Jan 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm #1268226
Looking for a vest to use on the move when it's cold, but would also like to have the vest augment my other layers around camp/sleeping
I know that down is out, I'm pretty sure that the heavier (warmer) syn vests are out- which leaves the thinner syns (Thermawrap, others) and fleece (including the myriad of "performance" fleeces)
I'm pretty sure that a lighter fleece will breathe better and dry faster, but what about warmth around camp (most likely layered under a down garment) or sleeping?
edited to add- this is primarily aimed at winter activities
TIAJan 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm #1688361
Why is down out? I'm only asking because I'm looking for the same thing, and been thinking about a down vest.Jan 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm #1688371
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
If it is warm, I will be wearing a synthetic T-shirt with a very thin long sleeve over it. If it gets cooler, and while I am moving, I will have a thin fleece vest on over that. If it gets cooler in camp, then I pull on my Mont Bell down inner jacket. If it gets cooler than that, I pull on my Western Mountaineering down vest and then the 4-ounce rain jacket. For three seasons, that's all I have with me for layers.
–B.G.–Jan 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm #1688375
I haven't found one worth purchasing. However, Patagonia's R1 might be worth a look. The grid fleece is great for activity, not so much for warmth; roll up the sleeves and pull the zip down. It's packable and rather light. Warmth, OTOH, is a bit lacking without another layer over the top––too much air escapes––but this might be a good thing for you. And it's easy to layer.
Only downside is no, it's not a vest.Jan 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm #1688378
James asked "Why is down out? I'm only asking because I'm looking for the same thing, and been thinking about a down vest"
James- my inquiry is primarily aimed at winter snowshoeing/skiing (maybe some shoulder season)- while down has great insulation properties, maintaining loft when damp isn't one of them- so for on the move, probably not the best choice
Bob- I should have specified this was aimed more at winter or close to winter (the only time I really would need a vest on the move)
Stephan- there is actually a new R1 vest- one of the reasons I'm inquiring :) I do use a R1 pullover as my primary mid-layer in the winter, but in very cold temps something additional is needed on the move (and whatever I choose hopefully can augment my camp/sleep wear as well)Jan 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm #1688382
I have a fleece vest from Kathmandu (New Zealand and Australia)which works pretty good. Unless im moving really slow though I havent really needed it while moving (only really been down to around 20). Pretty packable though and the microfleece sort of material. It is also windproof so is pretty good if i dont have another layer on top of it while moving.Jan 25, 2011 at 5:43 pm #1688403
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Mike, I'd go the fleece route for sure. Fleece will breath much better than any fill vest. Patagonia R1 or R2, depending on warmth desired, would both be solid options. I have an old heavyweight cycling jersey (essentially made of powerstretch) that I cut the sleeves off. It's a nice layering piece for below zero.Jan 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm #1688418
Why no down? Because most of us don't slow down enough to minimize internal moisture production. The backpack is a huge vapor barrier. Down gets wet. If it's really cold, and you are prepared to limit how hard you work, a vapor barrier with down can work well.
When I am activity backpacking or snowshoeing R1 hoody + shell has almost always been enough for me. Other activities like downhill skiing is when I most often find they aren't enough. When I have needed a vest while backpacking, I typically have used a thermwrap vest. lighter and more compact, and I like the way it doesn't feel constraining. Doesn't breath as well as fleece, but is more wind resistant. I tend to use shells that are only wind resistant. If it's gotten cold enough that my active doesn't keep me warm, I often want extra protection from the wind.
As to warmth, there is richard's iclo graph of backpacker's insulation
–MarkJan 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm #1688425
Dave- thanks, they are definitely on the list to look at
Mark- they don't list a R1 vest or Thermawrap vest on Richard's list, but if I am interpreting it correctly- thermawrap (or like) would be roughly double the clo than a light fleece vest?
^ if true that's one of the factors I'd like to consider in my decision
thanksJan 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm #1688435
That's an interesting graph
Did he measure clo with a "guarded hot plate"?Jan 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm #1688443
I might have this wrong, but I believe:
thermwrap vest covers around 18% less surface area than the jacket .39 iclo
R1 vest would cover around 27% less surface area that the r1 hoody .23 iclo
I don't recall Richard's methodology. I know he's posted it, but I don't remember what thread. If this is graph is new to you then his best clothing for backpacking will be even better.
–MarkJan 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm #1688445
For fleece you want Polartec Power Dry for Like the R1 or some of the stuff at REI or Polartec Thermal Pro like the R2 or Monkey Man depending on your warmth needs. Personally I would just find the Monkey Man on sale somewhere and pick up one of the Power Drys from REI and do both in case. You can always cut the sleeves off or have someone put zippers on so they are convertible.Jan 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm #1688449
id find an open weave fleece that allows as much air through as possible .. i have a marmot that you can easily breath through … thicker than an r1 but just as breathable
that would provide you with more warmth in camp than an R1 … i would also size the fleece vest so that it can go either over or under yr windshirt … ie not too tight … that way you can just put it over the windshirt for quick stops or on the move and under in camp
synth nylon vest/jackets IMO are not as good as fleece for active use though they are lighter …. basically youre looking to breath through 2 nylon/poly layers … also they take longer to dry as you need to dry the inner shell, the insulation and the outer shellJan 25, 2011 at 8:03 pm #1688450
Thanks Mark, interesting
That shows graphically why you don't need to wear very much, when you're hiking or backpacking, even if it gets in the 20s F, which was Richard's main conclusion.Jan 25, 2011 at 8:05 pm #1688451
@kbwebLocale: Tacoma, WA
I have an older North Face fleece vest that I use for mountaineering. It's very thin which makes it great for layering. The front is windproof fleece while the back is (100wt?) breathable. I wear it while on the move and while sleeping. Fits my needs perfectly.
Wish I new the model…. but I don't. My size L is 8.10ozs.Jan 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm #1688453
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
ON-THE-MOVE VEST> Lowe Alpine 300 weight Polartec pile vest
CAMP INSULATION> Eddie Bauer Downlight Sweater (over vest depending on temps)
SLEEP INSULATION> EB Downlight Sweater and Serius ComboClava head/face cover
P.S. If I know temps may often be too cold for just the thick vest (on the move) I'll take my jacket of synthetic ThermoLite Micro insulation instead of the down jacket. In any case I'll still take my GTX mountain parka, not my light PacLite summer parka.Jan 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm #1688454
> synth nylon vest/jackets IMO are not as good as fleece for active use
I basically agree with eric here.
The high loft synth will dry more slowly. The good news is that you can choice to adjust your activity level. I typically take a synth vest because it's mostly for when my activity level drops (best warmth/weight), but wear it if the temps end up lower than I expect.
–MarkJan 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm #1688455
If the OP doesn't mind, I have always had some confusion reading Richard's chart. Could someone explain it to me simply? Thank youJan 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm #1688461
clo is the amount of insulation = R value in standard house insulation
a particular combination of clothing has a coresponding clo value which is a horizontal line on the chart
vertical lines correspond to particular temps (duh!)
the angled lines correspond to different exertion levels. I don't know what MET stands for (metabolic?):
If you're backpacking the line is almost flat – you don't need very much increase in clo as the temp goes down – i.e. you don't need to wear much at all when active or you'll start sweating – like you don't need an insulated vest
If you're sleeping the line is steeply angled – you need a lot more insulation (clo) as the temp dropsJan 25, 2011 at 8:47 pm #1688472
I think I get it now. I do have some dyslexia so it does make some things hard to understand and I was going off the premise that the chart had two parts and not three. Richard's explanation was very confusing unless you knew what he was talking about. It would be nice if there were horizontal lines linked to each of the ensembles and it had a simplified description before it went into technical. I also think the background image makes it more difficult to see some of the lines. The chart itself is just too small also. I can barely see any red dashed lines and the black ones tend to fade into the background.
But Verber sent me a PM and that and jerry's helped me out so I thank you.Jan 25, 2011 at 9:07 pm #1688479
@einsteinLocale: Big Apple
Fleece insulation is great in winter as long as you can wear it all the time, including in your sleep system (so make sure it fits inside your bag). Everything made from insulating fleece is a bear to stuff/pack compared to down and synth. loft.
I would look for a very thick pile vest–not sure if the R2 is thick enough. I have a 16 oz. (XL) R2 Body Rug pullover (no longer made?) that I find warmer than my 14 oz. (XL) MontBell UL jacket when worn under a thin soft shell, and way warmer than my R2 jacket in the same combination. The significant advantage is the Body Rug hardly absorbs moisture, and can be easily vented by unzipping the shell's pockets or even main zip–perfect for on-the-move in sub 20s F. The fleece's wind transparency makes it a bit easier to judge ventilation thru the outer shell than with down or synth. loft, which helps keep the baselayer relatively dry.
Even when stopped in the sub 20s, I find the Body Rug is surprisingly warm. I can't imagine a vest of the same thickness wouldn't be as versitile. As always, YMMV.Jan 25, 2011 at 9:07 pm #1688480
I would take a serious look at Klymit argon gas vests. They are expensive but would fit your needs perfectly. They aren't affected by moisture and you can adjust how much insulation you need on the fly by either releasing or adding gas to it.Jan 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm #1688490
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"I don't know what MET stands for (metabolic?):"
A MET is a unit of exercise output. This is kind of rough, but if you slow walk at two miles per hour, that is 2 METs. If you fast walk at four miles per hour, that is 4 METs. To do lightweight mountaineering (whatever that is) you should be capable of 8-9 METs. A young athletic male is typically capable of 12 METs. A world-class athlete might be capable of 16-18 METs.
If you get a really thorough treadmill test from your cardiologist, the result should have a score in METs.
–B.G.–Jan 25, 2011 at 9:37 pm #1688491
@monstertruckLocale: Almost Yosemite
I've used an R2 vest quite a bit. It's been enough warmth for me over a thin baselayer and under a shell in all day cold wind and rain on a New Zealand trip. I've also found it warm enough in the teens and 20's with an r.5 and a Ready Mix shell over top.
The new R2 vest is very nice. I've got an older shaggy vest from 2007 that in size Large. I just got the latest version and had to size down to a medium and it fits like my old large.
Old version 10.7 oz
New Version 8.1 oz
I wouldn't bother with a vest in the R1 fabric if it's gonna weigh 9-10oz. Not much warmth for the weight and expense. I've got an old pullover R1 vest that weighs 6oz but I use it more for cycling.Jan 26, 2011 at 6:11 am #1688569
lots of good comments- thanks! now worries straying off to Richard's work- I find his stuff incredibly interesting and useful
Looks like I don't want to go too heavy w/ the fleece or it's not going to work too well on the move, don't want to go too light or it's not going to be as much use in camp- I just need the Goldilocks of fleece vests :)
I also need to decide what role is more important camp/sleep vs on the move- the syn vest clearly is warmer and weighs less so it would be more desirable in the camp/sleep role
always a dam(n) compromise :)
read up a little on the Argon, very interesting and possibly very promising- probably not in the cards for me at this juncture though
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