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Golite Bitterroot 850 Fill Down Jacket $149.99
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Daniel Paladino
(dtpaladino) - F - MLife

Locale: Northern Rockies
Bitterroot on 11/16/2012 22:04:23 MST Print View

Thanks for the heads up! My old puffy was begging to be replaced (duct tape gets rather heavy!)

Yes 1000
Golite brand on 11/17/2012 07:20:02 MST Print View

If what Golite claims is true (5 Oz of 850+ fill and the Pertex fabric)the jacket will be warm no matter what, although I am not holding my breath on the quality of cut and stitching. I think there is a reason why its so cheap compared to other comparable jackets.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
hood fit on 11/17/2012 10:29:21 MST Print View

well for my hiking needs, a tight fitting hood is really a non issue. i would not be wearing that down while hiking, only at camp. so while sitting around a campfire or hanging my hammock the issue of a hood falling back b/c of wind isn't really a concern. man that's a nice, nice jacket for $150...

Jim Sweeney
(swimjay) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
+1 Josh on 11/17/2012 11:07:07 MST Print View

Or wearing it to extend the warmth of a quilt.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Golite brand on 11/17/2012 17:10:52 MST Print View

Mamamia, Golite actually produces some decent gear. The reason their prices are so low is that they do not sell to retailers yet they are large enough to have better economies of scale than the cottage manufacturers. Therefore they pass on the savings to the consumer. Before they moved to this direct sales business model they had prices more in line with other companies. The bitterroot in particular was a $350+ jacket (the $350 Mirage parka from Montbell was basically a response to the GoLite Bitterroot, albeit warmer due to box wall construction).

Golite isn't as premium and athletically oriented as some of the other companies (like Arc'Teryx) but their gear is made well enough and they are well regarded in the community. If their cut fits your body type you won't be disappointed.

Barry Harrell
(Brouche) - F
Fit..Athletic or not? on 11/18/2012 12:51:21 MST Print View

Those of you that own this, how's the fit/cut? I have a 44" chest measurement so that puts me in the middle of their L/ XL. If it's a tighter/athletic cut that would rule out the large I'd think...Thanks!

Jolly Green Giant
(regultr) - MLife

Re: Fit..Athletic or not? on 11/18/2012 13:01:22 MST Print View

I'd say it is more of an athletic cut than, for example, Mountain Hardwear clothing.

Barry Harrell
(Brouche) - F
Thanks JGG on 11/18/2012 13:32:14 MST Print View

Thanks for the quick response! And thanks for always having great info on your blog. Sounds like I'll need to go up to the xl

Yes 1000
Shucks on 11/18/2012 20:01:02 MST Print View

I ordered a small, thinking since it was a regular fit and can go with a merino base and probably a R1 mid. I fall somewhere between S and M :-/ does anybody know about Golites exchange policy? would like to get a M if S doesn't fit me as expected.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Shucks on 11/18/2012 20:10:19 MST Print View

They have a good exchange policy, if you email them they will swap it out.

Yes 1000
My Jacket arrived on 11/22/2012 09:07:59 MST Print View

Basically whatever we have discussed about the short comings of this Jacket is true, the Hood is monstrously big only fits snug with a beanie underneath it. The Zipper is of poor quality, fit is more on slim side than regular, could have been another inch longer.

But hey its warm and the fabric is strong and looks down proof still a good deal for $150.

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: My Jacket arrived on 11/22/2012 09:26:20 MST Print View

Now that you have it in does it compare to the EB?

-Mark in St. Louis

Yes 1000
EB quality on 11/22/2012 09:44:15 MST Print View

MY EB Jacket beats Golite in works man ship and quality of construction. But It lacks a hood and has half of the down compared to Golite and the fabric is not fully down proof. I will use it for around the town use and take Golite where cold is the factor.

If you want a jacket for "cold" and back country use, go for Golite, I still feel the it gives the best value for your $150.

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
deals on 11/22/2012 10:49:00 MST Print View

I just wanted to point out that if you are looking at the Bitteroot, then consider the RAB Infinity as an alternative. It has a better hood with a more technical cut.

It is possible to get it at a good sale price if you wait it out. I bought mine for $143 at Campsaver (with a coupon) one month ago.

Will Govus
(willgovus) - F
br on 11/22/2012 15:11:37 MST Print View

Went back up to 199$ unfortunately. Was just about to commit on one.

Yes 1000
Update on 11/25/2012 09:43:47 MST Print View

I have been wearing the Jacket for running errands and in my home in ~40-33 F temps for last couple of days and have started liking it. It is plenty warm with just a thin layer of cap 1 silk weight and with a fix to the hood (run some draw cord) this is a keeper for me. For those who bought this I'm sure you won't be disappointed with the jacket's functionality.

Edited by mamamia on 11/25/2012 09:50:46 MST.

Adam Kramer
(rbeard) - F

Locale: ATL, Southern Appalachia
bitterroot vs. mb alpine light vs. eb first ascent hoody on 11/27/2012 05:38:06 MST Print View

Ok, I have tried on all three now and can give my personal opinion. I ordered a large at 6'0, 175.

Bitterroot vs. MB Alpine Light Parka - tie

The bitterroot might have an extra ounce of down, but the montbell's zipper draft guard and synching hood make up for it in my opinion. also, montbell's quilting style seems like it leaves less cold seam spots. as far as fit, the alpine light is a much more tailored fit (less dead air space to warm up.) The bitterroot does come down about an inch or two farther.

Bitterroot vs. EB First Ascent Downlight Hoody - winner: Bitterroot

The bitterroot feels like it has substantially more down than my fa hoody. as far as the hood goes, they are very similar, but the golite hood is wider front to back. both hoods fit fine with a brimmed hat under, something that I like to do to keep the sun out of my eyes. The cut is similar, but i find the bitterroot cut more generous especially in the arms. as far as torso, the FA was more of a boxy cut. the bitterroot is about an inch longer. the waist drawstring on the bitterroot is something that the FA hoody desperately lacks. bottom line, it seems the bitterroot will keep you much warmer at an ounce less.

Some Caveats:

I almost returned the bitterroot right out of the package due to the sticky zipper. what good is a jacket if you can't zip it up quickly? It took me a minute to figure out, but you first need to line up the zippers, then hold the black, bottom zipper and pull up on the upper yellow zipper up. it's all about holding the black zipper and pulling the yellow one. smooth as silk on the zip up and zip off now. scared me for a second.

Also, as everyone pointed out, the hood should be adjustable. will someone show me how they sliced and diced and added drawcords? would love to see a picture with it on and synched down as well. thanks all.

Bottom line, I have a montbell alpine light hoodless, and now a golite br parka for the colder nights. my fa hoody will be listed on ebay.

Edited by rbeard on 11/27/2012 18:35:12 MST.

samuel smillie
(sam_smillie) - F

Locale: central canada
br comments on 11/27/2012 15:36:35 MST Print View

So I added a picture of the modification I did. Super simple, and much lighter than velcro etc.

hood modSo mine just arrived. I haven't tested it for warmth but you can refer to the clo value and your own experiences to infer its comfort range. I just wanted to comment on fit, features, worksmanship etc.

For reference I'm 5'7'' 180lbs with broad shoulders and some molson muscle for Canadian winters ;) - I have the medium sized br.

I am very happy with the length of the hem and sleeves. I have the roan plateau in medium as well and the hem is an inch or two shorter on the br. - sleeves about the same length. The hem length on the br is sufficient to prevent your lower back from being exposed when sitting which is really all i care about.

As others have commented the sleeves are generously sized, however I have big arms so this was a welcome feature. Fit through the body is slimmer than the roan and I find no need to tighten the br waist hem like I do on the roan. Because of my broader shoulders both jackets are a little tight in the armpits, particularly when my arms are extended. This is a problem I regularly have so more likely me than jacket design.

Hood IS deep at the back. I find the elastic closure of the opening to be perfectly tensioned when I pull the hood back an inch or two such that the opening is resting against the outside of my face. This makes things easier because I didn't want to have to deal with threading drawstrings etc. My strategy is going to be to just mimic a rear drawcord with a strip of tenacious tape along the back of the hood (any jacket, tent etc repair tape should work). This way I can avoid sewing, creating holes in the fabric and otherwise damaging the integrity of the jacket. I think a thin strip to fold a bit of the hood over at the nape of the neck area will dial this in.

As far as workmanship I am very pleased with the exception of the 'hidden' style pocket zippers. These were clearly a poor choice and are prone to snagging. I doubt I will use them and just keep those pockets open. The interior drop pocket is very large. Larger than necessary for a 1L nalgene because they are trying to double it as a stuff sack for the jacket. On me I think the jacket would be too tight with a 1L nalgene and appropriate midlayers on so I will likely use a 500ml bottle. The pocket is too tight for useful stuffing of the jacket in my opinion. I find these jackets sit at the top of your pack anyways so stuffing in them into sacks or pockets isn't really a necessary feature anyways. There is a separate stuff sack also included which fits the jacket quite easily. I have no problem with the two-way zipper. You just have to remember its a two-way zipper. I have yet to ever find a two way zipper that is as easy to use as a one-way zipper so this comes with the territory.

Down distribution seems excellent. Wrist cuffs are tensioned appropriately. Collar can come nicely up over chin with hood up and sits under and seals neck when hood down. Overall I am pleased. Hell of a nice jacket for $150 and the hood depth issue seems to be an easy fix without breaking open the sewing kit or embarrassing yourself.

Edited by sam_smillie on 11/27/2012 19:25:36 MST.

Daniel Russell

Locale: Creation
GL Bitterroot Vs. Montbell Alpine Light Parka on 11/27/2012 18:48:59 MST Print View

GL Bitterroot Vs. Montbell Alpine Light Parka

Test Subject: Human, Male, 6'2" 185lbs, No Chest Hair, Tends to run on the colder side. ;)

*GL Bitterroot: Size Large (14.25oz)

Pros - Warmer Despite Cold Spots, Lighter, Dual Fleece Lined Pockets, Longer Torso (I'm tall), Better Compressibility, Higher Quality down and Fill Weight.

Cons - Hood (everything about it), Fragile Fabric (too shiny for my liking as well), No Draft Collar.

*Montbell Alpine Light Parka: Size Large (17oz)

Pros - Awesome Hood, Tough Fabric, More useful inside pockets IMO, Full Zip Draft Collar, Better Zippers, More Stylish (not shiny!).

Cons - Short torso, Heavier, Lower Quality Down and Fill Weight.

Despite its crappy hood, shiny, much more fragile fabric, and other concerns raised above, I believe the Bitterroot is the clear winner between these two jackets. The only thing that kept me battling between the two is the "style." I got over that quickly after doing some tests outside in 30F weather. The Bitterroot had me very warm while I felt the need for another thin layer in the MB. Tragic because I LOVED the MB but it will now be finding a new home.
I'm going to take apart the seams around the hood and add shock chord pulls and possibly velcro on the back like Montbell does. I'll take pics and upload them when its completed. It should be a versatile beast after this is done.

Enjoy! :D

Edited by Superfluous_Grizzly on 11/27/2012 18:54:44 MST.

Yes 1000
Hood work on 11/27/2012 18:51:31 MST Print View

Daniel, thanks for taking the first shot on fixing the hood, will be waiting for your DIY guide.