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It's the time of year for.. DOWN PARKAS! Advice on a warm one...
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Tim B
(FlatlanderIA) - F
It's the time of year for.. DOWN PARKAS! Advice on a warm one... on 11/16/2012 08:40:15 MST Print View

Looking at a WARM down jacket for winter use. I usually take my synthetic for climbing, this one would be used for the ice season, ski huts, winter camping into Northern MN. So, WARM with occasional belay duty. Thinking about the RAB Neutrino Endurance, Neutrino Plus, and the Montbell Permafrost. Any first hand experience with any of these? Cheers.

Yes 1000
Golite Bitterroot on 11/16/2012 09:02:17 MST Print View

Golite Bitterroot is on sale for $150 and is a well reviewed jacket.

Tim B
(FlatlanderIA) - F
Bitterroot on 11/16/2012 09:52:16 MST Print View

Wow, nice price on that Bitterroot! I already have a Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka that is very similar. Looking to up the warmth to 7+ ounces of down. Thanks for the suggestion though.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: It's the time of year for.. DOWN PARKAS! Advice on a warm one... on 11/16/2012 10:56:58 MST Print View

Based on reviews on Coldthistle and Gear:30 blogs, I bought a Neutrino Endurance. It's well made, fits me well, and looks to be very warm for the weight.

I planned on using it as a belay parka and also for winter camping, but I'm scaling back my plans, so I may end up selling it...

Tommy Franzen
(Tomlike) - F

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
RAB on 11/16/2012 11:01:48 MST Print View

Rab down jackets are really, really nice. I have the Infinity, 7oz. of down and weighs only 16oz. for a men's large. Currently it's on sale at Moosejaw for $240 (although I paid about $140 from Campsaver last spring). They also have the Neutrino Endurance on sale for $260, with 8oz. of down. With my layering system here in the PacNW the Infinity will be great in the winter, but if I were someplace colder I might have gone with the Neutrino

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: RAB on 11/16/2012 12:36:35 MST Print View

Rab is on sale at right now. The endurance is around $245 and the neutrino plus is $320. If you have a mrrebates account then the sale rabs over at could be cheaper.

While the Permafrost and Neutrino Plus both have more down, they, more importantly, also have box baffle construction instead of the lighter/cheaper sewn through construction of the endurance. This means they'll be a lot warmer for their weight of down because you won't have any cold spots (ie they are warmer because of both construction and extra down, double win!). So really you listed two classes of jackets. The endurance will surely be "warm enough" for anything you want but the permafrost and neutrino plus will be furnaces.

I'm a big montbell fan (I feel like they're an underdog here in the US) but reading the glowing praises of the neutrino plus it's hard to not imagine it's the best deep cold jacket out there. A bit heavier than the windproof permafrost but very smart design with nothing missed.

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Winter when? on 11/16/2012 17:59:52 MST Print View

Winter camping (as in a tent) in full on winter in MN? Where? Winter before last I was at -31 in MN. I had a true winter parka, not a nice down sweater, like the Bitterroot. (It is nice, don't get me wrong.)

Usually I take a "mid" sized parka (but still a baffled, hooded parka like the Marmot Greenland) if just overnighting in deep winter but if it is a long trip I break out the Mountain Hardwear Absolute Zero. Of course I don't really think about weight in winter. Dave has a Marmot 8000 Meter Parka and it is nice too.

Remember that weather could trap you at any time. Carry enough to survive in winter.

Hike safe,

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Winter when? on 11/16/2012 18:18:16 MST Print View

What Raymond says is absolutely spot on. I have tried the Neutrino plus and it's was really nice. I ended up buying a Crux Lava (event shell 330g down) and a Gooses Feet Parka (M90 shell 250g down) both have box wall.

Don Selesky
(backslacker) - M
Re: Re: Winter when? on 11/16/2012 19:48:02 MST Print View

Also, take a look at the down clothing at Nunatak.

Tim B
(FlatlanderIA) - F
Winter on 11/17/2012 06:28:26 MST Print View

Raymond, I usually take at least one trip up to the BWCA for winter camping. I also like to do a couple trips a year in the winter months into the San Juans or Sangre de Cristo Range in CO. Last year I climbed Ellingwood and Blanca in January.

The warmest parka I own right now is the Feathered Friends Frontpoint. It's a VERY nice well made parka, but the fit on me has never been optimal.

I have at the house right now a Montbell Permafrost and a RAB Neutrino.. and will keep one of them. I also ordered a Neutrino Plus becuase I found it on sale and will consider keeping that one too.

I'm impressed with both the Permafrost and the Neutrino. Even though the Permafrost is baffled, I'm leaning towards the Neutrino.

Better pockets!
Slimmer fit than Neutrino
Shorter fit
Warmer, more loft
Slightly heavier

Better hood, more insulation surprisingly than Neutrino, wire brim rocks
Better cuffs
Like the length better
Slightly roomier
Not quite as much loft, sewn through

They are both made VERY well! Comparable quality and materials, no difference there. The Permafrost in Med is almost too restrictive a cut for me, if I though I preferred that over the Neutrino I think I'd try a Large. The collar area is different on them, I don't know if I like the Montbell 'separate' collar or not. I like that it's fleece lined but I donn't think it'd be noticablily warmer. I like how high up my face the Neutrino can zip!

So, I will wait until Monday when I get the Neutrino Plus and that may be a better comparison to the Perafrost, although maybe even another small step up in warmth. I know I'm going ot be tempted to keep both RAB parkas!

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Winter on 11/17/2012 06:57:12 MST Print View

I tried on both the Neutrino and the Plus last year, the fit is similar but the plus felt far warmer.

Tim B
(FlatlanderIA) - F
Plus on 11/17/2012 07:33:37 MST Print View

Thanks Steven, that's kind of what I was hoping for... I didn't want it to be a noticably larger cut. Looking forward to trying the Plus on Monday.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F - M

Locale: Northern Utah
Temperature requirements on 11/17/2012 08:49:10 MST Print View

What temperatures are you anticipating?

Andrew Zajac

Locale: South West
mountain hardwear ghost whisperer on 11/17/2012 09:00:41 MST Print View

They don't list fill weights, but it seems mountain hardwear is getting in to 7d fabrics. Seems like a solid choice to me, but that will probably depend on your temps and the desired function of the jacket as it looks a little thin to me.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Plus on 11/17/2012 11:25:36 MST Print View


I think the Plus may be a bit longer, it's always nice to be able to cover up ones tail end.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Temperature requirements on 11/17/2012 12:28:09 MST Print View

What temperatures are you anticipating?

the most important question ever ... which one or two asked ... rather than just going bitteroot, neutrino, rah rah rah ;)

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Temperature requirements on 11/17/2012 14:10:09 MST Print View


Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: Temperature requirements on 11/17/2012 14:55:41 MST Print View


Tim had asked for experiences of specific parkas.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Re: Temperature requirements on 11/17/2012 16:09:02 MST Print View

he asked for "WARM" ... which i of course relative to the temp ... a bitterroot may be fine for winter in a more temperate location but be perfectly inadequate for somewhere else ...

the first step in determining what insulation you need is always looking for the expected temperature and work from there ... or you could just buy a TNF down suit they use in the himalayas and call it a day ;)

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: Re: Re: Temperature requirements on 11/17/2012 16:17:44 MST Print View


Edited by stephenm on 11/17/2012 20:19:53 MST.