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Decent synthetic jacket ... price vs. weight
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Eric Carlsen
(cooleric1234) - F
Decent synthetic jacket ... price vs. weight on 10/10/2007 19:18:29 MDT Print View

First off, I notice that there is an interesting relationship between performance and cost of gear. It's not a linear relationship, it seems like it's more exponential or parabolic or something. At the upper end you pay a lot more for a few less ounces, for instance. I generally try to stay at the knee of the curve and away from the outrageously expensive items and go for the reasonably priced but good performance items.

So I'm looking at getting a synthetic insulated jacket, and I can't seem to find the middle price range. At the high end there's the Patagonia MircoPuff, BMW Cocoon, and the Montbell Thermawrap. At the low end, of course, is stuff you can get at a department store that would be quite heavy. But I can't seem to find something that's around $100 or less but still not too heavy. Any suggestions? Oh, I'm looking for something that's not too heavily insulated.

P.S. I did find one jacket from MEC that was about $100, before the $20 shipping to the US. That shipping puts it at almost the same price as the Thermawrap. The other well priced item is from Thru-Hiker but I can't sew and don't have the time.

David Wills
(willspower3) - F
Re: Decent synthetic jacket ... price vs. weight on 10/10/2007 21:09:37 MDT Print View

good luck :) there isn't much of a middle ground in synthetic insulated jackets. Store brand (REI, MEC, etc) can be found reasonably cheap. Synthetic jackets are a small niche in the warm jacket market. Once you get into the $75-90 range (probably stuff like cabelas, military), you get cheap, heavy materials and poor insulation. You may as well get the $30 campmor Polartech 200 fleece and use a wind or rain jacket as a shell. I did that for a long time before i got a thermawrap parka for xmas. There are some inexpensive down jackets to be had too. Look for deals on ebay, steep and cheap, and maybe get used gear. i would like to hear what you end up with

(beenay25) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
synthetic jacket on 10/10/2007 21:24:48 MDT Print View

I don't have experience with this particular jacket, but the REI Spruce Run is insulated with Primaloft One and I believe the shell is Pertex Quantum. It's marked down to about a hundred bucks right now. Again, I'm looking at specs only, but REI has a pretty good return policy so if you don't like it, no big loss, just return it.

Michael Febbo
(febbom) - F
Synthetic jacket deals on 10/10/2007 21:36:17 MDT Print View

I have many jackets- and never have paid retail... I usually decide on the item I want and wait for a sale.

Backcountrygear has the OR Zero for sale at $101. This is pretty close to a Mirco Puff. I bought the Zero and compared it to my Micro Puff, and liked the Patagonia better for thickness of insulation and weight. The Zero is still very good.

Wild Things has a %40 sale on certain colors of their synthetic line. These are nice jackets with Epic shells, but a bit heavy. Perfect belay gear though.

Also, don't overlook Ebay- reputable sellers often have good gear.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Gettin' your money's worth on 10/10/2007 21:57:48 MDT Print View

As many here know, I haunt thrift stores and garage sales and find a cornucopia of bargains. You may find a hiking store in your area that handles new and used gear. Other than that, keep a close eye on the web outlets like Campmor and Sierra Trading Post. REI,, and EMS have their outlet areas, Dom's has some deals now and then, and there is always the Gear Swap forum here. And as other's said, Ebay is there. Dale's Axiom of Bargain Hunting: time spent = deals found :) Happy hunting!

Edited by dwambaugh on 10/10/2007 21:58:43 MDT.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Decent synthetic jacket ... price vs. weight on 10/10/2007 22:56:58 MDT Print View

Eric, echoing what the others said, scour and never pay retail. I got a thermawrap for 90 and a DAS parka for 150 doing this.
Here's a tip; set a google search to what you want, then drag the shortcut to your menu bar. Assuming you open the same links each morning you will have the latest and lowest prices available to browse.
Also, set a window to steepandcheap and use the firefox plugin 'refreshevery' to refresh the window every 5 minutes or so.

for example:

Eric Carlsen
(cooleric1234) - F
Decent synthetic jacket ... price vs. weight on 10/11/2007 05:25:36 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tips. One thing that makes it slightly harder to buy used is my size. I'm 6'5", I usually wear XL to XXL on top and L to XL on bottom. I have found deals, but it's rare there is something in my size.

Carlos Elordi
(CarlosElordi) - F
Decent Synthetic on 10/11/2007 06:24:38 MDT Print View

Why don't you try this?,44087_Cloudveil-Enclosure-Mountain-Parka-for-Men.html

Cloudveil Enclosure Parka at $114 XL

BackpackingLight has a review of this parka.

This looks like a good deal to me. Although is a bit on the heavy side, it has PrimaloftOne insulation (more than other parkas.) I haven't tried it though, so you can consult other users.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Deals on 10/11/2007 06:28:47 MDT Print View

Check for deals or on the used market. I bought my Thermawrap new for $99 a few years ago, but the best I can find now is $111. I bought a Patagonia Micro Puff Pullover off here used (looks and works like new) for $50, and I have seen several Cocoon pullovers for sale here for under $100. Check often as they go quick.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Deals on 10/11/2007 06:52:43 MDT Print View

If you happen to be a small there is one for sale right now:

I would also check the for sale pages at

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
REI Spruce Run Jacket on 10/12/2007 11:26:44 MDT Print View

It certainly is not the lightest jacket at 15 ounces for a men's large, but the REI Spruce Run is certainly a good price through Sunday the 14th. At just under $100 on sale, it is a very warm, very packable option.

I'm not yet sold on the zip-off sleeves, but they DO create a decent ventilation point. In 50 degree temps, it was too warm for me to hope to wear while hiking when zipped. But it will likely be my go-to jacket this coming winter.

If you had to pay full price (the Spruce Run at $149), I would recommend the Cocoon UL 60 Pullover right here on site for 9.6 ounces and only $10.99 more.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Insulation deals on 10/14/2007 22:57:40 MDT Print View

See my post in the Gear Deals forum for cheap Primaloft jackets at Land's End.

Jon Rhoderick
(hotrhoddudeguy) - F - M

Locale: New England
Re: Insulation deals on 10/15/2007 10:58:47 MDT Print View

does anyone know anything about the marmot flurry. Its $150 with a hood and pretty heavy, but I bet if your looking for something for winter thats what its spossed to be like