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Brooks-Range Mojave Down Jacket
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Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Early warning on 03/31/2013 17:02:20 MDT Print View

Great discussion. I was vaguely interested in this jacket, but no more. The solid fabric panel in the interior seems very suspect. It essentially means that there's a double layer of something there; even if the hidden layer is mesh, it's got to "consume" some of the jacket's available weight. And the fact that the jacket is perceived to be cold at 25 deg., though it has 9 oz of 800 fill down, is boggling.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Early warning on 03/31/2013 17:16:52 MDT Print View

Guys,

Just some things to note.

1. Its box wall only in the front, the rest is stitch through.

2. I was wearing a Mec T1 hoodie and a cap 2 equivalent base layers with a lightweight beanie under it, normally in winter I would have a nano puff or equivalent under a down jacket but as it was 1 night trip I did not bother.
3. I feel the cold when stopped.

I would put the Mojave in same warmth class as my old Montbell Alpine light Parka.

I do like it but its a 3 season piece.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Box wall ? on 03/31/2013 17:30:05 MDT Print View

Realize box-baffling is only supposed to be in the front of the torso, but what's with the fabric panel? That means that, if the front of the torso really is box wall, and not just sewn-through with a fabric panel behind it, there's a torso-front's equivalent of unneeded fabric. And we can't get around that by saying it's probably mesh, because mesh is sometimes heavier than the newer light fabrics, I think.

Edited by swimjay on 03/31/2013 17:31:09 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Box wall ? on 03/31/2013 18:20:41 MDT Print View

I am thinking the same with the fabric panel, half of one could be put down to the pockets but not a full one.

When I was buying this I put a crap load of research in to it, I spoke with the owner of company I bought it from (Climbhigh.com) and he reckoned it was a decent parka.

I did get a very good discount on it.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Early warning on 04/01/2013 15:55:36 MDT Print View

Stephen, that's the point though. The Alpine Light Parka has around 4.5 oz of down, half what is claimed in a Mojave. Other jackets that are in the 9oz of 800+fp range are the Rab Neutrino variants, the MB Permafrost, and the MHW Nilas (the nilas has a bit less down but most similar construction).

9oz of down is a serious claim. That amount, box walled or not, is basically what you need to climb at high altitudes outside of Asia, such as Denali, Aconcagua, Volcanoes...

Now I fully understand that people should try their gear before going on expeditions, but to sell your jacket as being in a warmth class as other jackets that will keep you alive in very cold environments is negligent.

While Outdoorgearlab isn't the best technical review site, their review puts it in the same category as the the MB Frostsmoke, only warmer. The frostmoke has a measly 3.5oz of down so this corresponds well with the Alpine Light comparison (and visual loft inspection looks similar).

It's really hard to find any true reviews of the jacket aside from some rehashing of talking points. Gearjunkie.com has one that says the mojave is not as warm as the alpini (which again has less down and no box-baffling) which defies all logic and known insulation science.

I'm having a hard time believing the specs and that's a shame. I want to believe that it's a typo but I'm thinking it's more intentional to justify the $100 price hike for water resistant down.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Early warning on 04/01/2013 18:20:35 MDT Print View

Hi Dustin,

I forgot to mention that I asked the place I bought it from to contact Brooks Range
and they confirmed it has 9oz.

Have you seen the reviews on Trailspace?
http://www.trailspace.com/gear/brooks-range/mojave-jacket/

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Early warning on 04/01/2013 19:05:23 MDT Print View

Dustin,

I got rid of the alpine light last year due to the lack of hem drawcord so was unable to directly compare them.
I just compared it to my wife's stitch through parka with 210g and the Mojave is definitely less lofty than it, I will call Brooks Range tomorrow.

Edited by stephenm on 04/02/2013 11:42:40 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Update from Brooks Range on 04/02/2013 11:41:03 MDT Print View

All,

I just got off the phone with the Mojaves Designer at Brooks Range.

He has confirmed it has 9oz of down in it, he has offered to replace or refund the jacket. He mentioned I am the only person to have any issues with it and that it has been used for belay on cold weather climbing trip.

What do folk think?

Edited by stephenm on 04/02/2013 11:41:33 MDT.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W-ish
Re: Brooks-Range Mojave on 04/02/2013 12:05:07 MDT Print View

Sounds to me like yours is out of spec. I'd suggest taking them up on the exchange offer, and if that one is no different for you, get a refund. There's always a risk of being the early adopter of a first generation technology. But they are offering you a couple of different ways out to mitigate your risk.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Brooks-Range Mojave on 04/02/2013 12:11:32 MDT Print View

Cheers Stuart,

I think you are right about sending it back.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Brooks-Range Mojave on 04/02/2013 14:04:35 MDT Print View

If they're willing to refund/replace the product and are standing by their specs than maybe you just got a dud. The first runs through any manufacturing plant always have hiccups.

And yes I've seen those reviews (and similar from other sites). Looks like people spouting marketing material in exchange for free gear. They nearly ALL say the same thing, or close enough that it'd flag a plagiarism checking service. I don't buy the immersion tests as valid because as shown on another thread, prolite gear is doing some testing and demonstrating that the water proofness of the DWR downs is marginal at best. Basically down has builtin lanolin that does the same job and the new downs are only better in very specific and not very real world situations. Plus immersion or rain tests actually tax the shell fabric far more than the down itself (and remember rain only happens around and above freezing, temps that should make you roast in such a filled jacket).

While I'm still not convinced it's a true 9oz down jacket since many people say the rab neutrino endurance (8oz) is warmer even though it's fully sewn through, albeit longer cut. Look at the Feathered Friends Helios with 8oz of down. Put on a person they look so much puffier than the mojave.

My guess is that it's 9oz in the largest size offered but in the mediums it probably drops down to the 6-7oz range. Assuming that there aren't two versions floating around Since it's 800fp this would put it on par with say a MB mirage (5.3oz 900fp) or the MHW Hooded Phantom (but with DWR down). Those are warm jackets for sure, just not deep yellowstone winter warm. I'd definitely get a replacement. At the very least they'll probably make sure you get the loftiest jacket in your size that they have in the warehouse and then you will have a nice fluffy DWR down jacket for yourself, regardless of what they sell to everyone else.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Brooks-Range Mojave on 04/02/2013 14:17:15 MDT Print View

I have had a think about it and if I was sending it back I would take the refund as looking at pics online mine has similar loft.

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
"He mentioned I am the only person to have any issues with it" on 04/02/2013 16:36:26 MDT Print View

This may be true, but it sounds an awful lot like what every salesman says when one complains that a product doesn't do what it promised. A more constructive attitude, on the part of the company, is to realize that for every person who complains, there are x people, where x is around 5, maybe more, IIRC, who have the same issue but haven't complained, either because they're too busy, or haven't stressed the item to the point where the flaw shows up.

More generally, a lot of our gear is virtual gear, in that what we're really buying when we purchase it is a sense of possibility -- "Wow, I could actually survive a blizzard now" -- but then it may never leave the closet. I'm as guilty of this as anyone, and I actually get out a quite a bit. So, if you're a manufacturer, the temptation to shade the truth, since so many of us are influenced by stated specs, must be large.

Edited by swimjay on 04/02/2013 16:39:27 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: "He mentioned I am the only person to have any issues with it" on 04/02/2013 17:32:19 MDT Print View

Hi Jim,

It is very possible that I am the first person to complain but they did offer to make it right, it is a shame as I was looking forward to trying out Dwr down.

Anything that comes in to my house get tested out and if its not to scratch it gets sent back if new or if second hand sent to gear swap.

Andrew Manies
(amanies)

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: "He mentioned I am the only person to have any issues with it" on 04/03/2013 17:15:38 MDT Print View

Stephen,

I think your concerns are justified. Take a look at this page:

http://brooks-range.com/Mojave-Down-Jacket.html

It appears the Mojave may contain only 6 oz of down, which would certainly appear to be more consistent with the perceived loft. It also conflicts with the "Specs" tab under the product description.

Is it possible the salesperson you spoke to was simply quoting from Specs?

In any event, the jacket itself doesn't appear to be lofty and warm enough for the reported quantity of down.

Cheers,
A

Edited by amanies on 04/03/2013 18:50:58 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: "He mentioned I am the only person to have any issues with it" on 04/03/2013 17:45:55 MDT Print View

Hi Andrew,

6oz would seem about right for the amount of loft in the jacket, I have looked at that page many times and it always said 9oz.

When I called Brooks Range yesterday I spoke to the General Manager who also designed the jacket and he swore there was 9oz in it.

Strange...

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: "He mentioned I am the only person to have any issues with it" on 04/05/2013 17:36:18 MDT Print View

Steven, I've also checked frequently since they've announce the mojave (and especially since we've discussed the misgivings) and it always said 9oz for me. So it looks like the 9oz is a typo (or they're slowly coming clean). They still claim it's their warmest jacket yet...however others have said the alpini was a tad bit warmer.

Well the alpini has 7.7oz of down, lighter fabric, half zip, and simpler/lighter sewn through construction. It weighs 15 oz.

So take a 15 oz with supposedly 7.7oz of down and bump that exact same jacket up to 9oz. That would give us a jacket of 16.3oz total with zero design changes beyond extra down. Now add partial box baffling, increase the zipper length, and use heavier fabric...that all adds up to probably a 19+oz jacket. But our jacket in question weighs 16. Where did those extra 3 ounces go? Oh they went into the profits column (or the profits of the contracted manufacturing plant which then it's not entirely their fault but still doesn't absolve them).

It has the exact same specs as my 180g (6.4oz) fill weight MHW Hooded Phantom which also weighs almost exactly 16oz.

I think at this point it's safe to assume it's a 6oz fill power jacket with DWR treated down weighing in at a total of a pound. So from 56% down it drops to a realistic, and below average, 37.5% down. Look at the competition, the FF Helios is ~49% down (based off their specs and they're known for lowballing total weight), the impressively warm/light MB Mirage is 41.4%, GoLite Bitterroot is 40.5%, and the Rab Infinity is 43.75% with a 10d pertex quantum fabric.

As a major manufacturer, it seems that sewn through down jackets max out around 50% down and baffled max out somewhere in the low 40%s. Going above that requires using the lightest and most fragile of fabrics and dropping a lot of features that makes the jacket less marketable and not economically viable products (not enough people willing to compromise so much for economies of scale to kick in).

The ONLY parkas I've seen that can actually claim more than 50% down (in the .75 to 1.5 lb total weight range) have ALL been custom made MYOG or Cottage manufacturers. Goosefeet has this capability but notice it's not even hinted at on the webpage as an option. We just hear about these fantastically underpriced custom pieces as members post them.

Unfortunately looks like another case of misleading product specs. It's a shame because if it weren't for the shady specs it'd still be a nice jacket with DWR down at a reasonable price for the category. Instead it's a stain on the integrity or quality control of the company. Hopefully they take care of you!

Avery S
(Aveman)
Mwuahaha on 04/05/2013 17:55:17 MDT Print View

There's really only one solution. It involves a scale, scissors, and, of course, thorough documentation.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "He mentioned I am the only person to have any issues with it" on 04/05/2013 18:04:19 MDT Print View

Hi Dustin,

If the Mojave weighed about 370g or had half decent loft at the specced weight it would be a keeper, but when I compare it to my Goosefeet Parka that weighs the same it pails in comparison as it is is fully baffled and 54% of that weight is 900fp down.

I am going to use the money from the refund to get Gooses feet to make me a baffled hosed pullover, it may even replace my Parka which free cash will free up cash for the new winter pack I have on order.

Happy days.

Hi Avery,

I would be up for that if 300 Bpl members sent me a dollar each via PayPal :-)

Edited by stephenm on 04/05/2013 18:05:06 MDT.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: "He mentioned I am the only person to have any issues with it" on 04/05/2013 18:16:04 MDT Print View

Yeah, I love your GooseFeet Parka actually. It almost makes me want to leave the desert and move to the cold just so I have an excuse to get one myself ;).

Having Ben make you a new jacket in line with what you need makes more sense. It's hard to argue with custom fit and specs that are lighter than anything available off the shelf.

Well make sure you post the new pullover when you get it. We always love to see more of Ben's work put to good use!