Apr 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm #1271747
I'm a newbie and don't have a bunch of money to blow on gear. However, the Big 5 close to my home has a 550-fill down jacket that I can get for under $60. The question is: Is this worth the money, or should I wait and find a deal on something better>Apr 5, 2011 at 1:13 pm #1720408
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Cameron, one of the standard questions that you will get is "How much does it weigh?"
I suspect that you didn't carry a scale to the store to weigh it.
If I had to guess, I would say that a down jacket like that is going to be considerably heavier than a really high quality, expensive, high fill power down jacket. That is not to say that it is no good.
A down jacket was all that I had on my first trip up a serious mountain, and it kept me alive.
–B.G.–Apr 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm #1720420
Hey Bob. Thanks for the response. No, I didn't take a scale into the store with me, but based on feel, it weighs significantly less than my current jacket which weighs about 20 oz. I wish I could afford a nice jacket, but I have 5 kids and live on a military budget so I either get what I can afford or use what I have.Apr 5, 2011 at 1:31 pm #1720425
@codycolor2Locale: Los Padres NF
I don't know your budget but I posted earlier that you might want to check out for some Montbell products 3 of which are down jackets for a reasonable price.Apr 5, 2011 at 1:32 pm #1720426
@funnymoLocale: Sunshine State
Given that it's a good bit lighter than your current jacket, $60 seems like a fair price. Not great , but fair.
A watchful eye on Gear Swap should yield a nice alternative, as well. But that takes patience! :)Apr 5, 2011 at 1:33 pm #1720427
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Either take your scale to the store or buy the jacket and weigh it right away when you get home (or take it to the post office). If it's too heavy, you can return it. If there's significant weight saving over what you have, keep it!Apr 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm #1720430
unless youre paying under $50 …. get an 800+ fill down jacket
for under $50 … 650+ fill is acceptable if yr on a budget … IMO
otherwise you might as well just get synthApr 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm #1720437
Ben 2 WorldParticipant
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
If you can wait it out… try to leverage time and patience if you can't leverage money.
550 fp ain't bad actually, but of course, not the best or warmest for the weight either. For me, I'd rather buy a really good quality jacket in used but excellent condition — than a brand new jacket of subpar quality.
EDIT: I like Eric's idea of buying synthetic. A good synthetic is no worse (and can even be a better buy) than a lower quality down product.Apr 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm #1720697
@er1kksenLocale: The Western Door
Keep an eye on Land's End's sales and online clearance department. I got my 10-oz. super-compressible down jacket from them for $50 last summer, which is usually when they dump the last year's winter lineup. I missed out on getting one for $40 in a preferable color.Apr 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm #1720705
@becca-rLocale: Alexandria, VA
I think that hubby and I both have the 2010 model of what you are looking at. We both really like them, but I would not trust them to be at all water resistant. I got them with a 20% off coupon in the clearance section. I think I paid $30 each. I'm not sure I would have spent $60 though. They aren't filled with all that much down.Apr 5, 2011 at 8:17 pm #1720714
@babymattyLocale: Western/Central PA, Adirondacks
Also keep an eye on Cabelas' website. I got a 550 down jacket that weighs ~17oz for $20 about a month ago. It's back up to $50 now but who knows if they'll have another sale. FWIW, the jacket is very warm. I was comfortable to 12 degrees sitting in camp before, and for that price, who cares how close you get to the fire!Apr 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm #1720716
I would say just do your research and find a couple jackets that will work well for you and watch sites for them to go on sale you can get a pretty great deal on stuff if your patientApr 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm #1720742
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
I tried to PM you but you're not set up for PM. I'm trying to sell a First Ascent 800-fill Downlight Sweater, size XL. PM me if interested. Price negotiable for those in military service with 5 kids.Apr 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm #1720779
I'd strongly suggest skipping Big 5 and go to llbean.com: like REI they guarantee all items for life and they make excellent clothing. Their Goose Down Jacket is just a little more than an unknown quality Big 5 jacket (I used to prowl Big 5 but gave up due to crappy quality). It was featured in some issue of last years Backpacker magazine so I'd say it probably packs fairly well if not to UL standards:
I own a lot of LL Bean clothes because it's well built, very durable and especially if bought during their sales/closeouts is very cost effective given how long it lasts and if I am unhappy I have a 100% guarantee (which I've never used – always gotten a lot more use than ever expected)Apr 6, 2011 at 3:27 am #1720808
Ditto on the 'what size' do you wear? I've got a Marmot Zeus in LARGE that's too big for me (lost 55#)…and a First Ascent down sweater in MEDIUM that's just a touch too small. Would be willing to part with either for $55.
DarinApr 6, 2011 at 8:27 am #1720880
Ryan, do you know how much that LL Bean down jacket weighs?
Thanks.Apr 6, 2011 at 8:39 am #1720887
@lehrscott4Locale: Louisville - KY
I bought this jacket because i needed something cheap and warm, and it has been VERY warm. Weighs 26oz, and does compress reasonably small. It is 750 fill duck down 80/20.Apr 6, 2011 at 8:58 am #1720897
@zackcenturyLocale: Great Lakes
I thought there was a post titled geartrade.com but I didn't see anything written … that's my top suggestion.
There might be a caveat on geartrade, but you can usually find high quality gear for really cheap, and you don't have to wait like you do on eBay, BPL, etc because so many retailers use it to sell returned items. The gear is usually lightly used or open-box. I just got a North Face 800-fill, 10 oz down jacket for $63 (msrp $229), it will need a little bit of stitching, though…. But I don't think I could even purchase a jacket's amount of Pertex for that price.Apr 6, 2011 at 11:51 am #1720990
"Ryan, do you know how much that LL Bean down jacket weighs?"
Russ – I don't have this particular coat so I cannot personally measure it (I have a synthetic version I use as a town jacket) but according to BP magazine it's 1lb 6 oz (unsure of size used). So while not UL or super compressable, given it's LL Bean the construction and warmth should be very good for the price.Apr 6, 2011 at 12:01 pm #1720991
"I thought there was a post titled geartrade.com but I didn't see anything written … that's my top suggestion. "
Yeah originally was going to post about Geartrade but then started to look at going prices for Patagonia's, Montbell's, etc and was seeing them hovering a bit higher than the original ~$60 mark. Didn't think of North Face though – that's a good deal if someone doesn't mind some minor sewing. For anyone that is unaware of geartrade, don't let this put you off – many items don't require any repair and many are new without tags or tried once and returned due to size.
+1 for geartrade if jacket isn't needed immediately and one is willing to spend some time and patience searching for a good deal. GT search interface is poor – I usually go through google shopping interface but have noticed: most items come up through google shopping search but a few other items show up only on GT search.Apr 6, 2011 at 12:41 pm #1721006
+2 on Cabelas.
Just watch and they will have another sale.
Got an olive XL for $25 and its pretty nice.
2 days later they dropped them to $20.
Mine is an XL and it weighs 20oz.
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-550-Goose-Down-Jacket/1087164.uts?Ntk=AllProducts&searchPath=%2Fcatalog%2Fsearch.cmd%3Fform_state%3DsearchForm%26N%3D0%26fsch%3Dtrue%26Ntk%3DAllProducts%26Ntt%3Dmens%2Bdown%2Bjacket%26x%3D0%26y%3D0%26WTz_l%3DHeader%253BSearch-All%2BProducts&Ntt=mens+down+jacket&WTz_l=Header%3BSearch-All+ProductsApr 6, 2011 at 12:56 pm #1721012
@gokyoLocale: west coast
There maybe a few NEW BALANCE FUGU left at recreational outlet for about 117$.It's a classic.Apr 7, 2011 at 10:04 pm #1721810
Sorry. I've been tied up for a couple days and haven't had a chance to check back. To answer a couple of questions/additional info:
1) I wear a medium or a large depending on how I choose to layer. As a climber, I tend to layer out meaning that my puffy jacket tends to be my outermost layer.
2) Price on the jacket, if memory serves, was $49.95 before taxes and it was on a clearance rack. So it may go down in price before they're all gone. I thought it might be worth considering. I figured someone here might either have one, or have seen the same one and could give me an honest opinion.
3) Down isn't a requirement. Especially with the way I layer. A lightweight synthetic may actually be preferable. As I will use it as a belay jacket when rock climbing as well as when I go backpacking.
Thanks for all the responses. I'll have to do some more thinking.Apr 7, 2011 at 10:16 pm #1721812
Eddie Bauer has some good sales, nice prices on down/synth if you stay away from their FA gear (and for their FA gear too).Apr 8, 2011 at 1:11 am #1721836
How have you liked the jacket from Sportsman's Guide? At $40 it looks like a steal.
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