Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
MAN-ifying a jacket
Display Avatars Sort By:
Zachary SCOTT
MAN-ifying a jacket on 02/09/2013 23:19:09 MST Print View

So I have been trying to put together some gear for a winter trip that I am going to take with my wife. We are both students and where we are well equipped for summer backpacking, the winter is another story. So I have spent the last month or two in our local thrift stores a couple times a week to check for clothing. I finally found a Sierra Designs Down Jacket that I picked up for myself. It has great loft considering the used nature and seems to be fairly lightweight. (Don't have a scale currently) The only problem is it is a women's jacket. The sizing ended up working for me but the color is light purple.

So my MYOG quest is how to make it a little better looking for me to use. My wife is all set up with newer gear so now I am just trying to get my stuff finished up. I looked into using a dye but the fear of damaging the down and the difficulty of dying polyester seem to rule out that option. My second idea was to simply add a shell of M50, M90, or Pertex over it and sew it around the edges. The interior of the jacket is black so this is my current solution.

Let me know what you guys think and if I go the extra shell route, what type of fabric would you recommend?

Zachary SCOTT
Pictures on 02/09/2013 23:27:36 MST Print View

The Jacket in all its purple Glory

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: MAN-ifying a jacket on 02/09/2013 23:33:03 MST Print View

Just wear it. Seen guys on purple Harleys. Nobody will say a word.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: MAN-ifying a jacket on 02/09/2013 23:43:15 MST Print View

M50 would not go good with this jacket unless you are looking for a shiny trash liner feel.
On a synthetic Jacket maybe, but not down.
M90 is awesome but on the heavy side.
Quantum is expensive.
Nobul2 is out of stock.

I would go with the Nobul2, but that makes it the M90.

Then again, Tim from EE swears by the 15d Impetus. I think since the weight is the same as the M90, the M90 (IMO) is top of the line.

Edited by awsorensen on 02/09/2013 23:44:11 MST.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: MAN-ifying a jacket on 02/09/2013 23:43:41 MST Print View

Purple's not so bad. It's a lot better than many of the garish colors I've seen out on the trail.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: MAN-ifying a jacket on 02/09/2013 23:54:00 MST Print View

You'll be cold and tired when you really need it. It will make the snags, ember holes, mud and food stains less painful than doing the same to a new $300 puffy.

I think it was about 1964 that purple corduroy pants were in style. My father had fits and wouldn't allow them. Let your freak flag fly :)

Colin Krusor
(ckrusor) - M

Locale: Northwest US
Black jacket on 02/09/2013 23:56:11 MST Print View

Why not just turn it inside-out? You'd have a black jacket with pockets on the inside and a purple collar. You wouldn't have to modify it at all.

If you try making another shell to permanently attach to the outside of the purple jacket, I think you'll be unhappy with the result. It will be impossible to get it exactly the right shape without taking apart the purple jacket to make patterns. Do you use windshirts/jackets (like the Houdini) when you backpack? If so, you could just wear your wind jacket over the purple one.

Zachary SCOTT
almost unanimous with maintaining the purple look on 02/10/2013 00:39:29 MST Print View

Well I think that most of you guys agree that the way that jacket looks won't matter as long as it functions for now. Haha look for me out on the trails. Purple it stays!

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Really? on 02/10/2013 03:48:21 MST Print View

Wow, I was surprised that this is actually an issue. Colors have no gender. If I saw a pink down jacket and the price was right, I would wear it. I am partial to pink, though. I have twice in my life painted my bedroom bubble-gum pink.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: MAN-ifying a jacket on 02/10/2013 07:03:46 MST Print View

If you were/are considering a shell for it, then why not use your windshirt/DriDucks/Rain Shell over it?

You're carrying one of them anyway so you get the same effect.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: MAN-ifying a jacket on 02/10/2013 08:55:54 MST Print View

Put a strip of duct tape on it somewhere.

Write a random word on it with a Sharpie.

BAM! Instant hipster/ possible free box score = free pass on lookin silly.

Tanner M
Re: Pictures on 02/10/2013 12:02:37 MST Print View

As long as you decide you like purple before anyone says anything about the color, you are good. Then they are the ones being picky. :^)

Personally, I like purple stuff. This jacket is a dusky purple and that isn't bad. I have lady's shell gloves because the fit was good and the price was, too.

Now, if you really just don't like purple... That is another story. When do you plan on wearing the jacket? The simplest thing might be to just wear a shell over the jacket. If you are taking a rain shell, that might serve the purpose will enough..?

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Pictures on 02/10/2013 14:05:44 MST Print View

It's not that purple and if inexpensive, a sacrifice to the eventual campfire spark. Another option may be rotating it in the summer sun and letting the shell turn more gray with UV damage.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
MAN-ifying a jacket on 02/10/2013 14:07:57 MST Print View

Take it from a guy that wears's not the clothing, but the man wearing it that is important :)

Zachary SCOTT
RE on 02/10/2013 14:24:02 MST Print View

Lots of good insight here. I have considered the shell option, however with no prior experience winter camping I am not sure if I will need the extra warmth of the down jacket under my shell while hiking/snowshoeing/skiing so this jacket will mostly be for sitting around camp and as part of my sleep system. In this case the damage will be minimal as far as people seeing me haha. I am interested however about the letting the sun turn the jacket more grey. Could this compromise the integrity of the fabric? Thanks for all the responses everyone.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: RE on 02/10/2013 14:51:49 MST Print View

> the sun turn the jacket more grey. Could this compromise the integrity of the fabric?
Yep. The fabric can go like paper, and shred.

I see nothing wrong with the colour myself.


Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: RE on 02/10/2013 14:58:55 MST Print View

I see nothing wrong with the colour myself.

Are you gonna trust the fashion sense of a guy in zebra tights?

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: RE on 02/10/2013 16:05:50 MST Print View

"Are you gonna trust the fashion sense of a guy in zebra tights?"


Just wear the jacket.

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
wear and be thankful... on 02/11/2013 06:04:38 MST Print View

Whilst I completely agree with the others that, if the coat fits, wear it (purple is just fine), I'm surprised no-one has mentioned this point:

you found a Sierra Designs down jacket in a thrift store?

You lucky %*£(%!


Clayton Black
(Jivaro) - MLife
Re: MAN-ifying a jacket on 02/11/2013 06:40:11 MST Print View

Combine it with a pair of dirty girls and you'll be just fine.

Hope this helps.


David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Sorting out the good stuff on 02/11/2013 10:46:50 MST Print View

>"you found a Sierra Designs down jacket in a thrift store?"

Oh, it happens. I've scored that and better many times. Whether I'm looking for a dress shirt or kid's puddle boots, or whatever, I look at labels. Dress shirt example: LL Bean, Nordstrom's, Land's End, etc. Jackets: Sierra Designs, Northface, Patagonia, Helly Hansen, etc. Only when I see a quality manufacturer, do I slow down and look at condition, size, etc.

It helps to be shopping for a family of growing kids so there are many more possible sizes and many sizes that can be set aside for a year or two. Also, quality kid's stuff is outgrown before it is worn out.

But the best, easiest deal? Kiss up to a family with older kids. We hand off a lot of great stuff to local friends.

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
US thrift stores... on 02/11/2013 12:02:51 MST Print View

... are obviously better than those in the UK...

I trawl through them for 2nd hand CDs on a very regular basis (to an extent that it's probably OCD...), and I don't think I've ever seen any item of clothing I'd want to wear.

I did once get a reasonable tent for £10; an earlier model of a tent I already have, but the inner design was better (continuous pole sleeves).

I guess it's down to luck of right place, right time.

Tanner M
Re: US thrift stores... on 02/12/2013 02:35:44 MST Print View

Maybe you lot just tend to hold on to your stuff longer..? Less stuff goes to thrift store and more stuff used to end of serviceable life?

Jordo _99
(jordo_99) - MLife

Locale: Nebraska
Re: fabric for OP and thoughts on thrift stores. on 02/12/2013 08:49:30 MST Print View

On the OP's situation, impetus seems pretty nice. I got some samples from DIY Gear Supply added to my last order and I was pretty surprised how much I like the swatches of it. Haven't gotten around to stress testing or anything but I would say it's quite similar to my Nobul that I have. Though, I also don't see much cause to fix what's not broken but if that's what will make you happy it's a pretty inexpensive option when all is said and done.

I think that the thrift stores are a quite a bit more difficult to find good stuff these days (at least the ones by me) so I only go through once a month or so. I had a friend who makes a living going around to the 4 thrift stores and garage sales in town and reselling stuff on ebay. He still does OK but he said that he needs to be a lot more prudent about getting there right when they open on the days when new stuff gets put out or else it's all picked through within a day.

It's also going to be harder when you've got an entire generation captivated by a rap song about thrift store shopping.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: RE on 02/12/2013 14:19:30 MST Print View

"Are you gonna trust the fashion sense of a guy in zebra tights?"

Don't be silly. Roger would never wear anything like that.

They appear to be leopard skin pattern tights.


just Justin Whitson
; ) on 02/13/2013 22:20:50 MST Print View

You can always give it to me, purple is my favorite color.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Sorting out the good stuff on 02/14/2013 09:12:43 MST Print View

">"you found a Sierra Designs down jacket in a thrift store?" Oh, it happens. I've scored that and better many times."

Ditto. Just the other day, I came home with a pair of Marmot insulated taped GoreTex shell pants, in very good condition, for $11. $175 new! On the same day, I also purchased a like-new Gore Windstopper fleece Mountain Hardware hat for $1 ($18 new) and a never used set of saddle bags for my dual-sport motorcycle for $4. They are $175 new!

Perhaps my best find happened ~4-5 yrs ago: A fully taped GoreTex Marmot one piece suit w/ pit zips, fleece lining, suspenders, etc...lightly used, for $25. $750 new!

Other recent items of mention: Like-new Marmot taped GoreTex jacket w pit zips for my wife for $3. Don't know the MRSP but likely $150+. And how about a Patigonia R1 fleece, like new, for $7.50! $130 new.

I run across so many nice casual button and collared short sleeve shirts that I can now be quite choosy: Patiagonia, Royal Robbins, Columbia, Pranha, etc. $2-$6. Most of them are at one particular thrift store for some reason.

Too many other nice things to mention in a single thread. I do visit 6 different thrift stores regularly average of twice/weekly.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Sorting out the good stuff on 02/14/2013 21:20:12 MST Print View

.....and after posting this morn, I hit three thrift stores and came away with a Nevica micro-fleece jacket with no signs of wear for $8 and two pairs of the same Columbia nylon cargo pants for $4/pair. They don't even look like they've been worn or washed! Kid you not.

Sorry to have hi-jacked this thread. Just a little stoked...and hoping to inspire others to "thrift-store". It's fun to see what you can find for so little.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Re: Sorting out the good stuff on 02/14/2013 22:21:41 MST Print View

Hi Rusty, i completely agree. Thrift stores is where i get a lot of Merino wool shirts, and i also often get pants there too. If they get trashed, you don't feel as bad since you paid so little for them, but like you mentioned it's not unheard of to find relatively new and unused stuff too sometimes.

I recently made some carbon fiber hiking poles from golf clubs i found at some thrift stores. Course, i probably wouldn't have even thought to do so in the first place, if i hadn't first perused it on here previously.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Re: Sorting out the good stuff on 02/15/2013 00:02:11 MST Print View

>"Most of them are at one particular thrift store for some reason."

Look for thrift in richer areas (Marin County, CA, for instance). Higher quality stuff, not many poor people shopping in competition with you. Often the stuff is priced to sell (it's a non-profit business, partly to train new-to-the-workforce cashiers, sorters, etc).

In more rural, poorer areas, no one is wearing Patagucci in the first place, so no one is donating it. Also, the model of the thrift store often seems to be more in competition with normal retail - cheaper, but not a lot cheaper. They are trying to maximum revenue on each item instead of marking it low and moving it fast.

I've searched for "thrift store" on my smart phone around the country on road trips and I'd say the biggest predictor of a good score is the economics of the area - if you want good stuff, go to where the donors can afford good stuff.

There ought to be an app for that. To ID thrift stores near Trader Joe's outlets (using TJ's as a proxy for the upper middle class).

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Sorting out the good stuff on 02/15/2013 19:14:02 MST Print View


I agree....but I'm probably in a bit of a unique area. Some of my better finds are from thrift stores in smaller populated agricultural towns that don't have great economics. However, these town are 1.5 hrs from one of the swankiest and affluent outdoor meccas in the country. There, everyone wears outdoors clothes...whether they wear them in the outdoors or for the cool factor at the local bistro. To a small degree, this filters down to these ag towns....particularly the image...and I benefit greatly from it. :-)

Edited by rustyb on 02/17/2013 07:51:47 MST.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Euro-zipper & Euro trash on 02/19/2013 13:51:56 MST Print View

Your women's coat has the zipper slide on the "other" side, just like a men's zipper in European coats. Pretend you got it in Europe and forget the color. Hey, it's just for outings, Right??

(OK, if you insist on wearing it to raves, shopping sprees, etc. then you MUST also wear your "European men's shoulder bag". Pretend you're Euro Trash.) Jus' sayin'...

Kevin Beeden
(captain_paranoia) - F

Locale: UK
European zips on 02/20/2013 06:07:27 MST Print View

Actually, American men's zips are on the same side as European women's zips... I've no idea what side American women's zips are on... Judging by the placket in the picture, it looks like they're the same as a US man's zip...

UK/Euro men: zipper on left, placket on right
US men: zipper on right, placket on left (at least all my Patagonia stuff is this way)

I also have no idea why the different sexes have different handed zips; anyone have any idea?

As for the thrift/charity bargains, I've remembered that there is a market somewhere in the north of England, where there is a stall run by someone selling ex-expedition stuff.

A friend managed to pick up (barely, given its 19.5kg weight...) an MHW SpaceStation for £70 (~$110).

Tanner M
Re: European zips on 04/16/2013 03:20:28 MDT Print View

US lady zips are on the opposite side of US man zip.

I have heard the closures (zips or buttons) are on diff sides between the sexes to facilitate dressing or undressing each other. Or it was to make things easier for attendants to dress ladies. Something along those lines. Either way, having the buttons on the side opposite that you are accustomed to for your own clothing helps when you are facing someone else..

Also, I don't know who Trader Joe is. Trader James sounds upscale. I don't think I live near Tradah J.

Michael Ray
girl colors on 04/16/2013 08:11:11 MDT Print View

I use bright pink scuba tanks, while my wife uses green. I guess I could switch, but then I'd miss out on all the shoreline banter and ribbing. Guess who never has a hard time being found/identified under water (Texas lake diving can get pretty murky)? ;)

Tanner M
Re: girl colors on 04/16/2013 12:59:19 MDT Print View

i don't have any hot pink stuff. i also choose colors for visibility. i see your TX lake and raise you SC black water river :)

when i hike i try to take things different colors. i have two sets of long underwear, purple and blue. i never take matching top and bottom. make it easier to know which i am grabbing. they are both dark colors, though. more now, i try to vary brightness. this helps find stuff at night.

i made insulated pants and the inside back of the waist band is a lighter color. the black pants have no fly and the lighter band only on the back half tells me which side is up.

Edited by Tan68 on 04/16/2013 13:02:21 MDT.