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Finding a Down Vest Pattern
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Martin Ritsi
(fmritsi) - F

Locale: Sierra High Trail
Finding a Down Vest Pattern on 12/04/2006 19:46:36 MST Print View

I want to make an UL down vest (and maybe a jacket) but can't find a pattern. I found patterns for insulated vests, but nothing that is specifically designed for making something from down.

Does anyone know where to find one or have any tips on making the garment, possibly using a Jalie J2451 Insluated Vest pattern?

Also, trying to decide on how much loft to make it with for sitting around in 30 degree weather.


Jim Buch
(Jim_Buch) - F
Re: Finding a Down Vest Pattern on 12/09/2006 19:09:35 MST Print View

In "Lightweight Camping Equipment and How to Make It" by Gerry Cunningham (5th ed. 1976) he gives a table from Burton's "Man in a Cold Environment".

For sleeping at 30F a loft of 1.75 inches would be desired and for light work a loft of 0.9 inches would be desired. Heavy work would be just about 0.25 inches loft required.

So, the ballpark is :
Less than 1.75 inches.
More than 0.9 inches.

The thickness is measured skin to outer fabric layer, so you can deduct some for your base layer and any additional clothing.

Jim Buch
(Jim_Buch) - F
Measured my down vest on 12/10/2006 13:40:12 MST Print View

My down vest measures a little over 1 inch in thickness (inside to outside) and it is probably good to 30F. Has sewn through construction.

I have another one, sewn through, but has a fabric lining so the effect of the sewn through seams is diminished. I haven't worn this one in several years, and don't recall how warm it was. Also a little over an inch in thickness.

It is new, and I haven't worn it yet, so I can't say.

Martin Ritsi
(fmritsi) - F

Locale: Sierra High Trail
Down Jacket Patterns on 12/12/2006 20:01:25 MST Print View

Anyone trying to make their own down jacket from 800 fill down can go to They have a complete kit called the Whitney with a CD to help you out for just over $100. The jacket is supposed to have 3.5 inches loft (front and back), weighs in under 10 oz. and should be good into the 20s. My kit is coming in a couple days so we'll see how it goes.

Jay Gantz
Did you find a pattern? on 03/14/2010 11:42:18 MDT Print View

Hello! I am also looking to make my own UL down vest and am still (3+ years after this original posting) having trouble finding a good pattern. Do you think I would be able to modify (easily, I'm no MYOG master...) the Whitney jacket from ThruHiker? Perhaps someone who has already purchased this jacket would be willing to sell me the pattern (I already have down and fabric...)?

Many thanks! Jay

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
Re: Did you find a pattern? on 03/14/2010 13:19:39 MDT Print View

Ask at
or email AYCE at

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Did you find a pattern? on 03/14/2010 14:10:59 MDT Print View


I assume the Thru-hiker pattern is a single user license and sharing without written consent is a no-no.

If all you want is a simple sewn-through down vest (which I'd suggest), you can start with *any* vest pattern or jacket pattern and delete the sleeves. You could even trace your T-shirt. Make it a little long, because the horizontal quilts will subtract from the finished length.