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lightweight fleece hoodie or really light down parka
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Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
lightweight fleece hoodie or really light down parka on 02/28/2014 11:22:15 MST Print View

Hello friends,

So I currently have a Go-lite Bitterroot which I enjoy for many reasons, but at 13oz, I know it becomes too much of an overkill to carry along as the warmer seasons approach. I now have an EE Enigma 50d which I am very interested to see how far I can stretch its use, and bringing a down jacket should easily help toward extending it's comfort zone.

Therefore I am trying to weigh whether it is "worth" getting a down jacket that is much lighter for the warmer months (to use with my quilt and not need to bring the fleece), or is it more practical to simply have a real light fleece (with a hood)? I not worried about the "don't get the down wet" issue, either.

Are there any merino base layers out there with hoods?

(Obviously, I very much prefer the hood. I believe I loose more heat from my neck and ears, than from my head.)

Any collective wisdom & experience is greatly appreciated.

thanks much,


Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: lightweight fleece hoodie or really light down parka on 02/28/2014 11:28:37 MST Print View

What size are you?

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Re: lightweight fleece hoodie or really light down parka on 02/28/2014 11:32:14 MST Print View


Edit: 6'2" 190 lbs.

Edited by NamelessWay on 02/28/2014 11:33:03 MST.

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Down vest on 02/28/2014 11:35:27 MST Print View

I have a Bitteroot that I use for cooler temps with my quilts and a down vest for the warmer seasons. For me warmer still means nights that could get to freezing so I often augment a 40f quilt.

My down vest at 6.5oz offers a bit more loft than my Bitteroot and for me is lighter, warmer, and more compact than fleece. It is the older FF Hyperion than is similar to the current WM Flight vest.

Just another alternative you might want to consider.

hwc 1954
Tough call on 02/28/2014 11:37:08 MST Print View

I love a lightweight down hoody and a PowerStretch fleece hoody. If I had to bring only one for summer camping (i.e above freezing at all times), it would have to be the power stretch hoody. Those things are great for so many temperatures and you can sweat in them, which is something you really don't want to do with a down jacket. Down is pretty much exclusively for putting on when you are stopped.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: lightweight fleece hoodie or really light down parka on 02/28/2014 11:37:39 MST Print View

They are two different items, one for active and the other for static use.
I would get a cheap one of each.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: lightweight fleece hoodie or really light down parka on 02/28/2014 11:49:34 MST Print View

I have the patagonia micro d hoody, which is unfortunately discontinued, but sounds perfect for what you want. It fits like a regular cotton hoody.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: lightweight fleece hoodie or really light down parka on 02/28/2014 11:57:47 MST Print View

Regarding Merino hoodies, Yes they exist.

I really like my I/O Bio hoodie. 6'1", 180lbs - I wear a Large and it fits snug but nice.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"lightweight fleece hoodie or really light down parka" on 02/28/2014 12:38:56 MST Print View

Re Merino base layers with hoodies- keep an eye on Steep and Cheap. I've purchased two Merino hoodies on their site. One is Icebreaker, not sure on the other one. Pricing is much better there than retail, too. Retail for Merino is ridiculous.

Richard Reno
(scubahhh) - M

Locale: White Mountains, mostly.
Ibex "Hooded Indie..." on 02/28/2014 12:47:21 MST Print View

On sale now at for $80 (usually $115), and they're great: 18.5 micron, which is about t-shirt weight, and with a 1/2 zipper so you can vent somewhat. I can't stand hoodies, though; have yu htought a bout getting a merino buff for about $20 (or free with the REI dividends coming soon!?!)?

Ben Smith

Locale: Epping Forest
hooded down vest? on 02/28/2014 12:52:04 MST Print View

Have you thought about a hooded down vest? Less weight but still with a hood.

I cant think of many off the top of my head but PHDesigns had one on sale size Large last time I was browsing there.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: hooded down vest? on 02/28/2014 13:11:25 MST Print View

I get your point and use vests a lot, but I'm normally using a vest in moderate conditions with a hooded shell and a beanie or other cap. When I pack a vest, I am looking for maximum core insulation at minimum bulk and always have a beanie in the mix. The hood is extra complication.

Layering a fleecy hoodie midlayer like an R1 with a puffy vest really works, giving your arms and head that little bit extra and keeps the cold fabric off your arms if you have a shell over the whole works.

The strength of a hooded vest would be the protection provided to the neck and back of the head, which isn't needed in moderate conditions. Many have noted that too many hood layers gets to be clumsy.

As to the OP, a fleecy hoodie is perfect for cool wet conditions. If I'm going for a puffy, I want something loftier than the thin down or 60g synthetic garments. I'm always assuming that the fleece will be worn with my wind or rain shell', just like a 3-in-1 jacket. The fleecy midlayer is great for sleep too.

Edited by dwambaugh on 02/28/2014 13:21:07 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: lightweight fleece hoodie or really light down parka on 02/28/2014 22:14:41 MST Print View

active or static use?

that will likely be the deciding factor in which to get


Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Down Vest on 02/28/2014 22:27:02 MST Print View

Summer is when your pack is the lightest anyways, so consider if you should put the money into improving part of your kit that shaves weight across the board, rather than when you need the savings least.

You can drop a full oz off the Bitterroot easily. Inside the jacket GoLite hung an extra layer of inner face fabric so that they could add those heavy interior pockets. You can snip this layer out, ditching the fabric, mesh pockets and zippers. The change is hardly noticeable except the seams aren't quite as refined underneath which hardly matters because it's on the inside.

With that you'd have a 12oz down jacket with 5.3oz of down fill. If you go with a lighter jacket, most of that weight savings comes straight from the down fill. I.e. if you switched to a Patagonia UL Down Hoody (2.8oz down, 9.2oz total) then you've saved about 3oz but 2.5 of those ounces were down. Which means you've lost a lot of warmth for a small weight savings.

So if you really want to save weight, then you've gotta give up the hood and probably the sleeves. The Blackrock Down Vest is the best vest out there (2oz down, 4.5oz total), although it's out of stock right now.