Forum Index » GEAR » Best Warmest Synthetic Belay Jacket?


Display Avatars Sort By:
E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Best Warmest Synthetic Belay Jacket? on 12/12/2012 22:55:12 MST Print View

What's the best warmest current or soon-to-be-released synthetic belay jacket? It would be helpful if you could offer any comparison with the current Patagonia DAS 2011-2012 which has Primaloft 1 insulation - that's my only frame of reference.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
Recent on 12/12/2012 23:13:13 MST Print View

Good recent discussion with comparisons to the DAS

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=69996

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
MEC on 12/12/2012 23:39:21 MST Print View

you know how the MEC reflex was the deal of last year for poofays ... well if i didnt already have a synth one id be all over this one .... 115 smackaroos for something with basically as much PL1 the DAS ...

1/3 the cost, same insulation, any reason warranty, 1% back to the planet ;)

if you do buy a DAS make sure you get this years, they are down rating the insulation for next year ...


http://www.mec.ca/AST/ShopMEC/ClearanceItems/MensClothing/PRD~5025-741/mec-northern-lite-ultra-jacket-mens.jsp

MEC Northern Lite Ultra Jacket (Men's)

Product Number: 5025-741
Made in Thailand

Weight: 615g (Small)

The lightness and compressibility of the Northern Lite Ultra keeps its overall volume low, so you can easily bring it for alpine routes and ski tours. The mapped insulation effectively places warmth where you need it, but keeps it streamlined where you don't. A DWR finish on the nylon is water resistant to shed light rain or snow and keep dirt and grime from sticking. Articulated elbows allow you keep moving without feeling impeded.

Shell is a lightweight 20-denier polyester with a DWR finish.
Lining is durable mini ripstop polyester.
Mapped PrimaLoft® One insulation distributes fill where it’s needed most: 60g in the hood and cuffs, 135g in the front torso and 200g in the shoulders, arms, chest, and back.
Adjustable, helmet-compatible hood with reinforced brim to keep rain out of your eyes.
Articulated elbows increase range of motion and mobility.
2 high pockets with fleece lining, an external chest pocket, and an internal chest pocket with headphone port for your music player.
Elasticized cuffs for a snug fit that keeps moisture out.
Hip length cut offers good coverage.
Regular fit

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/12/2012 23:54:32 MST.

Yes 1000
(mamamia)
MEC on 12/13/2012 00:23:52 MST Print View

I'm seeing that unlike REI, MEC makes some awesome gear for decent prices. Does anybody have experience ordering from them and getting shipped to USA without additional taxes..

Avery S
(Aveman)
MEC and MHW on 12/13/2012 09:22:41 MST Print View

That MEC jacket looks mighty sweet. If you want the most massive (insulation-wise) Synthetic Jacket, the Mountain Hardwear B'layman jacket is on STP right now and has 200g of "thermic micro" insulation:

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/mountain-hardwear-b%E2%80%99layman-airshield-elite-jacket-insulated-for-men~p~5491a/?filterString=s~mountain-hardwear%2Fclothing~d~5%2Fmens-clothing~d~15%2Fmens-jackets-and-coats~d~142%2F&colorFamily=02

$210 and there are some 35% off coupons floating around...

Personally, I like the idea of using layers of synthetics, as described here:

http://cascadeclimbers.com/synthetic-insulated-jacket-layering-review-by-dane-burns/

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: MEC and MHW on 12/13/2012 09:34:13 MST Print View

The only problem is the nylon shell material has very little insulation value compared to synthetic or down insulation

If a jacket is 2 square yards, that's 4 square yards total - 2.8 oz total for 0.7 oz/yd2 material, or more if you have heavier shell material, plus any extra for zippers or whatever

if you're doing alpine where you have to have an insulated jacket when you're exercising, and an additional belay jacket, then fine. If you really want to minimize over-all weight in non-extreme conditions where you don't need insulation layer when exercising, you want to have just one insulated layer.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: MEC and MHW on 12/13/2012 12:45:52 MST Print View

the problem with thermic micro is that no one it seems nows the insulative value of it .... we all know that PL1 is the "best" synth on the market and its claimed clo values ...

most of these proprietary insulations, we have no idea ... and the manufacturers like it this way to make comparisons very hard

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
WT on 12/13/2012 12:57:46 MST Print View

The Wild Things Belay Jacket is probably the warmest. Over 200g P1 all over.

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
+ 1 on the WT belay jacket on 12/13/2012 14:23:26 MST Print View

I have the older model. when compared against a das parka i thought the wt belay jacket was warmer. (the old model at least) was sized so that if you wore a large in their other jackets it would fit over everything without too much of an issue. if you aren't planning on wearing it as your last layer, you might want to down-size. i could wear a base layer, polar stretch hoodie/atom lt, windshirt and/or hardshell under the belay jacket with room to spare. with a base layer, hoodie, and windshirt i was comfortable at rest in the -10f+/- range (with proper hat, gloves, boots and pants) i think it could go colder, just never had the opportunity. i like the epic shell in case you should encounter running water or find yourself propped-up against snow.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Best Warmest Synthetic Belay Jacket? on 12/13/2012 14:58:54 MST Print View

Another cheap option:
http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/75122?feat=primaloft-SR0&page=bean-s-primaloft-hooded-jacket

Similar to the DAS Parka (Primaloft One). 110g (4oz) in the arms/hood, 140g (5oz) in the torso when I asked.

Ryan Bressler
(ryanbressler) - F
200 g Jackets on 12/13/2012 16:20:48 MST Print View

The Cloudveil Enclosure and Sherpa Raajen were both 200 g/sm primaloft one jackets which should be warmer then the das but are now discontinued/hard to find. After finding our das parkas lacking a few times I looked into other synthetic options but didn't find a great one and am now evaluating down coats (see my thread on the peak xv).

Edited by ryanbressler on 12/13/2012 19:15:39 MST.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Best Warmest Synthetic Belay Jacket? on 12/13/2012 19:04:41 MST Print View

No suggestions beyond what has already been mentioned, but as a point of curiosity can someone school me as to when such a heavy synthetic is useful?

When I read "belay" applied to a hiking/backpacking scenario I think "short rest for lunch", maybe ~1hr? I can see where one might want it to help dry out wet baselayers but if your baselayers are saturated that indicates prior failure in moisture management. Being diligent about temp regulation and venting shells is a better solution than a heavy duty synthetic.
And if temps/windchill are cold enough for such a heavy synthetic layer, e.g. say ~10c or colder, wouldn't an appropriate down puffy be a better choice? Afterall, even Primaloft One is still only close in clo to the "worst" ~600Fill down. Certainly, a down puffy like the Rab Infinity or Neutrino is much warmer, lighter weight, and compresses smaller.

Perhaps a heavy synthetic is practical then only for an "expedition" length hiking trip in moderately cold temps or in a mountaineering/ice climbing scenario in very cold temps?

I am just puzzled because just this past weekend my torso was quite comfortable "belaying" and day hiking in shin deep snow at -5c w/light to gusty winds on gentle terrain from sunrise to sunset wearing just a Cap 1 tee baselayer, R1 Hoody as midlayer, Montbell Light Shell Parka (basically lined windbreaker similar to Marmot Ether and Rab VR Lite Alpine Jacket) as a shell and a Nano Puff vest on top when I needed a tad more warmth. Kept a Nano Puff pullover clipped to my belt for "just in case." If I were carrying a loaded pack and covering more difficult terrain in the same weather I could see myself shedding the R1 too. And if the weather had turned too severe, I would be hunkerd down in my shelter.

Just wondering if a heavy sythetic is something I really need in my hiking/backpacking quiver or can I make due with the kit I have now.

Edited by rmjapan on 12/13/2012 20:48:39 MST.

Ryan Bressler
(ryanbressler) - F
Ideal for cascade winter conditions. on 12/13/2012 20:19:16 MST Print View

Rick,

I think a lot of people share your experience and observations which is probably why this breed of coat is dyeing out. Infact, next years DAS will use thinner insulation:

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2012/12/patagonia-das-for-20132014.html

That being said, i've found that the place where a big dumb synthetic poofy stands out above all others is for the marginal conditions found maritime climates like the cascades in winter where the temperature varies a few degrees right around freezing and it might very from raining to snow to fog in the course of a day with 90+% humidity.

Even diligent venting and expensive breathable membranes won't keep your clothing moisture free for long in these conditions.

Some people also object to down for ethical reasons though several manufactures are now taking steps to ensure that their supply chain is free of live plucking and force feeding.

A coat out of left field that the op might consider if his main concern is wetness is the Brooks Range Mojave wich uses a waterproof treated 800+ fp down:

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

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Best Warmest Synthetic Belay Jacket? on 12/13/2012 20:55:11 MST Print View

people use it when there is non stop rain or a good possibility of saturation of the down ... the brits and PNWers are quite fond of em if that tells you anything

if youve camped in non stop pouring and drizzling rain with no sun for over a week at close to 100% humidity with temps near freezing ... youll understand those conditions ... the ones where no matter how careful you are anything you wear gets soaked and wet

they are also used by alpinist in coastal conditions where you cant spend the time "babying" your jacket in dripping waterfall ice or wet sticky snow or rain .. youre too busy climbing or trying to stay alive ....

it all depends on the conditions and what you do ...

heres a snapshot of what the next week in coastal BC squamish looks like ... ask yourself what gear would you bring for such conditions ...



the other point is to realize that "800+ fill down" isnt really 800 fill at high humidity levels ... its more like 600-700 ... theres been plenty of days when my MB exl, or my other high powered down jackets were barely warmer than my equivalent synth pieces ...

the new DWR nanotech down may get around this hopefully ... but as it stands with regular down, you arent getting the full fill power out here when its wet even if you keep your down dry ...

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/13/2012 21:08:27 MST.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: Re: Re: Best Warmest Synthetic Belay Jacket? on 12/13/2012 21:51:56 MST Print View

@Eric says "it all depends on the conditions and what you do ...

heres a snapshot of what the next week in coastal BC squamish looks like ... ask yourself what gear would you bring for such conditions ..."

Eric I would hope a light weight synthetic like the Nano Puff jacket/vest combo under my rainshell would be all I need to "belay" in at the margins. Like I said above, seems I am relatively comfortable standing around in my winter "action suit" even at -5c.

For the most inclement margin conditions, I have been thinking maybe an medium weight 100g Primaloft 1 class synth like the EB First Ascent Igniter might be needed. But unlike the Nano I've read its still too warm to pull double duty as part of the "action suit" if I needed it. So pretty much a "belay" piece only. Certainly not in the DAS class though either.

So how long can a puffy like the Rab Infinity Endurance hold its loft/warmth in high humidity -10c to -20c temps if one takes care to keep it relatively protected from external/internal moisture? Frankly, I don't see myself ever intentionally hiking/camping in those conditions for more than a few days, but accidents do happen!

Edited by rmjapan on 12/13/2012 21:58:06 MST.

Michael S
(CascadeBackpacker) - MLife

Locale: Pacific NW
Synthetic Belay Jacket on 12/13/2012 22:15:48 MST Print View

Wild Things Belay Jacket gets my vote.

I used it to climb Mt. Rainier and that baby kept we warm. Plus, its Made in the USA with very high quality!

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Best Warmest Synthetic Belay Jacket? on 12/13/2012 22:41:09 MST Print View

well rick it depends what you are going ... if you are out for a day hike and climb at freezing ... 60g/m will be fine if you mostly keep moving and dont stop for too long

as to approaches in 60g/m ... i own an atom LT and its way too hot for me to wear until it gets below -10c or lower for any strenuous hikes

it also GREATLY depends depends on the person ... i used to be able to belay in winter rock climbing with just a light puffy, but as i get older and have loss 20 lbs of fat from daily climbing ... if i dont wear s thick synth puffy i start getting cold very fast these days

the bottom line is to find what works for you ...

what synth does is give you a greater margin of error in continuously damp conditions ... or conditions where a damp belay jacket can be deadly ... you can also dry out damp synth with enough body heat or a hawt nalgene

where synth really shines is the conditions i posted above ... non stop freezing rain and wet snow ... where temps oscillate around the freezing point ... with no sun ...

to further complicate matters .. when i bring a synth puffy these days ill almost always bring a down "booster" layer for long stops ... this goes under the synth which protects it from moisture and its possible to dry out even lightly damp down this way with enough body heat ...

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
how come no wool ? on 12/14/2012 07:37:35 MST Print View

how's come we are not look;n at the lofted wool from Ibex ?
they have a very nice shelled hooded thingie, and if "somebody else" bought one, well then , the rest of us would know if it's any good.
we've all got syn-shelled pullover's, and they are OK (and VERY convenient), but hardly good at any time for covering ground. you can't even walk across town wearing one. they're just too sweaty. works fantastic for setting up camp though.
---
separate, but related a little bit, subject :
by the merino wool way. the Only short-sleeve-Zip-T made now, is from the nice people at Minus-33.

v.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
When I use a synthetic belay jacket on 12/14/2012 18:43:07 MST Print View

I want a synthetic belay jacket because even when it's 0f/-18C I still sweat while climbing and hiking, leaving my action suit damp, add to that water dripping of the ice and ice climbing belays can see me start out belaying with a lot of moisture in my clothes. I get cold easy, so at those temps, moving almost nothing while belaying I want a very warm parka.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: Tokyo, Japan
Re: how come no wool ? on 12/14/2012 19:00:25 MST Print View

Merino wool pieces besides being somewhat pricey and sensitive to wear and tear become heavy if they get really wet. More annoying to me is its tendancy to lose its shape, becoming baggy and loose fitting as the day goes on. At least that is my experiences with baselayers and sweaters.

So it seems even when conditions are barely "cold" but still very wet one can never be too warm when "belaying" and not everyone has the same met rates so I guess a DAS class synth parka is useful enough to some that its weight and bulk are non-issues.

I am always looking for way to cut down my winter layers though. More layering allows more versatility but also increases the fiddle factor, and many times the total bulk/weight of the kit too. So in these kinds of marginal conditions I am finding myself drawn to those pieces that are bonding synthetic insulation to a waterproof shell, e.g. the Patagonia Nano Storm or the MEC Northern Lite Stormfury. Thing is I have a nice lightweight GTX Pro Shell that layers nicely over the Nano Puff now so I think I will wait and see how this new WP down technology plays out since it has even more potential reduce bulk and lighten the load.