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Ideas to cut weight of puffy layer
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Misha Berger
(aeropenguin) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Ideas to cut weight of puffy layer on 03/31/2013 02:15:38 MDT Print View

My apologies if this has been discussed previously -- searched but didn't find anything.

There is often a ribbon of relatively thick nylon sewn into the draft tube of many down and synthetic insulating jackets that seems like dead weight to me, since if I ever have concerns about snagging I typically just hold my thumb against the bottom of the zipper pull as I pull it up and never have issues. The Patagonia UL down jacket has 2 parallel vertical seams running the entire length of the draft tube and no such nylon ribbon, and it has never once snagged despite lots of careless urban handling. The Montbell UL down jacket takes no anti-snag measures on the draft tube whatsoever and its zipper didn't give me any trouble either. The Paty Down Sweater and MH Hooded Phantom, by comparison, have the nylon ribbon I speak of. However, now that it's on there, is it possible to close up the stitch holes after removing it so the down doesn't all leak out of it?

The second feature that I am itching to remove is a large panel of the face fabric sewn in across many baffles, e.g. chest area, sleeves, or entire jacket. I understand this liner fabric might add a tiny bit of wind resistance and protect the baffle seams from snagging, but I am already carrying a wind shell for those purposes! I have trouble believing that it does a whole lot to prevent convection if it's on the inside of the jacket since it's probably just going to be resting against the layer beneath it anyway. A number of Patagonia puffies have the zippered inner pocket/stuff sack sewn directly into this liner fabric, which I never use, so removing it would save even more weight.

Are these modifications reasonable? Will I be losing any functionality I didn't think of?

Edited by aeropenguin on 03/31/2013 05:13:31 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Ideas to cut weight of puffy layer on 03/31/2013 06:32:33 MDT Print View


I would think you would not save much weight but you never know :-)

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Ideas to cut weight of puffy layer on 03/31/2013 09:39:29 MDT Print View

I'm pretty fanatical about saving weight, but ripping open an expensive jacket to save a few grams doesn't sound like something I would do.

Doesn't the Patagonia sewn in stuff sack also serve as a pocket ?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Ideas to cut weight of puffy layer on 03/31/2013 10:22:56 MDT Print View

How much weight do you think you will save?

I'm always amazed at the lengths some will go to in order to modify an item to make it lighter. In terms of real weight savings, the whole design is "flawed." I would sell it and reward the maker of a UL puffy by buying their product.

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/31/2013 10:23:48 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Ideas to cut weight of puffy layer on 03/31/2013 11:33:54 MDT Print View

If you save less than one pound total (or choose some other number) then you won't notice it.

If you can remove a nylon ribbon, face panel, and a bunch of other similar things from other items to total one pound, then you've accomplished something. Otherwise not.

I don't think cutting those off is going to save enough weight.

Or, another way of thinking, is that if you want to customize it like that, maybe you should just make it yourself from scratch.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Ideas to cut weight of puffy layer on 03/31/2013 12:25:48 MDT Print View

I would suggest to purchase the correct garment in the first place. My Mont Bell down inner jacket weighs less than 7 ounces, and I think that there is nothing to trim off except maybe the label.


Misha Berger
(aeropenguin) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
response on 03/31/2013 13:22:35 MDT Print View

The reason I have not been considering cottage industry jackets is that there is no way to try them on, I fear for their durability (and if they did come with a warranty I would feel guilty taking advantage of it), they are never on sale or clearance and hard to find used. I bought a MB UL down jacket here on Gear Swap and didn't like it because it leaks feathers and doesn't have a waist cinch. I STILL have it because I haven't gotten around to posting it back on Gear Swap and it's almost been a year. (Any time now...)

I guess you can say I am drawn to these modifications as much for psychological satisfaction as it is for weight savings. I like knowing that I carry only what I need; I also like the connection it allows me to have with my garment, knowing that I customized it for my own preferences; and finally I think it helps me understand and trust the garment, freeing me from whatever preconceptions the marketing department tried to imprint. I cut off a lot of the tags and doodads on gear I brought on the JMT last summer and was happy I did it. Maybe I am still under Ray Jardine's spell after reading Trail Life.

As another example, the toggle and cord on my head net weighed as much as the fabric itself, so I just rethreaded it with some thin elastic cord and voila, I now have a piece that weighs half as much and requires no fiddling to put on or take off. I could have used the Coughlans head net which comes like this stock, but I was turned off by its green color and larger mesh-holes.

As a final defense, the anti-snag ribbon may not not weigh much, but the liner fabric covering the entire surface of the Nano Puff I am considering getting right now is like having an entire second wind shell sewn in there (complete with zipped pocket!), which just seems absurd. I estimate a weight savings of around 1.5oz for cutting it out, which is considerable in my book.

Maybe I am a tinkerer. Maybe I am just neurotic. But isn't that what this forum is all about? ;)

(P.S. Sorry about being so verbose! Roger Caffin must hate my guts.)

Edited by aeropenguin on 03/31/2013 13:28:11 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: response on 03/31/2013 13:59:09 MDT Print View

"I guess you can say I am drawn to these modifications as much for psychological satisfaction as it is for weight savings."

Good point

Just getting into the mindset of reducing weight will result in savings over-all, even if the weight of a particular piece of ribbon or whatever doesn't matter

I was just throwing ideas out there, not the know-all be-all solution to all problems : )