out to the highway from a camp I used to keep all winter in the mountains near my hometown.

Today, with the price of down gear, I would tend toward Primaloft and I.D., Wildthings or Montbell as sources. The discrepancy in weight in the M.E.C. gear is pretty typical of their stuff, IME, but, "you get what you pay for".

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/22/2009 08:36:55 MDT Print View

No one ever suggested this would be a cold weather item. Yes, we know your fondness for ID and your distrust of MEC. Thanks for the repetition.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/22/2009 10:47:50 MDT Print View

I'll have to check this jacket out over the weekend. Did you guys see the video for it?...cool that they did that.

Pepe LP
(PepeLp) - F

Locale: New Mexico
Re: New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/22/2009 10:52:46 MDT Print View

"No one ever suggested this would be a cold weather item. Yes, we know your fondness for ID and your distrust of MEC. Thanks for the repetition."

But you've got to admit it's amazing how many times he "name dropped" gear in one post. ;)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/22/2009 10:59:27 MDT Print View

Every post. Seriously.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
New MEC Primaloft Jacket on 08/22/2009 11:01:44 MDT Print View

Steve - yes, you really get a sense of the stretch baffles. I wonder if there is some relationship to Montbell for production?

S P
(HighAltitude) - F
nice jacket on 08/22/2009 20:25:51 MDT Print View

If I didn't already have a Montbell UL Thermawrap I wouldn't hesitate to use this jacket.

The insulation is slightly less, 40g/m^2 vs 50g/m^2, but with the way the MEC jacket is designed, it might be just as warm. Looks like it is slightly heavier but costs less.

I like that they have a hooded version with the same insulation unlike the montbell parka that uses 80g/m^2

I agree with David, the hood makes a huge difference. Much warmer than a non hooded jacket with a hat.

Edited by HighAltitude on 08/22/2009 20:27:20 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Re: nice jacket on 08/23/2009 12:53:52 MDT Print View

S P: "The insulation is slightly less, 40g/m^2 vs 50g/m^2, but with the way the MEC jacket is designed, it might be just as warm. Looks like it is slightly heavier but costs less"

Are these measures of the amount of insulation? Or the weight efficiency of the insulation? What I mean is, are these two jackets using the same insulation (Primaloft One) and the Montbell is using more? Or perhaps MEC is using a higher quality insulation so it's just as warm at 40g/m2 as the Montbell is at 50g/m2?