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Cheap Down Jacket
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Cameron Melvin
(cameronm99) - F

Locale: Colorado Front Range
Cheap Down Jacket on 04/05/2011 14:08:54 MDT Print View

I'm a newbie and don't have a bunch of money to blow on gear. However, the Big 5 close to my home has a 550-fill down jacket that I can get for under $60. The question is: Is this worth the money, or should I wait and find a deal on something better>

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Cheap Down Jacket on 04/05/2011 14:13:08 MDT Print View

Cameron, one of the standard questions that you will get is "How much does it weigh?"

I suspect that you didn't carry a scale to the store to weigh it.

If I had to guess, I would say that a down jacket like that is going to be considerably heavier than a really high quality, expensive, high fill power down jacket. That is not to say that it is no good.

A down jacket was all that I had on my first trip up a serious mountain, and it kept me alive.


Cameron Melvin
(cameronm99) - F

Locale: Colorado Front Range
Re: Re: Cheap Down Jacket on 04/05/2011 14:27:52 MDT Print View

Hey Bob. Thanks for the response. No, I didn't take a scale into the store with me, but based on feel, it weighs significantly less than my current jacket which weighs about 20 oz. I wish I could afford a nice jacket, but I have 5 kids and live on a military budget so I either get what I can afford or use what I have.

Edited by cameronm99 on 04/05/2011 14:29:20 MDT.

Kevin Cody
(codycolor2) - F

Locale: Los Padres NF
Budget? on 04/05/2011 14:31:03 MDT Print View

I don't know your budget but I posted earlier that you might want to check out for some Montbell products 3 of which are down jackets for a reasonable price.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Cheap Down Jacket on 04/05/2011 14:32:07 MDT Print View

Given that it's a good bit lighter than your current jacket, $60 seems like a fair price. Not great , but fair.

A watchful eye on Gear Swap should yield a nice alternative, as well. But that takes patience! :)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Cheap Down Jacket on 04/05/2011 14:33:45 MDT Print View

Either take your scale to the store or buy the jacket and weigh it right away when you get home (or take it to the post office). If it's too heavy, you can return it. If there's significant weight saving over what you have, keep it!

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
wait on 04/05/2011 14:36:42 MDT Print View

unless youre paying under $50 .... get an 800+ fill down jacket

for under $50 ... 650+ fill is acceptable if yr on a budget ... IMO

otherwise you might as well just get synth

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Cheap Down Jacket on 04/05/2011 14:40:19 MDT Print View


If you can wait it out... try to leverage time and patience if you can't leverage money.

550 fp ain't bad actually, but of course, not the best or warmest for the weight either. For me, I'd rather buy a really good quality jacket in used but excellent condition -- than a brand new jacket of subpar quality.

EDIT: I like Eric's idea of buying synthetic. A good synthetic is no worse (and can even be a better buy) than a lower quality down product.

Edited by ben2world on 04/05/2011 14:45:29 MDT.

Erik Danielsen
(er1kksen) - F

Locale: The Western Door
Land's End on 04/05/2011 20:45:14 MDT Print View

Keep an eye on Land's End's sales and online clearance department. I got my 10-oz. super-compressible down jacket from them for $50 last summer, which is usually when they dump the last year's winter lineup. I missed out on getting one for $40 in a preferable color.

Rebecca Ribbing
(joyfulmama) - F

Locale: Alexandria, VA
Re: Land's End on 04/05/2011 21:06:29 MDT Print View

I think that hubby and I both have the 2010 model of what you are looking at. We both really like them, but I would not trust them to be at all water resistant. I got them with a 20% off coupon in the clearance section. I think I paid $30 each. I'm not sure I would have spent $60 though. They aren't filled with all that much down.

Matthew Marasco
(BabyMatty) - F

Locale: Western/Central PA, Adirondacks
re: on 04/05/2011 21:17:24 MDT Print View

Also keep an eye on Cabelas' website. I got a 550 down jacket that weighs ~17oz for $20 about a month ago. It's back up to $50 now but who knows if they'll have another sale. FWIW, the jacket is very warm. I was comfortable to 12 degrees sitting in camp before, and for that price, who cares how close you get to the fire!

William Zila
(Ultralightwillinn.m) - MLife

Locale: Albuquerque
Sales on 04/05/2011 21:19:47 MDT Print View

I would say just do your research and find a couple jackets that will work well for you and watch sites for them to go on sale you can get a pretty great deal on stuff if your patient

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
What size do you wear? on 04/05/2011 22:10:31 MDT Print View

I tried to PM you but you're not set up for PM. I'm trying to sell a First Ascent 800-fill Downlight Sweater, size XL. PM me if interested. Price negotiable for those in military service with 5 kids.

Ryan Krause

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Geartrade on 04/05/2011 23:34:04 MDT Print View

I'd strongly suggest skipping Big 5 and go to like REI they guarantee all items for life and they make excellent clothing. Their Goose Down Jacket is just a little more than an unknown quality Big 5 jacket (I used to prowl Big 5 but gave up due to crappy quality). It was featured in some issue of last years Backpacker magazine so I'd say it probably packs fairly well if not to UL standards:

I own a lot of LL Bean clothes because it's well built, very durable and especially if bought during their sales/closeouts is very cost effective given how long it lasts and if I am unhappy I have a 100% guarantee (which I've never used - always gotten a lot more use than ever expected)

Darin McCauley
(MistyMountainPhoto) - F

Locale: Ohio
What size? on 04/06/2011 04:27:12 MDT Print View

Ditto on the 'what size' do you wear? I've got a Marmot Zeus in LARGE that's too big for me (lost 55#)...and a First Ascent down sweater in MEDIUM that's just a touch too small. Would be willing to part with either for $55.


T kawa
(kitsune) - F
Re: Geartrade on 04/06/2011 09:27:36 MDT Print View

Ryan, do you know how much that LL Bean down jacket weighs?

Scott Lehr
(lehrscott4) - F

Locale: Louisville - KY
Decent cheap down jacket on 04/06/2011 09:39:03 MDT Print View

I bought this jacket because i needed something cheap and warm, and it has been VERY warm. Weighs 26oz, and does compress reasonably small. It is 750 fill duck down 80/20.

down jacket

Zachary Zrull
(zackcentury) - F

Locale: Great Lakes
re: geartrade? on 04/06/2011 09:58:32 MDT Print View

I thought there was a post titled but I didn't see anything written ... that's my top suggestion.

There might be a caveat on geartrade, but you can usually find high quality gear for really cheap, and you don't have to wait like you do on eBay, BPL, etc because so many retailers use it to sell returned items. The gear is usually lightly used or open-box. I just got a North Face 800-fill, 10 oz down jacket for $63 (msrp $229), it will need a little bit of stitching, though.... But I don't think I could even purchase a jacket's amount of Pertex for that price.

Ryan Krause

Locale: Pacific Northwest
LL Bean down jacket on 04/06/2011 12:51:52 MDT Print View

"Ryan, do you know how much that LL Bean down jacket weighs?"

Russ - I don't have this particular coat so I cannot personally measure it (I have a synthetic version I use as a town jacket) but according to BP magazine it's 1lb 6 oz (unsure of size used). So while not UL or super compressable, given it's LL Bean the construction and warmth should be very good for the price.

Ryan Krause

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: re: geartrade? on 04/06/2011 13:01:16 MDT Print View

"I thought there was a post titled but I didn't see anything written ... that's my top suggestion. "

Yeah originally was going to post about Geartrade but then started to look at going prices for Patagonia's, Montbell's, etc and was seeing them hovering a bit higher than the original ~$60 mark. Didn't think of North Face though - that's a good deal if someone doesn't mind some minor sewing. For anyone that is unaware of geartrade, don't let this put you off - many items don't require any repair and many are new without tags or tried once and returned due to size.

+1 for geartrade if jacket isn't needed immediately and one is willing to spend some time and patience searching for a good deal. GT search interface is poor - I usually go through google shopping interface but have noticed: most items come up through google shopping search but a few other items show up only on GT search.

Edited by rmkrause on 04/06/2011 13:06:36 MDT.