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Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2 on 06/22/2010 14:55:34 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2 on 06/22/2010 16:06:08 MDT Print View

Yowzers Will & Janet, you've really outdone yourself with this series. There's an amazing amount of information to digest—prior to deciding which jacket I can't live without :-)

Good job!

Rick

Edited by halfturbo on 06/22/2010 16:12:14 MDT.

Ike Mouser
(isaac.mouser) - F
wow on 06/22/2010 17:42:15 MDT Print View

Thank you for working so hard on this!

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2 on 06/22/2010 17:57:33 MDT Print View

GREAT WORK... thank you!

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2 on 06/22/2010 18:02:46 MDT Print View

THIS is the sort of stuff that keep me a member here. Thanks a million!!

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2 on 06/22/2010 18:50:42 MDT Print View

I can only echo what others had said so far, very useful and very informative. I wasn't so sure how I felt about the endless jacket reviews but now I see that the end result is a very focused, very useful State of the Market Report, as usual from Will and Janet!

Christopher Holly
(climber72) - F

Locale: At my desk
Re: Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2 on 06/22/2010 19:30:07 MDT Print View

Wheew!

I broke a sweat just skimming the major points on this article - many thanks indeed for such thoughtful and methodical work. This series of articles alone has made the cost of a subscription well worth it... To wit, I am one of those people who do not yet own a nice point and shoot digital camera due to the format getting better every other month - but with articles like this, you have made my down garment purchasing decisions easy!!!

Cheers!

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
FF Hyperion - Hooded on 06/22/2010 20:32:58 MDT Print View

I sent an email not too long ago about adding a hood for the FF Hyperion. They said they have a pattern and could make one for about a $60 cost premium and 3-4oz weight premium - so essentially, you can get a hooded version.

Also, interesting how once a windshirt is added, the Western Mountaineering Flash Hooded Jacket is warmer than the Montbell Alpine Light Jacket. I never would have guessed that. Did I really read those charts accurately? If so, it seems like a real gem - most backpackers will have a windproof shell of some sort.

Edited by lindahlb on 06/22/2010 20:46:22 MDT.

todd harper
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: Sunshine State
Re: Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2 on 06/22/2010 20:35:18 MDT Print View

Kudos BPL!

One of the best articles (for providing useful info) that I've read in awhile!

Thank you!

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: FF Hyperion - Hooded on 06/22/2010 21:37:54 MDT Print View

My guess with the Flash Hooded being warmer is that many small quilted boxes may trap more air in between the windshirt and the jacket than one broad seam running across, and perhaps be more inert, and more insulating.

Scott Truong
(elf773)

Locale: Vancouver, BC
Breathability/layering. on 06/22/2010 21:57:02 MDT Print View

Has anyone tried wearing a down jacket under an shell? (specifically of interest to me is a shell made of Event fabric)

The Montbell Ex would be perfect.

Hate being too warm though. Wondering if I should just get a vest. I'd like to be able to use it for snowboarding/backpacking emergency warmth.

Love my Event shell. Thin piece of plastic but it's quite warm and breaths really well. Not sure how well the ballistic nylon breaths.

Jeremy Gustafson
(gustafsj) - MLife

Locale: Minneapolis
Re: Ultralight Three-Season Down Jackets State of the Market Report 2010 Part 2 on 06/23/2010 05:33:52 MDT Print View

Nice report!!

So where does the EB First Ascent Downlight fit into all of this? I was surprised to not see it in your list! Especially since you just reviewed it in March and it seems to be in line with a few of the other jackets. I just bought a LT, but also have a MB Alpine Light Parka that is new in package and can't decide which of the two to keep.

The Downlight is a pretty sharp looking jacket in the slate and is on clearance for $95 plus and additional 15% off coupon. Really hard to beat that price even though I got the MB on sale!!

But it seems like the Alpine light will be warmer for not much more weight (~2-3 oz) and the XL fits about the same as the LT in the Downlight. The hood on the MB is a bonus as I would probably need to get a balaclava to wear with the Downlight. So my savings would be eliminated. However having the balaclava separate would give me a lot more diversity.

Too bad I can't just have all of the above! Can anybody persuade me one way or the other??

Martin RJ Carpenter
(MartinCarpenter) - F
Testing regime on 06/23/2010 07:49:12 MDT Print View

Yes this is really, truly fascinating. Certainly shows how useful a standardised measurement regime for insulating clothing could be.


Mildly comforting to know that minature baffles aren't always as damaging to overall warmth as they are to loft.

Still that test is systematically biased in their favour - they've got rather a lot more seam area than normally baffled things but everything is getting a 50/50 mixture in the overall 'temperature' measurement. Could be a non trivial effect this?

Ideally I guess the average should be proportional to the quantity of seams, although I appreciate it'd be an ugly thing to work out :)

Also wonder if the halo did SO horribly in the warmth test because the 'quilt' areas were too small to contain the overall area measured for warmth? They're certainly very small.
(actually this could be a non trivial source of error in measuring things with thin baffles.).



Windshirts over stuff sounds fine but would I think make for a rather annoyingly baggy windshirt in normal use :)

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Down with cover on 06/23/2010 08:40:50 MDT Print View

If it was so cold that the down jacket alone wasn't doing the trick, I would just wear my rain shell over the down. I wouldn't be moving much, so perspiration wouldn't be a big issue.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Covering Up on 06/23/2010 08:58:43 MDT Print View

Sizing to accomodate layers is what I use. I have a Hyperion Vest thats a MED, a Hyperion Jacket in LRG, and an EPIC wind jacket that is XL so that in extreme cold I can layer up with all of them. I also have the same EPIC wind shell (Wild Things) in a LRG for use over just the vest or jacket.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Estimate Jacket Warmth: WM Flash Confounds on 06/23/2010 09:51:56 MDT Print View

Had all the jackets been similar in design, the way jacket warmth was measured would have more meaning for me. Unlike the other jackets reviewed, however, the WM Flash has a hood. I would think that since a considerable percentage of body heat escapes through the head -- and the measure of jacket warmth didn’t adjust for this fact -- the WM Flash would likely be warmer than the report estimates.

I loved the report, however. Thorough articles such as this are one of the reasons I became a BPL member.

Martin Rye
(rye1966) - F

Locale: UK
Re: Estimate Jacket Warmth: WM Flash Confounds on 06/23/2010 11:23:45 MDT Print View

"I would think that since a considerable percentage of body heat escapes through the head"

Don't agree. I will use Wills own words:

"First, let’s deal with the myth: “If your feet are cold, cover your head because you can lose up to 75% of your body heat through your head alone.” Yes, it’s a myth, and we believed it ourselves for many years. The head is only about 10% of the body’s surface area, and it would have to lose about 40 times more heat per unit area compared to the rest of the body for this statement to be true.

The folks at the Wilderness Medicine Institute ran an experiment on student volunteers and found the rate of heat loss is relatively the same for any exposed part of the body. A person does not lose heat significantly faster through the scalp than any other portion of the body with the same surface area. The idea that we lose heat 4000% faster through our head, because of the constant blood supply to the brain, is simply a myth."

Still I like the hood on the Flash and also combined with a BPL Beartooth top I don't need a warm hat outside of winter. The flash keeps my head warm in camp and the Beartooth on the trail with its hood.

Bradley Danyluk
(dasbin) - MLife
Head heat on 06/23/2010 11:39:45 MDT Print View

If you are hypothermic, the amount of heat lost through your head is higher, because the body cuts down circulation to the rest of your body. I'm sure it's still nowhere near 75%, but worth considering that it's very important to insulate your head when hypothermic.

Gabe P
(Gabe) - MLife
Warmth Measure: more accurate than I thought on 06/23/2010 13:16:35 MDT Print View

Wow... you're right!

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/26/health/26real.html?_r=1

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
GREAT REVIEWS! on 06/23/2010 13:39:34 MDT Print View

Thanks for the very complete reviews and comparison tables. Makes me feel good about my recent down "sweater" purchase.

I JUST got my first light down jacket yesterday, an Eddie Bauer First Ascent Downlight Sweater. Interestingly my only other down garment was also an Eddie Bauer medium weight jacket I bought in the '70s, back in the day when Eddie Bauer WAS Eddie Bauer. It lasted 15 years betweeen me and my buddy that bought it from me.

At $103. W/ shipping & Nevada sales tax the Downlite Sweater was a good buy on sale at $84. It looks like the RAB jacket W/O the chest pocket and has 800 fill down. Very well made and, of course, very packable.

It will make a good companion for my WM Megalite 30 F. sleeping bag on those cold nights in high valleys in the Sierras and Rockies, not to mention the cold mornings in the 20s.

It was the "missing link" in my lightweight backpacking gear.