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can you suggest a down jacket for my needs please
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mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
can you suggest a down jacket for my needs please on 08/06/2013 19:13:55 MDT Print View


Firstly I need to stress I am really time-poor and haven't got the time it takes to research the available products so I am asking for your expertise.

I am looking for a down jacket/vest and here are the paramaters: I want down because I have tried all sorts of base layers and jumpers including layering. I feel the cold bad in my torso area and as long as that is warm I'm okay. I hike in 3 seasons (temps down to freezing but not much past) and will probably never see snow. I need this jacket for stops on a hike/in camp warmth/ sleeping. I think I'd prefer a hood. Naturally I want light as possible and so features are not high on my list to save weight.

I want to see the options available so for the time being say cost is not a factor.

Thank you for your time.

Mik :).

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: can you suggest a down jacket for my needs please on 08/06/2013 19:17:40 MDT Print View

Two layers. One is a down vest. One is a down inner jacket, like Mont Bell.

If the weather is mild, you can take both layers and wear one or the other. If it gets very cold, you wear both.


Likes Hikes
(BasqueJ88) - F
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer on 08/06/2013 19:21:01 MDT Print View

7oz total weight
850fp down

I own the hoodless men's version, and have been very pleased with it. It literally feels like you are wearing a layer of warm air. It also has pockets, one of which it will pack up into. Most jackets of a similar weight lack pockets.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
re down jacket on 08/06/2013 19:27:31 MDT Print View

I love my Golite Roan Plateau Hooded Parka and for $99. It's 1lb 2oz.

For lighter I would go for the Montbel Alpine Light Down Parka, $130 here and 12.7 ounces

If you want even lighter I would ask someone else. These would keep me warm in the conditions you described.
There is light and much more expensive, but I wouldn't fall for them.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: can you suggest a down jacket for my needs please on 08/06/2013 20:46:38 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 15:18:46 MDT.

Serge Giachetti
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
lightest possible on 08/06/2013 23:03:42 MDT Print View

if its only going to get as cold as freezing, I'd get something as light as possible like the ghost whisperer mentioned above. the mirage, roan and alpine light are all great, but would probably be over kill for what you need.

Or if you don't want to drop the $ for the ghost, look on for a stoic hadron. They go for less than $100 and are just over 7 oz with a hood.

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Depends... on 08/07/2013 00:24:52 MDT Print View

Do you always carry a windshell with you?

Edited by dmusashe on 08/07/2013 00:26:21 MDT.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
Re: Depends... on 08/07/2013 00:51:53 MDT Print View

"Do you always carry a windshell with you?"

Yes, my non breathable hooded raincoat.

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Depends... on 08/07/2013 01:26:07 MDT Print View

I was going to suggest that you could get away with a much lighter down insulation piece if you could use it in conjunction with a highly breathable windshell... But if you are using your raincoat as your only shell then I wouldn't recommend wearing a down jacket under that due to condensation issues if you can avoid it. You can wear your raincoat UNDER your down jacket to avoid this problem, but I've never tried this myself because I've never had to.

As a standalone lightweight hooded down jacket, I would recommend the Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody (9.3oz). Should easily be warm enough for you if you are staying at or above freezing. While not cheap, these jackets are quite well made and should last you at least a decade of consistent use.

On the other hand, you could do the down vest thing as others have mentioned, but I have no experience with this kind of system so I can't comment on it one way or another.

Edited by dmusashe on 08/07/2013 01:33:59 MDT.

mik matra
(mikmik) - M

Locale: Allways on the move
Re: lightest possible on 08/07/2013 03:12:42 MDT Print View

"Or if you don't want to drop the $ for the ghost, look on for a stoic hadron. They go for less than $100 and are just over 7 oz with a hood."

I am in conversation with someone selling this jacket and it's the right size....though he hasn't responded to my last message (?).

I am very apprehensive about the warmth factor of the Hadron and would probably be more confident in using it as a 'layer' rather than a go to cold weather jacket. Since I feel the cold it 'may' not be the right jacket for me but I certainly haven't got $350 for the Patagonia Ultralight but the Ghost whisperer might be a goer :).

Edited by mikmik on 08/07/2013 03:27:31 MDT.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: lightest possible on 08/07/2013 06:54:08 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 15:19:19 MDT.

James Reilly
(zippymorocco) - M

Locale: Montana
Feathered Friends on 08/07/2013 07:25:11 MDT Print View

Feathered Friends Daybreak and layers keeps me warm in camp into the teens.

Stephen Murphy
(sjtm) - F
Hooded jacket and vest on 08/07/2013 10:31:49 MDT Print View

I have a Montbell Down Inner Parka and the Montbell EX light vest. Purchased both used for a total cost of $135. This combination provides great layering versatility at a combined weight of about 14 oz. (in size XL). These have held up very well, but not designed for heavy bushwacking - better suited for around camp or for supplementing the sleeping bag warmth. I just pick one or both depending on time of year and anticipated conditions. I also own the MH Ghost whisperer jacket. It is well made, but I prefer the Montbell for layering and the hood. The GW is used around town.

BTW - not much online about the vest - no longer in production, but it is the sleeveless version of the jacket - no pockets, but full zipper. It is awesome - I wear it everywhere in the cold season as it is so light.

If I expect to wear an insulated layer while hiking, I use my Patagonia Nano puff jacket without hood, and carry one of my polartec caps.

Finally, I also pack a Goose Feet Gear down beanie for around camp or for wearing at night when I do not want to be completely inside my bag.

Sean Passanisi
(passanis) - MLife
Re: Hooded jacket and vest on 08/07/2013 11:08:23 MDT Print View

Great thread. I've been shopping for a down jacket. I like the Patagonia UL Down Hoody (I should say I like it at the sale price) but find it curious that the company charges more for a garment with less down:

The UL Down Hoody is 264g with 90g of down. The Hi Loft Down Hoody is 445g with 152g of down.

Since I live in California, I like the idea of using the lighter version and augmenting with a down vest (58 g of down). This would provide a lighter total weight with a comparable amount of down and more flexibility (albeit at a significant cost premium).

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Down jackets on 08/07/2013 11:23:34 MDT Print View

While it's 3 years old, Will Reitveld's three-part State of the Market report on down jackets includes most of those still currently available:

Everything you ever wanted to know about down jackets in three easy lessons!

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Down jackets on 08/07/2013 11:30:13 MDT Print View

Has anyone tried the new Golite Down Jackets.

The price looks pretty good and the Weight looks competitive with the Montbell UL down jackets. Not that I need another down jacket as I already have the Montbell Ex Lite and Patty Down Jacket.

I find the exlite plus raincoat plus long sleve shirt takes me down to around 0C provided I have mitts and touque. The Patty UL down sweater takes me down to about -5C.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Mix 'N Match combo on 08/07/2013 12:12:04 MDT Print View

I have an Eddie Bauer Down sweater. It got a good review on Will Reitveld's down jackets article.

BUT... It would be nice to get a down jacket with treated down like Dri-Down. That way you could wear it even when working up a sweat.

I really believe DWR treated down will become the gold standard for down backpacking garments. Tests are showing its great advantages over untreated down, both for loft maintenance AND rapid drying time, even when compaed to the best synthetic fills.

Best Jacket/Vest Combo: (IMHO)

1. Dri-Down filled jacket With removable sleeves (most versatile combo)
2. very light Dri-Down vest (wear beneath down jacket for colder weather)

P.S. My shell over the down is REI eVent Kimtah parka and pants. Dri Ducks has proven too fragile to be dependable.

Edited by Danepacker on 08/07/2013 15:29:54 MDT.

Stephen Murphy
(sjtm) - F
Dri down on 08/07/2013 12:38:43 MDT Print View

There are several interesting youtube videos posted by prolite gear on testing dri down. Their tests may not be an industry standard, but they raise issues as to dri down's properties compared to regular down.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
Uniqlo on 08/07/2013 13:20:11 MDT Print View

My standard setup consists of a Uniqlo down parka, Dri Ducks rain suit and a lightweight, fairly tight fleece vest.

Got the down jacket on sale for 45 bucks, the Dri Ducks for twenty bucks and the fleece vest from a second hand store for a buck.

I haven't weighed the vest. The medium size Dri Ducks are 10.1 ounces and the down coat is under ten ounces.

The down coat is on the light side for an actual winter coat but works good for chill evenings and mornings, and is very comfortable to sleep in. With my balding pate the hood really helps hold the heat in. They also sell reasonably priced coats without a hood and vests. Ya might wanna give them a peak -

I stick with the fleece vest for those rainy days when I need extra torso insulation. I'm a skinny feller and get chilled easy, and I do not want to wear a down coat for wet weather work as that's asking for trouble!

For me, the lightweight down coat is strictly for around camp after I've stopped hiking and need more insulation and for sleeping in.

Now the Dri Ducks are really useful. They make a great pillow. The pants are also very comfortable pajama bottoms! Dri Ducks pants on my legs and that down coat on top and I can sleep comfortably in quite cold weather.
For sleeping, I find the loose "pajama" bottoms much warmer and more comfortable than skin tight long johns!
Of course, I'd never try this with non-breathable rain gear.

Of course I'll also wear a light, long sleeve, light colored synthetic shirt, these days usually an old dress shirt, and a felt cowboy hat. This combo of synthetic dress shirt, light fleece vest, UL down parka and breathable rain suit works for me for just about any three season mix.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F

Locale: Northern Utah
Immelman on 08/07/2013 21:56:36 MDT Print View

I own one and like it. Pricey but well made, and very warm.

Disclosure- I am a Valandre retailer.