I'm looking for an insulated jacket and possibly vest, mainly for my thru-hike this Feb. Unfortunately none of the local outfitters carry any of the jackets I'm looking at.
In general, I'm looking for a system that I can take down to around 0 F, but will also hold up well to 30 and cold rain. That being said, they need to be able to repel some rain, or at least be wearable under my rain shell (which is one size bigger so it fits over other layers). I’m trying to decide between down or synthetic, or a combination of both. Any recommendation on layering system…
warm down jacket
syn. Vest / light down jacket
down vest / syn. Jacket etc.
Some of the jackets I'm looking at are:
WM Flight Jacket 10.5 oz / $200
WM Flight Vest 5.5 oz / $150
WM Meltdown Jacket 17 oz / $275
Patagonia Micro Puff Pullover 12.5 / $145
Patagonia Down Sweater 10.5 / $159
Patagonia Puffball Vest 10 / $89
Integral Designs Dolomitti Jacket 21 / $160
Integral Designs Logan Vest 13 / $100
Are there any differences in the two jackets besides a hood and shell? Is one warmer that the other, and can they be worn under a pack while walking around town or other non-strenuous activities where they will rub? Do down jackets generally work well under shells, or are they too bulky? Can you hike in the vest when the temp drops, or is the shell too fragile?
Patagonia Down Sweater...seems less bulky, but how warm is it?
Patagonia Puff Pullover...synthetic seems to hold up better to layering, again how warm? Also seems like the vest would work well while hiking.
Fairly heavy, but seems like it would work the best, being able to put a vest under for extra warmth, and still comfortably wear under a rain shell.
Any personal reviews, experiences, recommendations welcome.