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Has anyone completed the down jacket kit from Thru-Hiker?
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(WRYN) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Has anyone completed the down jacket kit from Thru-Hiker? on 03/21/2007 11:29:18 MDT Print View

I'm looking at making the Whitney down jacket kit from for my hubby's birthday. Has anyone completed this specific kit? Any feed back on their kits in general? I'm also considering making stuff sacks. Thanks!

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Has anyone completed the down jacket kit from Thru-Hiker? on 03/21/2007 13:14:22 MDT Print View

I've made the Liberty Ridge windshirt, Kinsman pullover, and a quilt kit since Christmas.
The LR and Kinsman both came with patterns for a variety of sizes and were relatively easy, even though they were my first ever sewing projects. The instructions were a little fuzzy at times, but you can always just ask on the message board or even give Paul a call.
As for working with down, I just completed the quilt last weekend and stuffing the down was by far the most frustrating part. The first time you go to manipulate the down and it sticks to you is very annoying. Eventually I got over it and it came together fine.
I think if you have the time and patience the kits are definitely worth it, I love my new down quilt SOOOO much. I got it in Kelly green and love the color too. I would highly recommend the kits at thru-hiker.
Hope this is of some help.


(WRYN) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Has anyone completed the down jacket kit from Thru-Hiker? on 03/25/2007 07:23:31 MDT Print View

Thanks for the reply!

scott Nelson
(nlsscott) - MLife

Locale: So. Calif.
Thru-HIker Down Jacket-Great Kit on 03/26/2007 21:29:32 MDT Print View

I made a Whitney Jacket, added a hood, and have used it twice on snow camps. It is surprisingly warm. The instructions are very thorough and well thought out. The materials are really nice and the best quality. Working with the down is not that difficult. Just accept the fact that a few feathers will not make it into the product. A few feathers floating around seem like a lot, but they really aren't much. Just take your time, follow the tips on the website, sear the edges of your fabric after cutting, and you will be really proud of what you make. The hood was a challenge to design and it isn't perfect, but it works.-Scott

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Thru-HIker Down Jacket-Great Kit on 03/26/2007 22:22:41 MDT Print View

Hey Kiri,
Don't get too frustrated about the instructions on the forums above. For the most part it is just the attachments that are a little difficult. The zippers, some drawstrings, and collar are a little difficult but the over-all project with instructions is very do-able.

Don't just stop at the Whitney Jacket, all of the kits are incredible. They are also very easy to be tailored to your specific size. I have found that every item I make comes in lighter than I could ever believe it would.

Right now it is the Liberty Ridge Jacket at 2.3 ounces and an insulated L-R Pant at 6.8 ounces. All using Momentum and or Climashield.
Still to come is a Kinman and L-R Pant/Short with detachable legs.

Go for it. It will be a great gift.

(WRYN) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: Thru-HIker Down Jacket-Great Kit on 03/27/2007 17:16:52 MDT Print View

I'm inspired! Thanks!

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Mt Whitney Jkt + Nunatak AT style quilt on 03/29/2007 20:42:52 MDT Print View

Hi guys.

I am getting addicted to these MYOG threads now-its so much more inspiring than looking at the manufactured gear and thinking; but I reckon they could have done this, or I want that on that...

I have 3 projects on the go at the moment; kinsman pullover, liberty ridge shell, and a spin tarp (making that up as I go- using 0.9oz thruhiker spin).

After hearing the response about the Whitney, I am thinking of giving that a go in a couple of months once I have finished these projects (I am pretty busy at the moment).

Is it true that it (whitney) has about 3.5 inches of loft in the torso? If so, would that be enough to get temp rating down to around 20F? I am thinking of also making a Nunatak AT like down quilt, that is about 50 inches long (I am 5'10") and using them in combination. I would need it to be good down to about 20F (-7C), or a few degrees more than that-I am a cold sleeper. I would need to make a down hood I think to add to the Jkt-probably a permanent attachment. Probably sewn-thru for the hood.

I am thinking of using 0.7oz spin fabric from thru-hiker (all the materials and down from there) for the lining of the quilt. The end and base of the foot would also be spin inside and out. The rest (outer) would be momentum90.

How would I go sewing the mesh baffles to the spin? Is it possible-has anyone tried, to either seem seal the spin with a tape or something, or to somehow weld/glue/tape the baffles to the spin and/or momentum without sewing? I hate the thought of using such great materials and then perforating them with leaky holes.

I figure that having spin on the inside wont be that much of a downside, with an open bottom from mid-calf to hip. This will be a superlight type set up for trips where Ill be pushing it and wont be sleeping that much-or in small batches of 3 hours or so-or at least wont be worried about a small amount of condensation. I thought I read that Aaron S has a similar thought with one of his quilts that he will use for his JMT attempt-god speed mate!

I have also thought of using spin all over and not worrying about seam sealing the top-it will need a bit of airflow to compress/loft. Then I wont have to worry about a Bivy. Ill use my small spin tarp. Ill have a WPB jacket-I am thinkin of getting an Outdoor Research Zeolot (Gore Paclite), which I can use over the top of the lot. I might need to size that a whole size bigger for the down loft.

More points for your thoughts-South Australia is pretty dry, but in winter can have very dewey nights and the odd hairy storm. I will likely be wearing synthtic thermal bottoms and top (polypro or whatever) which will most likely be damp from sweat when I retire to sleep. I figure the spin on the inside will protect the down, as well as boosting bag temp like a vapour barrier by a few degrees. I will likely have either a fleece (200 weight seems to work for me down here) beanie or a lighter weight merino (Icebreaker) Balaklava. Which will also be slightly damp when I go to sleep. Ill probably change into dry (merino blend) socks.

Looking forward to the discussion,


Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Mt Whitney Jkt + Nunatak AT style quilt on 03/29/2007 22:25:34 MDT Print View

Hey Adam,
Looks like some great projects you've got there.
Having a separate system can be an advantage that the bottom half can be a much better fit with less material. the best way to help get it down to 20* would be with the help from a bivy. You could also use the tarp as a bivy to make this happen
I also have an insulated Liberty Ridge Pant that weighs only 6.8 ounces. I would highly recommend this. It will not only take away the need for you thermal bottoms, it will allow you to go from about 3 1/2" of loft on the bottom quilt piece to about 2 1/2", (about 2 ounces of down saved). So for about 5 extra ounces, you get to take away your thermal bottoms, (about 5 ounces) and get a great piece of gear to wear while hiking at night while it's 20*.
I've taking my 1/2 bag down to 25* while wearing just the insulated pants and a Liberty ridge pant on my bottom half

My pre-quilt bivy you spoke of is not going into production. The Pre-quilt weighs much more than it should.

My newest 1/2 down bag that I will take on the JMT is a little bigger than the first and is much warmer. I am using down because I have a light spin-tarp to use, (mainly as a bivy unless it rains or is windy).
The quilt is a little hefty at 12.5 ounces but allows for a better clothing system and will have a lighter over all weight.

I am making a Kinman as well for the trip with a single layer of Climashield that will be much more comfortable at night to hike in and will allow for a change of cloths if it rains.

As far as the question about sewing the spin, I've just doubled it up on the .9 ounce and it was fine.
You will need to use a #9 needle with it which can be finicky.
I found sewing spin to be easy. The fabric stays put, (flat) when new. Just be sure to hold the pieces together the whole time the machine is going or the bottom layer will go through much faster than the top.

Have fun with it. Make sure you post some pictures when you’re done.

Edited by awsorensen on 03/29/2007 22:29:02 MDT.

Adam Kilpatrick
(oysters) - MLife

Locale: South Australia
Re: Re: Mt Whitney Jkt + Nunatak AT style quilt on 03/31/2007 06:21:17 MDT Print View

Hi Aaron

I like your idea of using the tarp as a bivy for extra warmth. It makes alot of sense-if its raining in South Australia it rarely gets far below 0C/32F due to clouds holding in the heat. The clear nights are when it is really cold as any heat just escapes, and temps can get regularly down to -5C (about 22F Im guessin) in the Flinders in winter. But on those nights there is no chance of rain.

I was thinking of incorporating a Bivy into the 3/4 quilt. But that would possibly make it less versatile.

With your LR insulated pants, do you just hook and loop the insulation the the shell? I was thinking you could do that with a prequilted insulation like the primaloft one (I got that for the kinsman kit), though it would be fragile. Or you could just make two LR pants and squeze the insulation in between. What is your approach? I like the idea of these pants-I guess I am not quite thinking outside the square enough-rogainers in South Australia tend to love their synthetic thermals under their shorts and gaiters at night!

Is there a reason why you use the climasheild rather than the primaloft one? In the synthetic fill thread the Clo/oz is mentioned to be a smidge higher. Or is it just alot easier to work with, more compact or something?

Thanks for the sewing tips-Ill put them into practise soon. Ill finish this tarp project first. It will probably end up as 4'10" by 8'. It will have five guy line tie outs along each side as well as ridgeline tie outs. Plenty of material to wrap up as a bivy, and I think plenty of shelter when the weather comes in if I pick a sheltered site to pitch it.


Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
working with down on 03/31/2007 06:47:36 MDT Print View

To keep down from sticking to sweaty fingers, coat your hands with chalk used by climbers, found in outdoor gear stores. Use a confined space as suggested because feathers do float away. Instead of working in a tent, use a samll bathroom. Using clothes pins or some other system, hang you product with the open tubes facing upwards and then drop or stuff in the down. Weigh the down container as you go to determine how much down you have put into each channel.
Adam, I would not bother with taping the seams. Bags and quilts are not waterproof anyway and the thread will help fill up the holes. Heat loss would be minimal.
When doing sewing projects, do not read all the directions at once. That will only confuse and discourage you. Reading them step by step as you proceed through the project will make them much more clear. You can look at the material in front of you and the next step will be much more obvious. AYCE at thru-hiker promptly and patiently answers questions as you post them on his site.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: working with down on 03/31/2007 19:25:56 MDT Print View

Hey Adam,
I just sewed the insulation to the shell the same way its done using any other synthetic clothing piece.

I find it works good to work with down is in the bathroom too.
The easiest way for me is to just cut a large trash bag in half and dump the down in. the static from the trash bag keeps the down in the bag very well.
For putting the down into the baffles, I use a plastic vacuum extension. Just zero out the weight of it, stuff the down in, re-weigh and use something similar to a broom handle to push it back out into the baffle.
I'll spill a 1/2 cup or less of down through out the entire project.