Which lightweight down jacket for travel
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Mangrove Jack
(mangrovejack) - F
Which lightweight down jacket for travel on 10/05/2010 14:40:12 MDT Print View

Hi,

I'm currently after a down jacket. Temperatures that I envisage this jacket being used are around to 0 degrees c and above, so not really arctic cold.

I am after something that is fairly lightweight, and more importantly packs small.

I do need pockets of some kind and preferably the outside pockets need to be zippered.

I will be using this more so for travel than actual backpacking.

This is my shortlist at the moment:
* Montbell Alpine Light Down Jacket - Size XL
* The North Face Thunder - L or XL, not too sure
* Patagonia Slingshot Down Jacket - L

From what I've been reading, those sizes listed should suit me (I'm 6'4" and around 210lbs). I want the jacket to be fitted, not really loose and baggy.

Anyone have any thoughts?

PS I realise the Patagonia is nearly double the weight of the other jackets, but I like the internal zippered pocket as well as the hand warmer pockets separate from the two buttoned pockets, so that makes up the weight disadvantage to me (and it still packs fairly small anyway).

Thanks.

Edited by mangrovejack on 10/05/2010 14:41:15 MDT.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
thunder on 10/05/2010 20:02:14 MDT Print View

i have an older thunder and i gotta say it's pretty freaking awesome... no experience with the others

Babak Sakaki
(persianpunisher) - F
Check out some other options on 10/05/2010 20:46:10 MDT Print View

Check out the Patagonia Down Hoody (14oz), Marmot Ama Dablam (warmer, 19oz) or the Patagonia Nano Puff

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Check out some other options on 10/05/2010 22:46:00 MDT Print View

My MontBell UL down inner is good to about 40F. I believe the heavier MontBell down inner should be good to 32f -- esp. if paired with a UL hooded wind jacket.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
how much you want to spend on 10/05/2010 23:11:16 MDT Print View

you can spend 50-70$ can get a perfectly acceptable 650 fill jacket for those temps

if you want to spend more you can get a montbell alpine light for under $200 or an eddie bauer first ascent

else you can get a patagucci, westcomb, feathered friends for over $200

Eric Fredricksen
(efredricksen) - MLife

Locale: Silicon Valley
Layer on 10/05/2010 23:12:44 MDT Print View

Speaking generally, I think it's better to layer. E.g. choose a Montbell UL Inner, but wear it with a wool sweater, wind shirt, etc.

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Montbell down inner parka on 10/07/2010 06:12:30 MDT Print View

I have not used mine much yet as it has not been cold enough but am happy with it's size, weight and preformance. When moving aroung I just use a heavy wool hoodie with shell. When I stop I put on the Montbell. I like hoodies because of the extra warmth if needed as it is always there.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Down sweater on 10/07/2010 08:18:27 MDT Print View

I'm 6-4, 205, with a long torso, and MB's down inner and Ex Light sweaters fit perfectly as layering pieces. For an outer jacket I like something longer. I reviewed both for BackpackGearTest.org; my reports there will give you some details. Summary: Both are designed as mid-layers and are good for me down to freezing, with a rain shell. If I needed a new one I'd go with the Down Inner, which is much more durable for its extra ounce or two. Both are excellent substitutes for heavy fleece. I also reviewed Patagonia's down jacket (an outer layer) and thought it was great, except that it could use an inside pocket. From your post apparently Patagonia's fixed that.

Jesse McKinney
(jessemckinney) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Montbell Alpine Light Down Jacket on 10/07/2010 08:46:46 MDT Print View

+1 on the Montbell Alpine Light Down Jacket. I picked mine up last fall for ~$100. I wore mine around town all last Winter, and was very happy to have it with all of the snow last year.

Mangrove Jack
(mangrovejack) - F
re: jacket on 10/07/2010 15:53:55 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies guys, I much appreciate it.

@Richard Lyon: I have read your reviews actually and they were good, its always good having someone that it is roughly the same size to tell you how the fit is. Unfortunately being in Australia, and in particular the state of Queensland, we don't get much in the way of these types of garments, so for me I have to rely as much as I can on other peoples experiences.

I'm still deciding, but I think I might lean towards the Patagonia due to the number of pockets and I liked the dropped hem at the back. Who knows, maybe I'll also just get the MB Alpine light as that was originally my first choice too.