- Apr 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm #1289091
Wanted to get some opinions on this.
I would like to add a very light, super low volume down vest to my running kit. Primary use would be for breaks used in combination with a wind or rain shell.
I am currently considering 3 options, but open to more.
1.) Montbell Ex Light vest. Probably the lightest option, but discontinued – so hard to come by. Also might be a little light on the insulation. Will it be the most compressible (smallest packed size) though? Backed by Montbell, a well established mfgr.
2.) Black Rock Down vest. Looks like an improved version of the Montbell with more down. More expensive though, but easier to come by now (if im patient) that the MB is no longer made. Is it as compressible as the MB? Additional weight is insignificant, especially since it appears to be all down weight, so presumably marginally warmer.
3.) I have talked with Ben of Goosefeet about constructing a similar vest. Would have the option of 7D or M50 fabric (any suggestions about which is better for this application?). He has also given me the option of square baffles or horizontal tube style (any preferences out there?). And additionally we have spoken about potentially doing a 1/2 zip style as opposed to a full zip. So this route gives me a lot of options to choose from, but at the risk of not knowing what the final product will come out like until it's finished.
This piece would also be used to supplement other insulation pieces for backpacking, but it's primary function will be to live in a running pack or pocket.
Would love to hear anyone's thoughts about this piece. Also I am aware that WM makes a competitive vest of this nature but I'm not a fan of the no-collar design.Apr 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm #1870497andrew brownMember
@abrown3mtgLocale: High Rockies
Have you considered the Rab microlight? I have had the vest for 2 years, and picked up both the hooded jacket and jacket without hood. I've been blown away with the quality and they can be found at a very reasonable price!Apr 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm #1870505Serge GiachettiMember
@sgiachettiLocale: Boulder, CO
I think any of your three options would be a good bet, and probably compress very small. If you're feeling spendy get a blackrock or goosesfeet. I saw my friend's blackrock vest and it looked awesome. If ben can make you one to a similar spec, I'm sure his would be great too. I owned an mb snap vest, and have used it as my primary insulation for summer in the rockies and it was fine. YMMV.
Alternatively, if you're just taking long day runs in the mountains, scrap the bag and just bring a windshirt with some gels and a platy wrapped around a small purifier (or aquamira) like this dude:Apr 24, 2012 at 7:32 am #1870563
Andrew, thanks for the alternate suggestion of the Rab Microlight Vest. From what I could find it's priced similar to the MB (retail prices) but is filled with 3oz of 750fp down and weighs 9oz. Probably offers slightly more warmth than the blackrock but at over twice the weight and likely twice the volume or worse.
Serge, thanks for the feedback. Could you offer a comparison between your friends blackrock and your MB vest (I'm assuming yours is the UL?). And thanks for the krupicka link. I follow his blog but at first glance I don't think I've read that entry before. He's got another writeup about running around pike's peak solo. 70 or so miles with some gels, a water bottle, and a camera. Truly awesome adventures and very inspiring. If you haven't seen the pikes peak story, let me know and I'll dig up a link for you. Was on a different blog site.
Anybody have any feedback with respect to M50 vs SevenD or box vs. rectangular baffles? Would love to hear from some blackrock vest users and especially from some goosefeet product owners. Bonus if anyone's got a vest or similar lightweight jacket from Ben.Apr 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm #1870764andrew brownMember
@abrown3mtgLocale: High Rockies
With the rab the 750 fill is based on euro specs…. so translation comes to 850 by us standards. I'm sure it is a bit bigger than some of the other options though. I believe much of the weight comes from the exterior fabric. I've had the MB ul and in comparison i'm not worried about snagging/tearing the rab open if I brush a tree. I'll even ski in it over a fleece. I'd say the packed size for a mens medium is a bit larger than a baseball but small than a softball…. (I also scored mine for 80.00 new but would happily have paid full price).
That being said, if a small, more compact option is more desirable, I completely see your outlook. I just thought I'd put it out there in case others have a difference in preferential balance between cost/weight/durability.Apr 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm #1870809
I have a Gooses Feet Parka and its probaly the best Down Parka I have ever had, if I was in the market for a vest I would go with Ben.Apr 24, 2012 at 10:53 pm #1870895Serge GiachettiMember
@sgiachettiLocale: Boulder, CO
hey nathan, yeah, I think I saw that post. Incredible. I see him and other superhuman mountain runners all over these foothills.
I can't make a thorough comparison because I just took a quick look at my friends (Matthew Zion). The blackrock was a lot puffier with more and better quality down than an EX light. I put it on and it also seems a fair amount warmer. 2 oz of high quality down is quite a bit for a vest. Also the 7d material has a really good hand to it. Very plush. I'm in the market for a similar vest and I think I'll probably go with Ben since I have a certain design in mind and I've been super impressed with what I've seen of his work.
Cheers.Apr 25, 2012 at 3:30 pm #1871150Thayne NMember
I love my WM flight vest at 5oz. (the one with the collar)Apr 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm #1871205Zack FreijeMember
I LOVE my Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover. It's right around 10oz. It's not bulky at all and is synthetic and water/wind resistant. It packs down tiny and always keeps me warm, but not sweaty.
You can find some on deep discount if you don't care about color: $70 I think.
That's for the full jacket. They make a vest as well. It's lighter obviously but I'm not sure on pricing.Apr 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm #1871221
I have no specific weight requirement; however, stuffed volume plays a big part in my decision. But 10oz vs 4oz probably wouldn't bother me if I was carrying in a pack, but if I was to stuff it in a pocket (think lower back pocket on a bicycle style shirt – or carried in a wind jacket pocket tied around my waist) the extra few ounces won't feel so great. it would bounce more and drive me nutsApr 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm #1871586
So I'm going to have Ben make me a vest. I'm thinking 1/2 zip design with drawcord waist adjustment. 900fp down (probably 2oz). Square baffles (open to suggestions on other baffle style), made from M50 and/or 7D material.
Would love to hear any insight people could give regarding the design or materials with respect to my intended purpose.
Thanks for all the help so far, and thanks in advance for the continued contributions.Apr 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm #1871600
My Parka has M90 on the outside and 7d on the inside, I must say I am so glad I got it with M90 as its very water restiant.Apr 26, 2012 at 2:50 pm #1871615
"My Parka has M90 on the outside and 7d on the inside, I must say I am so glad I got it with M90 as its very water restiant."
Do you know how M50 compares to M90 in this regard? I was planning for 7D on the inside as well. Is your M90 ripstop?
ThanksApr 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm #1871636
I don't have any experience with M50 so cannot compare it to M90, I am not sure if my Parka is ripstop, I will find out from Ben.
Cheers,Apr 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm #1871646
It sure is ripstop.Apr 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm #1871696Jolly Green GiantMember
I see your ripstop and raise you cuben.Apr 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm #1871704
"I see your ripstop and raise you cuben."
I haven't found Cuben to be all that compressible compared to other fabrics.
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