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Need a puffy layer...
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Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Need a puffy layer... on 12/19/2011 08:51:46 MST Print View

The thread title says it all. I need a puffy layer, something that will keep me warm in single digit-type weather (degrees Celsius). It never gets below freezing in Tokyo, but on the days that it rains, it can feel really, really cold.

As for fit, I have an Arcteryx-body fit (longish arms, slim body--I wear a medium). I would be tempted to buy a puffy layer made by Arcteryx, but AFAIK they don't make any (well, perhaps the Atom, but I don't think it would work in the temperature range given--I could be wrong though).

Anyway, I like the fit to be kinda snug to my body to trap the heat.

Any suggestions?


Edited by NightMarcher on 12/19/2011 08:59:19 MST.

(habakkuk) - F
puffy on 12/19/2011 13:53:34 MST Print View

Are you looking for a piece to wear under existing shell or something stand alone that can withstand rain since you mentioned precipitation explicitly in your post? Will you be mainly walking outside or go in and out of structures (buildings, public transportation etc)? Do you expect waiting for a bus for an extended period of time while exposed to the elements? I think if you answer these questions, it will be easier to recommend something.

If cold and rain go together in your locale, perhaps you should consider a synthetic puffy.

Edited to eliminate an incorrect assumption

Edited by habakkuk on 12/19/2011 13:56:40 MST.

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Re: Need a puffy layer... on 12/19/2011 19:27:03 MST Print View

Hi Gregg,

I think for a downpour I would just throw my hardshell over the whole thing, hence the need for it to be a snug (but not restricting) fit.

It's the cold humidity (or high moisture content of the air) that makes the single digits feel so much colder.

So, if it reflects a few initial drops of rain that is fine, but I don't expect it to hold up in steady rain or a downpour. I've got other pieces to deal with that.

Hope this helps.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
wet on 12/19/2011 20:07:08 MST Print View

if your dealing w/ lots of wet weather, probably want to look at syn vs down- for temps to freezing the Patagonia Nano Puff (60 g PrimaLoft 1) jacket or pullover would work- it's light (for syn), has good DWR and w/ a little searching can be found at a reasonable price; if you want a little warmer yet their Micropuff (100 g PrimaLoft 1) line is worth looking at

I own some Montbell down pieces that are very good quality, their syn line is generally highly spoken of as well, but I don't have any first hand experience w/ their syn stuff

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
use on 12/19/2011 20:16:58 MST Print View


is this for active or static use? ... ie moving or when in camp?

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Need a puffy layer..." on 12/19/2011 20:19:09 MST Print View

Have you considered the Arcteryx Atom SV hoody? It contains 100g insulation vs. the 60g found in the Atom LT. It would fit you as you described, close to the body and trim.

Seth Brewer
(Whistler) - MLife

Warmth on 12/19/2011 20:37:58 MST Print View

I have used the Montbell Thermawrap Jacket for around 60 days down to around 20* and up to 40* and been comfy with a hard shell over the top and my baselayer. But I also have a Patagonia Micropuff that hasn't seen as much use yet - because I feel that it is MUCH warmer than my Thermawrap or even my EMS Ascent Primaloft Jacket (also very warm). I know that I could take the Micropuff down to the low single digits with the right hardshell if I needed to - and I plan on using that fact in an upcoming winter camping trip in January in Vermont. My two cents.

Ismail Faruqi
(ismailfaruqi) - F
Uniqlo on 12/19/2011 21:09:15 MST Print View

hi chris, i'm also in japan but in osaka though.

have you checked uniqlo, they're everywhere :p

if your setup includes a hardshell, uniqlo has ultralight down jacket lines you can try in the shop. it is \6000, way cheaper than the dead bird...

Edited by ismailfaruqi on 12/19/2011 21:09:48 MST.

Peter Hansen
(texag) - F

Locale: DFW
ATOM LT on 12/19/2011 21:11:06 MST Print View

I recently wore an Atom LT on a backpacking trip where the daytime temps ranged from 25-40*F and was comfortable. Most of the days were windy and had some mist and light rain which never penetrated the face fabric. You might want to go for the SV if you're going to be static while wearing it.

Richard Fischel
if you are in tokyo check out wild things on 12/19/2011 23:52:22 MST Print View

they have an entire product line that is sold only in japan -

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
thermawrap on 12/20/2011 00:09:32 MST Print View

if its mainly for around town, something like a thermawrap parka would do well. The patagonia nano and rab xenon are warmer and a little better suited for backpacking, but the thermawrap looks kind of classy imo. Micropuff would also be a good choice.

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Re: Need a puffy layer... on 12/20/2011 03:45:12 MST Print View

"is this for active or static use? ... ie moving or when in camp?"

Actually for around town, but to have it pull dual duty as camp gear would be nice. When I am active I throw off a lot of heat--sometimes overheating, but when I am static I get chilled to the bone...

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Uniqlo on 12/20/2011 03:47:21 MST Print View

"have you checked uniqlo, they're everywhere :p"

I have long arms (well, to me they seem normal length), so Japanese brands such as Uniqlo and Mont Bell don't really work for me.

James Moughan
Finisterre on 12/20/2011 06:11:54 MST Print View

It sounds like Finisterre's fit would suit you. The Etobicoke is a good around-town jacket close to freezing, and one of the lightest synth jackets for the warmth. Love mine.

Edited by jamougha on 12/20/2011 06:12:33 MST.

Scott H.
(handyman439) - F
Marmot Guide on 12/20/2011 06:29:47 MST Print View

I was in a similar situation as you earlier, and after ordering about 4 different down jackets, I ended up with a Marmot Guides hoody.

Sierra designs flex - First I ordered, nearly kept it. It was heavy, and not very fitted as I expected it to be. Very big in the torso area.

Outdoor research transcendent - Fit great, but didnt seam that warm. Not much down in the jacket.

Montbell alpine light - Good jacket, but I was still looking for something more warm/durable as this is going to be used around town alot

Marmot Guide - Great fit, plenty of down/loft, seamed to have more substantial fabric than the Montbell, and looked the best for casual wear (transcedent also looked good). I am 5-8, 135 lbs and the small was spot on. Most jackets fit me big in the torso, and small in the arms. This one is cut much better IMO. Fit good over a t-shirt, but I can still throw a fleece/sweatshirt or two underneath if I need. I plan to use it as a midlayer for work, and it layers very well under a medium carhartt. I figure this setup should keep me comfy well below zero.

For me it is definatly the most versitle down jacket I have found.

Scott H.
(handyman439) - F
fill power on 12/20/2011 06:34:31 MST Print View

IMO 650 or so fill power is what you want, unless you need the ultimate in lightweight.

- probably holds is loft better over time, with less maintenance
- better loft in humid weather, and when used as a midlayer
- often 650 jackets have less of a marshmallo man look
- cheaper

- takes an extra ounce or two of down for the same warmth vs. 800 fill power

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: fill power on 12/20/2011 07:15:35 MST Print View

650 vs 800+ " probably holds is loft better over time, with less maintenance"

curious I've never heard that before regarding down (just the opposite) do you have a source for that?

also to the OP if it's a wetter environ, I'd probably opt for syn vs down

Chris Jones
(NightMarcher) - F
Does down absorb humidity? on 12/20/2011 07:39:06 MST Print View

"also to the OP if it's a wetter environ, I'd probably opt for syn vs down"

Is down hygroscopic (will absorb moisture from air--e.g., humidity)?

I suppose for comparison rainy winter days in Tokyo are like those in Seattle.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: Does down absorb humidity? on 12/20/2011 07:46:31 MST Print View

clearly, from Nunataks site "Down: Its hygroscopic nature is the main drawback. During prolonged damp conditions, down will slowly absorb moisture and loose loft. If down gets really wet, drying it out in the backcountry can be difficult."

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: fill power on 12/20/2011 07:59:11 MST Print View

Yes, I've always heard that the higher fill power down will last longer. I think this is because the lower fill powers have more feathers which break easier than the super soft down clusters. Generally, you want to be in the 800+ range for weight, quality and warmth. Albeit, it is more expensive.

Edited by T.L. on 12/20/2011 08:00:53 MST.