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M Rab Xenon and Patagonia UL Down Hoody: Comparison and Long-Term Review

by David Chenault

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Article Summary:

Fleece, goose down, and synthetic fill insulations: for decades these have been the only choices for backcountry travelers concerned with gear weight. Other options like wool and fur are too heavy and bulky in the thicknesses required for proper warmth. The last few years have seen new technologies come on the market to complicate this triumvirate. The various incarnations of treated down, as well as more breathable synthetic fill insulations, promise to challenge accepted wisdom. With new technologies and new versions of old technologies at the front door, it might be a good time to re-examine the conventional wisdom concerning down and synthetic fill. This article intends to see how well those entrenched myths hold up, by comparing two insulated coats with similar features but different insulations.

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