Casey Shaw explains why they didn't use a double zipper in the latest "The Cleanest Line" blog post....
I've been testing the hell out of this piece in the backwoods around Boulder/RMNP/and some days out in the Wasatch.
The shell is surprisingly durable (although I have actually had 1 down cluster leak, so far)- my bad for asserting it was the 15 denier in the UL hoody- I didn't think Patagonia would outsource and start using Pertex (naive of me).
Those who have worn I can also assert that it is probably the "most puffy" jacket around. It's so chock full of down, that the baffles are firm, similar to a temperpedic foam, but MUCH lighter.
Note: it has an integrated stuff sack. Mine did not come with a cord lock though- Serge, do the ones in store have em ?
The hood is retardedly puffy and very effective at protecting the face.
It's a pretty epic piece for sub 25 degree temps. Worth the $700? Probably not- is it going to "raise the bar" on Dry Down? Absolutely- it already has.
The minute this stuff makes its way into sleeping bags, it's going to be game over for a lot of manufacturers.
Eric, with all due respect, I think your points about the jacketing being washed regularly is rather moot. Non-DWR down shouldn't be washed more than twice a year anyway- if Patagonia is willing to clean your jacket (for free), it mitigates a lot of the negatives about down. I also wear my down jackets in my home to offset heating costs- I soon learned that a 200 wt fleece (or cotton hoody) is just as effective, more durable and A LOT easier to clean.
So in the summer months, when the Encapsil Down Belay Parka would be overkill (unless mountaineering)- it makes sense to have a program to that allows folks to get their down washed in the off season for free (more manufacturers ought do this, btw).
I have to pay MHW $25 plus shipping to have my Phantom 32 bag washed.