Feb 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm #1269579
Scheduled to be in production soon –
I had a chance to try it on at this January while Neils was in town for the OR Show.
NICE jacket, should be great for sub-zero temps (down to -20F or thereabouts).
DISCLAIMER – I am a retailer for Valandre' products.Feb 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm #1700162
I saw a video of it earlier today. Except for the extra pocket/stuff sack along the back, I didn't see anything special compared to other stuff that's been on the market for years. For anything I'd be using low enough to need 12.5 oz of down, I'd want a hood. At 37 oz, it's also heavier than competitors (ex. FF Frontpoint).
My 2 cents.Feb 22, 2011 at 4:37 pm #1700165
It actually has a baffled hood that conceals inside the collar (on the video).
The stitching behind the zipper is such that no draft tubes are needed.
Once I had a chance to try it on and go through all of the features with Niels, I was really quite impressed with it.
Valandre' products are not know for being the lightest, but they aren't fragile either.
For a sub-zero jacket, it is another alternative to those on the market.Feb 23, 2011 at 9:29 am #1700440
Nice variation on the theme of self-contained stuff sack. Watching Niels put the jacket away reminded me of the problems the undertaker had at the funeral of the inventor of the hokey-pokey, the difficulty of getting him into his casket–he put his right foot in, etc.Feb 26, 2011 at 5:57 am #1701773
Are you really sure Chris, that you did not notes anything? According to my knowledge, there has never been a One kilo down jacket, where down can't shift and totally articulated.
I will honestly admit, that it was not designed BPL in mind, but more technical engagements in high altitude.
Seen from this perspective, the Immelman is ground breaking, as it (as the first down jacket in the world), opens up for technical climbs over 7000m; hence the opening of new routes. A Jacket concept heavily needed in the Himalayas.
(I am Niels-Henrik Friisbol, the design dude from Valandre in France)Feb 27, 2011 at 2:52 am #1702143
people have climbed peaks with other jackets from other manuf …
everybody claims their product is unique or the best …
EB first ascent told me the same … of course their guides use their jackets on everest and vinson, so i guess their stuff does work … all for an everyday low price as well …
i stopped listening to manuf claims a long time ago …Feb 27, 2011 at 6:14 am #1702158
It all depends, what you put into the word "climb". But if we put the same meaning into it, then we must agree, that the minimum is, that you have 100% free arm movements and NO POSSIBILITY OF DOWN SHIFT, and that you can use your arms, to find a grip or anchor in your ice axes.
So, the Immelman is actually nothing special to me, except the minimum required to be a..let's put it like this…a professional mountaineering and climbing down jacket.
It's simply the "B a bas", as they put it in France, or the basic ABC in mountaineering.Feb 27, 2011 at 8:17 am #1702194
I am amazed at the skeptical, negative "glass-half-empty" attitudes of some posters on this particular forum, who take upon themselves the role of Forum Police. Reminds me when I used to work as an Aerospace Engineer, dealing with closed-minded skeptics most of the time.
Not everyone who represents a particular product is out to scam the customer. And to comment negatively about a product without even seeing it in person or field testing it is plain foolish.
I have a chance to buy Montbell, Integral Designs, Valandre, Rab, and others, and provide them to customers who like these brands. Everybody is different. Each manufacturer's products have their advantages and disadvantages.
I myself recently purchased a Nunatak Skaha after hearing glowing reviews. I bought the 950 goose down option, the Epic fabric, in order to meet my needs in the Wind River Range above treeline in August and September. While I like the simplicity of the design, I am disappointed in the quality of sewing, compared to Valandre'. The stitching is not straight, there is a fold in the fabric at the base of the sleeve on the right sleeve, etc. While I liked the ability to customize my down sweater, I was surprised that the construction was not that great.
Valandre' jackets and bags, for those who have only viewed them on the Internet and not seen them in person, are a work of art. Their goose down is from mature geese, compared to down source in the Far East. Their gear is not the lightest, but they are meticulous in construction and quality. I would say that they are primarily designed for the climber in mind.
I do not comment on gear that I personally haven't used. Just looking at pictures on the Internet does not qualify me to be an expert.
Just my 2 cents.Feb 27, 2011 at 9:25 am #1702226
and i am constantly surprised (or not surprised) i guess by retailers and manufacturers posting up about their stuff being "ground breaking", the best, the bomb, the ultimate, unobtanium
its likely very few people have used this jacket over a prolonged period… and those who have are likely close to the manufacturer in some way …
just because a patagucci designer or retailer says patagucci is the best, or leo holding says a piece of berghaus kit is the best … doesnt mean it is … he is sponsored so take it with a grain of salt
as someone once said … extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof …
so forgive us poor BPLers if we're skeptical about all the claims … we've been hoodwinked by manufacturers saying that their WPB fabric is "breathable", membrane softshells, fancy useless features on backpacks, etc …
if the product is good, it will stand on its own merits …
people have done 7000m+ peaks with jackets from other manufacturers … maybe they're doing it all wrong
oh and did anyone here say they used it? … the most that was said is that we're not impressed …. and we shouldnt be by a piece of gear that we havent used
whether this jacket is any good or not i have no clue … what i do know is that there is suddenly a retailer and manufacturer of the product on this board making quite extraordinary claims and bashing skeptics (which include a BPL staff member) and i do know that ive heard it all before from other manufacturers
if youre going to make a claim here … be prepared to have skeptics … especially if you are a retailer or manufacturerFeb 27, 2011 at 9:40 am #1702233
One thing I find interesting is that the Immelman is optimized, I think, for active use. Most of us here use our down jackets when not active, but while resting (or even sleeping). I'm curious what its temperature rating would be when the wearer was inactive–how warm is it, for example, in comparison with Valandre's own Sirius or Bering. And how much loft does it have?
From my own experience, Valandre does make excellent gear, and is willing to undertake a high degree of manufacturing complexity to attain a high standard of performance & durability. They're not always the lightest or cheapest. For example, if one compares an EB First Ascent Downlight sweater (under 3 oz down ?–someone please correct me here if I'm wrong–$170, but usually available for less) with a Valandre Kiruna (retail $450, 8.9 oz down), it would be like comparing apples to hand grenades. The Ascent is cheaper, lighter, way less warm, and if I were a manufacturer, I think I'd find it easier to make 2 1/2 Downlights than one Kiruna, and imagine the total profit would be greater for the Downlights.
Both jackets are great in their appropriate environments. But I definitely don't have the feeling that Valandre is gouging. And, in my experience, Valandre's down is second to none. We tend to measure down solely by loft, but I think there are a lot of other parameters we don't measure, like resistance to clumping when wet(fat content?), average cluster size, etc.Feb 27, 2011 at 9:48 am #1702236
youre comparing a 14 oz down sweater against a 23 oz down jacket … it will definately be less warm and likely cheaper …
one of their guide jackets would be a better comparison
or the mec reflex which is 25 oz or so in L and has 16 oz of 800 fill down … may not be as pretty, and have those nice handfed geese down … but costs 265$ vs 450$ … is about the same weight … and has 6 oz more down with a hoodFeb 27, 2011 at 10:22 am #1702246
I think that people should keep in mind, that not everybody are in for the business, but in for the passion. And when you are in for the passion, why not share it?
But as spirits run high, I think we should look away from prices/weight/down quality, and focus on the basic claim:
The claim is, that the Immelman is the first and only totally articulated down jacket in the world. So I would like to know, if anybody know another down jacket that is totally articulated?
You will have a very hard time to find anything like it, and if you agree that articulation is simple ABC in climbing/mountaineering, then please help me to understand: WHY HAS THIS NOT BEEN DONE BY THE BIG BOYS?????
This is where my brains, stop to work.
(Nice to meet you James)Feb 27, 2011 at 10:32 am #1702250
Here are a couple of fascinating videos about down that I just found:
So it's not gnomes trading grain for down with each goose, after all!Feb 27, 2011 at 10:35 am #1702252
my question would be … why cant the average person get up a mountain with the jackets currently made
maybe your new jacket will allow the opening of new routes, maybe not … who knows … i do know that no one used such a jacket on all the first ascents so far (before this jacket was available) …
its unlikely that many of us here will be doing first ascents on technical faces in the Himalayas
would i need your jacket to climb a mountain?
im not one to buy dead bird (arcteryx) gear in the hopes that itll make me look cooler, give me better sending power, or because some climber way beyond my level uses it for technical himilayan faces ill never do, for $$$$$ … been there, done that, didnt work …
these days i buy what does the job at a reasonable price and weight … which is the gear deal thread … i want a deal ;)
Announcements of online & local sales, coupons, etc. Commercial posts OK, but ONLY if you are announcing a sale or coupon.Feb 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm #1702275
James, I noted your logical way to draw the conclusion, that there had to be something with the down, and there is. I hope the the videos and our down page gives you an answer.
Eric, You are right, and it's true, that to a certain limit, it's not necessary as the equipment we all ready have, have done the job and can do in the future.
But, the very nature of SPORTS and Alpinisem is and has all ways been, to push the limits, in the field and in the gear used.
You are right, that not everybody needs a "thing" like this, so there are room for everybody when the buck counts.
The jacket has been tested roughly, and it's ok for High Altitude active climbs, this was in Germany last week end. Results are, that the articulation works well, and even if you work out in it, the down do not shift. The insulation places it as a High Altitude performer, and the weight is 1050g with 355g down in XL.
The Immelman was received as a piece of equipment "heavily needed" by xxxxxx, and there are nothing like it out there. If so, you may try to imagine, what this opens up to. And to do this, you need to imagine what it will replace…..not existing down jackets (useless in situations where you need the use of your arms) but properly a Fleese + membrane articulated system. The flease + membrane jacket offers articulation movement, but if this has to resist at -20F, then you need several fleese's below, and then the articulation can be as good as you want, your liberty of movement is limited to weight and friction.
As James may understand it…..A new Shocking Blue?Feb 28, 2011 at 6:16 am #1702572
James, you have drawn the right conclusion about the down question: It's a bit more "technical" than just a FP question and the mix rating (90/10 or 95/05)
We made a video, called "Filling Power", but if you noted, we divided it up in two sections. one with the Lorch FP test machine and a second, where we use the real judgement: the hand or touch.
One of the hand test, is the compression and de-compression. When you compress, you actually measure the resistance in the matter, witch is done in the FP test, but in our hand test, we look at the de-compression speed.
The de-compression speed, depends upon the sauce (animal and specially age/molt), but another factor involved, is a rapid fermentation control, after slaughtering with hot water. If you don't dry the wet down/feather mix, a fermentation will start, and "burn-up" the micro filaments or barbules, that imprison the warm air. Another point, is to be able, to make a quick quality judgement of each branch of raw material, and then select the best and most mature branches for our needs.
The high oil content, also ads to a better resistance against humidity, and this content is high in a "fatty" 4th molt quality.
For me, these points are more important, than a simplified FP claim, and I think that our down page reflects all these points.
Now, if you don't control this key question, then you can do what ever you like in the shell construction, and be sure that you will not get the maximum performance. In your case you came rapidly to the conclusion, that there was something special about the down quality. The technical construction of the SB, intrigued you, but the down convinced you.Feb 28, 2011 at 8:24 am #1702605
has this higher resistance to moisture been substantiated by independent third party tests … such as the IDFL … if so can we have access to the testsMar 1, 2011 at 2:49 am #1702956
IDFL do not take into account the moisture resistance, after all it's "only" a 2000 euro test/unite! James came to this conclusion by him self.
The IDFL test is done at +5C (41F) with a relative humidity of 40%. The thing about this is, that our sleeping bag line, starts out at the freezing point 0C (32F), and then drops down to -45C (49F), so one could argue, that it's senseless to test at +5 and with 40% humidity.
But there are several other interesting points in the EN 13537 test, that needs to be known to the users:
The first point is, that there are a difference in the surface of the dummy's, between the different labs. The IDFL test is done with a dummy of 1.67m2 with a weight of 20kg and with 35 sensors – zones. Other dummys are 1.48m2 with 20 sensors, and the test is done at -10c (14F). Skin temperature is 33c in the first case and 34c in the second.
From this one can draw the conclusion, that test results can not be compared between different labs.
The second point is, that there are no "policing", or control, with the claims published. Any body can claim what they want, and as they are not obliged to make documented proof, anybody can actually claim what ever they like.
And this is the reason why we publish the documented proof as a PDF on each page of sleeping bags on our site. You get the report, and have proof that it's done, but secondly you get a document that allows you to compare to other claims. If there are no control of the claims done, by the commission, then it's up to the users/consumers, to force documented proof out of manufacturers when ever a claim is made.
There are another point, that's interesting, and related to the above: As there are properly a deliberate mess between the labs, it's known that some labs offers better test results than others, and as ONE test is invoiced 2000Euros, it quickly becomes a "offer/demand" issue: you pay…you get.
Rumors even has it, that EN 13537 test are made in country's, where there are officially no dummy. So, if I claim: Test result 5F (limit of comfort)"according to the EN13537 norm" then nobody should take it for cash money.
But, I will admit, that the basic EN13537 norm idea, is a step in the right direction.
But this step is not finished yet, until the norm and the claims made in it's name, is under control. It's the wild west.
The UIAA control's hard wear climbing equipment claims, and go in and certify the gear. Makes sence: Your rope has to resist, as your helmet and harness and biners….Any body can understand, that this is vital and life saving.
To be hit by a falling rock, can have deadly a consequence, but where's the difference, if a non experienced outdoor/climber believes his gear can hold a negative 20, and discovers that once 3 days in, that at 0 it's on the limit? At times it's impossible to back out! (And I personally know from experience how this feels)
The UIAA, should take their responsibility, and propose a test in their own lab, specially once it comes to expedition and winter oriented sleeping bags.Mar 1, 2011 at 7:12 am #1702983
thats oddly weird …
since here we are saying there is higher moisture resistance with your down … yet how are these claims substantiated and proven scientifically and independently ? … a im sure youll agree quite a few claims have been made in the past by many manufactures that may not have panned out …
id love to have a better more water resistant down … just prove it to me first … are we talking about en-testing or fill power testing … perhaps you can comment about who does your fill power testing on your down and the exact conditions including humidity … we are talking about a jacket anyways …
is your down more insulating and has more moisture resistance than the "850 FP" down in my westcomb jackets? .. they dont claim better moisture resistance ….
HutteriteDown – For almost a century, the Hutterite people of Western Canada have experienced winter warmth that most can only imagine. Generation after generation, they have raised their down producing geese in harmony with, and to sustain, their peaceful way of life. Available only once a year from mature adult geese, the pristine hypoallergenic down is the worldwide standard for loft, warmth and durability. Each ounce of the HutteriteDown is made up of mature down consisting of millions of heat-trapping filaments. The soft down plumes interlock to create an even layer of insulated protection between you and the frigid outdoors. No clumping. No flat spots. Just long lasting comfort.
Compared with other top competing down qualities we choose Canadian Hutterite for the following reasons:
Consistently the fill power is better.
The colour or whiteness of the down is brighter.
Down clusters are generally denser and stronger due to the climate the birds are raised in.
Feathers and the down are removed from the birds by a steamed method. No commercial plucking machinery is used.
European Class 1 – This down standard requires a minimum of 95% total down clusters by weight. As a result your product will have greater loft and warmth as it traps more air, remains lighter in weight and enjoys a greater compression rate when compared to an identical product with less percentage of down and more feathers or fibres.
here's a question ive always had of valandre bags ….most reputable manufacturers rate their sleeping bags according to roughly the en lower limit comfort rating … ie marmot, north face, mountain hardware, western mountaineering, REI, etc …
yet valandre does it more to the extreme rating … for example the mirage is listed as -17C in big bold letters on the web site , yet its LL comfort is – 1C
wouldnt the ll comfort be more appropriate since thats what most users would be looking for .. what they can use their bags comfortably to … and that someone doesnt go out believing it is a -17C bag … even american companies, the more reputable ones anyways, arent going by the survival ratings anymore ….
of course its possible that the majority of valandre mirage buyers are alpinist who are doing bivies on the wall and looking to take their bag down to -17C … hmmmmmm
as to en-testing here is the conclusion of the McCullough paper presented to the OIA in 2009 … while en-testing aint perfect, it seems better than "Any body can claim what they want" … if there is a better reference, i would appreciate it …
The European outdoor industry should be commended for developing a standard for
determining temperature ratings of sleeping bags from manikin generated insulation values and
heat loss models. Although there are some problems with the EN standard, it is a comprehensive
document that is based on sound science, and the prediction results have been validated on
human subjects. The standard could be greatly improved if the auxiliary products used in the
manikin test were specified and easily available to test labs and if test procedures were more
clearly specified. In addition, the variability associated with sleeping bags, the manikin test, and
different labs is not clearly documented the standard. Therefore, a new inter-laboratory study
should be conducted so that the tolerances associated with the manikin test and resulting
temperature ratings can be determined.Mar 1, 2011 at 9:13 am #1703023
Eric, I totally agree that we should be skeptical about manufacturer's claims, and that scientific testing to validate particular claims would be best.
So my own experience is strictly anecdotal–I have a Valandre Thule vest, Kiruna, and Sirius jackets, (all courtesy of incredible luck on eBay), and a Shocking Blue, also quilts from Katabatic Gear and Nunatak, and a Versalite from Western Mountaineering, but no down from Westcomb. (Though some other outerwear, courtesy of The Clymb–it's excellent stuff.)
Definitely the Valandre down feels the springiest, even in a relatively understuffed item like the Thule vest. Squash it, and it seems to press back against your fingertips almost immediately, whereas with the other items there's a perceptible lag, with Katabatic second best, Nunatak a very close third, and WM a respectable 4th.
These aren't huge differences, but they're definitely repeatable.
The problem with any single parameter measure of quality is that people are people, and learn how to game the system. So with down, we notice that, over the years, claimed Fill Power keeps going up, but someone at WM once told me that their down was essentially unchanged–they'd always used the best they'd been able to buy.Mar 1, 2011 at 10:16 am #1703049
This is starting to get interesting, as it is a direct cross Atlantic exchange, and as the sun has gone down here, I will work out an answer by your tomorrow morning.
Not that I do not know what to say, but more that I can work out a answer, so we get it right, in a constructive cross Atlantic exchange.
It was however constructive, that James gave his point after having used our gear.
I wish both of you a great day, over here it's a "turn off the light, and good night"
You have my constructive answer by tomorrow.
NielsMar 2, 2011 at 5:33 am #1703387
It's difficult to find a starting point, but Sweeneys field experience, comparing the quality is a good starting point: James, since when has science, been able to test and put norms to a matter belonging to the subtle?
On our "DOWN" page, you find a A + B deduction, of what causes the difference, and this is underlined with 5 videos. Shooting these videos, can only be done if you are connected to the "fatty goose channel", and Valandre is directly and exclusevely connected.
The elasticity described by James, is the direct result of a 4th molt quality, from a mature fatty animal. The exceed energy goes into the feathers and down, as the bird prepares for migration.
Down treatment is under strict veterinarian control, since the outbreak of avian flue. These rules, makes that all down qualities undergo the same treatment, in washing and sterilization. And this forces the same allowance of maximum oil content ON the matter. But ON is not IN, and the steroid effect comes, as the animal is over fed during the 4th molt production.
This over feeding process, can only be done, once the animal reaches the age, to self over feed them selfs, and this is what the French frois gras, is all about. So, these animals live longer and become more mature.
On the other hand, you have animals raised for meat production, and this can be found world wide: China, Vietnam, Eastern Europe and so on, and the volume produced is in relation to the nations population.
Any farmer, raises animals, to be sold so they make a living. Meet producing geese (and ducks) are slaughtered as soon as they reach their adult size witch is in the end of the 3th molt.
Over to Erics Filling power question: there are many labs world wide, that can do a filling power test, but every body seems to agree that the IDFL (International Down and Feather Laboratory)in Salt Lake City run by Mr Lieberman, is the best and most reliable.
Since the outbreak of the avian flue, traceability is a veterinary rule, so every branch is tested systematically. Due to the cost of a test, this is done every 1000kg,
and the test result is archived, so at any time, the quality can be tracked.
Valandre is not a very big player in this game, and we are delivered in a steady flow of max 100kg a time, so we are connected to the 1000kg filling power test.
The test is done under controlled ambient temperature and hydro metric conditions according to the norm, and the test samples undergoes a conditioning before testing. There are 7 different methods of conditionement, and there are different physical methods that are different in piston weight and cylinder volume. And this is the EU or US norms.
As FP claims suffer from wild spread inflation, it's not possible to judge a 850FP claim, without seeing the quality in real, but you can not go quite wrong if you take the origin and age into account.
I have never heard about Hutterite down, but heard a bit about Canadian white goose raising in Manitoba. And as I have not seen it, I can not comment. But I guess I have a idea.
I have already explained, what I personally make about the EN 13537 norm, so there are nothing to ad. The inter-lab meeting has been on the table for years, and when I started to shake the ITFH up, arguing that it was useless non sence, then the lab engineer informed about, a planned inter-lab meeting. This was two years ago, and we still have no meeting and we will never have! (who profits from the crime?)
Since the early start of Valandre, we have always indicated the extreme temp, and since the EN 13537 test, have published the ITFH test result according to this.
And you are absolutely right, to ask how it's possible to have -17c extreme and -1c L/C? I can't answer this to you, so call up those responsible for the norm. But before making the call,please check the PDF report.
What I can say how ever is, that by experience the L/C rating is around -5c and extreme around -10c.
The McCullough conclusion is not correct (while EN-testing ain't perfect, it seems better than "anybody can claim what they want"…..)
I can whip of the PDF on all pages, and make any claim I want and mark: "Tested according to the EN13537 norm". Nobody will control a EN13537 claim, and I will not be bothered by the CIA, FBI or the county cob.
To change this, pressure has to come from the users/consumers, as everybody is having a great time at the OR, and have no interest in any kind of control. (Now I am getting angry)
STOP, OVER AND OUTMar 2, 2011 at 9:00 am #1703431
This effect of the age of the goose, 4th molt vs 3rd molt, is very interesting. Also the effects of fermentation of improperly dried down on insulating value.
One part of the problem, I think, is that we got off on the wrong foot by basing everything on loft in the first place, using that as our sole criterion for judging down. If what we want is light-weight puffiness, then by all means we should measure loftiness. But if we want light-weight warmth, then we should have some standardized method of measuring insulating value–as Richard Nisley has done for various garments with his guarded hot plate tests.
So perhaps there could be a test, not at the garment, or sleeping bag, level, but at the raw material level, that measures the insulating value of various down samples. For example, take a specified weight of down, arrange it in a rectangular pile of a certain specified area, contained between two unconstraining layers of something like .8 oz Quantum Pertex, in a good-sized room maintained at 70 degrees, put a standardized hot plate centered under it at 100 degrees, and measure the steady state temperature immediately above the down.
Given such a test, we'd also be able to compare the insulating value of fully lofted down vs the same amount of down slightly compressed. I've often thought that a given amount of down, compressed, say, 20%, doesn't lose 20% of its insulating value, and that some products "over-loft" their down, so that in use, air pockets form, reducing the insulating value. (With many sleeping bags, you just have to look through the bag into the sunlight to notice that there's a marked difference in down concentration over the bag's area.)Mar 2, 2011 at 9:22 am #1703437
The insulating test is also a hand test. You take a certain quantity in your hand, and fold the other over on the top. From this your hand will feel the insulation capacity.
It's all in the hand.
If you like James, I am ok to send some different samples over to the US, so you get a feel of the matter.Mar 2, 2011 at 12:09 pm #1703515
from what i read you have basically said that there is no scientific testing for the moisture claim, really just a hand test
im looking for objective, scientific testing that your down is more moisture resistance than that used by others …
as im sure most agree … the basic principle of all science is measurement
im reminded of this experiment in school you put the finger of one hand into a cup of cold water, put a finger of the other hand in hot water … then put both finger in a cup lukewarm water … one hand will believe the water is cold, while the other hot … even though the water is the same temperature … which is why we use thermometers and not "feel" to define temperature
IMO if you are going to claim something, prove it independently and scientifically … theres tons of people claiming stuff out there from the audio industry with their silver wires, to the latter day saints that come knocking on my door, to every gear maker claiming to be the "best"
as to en-testing … its odd you feel that anybody can claim what they want … are you saying that the testing and regulations are totally ineffective? … perhaps that other manufacturers numbers are made up?
IMO its better than the cr@pshoot we had years ago when marketing departments would rate the bags at any temperature they felt like
if there is a better reference paper, id appreciate it
IMO as well … manufacturers that rate their bags by the extreme rating are doing a disservice, as en-ratings are not as well understood yet as they should be, the average consumer just looks at the basic number and then assumes thats its good for that temperature … just my opinion as i used to be one of those cunsummers
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