Oct 4, 2007 at 8:30 am #1225322
I currently have a MontBell Thermawrap jacket — which keeps me warm to 40F when at rest. With that as reference, I am looking for the lightest and most compactible down jacket that will keep me warm to 30F (don't need it any warmer, heavier or bulkier than this). Your thoughts and insights? Thanks in advance.Oct 4, 2007 at 9:03 am #1404515
Good post, I too a, looking for a light weight down jacket. Your requirements are the same as mine. I will follow this post with great intrest. By-the-way, Feathered Friends in Seattle (featheredfriends.com), have some great down jackets but, alas, they are not the lightest and a bit pricey, but they are definitely the warmest.
CharlesOct 4, 2007 at 9:23 am #1404516
@mad777Locale: South Florida
Check this article on BPL. "Winter Backpacking Comfort: Lightweight Gear and Techniques for Shelter, Clothing, and Sleep Systems"
I think the concensus on Feathered Friends sizing is that they run small.Oct 4, 2007 at 9:53 am #1404517
If Ben and Charles are truly committed to down for this or are counting grams rather than ounces, then stop reading now.
Otherwise, in addition to the climate factors mentioned in the article Michael cited, down delivers poor weight savings bang in garments designed for moderate temps like 30*F. The reason being that the weight of the two layers of fabric is pretty much the same regardless of the thickness of the insulation and it tends to dominate the finished weight.
Consider 1 sq yd of a 1 inch thick momentum/800fp down/momentum sandwich "over stuffed" 20%. The fabric would weigh approx 2oz and the down approx 1.9oz … 3.9oz/sqyd
If you are OK @40*F with a Thermawrap, I think you'd be fine at 30*F with a jacket made with 2.5oz Climashield or certainly 3oz Primaloft for a finished weight of 4.5-5oz/sqyd.
Even a size XXL jacket is only about 3 sqyd …. for a 1.8-3.1 oz total weight penalty … I suspect you aren't size XXL so your mileage would be better.
Now for cold weather …. definitely get a 3" thick down parka.Oct 4, 2007 at 10:01 am #1404518
I have a montbell alpine light jacket, which is very compressible, has 4 ounces of 800 fill down, and has a total weight of 11.3 ounces. I have worn it alone to 30 degrees, down to about 15 with a very heavy baselayer under it. I think the flight is bit warmer as it has, I think, 6 ounces of 800+ fill, but is less compressible. I also have a down inner jacket, but that is not very warm.
The only problem I have had with the alpine light jacket is that it tends to get pretty damp in very rainy weather, but will dry out overnight. Also, the shell fabric is pretty thin, I but I imagine that the Thermawrap uses similar fabric. I am actually thinking about going the other way, maybe picking up a cocoon parka for fall in the rainy northwest, when I have the most problems with the alpine.Oct 4, 2007 at 10:01 am #1404519
Have you checked out the WM Flight Jacket? If that won't do, maybe their Meltdown Jacket would give the extra warmth needed.Oct 4, 2007 at 10:29 am #1404524
WM Flight probably as above noted.
For myself down to 30, I use Montbell down inner jacket.Oct 4, 2007 at 10:35 am #1404526
Not the most compressible but an incredible value, you may want to consider the New Balance Fugu jacket.
I picked up on clearance a few months ago, and really like it. The Fugu does not match Western Mountaineering's quality. The first one I got had a down compartment that was sewn shut without any down in it, and the sleeves weren't filled to "puffiness" like they ought to be. However, the place where I bought it has great customer service and sent me a new, non-defective one even before I shipped the bad one back to them (and they sent me a prepaid shipping label for the defective one).
It's 14 ounces for size large, and it seems like it would be as warm as my WM Flight jacket, though I have not yet tested this in cold weather–the average loft is approximately the same. The Fugu has perhaps a better design than the Flight because the collar is about twice as tall and really puffy; the jacket fits more like a mini parka in that it covers below my waistline, whereas the Flight seems to fit more snugly and shortly, which makes it very heat efficient but not the best for layering underneath. Plus, the Fugu was cheap, at $125, and they're marked down more now.Oct 4, 2007 at 11:03 am #1404529
$99? Oooh…. nice…Oct 4, 2007 at 11:28 am #1404534
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
The WM Flight and FF Hyperion seem relatively equivalent in this category–both about 11 oz, w/ FF being somewhat cheaper (depending on shell option).
As has been pointed out, the shell is the limiting factor weightwise when it comes to down jackets.
For temps around freezing, I don't think you can beat a down vest in the pursuit of warmth-for-weight.Oct 4, 2007 at 11:42 am #1404536
Thanks, everyone. I'll also need to rethink down vs. synthetics — given that the weight advantage of down is less-than-significant at relative moderate temps like 30F.Oct 4, 2007 at 2:26 pm #1404554
Look at Nunataks Skaha line. Approx 10 oz for a large in Quantum. I have an Epic Skaha Plus in Epic with 2 oz overfill.
The Nunatak jackets are deceptively warm.Oct 4, 2007 at 3:10 pm #1404558
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> Thanks, everyone. I'll also need to rethink down vs. synthetics — given that the weight advantage of down is less-than-significant at relative moderate temps like 30F.
In that case you should also be considering the Cocoon pullovers, with and without hood. Not adequate at 30 F entirely by themselves – but will you have other clothing on as well?Oct 4, 2007 at 3:58 pm #1404567
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
WM Flight should take you down to the low 20's with base/windshirt, but so should a Cocoon Hoody for about the same weight. Plus, the Hoody is cheaper and delivers most of its insulative value in wet weather, whereas the Flight jacket would be practically worthless if it got wet. A Patagonia Micro Puff parka would also fill the bill for an extra ~2 oz. I haven't had my Flight out of the bag since I acquired a Cocoon pullover a couple of years ago and, more recently, a Cocoon Hoody. Still, if you do most of your stuff in the Sierra, a WM Flight jacket is a pretty good piece of gear and it does have those comfy handwarmer pockets.Oct 4, 2007 at 5:36 pm #1404575
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
You're looking for "the lightest and most compactible down jacket that will keep me warm to 30F". If price is not important, then it's an easy decision with the Nunatak Skaha. It is really light, really compressible, and really warm, though sadly it will probably keep you warm even below 30.Oct 4, 2007 at 6:55 pm #1404579
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
If your looking for the lightest and most compactible down garmit to keep you down to 30* than a combination of a down vest with rain jacket, (if your already taking one anyway is the best option.
Why not utilize layering, if it is already there.
A long sleeve base layer with a vest and jacket over that.
That will keep you warm down to 30*
Now we're talking about 5 oz for a Western Mountaineering Flight Vest.Oct 5, 2007 at 11:15 am #1404639
@mitchellkeilLocale: Deep in the OC
Sorry I am late to the party, but I have to chime in with a vote for the WM Flight Jacket. I have used it down to the low twenties with a silk REI underwear top alone. I have had it down to the low teens with a rain jacket over it and a icebreaker woolies top. It will compress well. I often stuff it into my sleeping bag compression sack and cinch the two down to about the size of a large melon.
But if all you are looking for is a 30 degree jacket, then stick with MB as you have with much of the rest of your gear. The extremely compressible and light Down Inner Jacket is a real winner. I have used it regularly down to 30 and by layering it with a rain jacket and either a silk or wool top underneath it will handle much colder temps than 30.
I am going out tonight to Cooper Canyon trail Camp in the San Gabs at 6300' where the temps are supposed to be down to the high 20s and I am taking my MB Down Inner and SD ion rain jacket with the above mentioned Woolies top as my other gear. I know I will be toasty.Oct 9, 2007 at 9:49 pm #1405032
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
Montbell has a brand spankin new U.L Down Inner Parka out that has a hood and only comes to 7.4 ounces.
SWEET!!!Oct 10, 2007 at 5:39 am #1405048
I second the vote for the Montbell UL down inner parka. The hood should add a few degrees of warmth over the UL down inner jacket..?
Its still not available here in Japan!Oct 10, 2007 at 7:29 am #1405055
…I'll be grabbing one of these as soon as Brett gives the word…how is it that Japan doesn't stock these yet-thought that is where they were located?
I anticipate that it will take me to 30F – adding base layer and windshirt for lower temps.Oct 10, 2007 at 7:36 am #1405057
@pivvayLocale: Rocky Mountains
They have these in stock at the store in Boulder. At least the green. I've tried them on in men's small and medium.Oct 10, 2007 at 8:18 am #1405060
Steven, (and any other BPL member) I would love to ship you one, and get some more points on my MB account.. but maybe you should grab one from the link above. Waiting for the Japanese version would save only about $10 including the shipping costs, but if you need it now, consider the US source.
The Japanese version does have different color choices; its the yellow example about 1/2 down the page.
http://webshop.montbell.jp/goods/list.php?category=137000Oct 18, 2007 at 1:31 pm #1405953
@splproductionsLocale: Salt Lake City, UT
Brett, AKA Montbell Guru,
Have you (or anyone else for that matter) used both the Thermawrap Jacket and the Down Inner Jacket? I just ordered the Thermawrap about 10 minutes ago, and now I'm wondering if I want the Down.
Anyone who has used both… is there a difference in the warmth?Oct 18, 2007 at 1:48 pm #1405954
I have worn both. Although MB markets them as comparable in warmth, methinks the down is actually a tad warmer. I had ordered the Down Inner initially, but returned it in exchange for the Thermawrap.
While I love down sleeping bags, I prefer my clothing to be synthetics. Even though I expect to wear my insulation layer mainly in camp, having synthetics gives me the option of wearing it while hiking as well (such as at the start of a chilly hike) — without too much fear of the dreaded consequence of soaking (I do, of course, take the layer off once I am into the hike and my body is pumping up warmth).
The primary advantage of down is the warmth for weight. One can readily see the warmth/weight advantage in a sleeping bag, but when it comes to a much smaller jacket, the difference is much less significant — and thus IMO, the advantage of synthetics comes to the fore.Oct 28, 2007 at 7:09 am #1406906
Ryan, I have used the thermawrap and the Light Alpine Down, not the UL inner down. I thought the thermawrap and UL were equal, so went with the warmer Light Alpine Down for conditions colder then appropriate for the thermawrap.
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