MontBell Plasma 1000 Down Jacket Review
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Nov 12, 2013 at 11:25 am #2043741IanBPL Member
Due to the PNW often living up to its wet reputation, I was slow to convert to down. Seeing that my bargain 550 fill down sweater is 14oz, Costco down vest is in neighborhood of 6-8oz, and my fleece vest is >14oz (sorry for vague numbers/going from memory), I found down to be worth the risk.
My down sweater or vest and sleeping bag stay in a dry bag when I'm hiking. I only bust out the sweater or vest to stay warm during breaks as I rarely need more than a shell and base layer for anything above 20* as long as I'm moving. I wouldn't hike while wearing down due to perspiration issues as you mentioned. If I'm looking at sub-20* temperatures where it's likely that I'll hike with extra insulation on, I'd bring synthetic insulation in lieu of down. I'm a fan of the military style polypro for this purpose but I have a fleece vest too.Nov 12, 2013 at 11:27 am #2043742Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
"cold wet weather, say 35F and rainy, do you bring a fleece with for hiking?"
I definitely bring a fleece in that weather or even a wool sweater. After stopping in the evening and setting up camp I take it off and put on a dry down jacket.Nov 12, 2013 at 12:14 pm #2043752Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Down to even 20 F, I just wear nylon base layer and eVent jacket (and fleece hat, fingerless fleece mittens,…). Definitely have to walk briskly. Carrying a pack uphill I'll stay warm no problem.
When I stop I'll put on synthetic or down vest depending on the temperature.Nov 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm #2044249Confused NewbieSpectator
@confusedLocale: Northern CO
Thanks. Sounds like down vests, etc. are primarily in-camp gear, and I am reasonable to bring a fleece as a hiking layer.Nov 14, 2013 at 7:19 pm #2044706Justin BakerBPL Member
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
If for anything, a fleece makes a good layer for stops and breaks in wet weather. When you are wet you cool off much quicker at rest and a fleece won't be affected much at all from putting over damp clothes. Down would get quite damp. Personally I like a fleece vest, very easy to slide on and off.Nov 15, 2013 at 1:05 am #2044777Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
"If for anything, a fleece makes a good layer for stops and breaks in wet weather. When you are wet you cool off much quicker at rest and a fleece won't be affected much at all from putting over damp clothes"
Good fleece will actually move your perspiration right on out away from your skin and base layer. Fleece also allows the option of wearing it without a shell for those times when it isn't windy but you want just a bit more warmth. It's really hard to wear down without a shell unless you are a goose :)
Vests deserve more attention. It would make a good article, comparing weight/volume/warmth of a vest vs a jacket and there are many product lines that offer both, so it could be a real apples and apples comparison. I often carry a light fleece vest for summer day hike backup insulation where the nighttime temps don't get so terribly low.Nov 6, 2014 at 9:16 am #2147270Alok KarnikBPL Member
Another good measure to determine the overall usability of the jacket would be (fill weight * fill power)/ (total weight – fill weight) Lets call this term "shell efficacy"
[The denominator is effectively shell weight + zips etc]
this would be a good mesurement of efficacy of a agreement. For example, a super high fill power low weight garment with very little fill, as alluded to in this article, is not as effective as a slightly heavier garment with much more fill, because, in simplified terms, the garment is not fully utilizing the jackets shell material. This measure is just quantifying this statement. Lets take an extreme example. A jacket with a shell material with 2000 fill power with a shell that weighs half as much as the next shell material on the market would still not be as "effective", using this measure, if it has anything less than 1/4th the fill of the next lightest jacket, even if its absolute weight is lower.
You could even take this a step further and take "shell efficacy"/absolute weight to determine shell efficacy across different weight classes of garments.
I am fairly sure all my math is right, but i'm doing this off the top of my head, so please call me out if my math is wrong.
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