Down jacket threads seem to pop up all the time, so you might be rolling your eyes - oh no, not another one. I've read reviews and used the search feature, and not quite found an answer to my question. I need some real-world expertise from you gram counters.
If you could have one Montbell hooded down jacket for 3-season use across a variety of environments, which one would you choose? That's the basic question. I can only afford one hooded jacket at this point.
My specs and gear: I'm 6'2" 175 pounds (skinny, as in my mom worries about me) and tend to be a cold sleeper. I'm trying to get my 3-season baseweight between 4-6 pounds, depending on the trip. I recently switched from a WM mummy bag to an EE Revelation 20 and absolutely love the design and craftsmanship. I normally hike in a Patagucci merino wool baselayer, and my Houdini windshirt if the temps drop or the wind picks up. I use my Driducks (or Frogg Toggs, whatever) as a rain jacket. Works for me on open trails. I never actually hike in down. This jacket will not be for hiking. It will be for camp, perhaps early morning starts if truly necessary, and to augment my sleep system. For a shelter, I have a Zpacks Hexamid Solo. For sleep, I have REI silk top and bottoms and use an extra pair of merino wool socks.
Location: I live east of Santa Cruz in the mountains and typically hike through Big Basin State Park. There are several other parks with similar terrain that I also visit. Winter overnight lows can dip between 25 to 35 degrees, but usually hover around 40 degrees. I also make several trips to the Sierras and will be on the JMT this year. I'm going to the Grand Canyon in spring, and hopefully Utah in late spring. I'm also going to be section hiking the PCT in Socal, near Idylwild. I'm not a hardcore alpinist or climber seeking out harsh winter conditions at this point.
Obviously, no jacket is perfect for every situation. I realize this. What I'm looking at is the MB UL Down Parka, and the Frost Smoke Parka. I think the Alpine Light Parka will be too warm for me with 4.5 ounces of fill. The Frost Smoke seems like an interesting jacket, but I'm not sure if it's worth carrying the extra 3 ounces of jacket for 1 more ounce of fill. I'm looking for responses from people with experience using these products. There doesn't seem to be much info on on the Frost Smoke Parka.
As of now, I'm leaning towards the UL down parka, which weighs 9.5 ounces for the medium. I wear a large, so I'm anticipating it being 10-10.5 ounces. The Frost Parka is 12.5 ounces for the medium, so probably 13-13.5 ounces for the large.
I looked at other jackets - WM Flash, FF Daybreak, RAB - but for price, features, and quality, MB seems to be the most popular choice for ULers. I'm open to other suggestions, however, as there are several options available nowadays. I apologize for the long post, but it seems the extra detail can get better responses. Thanks in advance.