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Which of these 3 down jackets?
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Craig Dean
(2manytents) - F

Locale: Southeast
Which of these 3 down jackets? on 12/30/2012 00:02:33 MST Print View

I have a Patagonia nanopuff. It keeps me warm into the 40s. I'm now looking for something warmer than that for lower temps.

Here's what I'm considering:
1.) Marmot Zeus
2.) Montbell UL Down Jacket, or
3.) GoLite Bitterroot.

Not sure about the temps people wear these in. I like that I can wear my nanopuff under my (ugly-ass yellow) O2 Rainwear jacket for a little insulation in the rain. The Zeus and Bitterroot may not work for this. I'm also aware that the Bitterroot has a hood.

What's the community low-down on these three? Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Which of these 3 down jackets? on 12/30/2012 00:56:58 MST Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 09:06:32 MDT.

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
RAB Infinity on 12/30/2012 07:13:36 MST Print View

Is there a reason you are not considering the RAB Infinity? I adore mine and it is possible to get it at a discount if you wait it out (I got mine for $143 on Campsaver on a lucky day). And Pertex Quantum fabric is the bomb diggity!

This article helped me to decide:

Craig Dean
(2manytents) - F

Locale: Southeast
About the Rab... on 12/30/2012 10:37:37 MST Print View

It's mostly cost. I see the other three on the gear trade with some frequency in the $80-$100 range. I've even seen some Patagonia ultralight down jackets for not much more. The Rab infinity is usually a lot more. (I don't ever remember seeing a deal like you got.)

I live in the southeast US, so I rarely see the type of (soul-sucking) winter cold I did growing up next to Lake Erie. Still, the single digits I've seen in north Georgia are a little more than my nanopuff can accommodate. Any jacket I go with will be a "sometimes" jacket, so I'm fine with a used one as not to break the bank. The trouble is, I'm not sure which to go with.

John Reichle
(mammoman) - M

Locale: NE AL
Down Jacket on 12/30/2012 10:55:15 MST Print View

Craig, I'm in NE Bama and hike a lot on the Cumberland Plateau, so probably face pretty much the same conditions as you temp-wise. For me, the Nanopuff is shoulder season gear. When it gets "soul-sucking" cold as it can occasionally in the SE, I turn to a real down jacket (in my case a WM Vapor). The Montbell isn't going to be enough for you when it's real cold unless you use multiple other layers. The Bitteroot however is something you can throw on over whatever you hike in when you stop moving, and you'll be warm. As cheap as those can be had, that would be my choice in your shoes.

This past week I hiked in wintry mix getting down into the 20's....while on the move, my Icebreaker 200 top and Capilene 4 Hoody were plenty adequate, but as soon as we stopped it got COLD- it was gusting 30+, and with my Vapor (which has Windstopper) I was toasty.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
WAIT... on 12/30/2012 11:23:49 MST Print View

Wait for a Patagucci down jacket with the DWR treated down. Their treatment looks like the best since it is deposited at the molecular level.

Or look at other companies for similarly treated DWR down. For the future that is going to be the better answer for a down garment, including bags.

My Eddie Bauer First Ascent Down Sweater in pictured in my avatar. Got it for $89. on sale 3 years ago. You may find a good deal on that if you also wait a bit. Will Reitveld gave it a good review in his comparo of light down jackets.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: WAIT... on 12/30/2012 11:41:18 MST Print View

I wouldn't hold my breath on the DWR down stuff. Think about how down insulates and then think about what adding a coating to it does as far as weighing it down and not allowing for the same loft. Unless they made this industry-changing coating weightless.

*I'm honestly not sure why mankind is constantly thinking it can best nature.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: WAIT... on 12/30/2012 12:06:43 MST Print View

Chris, wouldn't that depend on how the down is processed after removal? Is the down processed at all to remove any natural oils (making it more waterproof while on the bird)?

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Re: Re: WAIT... on 12/30/2012 12:17:28 MST Print View

I'm pretty certain they steam clean the %^&* out of it to get full loft capability. I'm not an ornithologist, but I don't think it has too much oil on it while on the birds either. The down is kind of an undercoat and the feathers on top provide most of the water resistance. Of course I could be completely wrong on that. :-)

That said, why steam clean and strip off any natural oils to get max loft only to recoat with a man-made coating?

Edited by simplespirit on 12/30/2012 12:19:37 MST.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Which of these 3 down jackets? on 12/30/2012 12:41:35 MST Print View

I have a Nanopuff and the Montbell UL Inner. I think the Montbell is slightly warmer than the Nanopuff and it has pockets and is lighter but, overall, I use it for similar temps.

I just got a Marmot Zeus for my father and it's a much more substantial jacket and should be significantly warmer (and heavier.) Comparable to the First Ascent Downlight. The Zeus seems cut roomier than the Downlight.

Craig Dean
(2manytents) - F

Locale: Southeast
So... on 12/30/2012 22:26:51 MST Print View

First of all, thank you to all posters for the valuable information.

From what I'm reading, a UL down jacket... be it the Montbell UL Down Jacket, Patagonia Down Sweater of Patagonia UL Down Jacket... may offer me a little weight reduction, but will put me in the same warmth range as a nanopuff (give or take).

The Bitterroot and Zeus are a bit more substantial, however. So...

Ignoring the hood difference, throw out some pros and cons... and let me add a third jacket (which I believe is of the same ilk)... the Montbell Highland Down Jacket.

GoLite Bitterroot
Marmot Zeus
Montbell Highland


Seriously, though. I greatly appreciate the feedback!!!!

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: So... on 12/31/2012 08:50:10 MST Print View

Bitterroot - 5 oz 850 fill, 13 oz finished
Zeus - 3.5 oz 800 fill, 14.4 oz finished
Highland - 3 oz 650 fill, 12.2 oz finished

The Zeus is a ~ 30F jacket. The Highland won't be as warm as the Zeus, but will be more resistant to humidity based loft collapse.

The Bitterroot is by far the warmest of the bunch and would be my choice out of those 3 for sub-freezing conditions.

greg c
(spindrifter) - F
Re: Which of these 3 down jackets? on 12/31/2012 09:41:12 MST Print View

Hi Craig - You may have seen this review already, but just in case I offer it to further confuse things :)


Edited by spindrifter on 12/31/2012 09:56:20 MST.

Evan Chartier
Jackets on 12/31/2012 11:54:02 MST Print View

I would throw in the Montbell Alpine Light jacket

Craig Dean
(2manytents) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Which of these 3 down jackets? on 12/31/2012 15:03:49 MST Print View

"You may have seen this review already..."

Thanks and Arrrrrrrgh. :)

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Which of these 3 down jackets? on 01/01/2013 12:00:59 MST Print View

For what you want, Golite Bitteroot hands down. It is a really nice except for the finiky two way zipper but a great value.

The Mont Bell UL jacket is great too (as is the Alpine Light) but the UL is only good to freezing or so to me.