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Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip
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Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/08/2014 03:53:26 MST Print View

This thread is similar to Jeremy’s recent clothing question, although, I am preping for 30-degree lows, 70ish highs, and light snow is possible. I have been very comfortable (warm and dry) in the above conditions for the last several years with the following gear:

Clothing - Wear

Patagonia 2 top
Montbell Wind Pants
REI Silk Bottoms
Ex-Offico Briefs
SmartWool socks
Fox River liners
BPL Sun Hat
Brooks Cascadia Trail Runners

Clothing - Pack

Montbell Ex Light Down Jacket – 6.7 oz
REI Fleece Hat – 1.3 oz
PolyPro Glove Liners – 1.0 oz
Socks #2 – 2.5 oz
Liners #2 – 1.1 oz
Zpacks down sleeping hood – 1.3 oz

Rain Gear

Zpacks Rain Pants – 3.8 oz
ID eVent Rain jacket – 9.0 oz
Zpacks Rain Mitts – 0.9 oz


Zpacks 30 degree bag

While I understand there are mixed feeling on this forum about the sense or logic in trying to reach a certain base weight goal or trying to work backwards to make certain items fits these numbers, I don’t mind honestly stating I am trying to reach a sub 5 pound base weight goal for a 5-7 day trek in the above conditions.

My intent here is not to start a debate on these mixed feelings, rather, I respect the knowledge and experience of the members of this forum and hope to obtain additional ideas and suggestions so I will hopefully reach my goal…mostly for the sole reason of I just want to see if I can. In addition, I hope this thread can be of help to other members as well.

While the above gear list worked for previous goals, it doesn’t work for my sub SUL list in the mountains. I can make it work if I can get my packed clothing and rain gear list under 20 oz. Seeing I lucked out and just obtained a new Black Rock Gear down vest, I came up with the following revised list which meets the criteria on paper, although, I know this isn’t always worth squat in real life.

Clothing - Wear

Patagonia 2 top or something better

Clothing - Pack

Black Rock Gear Vest – 4.25 oz
Zpacks Fleece Hat – 0.9 oz
PolyPro Glove Liners – 1.0 oz
Socks #2 – 2.5 oz

Rain Gear

Zpacks Rain pants – 3.8 oz
Zpacks Rain jacket – 4.8 oz
Extremities Tuff Bags Rain Mitts – 2.6 oz

Total packed clothing & rain gear = 19.85 oz

My rational was as follows:

Complete rain gear should keep me dry. I don’t overheat and often wear rain gear or insulation while others I hike with cannot (they get hot). I often wear base layer bottoms the entire trip because I can and then don’t have to change every night.

Since the previous down jacket was part of my sleep system, I opted for a vest with some real warmth and a nice collar to eliminate the down hood at night. I don’t need the hood unless it’s really cold so the nice vest collar and fleece hat should suffice.

Arms may be cold in AM or PM camp without insulation on them, however, the rain jacket can be added if needed.

Hike poles ate up CF rain mitts. Tuff Bags should be much more durable at a small weight penalty. Don’t need 2 pairs of foot liners, want 2 pairs of socks.

CF rain jacket saves ounces. Probably won’t breathe as well as the eVent so I might not have the luxury to wear it as often as in the past to keep me warmer while hiking.

I should be able to keep the vest off until I’m stopped or in camp. I could wear the Montbell jacket in the AM and PM while hiking without getting it wet, yet don’t know if the BRG vest will be too warm.

While I understand we are all unique and I need to figure out what works for me…I welcome any answers, suggestions, comments, or feedback on the following:

For those who use only a vest as their only upper body insulation source in temps down to 30, what single shirt was best under it? Thicker should keep my arms warmer, yet, it has to be light enough to wear on a warm day.

Has anyone used both an eVent rain jacket and a Zpacks CF rain jacket? How much better did the eVent one breathe for you?

Do you think I be able to wear the BRG vest while hiking like I could the Montbell Ex Light jacket or will it just be too warm?

If I am looking for a bit of warmth in camp (AM or PM), is it better to wear the rain jacket under the vest or over the vest?

Would a lighter down vest (Borah Gear) be a better choice as it could be worn while hiking if needed or is it better to try to keep the insulation off me until I really need it?

Are there any noticeable holes in my thinking or any other scenarios I am not taking into consideration that may occur when eliminating my main insulation item from a down jacket to a down vest?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by rickcsutton on 03/08/2014 03:55:44 MST.

(ardavis324) - F

Locale: High Sierra
Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/08/2014 08:05:39 MST Print View

This is coming from someone who has never used rain pants and mits on the trail, so naturally my question you really need them in a SUL kit?

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/08/2014 10:57:09 MST Print View

Aaron - Good question. I don't know if my logic is correct, however, here has been my thinking..

Early on, I only hiked around Yosemite in late Aug / early Sept and only experienced light rain (like 2-3 times total) in about 1,000 miles. Thinking this was the norm, I only carried an ID eVent rain jacket (9.0 oz.) – no rain gloves or pants. As most would agree, this system failed miserably in the Winds, Uintas, Rockies, etc.

I added REI rain pants (worked but heavy), some supposedly waterproof bike mitten shells (hands and liners got soaked), moved onto Tyvek pants (disincarnated by week’s end) and MLD rain mitts (seemed fragile, leaked), tried rain chaps (got soaked in real prolonged rain and a bit of a hassle to install), then moved to CF rain pants and rain mitts.

Because my trips are typically 5-7 days (more likely to see rain) and planned well in advance (weather forecasting not real helpful), I wanted a system to keep me dry regardless to rainfall. Now, with a sub 5-pound PBW goal, I feel it is even more essential to keep what I’m calling my insulation pieces (leg base layer, fleece hat, glove liners, and down jacket / vest) completely dry. I know this system works for me as I used it in 8 straight days of rain in the Uintas last fall and stayed dry from the outside as well as the inside while hiking all day in the rain. Well, everything but my feet - smile!

Maybe on an overnighter or weekend trips I could ditch the rain pants and gloves knowing I am not far from the car and may have more accurate weather knowledge, however, I thought allotting slightly over ½ pound to a system that would keep me dry would be a vital component for week long SUL alpine trips with potential lows in the 30’s. While I may be a bit cold at times, I feel confident I can at least stay dry which is much safer for me than cold and wet.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/08/2014 11:15:12 MST Print View

Hi Rick,
I've been mostly absent from BPL for the past couple years; coming back, I've definitely noticed the (as you put it) "mixed feeling on this forum about the sense or logic in trying to reach a certain base weight goal." I don't remember these "mixed feelings" being so prominent before. On the other hand, I have seen recent posts where desire to hit a certain weight seems to occur in a vacuum (as it were) and the poster seems to have little actual backpacking experience. I don't recall posts like that in the past, either.

Setting a nice round number as a target weight for given conditions has always made sense to me--it's a tool that encourages careful scrutiny of every item and (ideally) leads to cutting weight by leaving out unnecessary, redundant, or "pack your fears" pieces. I still think that's a key part of "Pack Less. Be More."

I use a clothing system almost identical to yours for similar conditions; I don't consider it an SUL kit, just a light kit that works well with nothing extra and nothing left out. I've done an SUL trip in the past, but without going to cuben for tarp and pack, I have to carry a CCF pad to hit the magic 5# goal. One trip was enough to convince me I can't sleep comfortably on CCF anymore. Sure, I could spend the money to replace perfectly good gear with cuben, and be able to spend the saved weight on a decent pad (which I already own), but I doubt I'd feel the 8-10 oz difference on my back.

Regardless, I still keep an SUL list--I still think it's a very valuable tool for all the reasons above. With regard to your specific questions:

> For the vest to save you any real weight, it seems like it will be essentially the same loft and fill weight around the torso as the Montbell, just without arms. So you give up actual warmth and insulation in exchange for a lighter piece. The question is, what were the down sleeves doing for you? It seems like you could experiment by using a cheap fleece vest (of equivalent warmth), either around town or on a short trip.
>Jacket under vest or vest under jacket seems like a matter of convenience more than anything else. If you anticipate hiking in your rain jacket, obviously it's easier to keep the vest on top.
>My understanding is Propore jackets breathe about as well as eVent. My FroggToggs jacket weighs 5.4oz. Of course, the fit and durability are poor. But I just picked up a Montbell windshirt (2.3 oz) which fits well and is more breathable than propore. Combined, the two pieces weigh less than your eVent jacket and are (I suspect) more versatile than the ZPacks jacket alone. Like the poster above, I rarely wear rain pants, but my Frogg Toggs pants are actually a hair lighter than the zPacks (3.7 oz) and would just fine for occasional use. Maybe wind shirt + propore + ZPacks rain kilt?
>Patagonia's long sleeve 1/4 zip merino/poly top (what you already have, I think) is a fantastic base layer in my experience. Warm enough for cold temps, cool enough with the zip down and sleeves pushed up to handle hard hiking into the 70s without overheating.
>I've been thinking about sewing up some rain mitts out of propore--either cut from an old jacket or from one of the reusable grocery bags that seem to made of it. Should be as light as cuben, and cheap enough durability won't matter much. The rain shells that came with my OR Versa gloves only weigh 0.7 oz (not seam-sealed) so that's another option. Like the other poster, I rarely wear shell gloves or mitts, but would want gloves that retained significant warmth when wet if I expected cold sustained rain.

You obviously know what you're doing and I don't know how helpful any of what I have to say will be. I did find your post very helpful to me, to think about other options for my own gear in similar conditions. Thanks especially for your second post, detailing the conditions where you needed rain pants and mitts. Gives me something to think about.

Edited by DavidDrake on 03/08/2014 11:31:52 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/08/2014 11:21:22 MST Print View

Here is a gear list that works for me -- barely in the conditions you describe. I will assume that 30F is the night time low.

Anza Borrego Trip list at the very bottom. Clothing at the bottom of the list is worn.

What I would (and have) change in my list -

Bring a Houdini.

Bring a warmer quilt, this one is only rated to 32F and since it is cuben I can't wear other insulation to sleep in.

Add waterproof mitts. I have zPacks cuben mitts now, which are good for me since I don't use trekking poles.

Add a cuben rain kilt.

The poncho can be used as a groundsheet, and even as a wind garment. It is much smaller than a conventional poncho, but a windshirt works better. Down vest is fine under a poncho.

The Mountain Hardweat Cliffer is a long sleeve merino/blend.

The Patagonia Field Shorts don't have pockets. Patagonia Baggies work better.

With this kit you aren't going to sit around at night unless you wrap your quilt around you.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - F

Locale: Cumberland Trail
OP on 03/08/2014 12:16:09 MST Print View

Consider using your ground cloth (assuming you carry one) as your rain kilt. I use the polycryo ground cloth by GG. If I am not using my Gatewood, I can use my polycryo cloth as my rain kilt. You could use draw cord as a belt or some adhesive velcro. I am thinking about using some adhesive velcro to effectively convert it into a function kilt.

Without the rain pants and rain mitts, you could add that 6 oz or so into say the extra 1.4 oz to use your ex light and 4 oz for Borah Gear down pants. That would get you comfortable down to 20F and still be under the 20 oz.

What helped me was to consider items in terms of 'opportunity cost'. If you do want to carry 80 oz or less, each item you take will up space that another item or area of gear could have. is the 2.6oz for rain mitts worth the loss of using that 2.6 oz somewhere else, like on your upper body torso.

(ardavis324) - F

Locale: High Sierra
Re: Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/08/2014 13:11:11 MST Print View

Rick, you identified my lack of familiarity with the rain gear.. I do 90% of my trips in summer high sierra, less than 7 days at a time. Rarely even need a rain jacket. So what you say makes a lot of sense now.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/08/2014 14:45:02 MST Print View

David - Welcome back! Thanks for all the feedback and YES your input is very helpful. Luckily, I sleep very, very well on a modified GG NightLite CCF pad which I got down to about 4 oz by tapering. When folded, this pads gives my Zero pack more support than just a GG SitLight or thinner and longer pads folded over and over. All this and no leaks.

I personally made the decision to purchase some new cuben fiber gear to help me lower my base weight. I justified my spending by first deciding to sell a bunch of very nice, yet, slightly heavier gear that was just sitting in my closets. Other than a 20 year old North Face 0 degree sleeping bag, a older ULA Catalyst and GG Mariposa, and a newer REI 2 person tent for use with the Mrs, my only real gear is this SUL kit and the Mariposa is for SUL trips where I need more food and/or water. All said and done, I have same investment in gear. I also made the decision to get new CF a little at a time so my skills could grow with it, rather than just buying my SUL kit and not having a clue how to use it.

I agree that one of the unknowns is how much will I miss the down on my arms. I also thought about doing a vest trial so to speak, yet w/o having a 4.2 oz vest with about 2.1 oz of down fill, I wondered how accurate the test would really be. Given this, I just ordered the BRG vest when I had the chance knowing I could always sell it here for a minimal loss if things didn't work out.

To the best of my recollection, my legs have never been cold hiking at any time other than when I was at about 12K in Colorado one summer and a torrential downpour nailed a buddy and me going a pass while attempting a CT through hike. With no where to go but bear hug a large boulder, I was shivering for 1 hour after that. Events like this and a week long hike in the rain last year caution me about going w/o complete rain gear where I hike. I understand with SUL their are tradeoffs and I think this is the tricky part to plan for. At the time being, staying dry seems to be winning over not being a bit cold, yet, that is why I started this thread to see what others have done to deal with these same issues.

I think the Tuff Bags waterproof mitts are a bit heavy at 2.6 oz, yet my trekking poles torched the Zpacks cuben fiber mitts in one week and I tried the OR Versa shells in the shower and my hands were soaked in 30 seconds (no seam sealing). I might get by with MLD CF mitts again and just know my hands would get a bit wet (I hate seam sealing those and wonder if it even works). Having an extra 1.5 oz might come in handy elsewhere, yet, I was also thinking that warm and dry hands would be better than cold and wet hands and cold arms. Obviously, a work still in progress.

Thanks again for sharing.

Edited by rickcsutton on 03/08/2014 14:49:09 MST.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/08/2014 16:01:14 MST Print View

Nick - Thanks for the reply. That looked like a cool trip and nice gear list. I will spend more detailed time with it tomorrow. In regards to your reply......

* Yes, 30F will be nighttime lows.

* I was also concerned about having enough warmth in my sleeping bag, yet needed to greatly reduce the weight of my existing bag – a 33 oz WM 20F, wide and extra long model. Last winter, I bought a very accurate digital thermometer, and wide and extra long versions of the Zpacks 10F, 20F, & 30F bags (plus their down hood) to do my own study. After many nights of testing the inside temp of these 4 bags and 2 others I had but rarely used, the best combo (lowest weight bag/hood to keep me comfortable at 30F) was a 30F, wide and long Zpacks bag and down hood. All bags were tested while sleeping in a MLD CF Patrol Shelter and Bug Bivy on the same set of pads.

The WM bag was not as warm even though it was rated 10F higher, had more down, etc. However, the greatest surprise, and a real ah ha moment for me, was that based on my height (6’4”), I needed a extra long bag as the long bag is designed for those up to 6’1”.

I sheepishly ordered the shorter 30F bag that on paper shouldn’t even fit and I hit gold. I believe the Zpack wide and long bag had just the right amount of extra space to maximize my body temp while all the other wide and extra long bag options had too much extra space.

* Agree on the waterproof mitts and just trying to find something SUL that poles don’t abuse

* Just too tall for any poncho tarps and probably wouldn’t feel safe trying to use one in the areas and temps I’m going to,
although, I know others who fit them do it.

* Thanks for the clothing options. I will check them out.

* I agree I could be cold in camp. Current plan is eat dinner prior to camp, hike until dusk, find camp, set up, and go to sleep
so this should not be too big an issue. If is it cold and dry, I probably could wrap my sleeping bag around me like GVP.

Thanks for sharing.

Edited by rickcsutton on 03/08/2014 16:03:07 MST.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/12/2014 20:02:43 MDT Print View

Jeremy - Thanks for the reply. I like the creative idea on using the ground cloth, although, I hoping to not carry one. For me, the combination of a tarp and inner tent allows me to use a significantly warmer quilt and one less required article of sleep clothing. This combination does not weigh much more than a heavier quilt, tarp, ground cloth, and extra shirt, yet I feel it provides me with a lot more protection from the elements, bugs, etc.

I recently realized a 5 oz error in my overall pack weight as I was adding in the sub totals (in pounds) from each of my individual gear systems (pack-shelter-sleeping, cooking, etc) along with every item on my gear list. Now I can bring my down jacket, water filter, and a few other very small items as well and stay under 80 oz. My kit now looks very promising to me as I’ve had this same sleep and clothing system on trips of constant rain and overnight lows in the upper 20’s and I have been very dry and comfortable.

I think your last paragraph is right on. It appears the trick to making a kit like this work is to fine tune the selected items knowing the tradeoff for taking every item or leaving it at home. I know this will be a process of continued learning for me even though it has been fun just trying to get the kit to look good on paper to start.

Is your SUL kit completed and have you had a chance to test it much? I was curious to what type of new things you are finding out in the field.

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/13/2014 02:42:40 MDT Print View

Hey Rick,

Good looking SUL setup that should work in 99% of the situations most of us are likely to encounter.

There are a few very small changes that could be made to save two through five ounces over the entire setup but the financial investments it would take to make the switch are simply not worth it.

At some point you just have to use your gear and decide to call it good. The setup you have listed is more than good enough for any trail in the USA for all but four season hiking. Call it good and just get out there and keep hiking!

My only two recommendations would be: ditch the rain pants and take three pair of socks (one to wear, one that gets switched out when other is wet, one for cold sleeping temps)

+John Abela

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/14/2014 00:22:17 MDT Print View

John - Thanks for the reply and your suggestion to......Call it good and get out there and hike! This will be my first SUL trip and it's amazing how easy it is to get caught up this good enough - smile.

I have thought about leaving the rain pants at home and after 7 straight days of rain in the Uintas last fall, I get a bit scared. I know this type of weather is not the norm so maybe I just need to start off on shorter trips and see how it goes.

Lastly, I believe you own and use a BRG vest and I would enjoy hearing how you typically incorporate it in your 3 season colder weather kits? Did you switch from a down jacket to a down vest? If so, have you found a way to stay about as warm in it or is that just not possible? I also believe you are a big fan of the Icebreaker base layers and wondered if this is often your choice for what gets worn under the BRG vest to help keep you and /or your arms warm.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of their vests so I didn't want to pass on it, yet I've never worn a vest before while hiking and I don't know the best ways to incorporate it into my SUL kit. In your opinion, are there benefits to using the vest with a heavier base layer even though the combination might weigh the same as a UL down jacket and lighter base layer?

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Re: Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/14/2014 01:18:35 MDT Print View

Hey Rick,

>>> I have thought about leaving the rain pants at home

I think rain pants are probably one of the biggest misunderstood garments in the world of hiking garments. There are situations where a pair of rain pants can truly be useful, but I tend to think that the vast majority of the time they are just dead-weight. It seems that the only time they really become a viable garment for the SUL hiker is in CWWC (cold wet windy conditions) - and for some while hike through snow, but I often wonder if that is more about protecting legs than anything else. Personally I approach rain pants as nothing more than a method of helping to control thermoregulation in CWWC, so I might not be the best to take advice from when it comes to rain pants.

>>> BRG vest ... incorporate .. 3 season colder weather kits?

I found myself using the Black Rock Gear Vest (disclaimer: a sponsor of mine) for putting on in the morning to help take the chill off. After that it goes into my dry bag. I tried using it to help extend my base layering throughout other parts of the day but I guess I still have not mastered (or let alone, figured out) that whole aspect of vests. Until I bought my BRG Vest I had never used a vest within the scope of hiking. I know guys like Will Rietveld have spent decades wearing them, but I'm a total newb when it comes to vests.

>>> Did you switch from a down jacket to a down vest?

Nope. I was not able to give up the ability to have my shoulders protected. I suffer from cold shoulders and a vest just did not allow my shoulders to stay warm so I have not been able to give up on a down jacket. The last year or so I have, when needed, used the Montbell Mirage Parka (disclaimer: a sponsor of mine) as I find its weight/warmth ratio to be about the best that is out there right now.

>>> If so, have you found a way to stay about as warm in it or is that just not possible?

If I am only using the BRG Vest as a morning aid to ward off the chill, than yeah, it has been a garment that has worked rather well - and saves me from having to either hike cold for a bit or hike in my down jacket (hate/hate/hate doing that). But did I ever find a way to totally ditch the jacket in 3 season cold weather and only go with the vest plus other garments... nah, I sure haven't. But again, I'm not experienced enough with vests yet.

>>> I also believe you are a big fan of the Icebreaker base layers ... choice for what gets worn under the BRG vest to help keep you and /or your arms warm.

Yeah, huge fan of the Icebreakers. It was really hard to bite the bullet and pay for them though... crazy expensive. I pretty much wear the IB tshirt all the time, and for three season hiking I pretty much always carry the Icebreaker Bodyfit 260 Tech Top which I happen to feel is the best non-hoodie out there in this weight category of tops. It seems to have been replaced, or perhaps just renamed, to the Tech Top Long Sleeve Half Zip. It needs to be pretty chilly for me to put on the 260gm IB and the BRG Vest.

>>> In your opinion, are there benefits to using the vest with a heavier base layer even though the combination might weigh the same as a UL down jacket and lighter base layer?

Oh that is the age-old question of "more down vs more gear". That is like asking should we use a bivy and a 5x8 tarp or just a groundsheet and an 8 x 10 tarp. Or, like asking should we go with a 30 degree bag and a jacket or a 20 degree bag and just base layers.

I think the best answer to this is "down always rules".

So if it was the "BRG vest + heavy base layer" or "UL base layer + down jacket"... my vote goes for the down jacket and a super light long sleeve base layer (such as the IB Relay long sleeve which requires a bit of TLC at only 150gm but would give that overheating sweat protection between you and the down jacket).

Obviously you don't want to be hiking in either a down jacket nor the BRG Vest - or just about any down garment - unless you really have too.

All in all, a lot of questions about one garment... a vest. Try not to push this garment into using it in places it just should not be. First, its a rather delecate vest in the world of hiking vests - abrasion from wearing it with a pack on, hiking through bushes/trees, and such is going to leave you crying and/or angry. Secondly, as Evan and I have talked about the vest before it was released, it was just never intended to be a full on winter garment - because of the less tough fabric it uses, and because its loft/warmth ratios just don't really push it into that intended use. Its really designed to be a garment thats used to take the chill off, be it for hikers or just walking around town, and not be used as a replacement for a down jacket. Folks have been using it for such, but that has sort of always been outside of what it was BRG was shooting for in designing it. That 7D fabric is just not tough enough to take on the abuse of hiking in - and expect it to last... and its too bloody expensive to not have it last.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/14/2014 10:04:42 MDT Print View

Best vest alternative: Montbell down Snap-T. Covers the shoulders John!

John Abela
(JohnAbela) - MLife

Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/14/2014 11:04:07 MDT Print View

@Todd, oh, me'sah likes that!!! You/anybody ever used one?? Thanks for pointing out that U.L. Down T to me Todd!!! That could be a way to deal with three season (aka: "shoulder" season) yet not have to have the bulk of a full-on jacket!!

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Re: Clothing for 30 degree SUL trip on 03/14/2014 11:48:56 MDT Print View

Love my Down T.

In fact, I picked one up a few years back because of the shoulder issue my vest had. At first I was surprised that I almost never hear of others using one, then I thought about it being so different (mostly perception) than a vest and it seems like such a niche item.

They do pop up on Gear Swap occasionally.

Chad "Stick" Poindexter
(Stick) - F

Locale: Wet & Humid Southeast....
Down T on 03/14/2014 17:29:12 MDT Print View

John, Shug uses a Montbell Down T and loves his... I am sure that he talks about it in specific in his videos, but can't remember which one, and he has a bunch... but he can be seen wearing it in a number of his videos, and I think he may talk about it some in some of his videos in which he goes through his pack. I have thought about getting one a number of times because of him...

Edited by Stick on 03/14/2014 17:29:42 MDT.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Down T on 03/14/2014 19:08:46 MDT Print View


Get one!!

It just works.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Montbell Down T on 03/14/2014 19:48:19 MDT Print View

Question for anyone who owes a Montbell down T.......

Are there specific things about this product that led you to choose it over the Montbell Ex Light jacket?

I looked at the T before I bought the Ex Light and decided to go with the jacket because it was almost 1 oz lighter, has about the same amount of fill, it's 900 fill instead of 800, and it also covers my whole upper body.

I understand gear selections are very personal and are not always just about weight. I also would bet it's a super cool piece of gear. I was also wondering if it had other attributes (i.e., packs smaller, more durable shell - 15 denier vs 7 denier, or regulates better than either a vest or jacket (warmer than a vest but not too warm like a jacket, etc) that lead others to buying one.


Edited by rickcsutton on 03/14/2014 19:54:21 MDT.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Re: Montbell Down T on 03/14/2014 20:23:31 MDT Print View


Due to the full coverage of the jacket, it is definitely warmer than the T.

That said, the T's shell is more durable as you allude to, but I try to be careful with anything down, so in theory the advantage is all but negated for me.

I like it primarily because of the regulating factor you mention, and the cost was significantly less when I bought mine a few yrs ago. In fact, I don't think the ExLight existed then. The T allows enough warmth to boost a 40F quilt and with my windshirt over it it is warmer still (can use a rainshell too, but it better breath like Driducks for moisture reasons). The pockets are soooooo nice on the T, as well. If you don't use 'em and don't mind the cost differential, then the ExLight probably makes more sense for most. But the weight of the T is close. Compared to the vest, I just don't care for them for the shoulder reasons John mentioned.

If the temps are going to be below around 40 I take a jacket/parka instead.

Beyond that, I just really like it. It's one of those pieces of gear that makes me smile :) Dorky, I know!!

End of my rambling.