Nov 13, 2013 at 11:04 am #1309803
@wildtownerLocale: Grand Canyon State
So, I decided to try out a cheapie Faux Houdini being sold on Flea-bay, and I'm amazed!
Salient Facts (photos follow)
– Weight for a medium = 2.3 oz
– Darth Vader test = VERY breathable
– Water test = VERY water resistant (water beads up and rolls off easily)
– Sizing = Asian (i.e., EXTREMELY small; a "unisex Med" is like a Patagucci Women's Sm., so probably not relevant for you big boys out there.)
– Stowaway hood (my preference, since I'm usually wearing a hat, and I don't like hoods flapping behind my head)
– Chest zip pocket (same configuration as Houdini), can be used as a Stow Pocket
– Workmanship = surprisingly good; bottom of jacket & cuffs are elasticized wrap
– Colors = several choices
– Price = $12.30 + $2.42 shipping
– Brand Name on Jacket = Jack Wolfskin
– Shipping time = Paid 11/01; received 11/12
– Source: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Unisex-Sky-ultralight-uvioresistant-Waterproof-Wind-Coat-Cycling-Jacket-Jersey-/121139101853?pt=US_Cycling_Clothing&var=&hash=item1c3474009d
– Seller: chntrade on eBay
Nov 13, 2013 at 11:17 am #2044119
Do you think the Unisex size XXL would be anything like US Men's L?Nov 13, 2013 at 11:25 am #2044122
Nice find Valerie.
Hopefully it comes from a company/factory that is more ethical than the average in China. One of the few reasons I'm willing to pay for Patagucci (sales and discounts at least) is because they do seem to be more committed than the average to source more ethical companies to work with.Nov 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm #2044132
MEC has the same standards as patagucci and still gives 1% back to charity… at half the price
i think that if one wants to be "moral" they should extend their philosophy to things such as everyday clothes, shoes, electronics, appliances, food, etc … its ironic to worry about a few outdoor pieces when the rest of what you use is not made at the same labour standards …. or the oil that you drive to the trails with that is extracted with real environmental consequences, etc …
on "cheap" goods … a few years ago someone made a sub 300$ UL gear list, it caused quite a commotion back then
i really think we should update it … the price of ALOT of "UL" items have come down, as more and more retailers/manufacturers create "UL" style items …
im betting that we can either get the price down even lower than 300$ or have better goods for the same amount …
one of the biggest "wastes" of money for what 99% of what people do here is the $$$$ for outdoor branded clothes … save money on that and youll likely save hundreds alone
IMO this is quite important as it lowers the barriers for entry to recreation …
BPL has touched on this before with various articles
one thing that struck me today was this article i saw …
Leo Siecienski, guide and manager at Sea Trek outfitters in Sausalito, California. Siecienski has been a touring, rock gardening, and kayaking guide for 10 years; at one point taught kayaking for six different organizations in the Bay Area at once.
Old baselayers and fleeces, at the cheapest price possible from thrift stores.
Siecienski loads up on inexpensive fleeces and synthetic layers from second-hand stores and packs them in a dry bag for all of his guiding trips. If the client did not bring the correct type of layers, Siecienski can outfit them and not worry about the layers being lost or damaged. "You never know when a client is going to get hypothermic," he says, noting that extra-larges are best to accommodate a range of sizes.
;)Nov 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm #2044133
I'm ordering 2 so I can take it apart and add a synthetic layer in it.
Take the zipper and hood off the inside one and no insulation in the hood.
The cheapest price I can find on a Montbell UL jacket is $106, so $30 for a Faux works for me (I already have the insulation).
May even come out lighter than the MB?
The very first piece of clothing I made was a thru-hiker Maxima jacket and it came out like crap.
at least this one should come out much better.
I'm between a medium and a large, hope the XL fits.Nov 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm #2044145
I just ordered an XXL to see if it would fit as a US Large (which is what I wear). I'll post the results when the jacket arrives.Nov 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm #2044146
Jack Wolfskin is a very well known brand in Europe, FWIW.Nov 13, 2013 at 1:07 pm #2044158
Good to know about MEC.
Re: the rest. Unfortunately in this world it tends to take wealth to source only ethically made products. For American standards I'm not even close to being wealthy. However I think every little bit helps, which is why I do try when I'm able. Also why I buy a lot of used clothes, why I eat mostly organic or local, why I eat 99% vegetarian, etc, etc. If everyone tried and did more than not, there would be definite changes in the world. It wouldn't even have to be close to having to do 100%, all the time.
But there are too many apathetic or extremist attitudes out there where people say to themselves or others, well since you or I don't or can't do only ethical, why even bother trying with anything.Nov 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm #2044162
I assume these things from China are piped off the production line. I've heard of conterfitters running an extra shift, using the same patterns elsewhere, etc.
These "communists" can show all the worst attributes of capitalism it seems. This sellers feedback is shaky too.
It seems like a lot of trouble to buy two and attempt to make an insulated jacket from it. One plus a fleece would be as good or better and you can pick the fleece to suit the conditions, wear them separately, etc.Nov 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm #2044165
So you're basically saying synthetic jackets are no good?
Fleece is heavy. I am looking to have this jacket for back country use as the only jacket to pack.
Works as a wind jacket, doesn't matter if it gets wet and is much lighter than carrying two jackets.
I may also run Vol State next year and need something packable.
I will have a 6 litter vest but still needs to carry 120 ounces of liquids, a 3oz bivy, the jacket and some food.
To me, it's worth every bit of taking it apart and putting the insulation in.Nov 13, 2013 at 1:35 pm #2044166
"Old baselayers and fleeces, at the cheapest price possible from thrift stores."
My kids were both summer camp counselors and the camps maintained clothing boxes. The campers parents were given clear lists of what clothing to send with them and often ignored the lists and sent the kids with cotton sweats, no rain gear, no water bottle, etc. for several years we would snag a duffle bag of this stuff to donate each summer from thrift stores and yard sales.
On a tangent, my wife worked as a camp nurse and found Crocs very useful for kids who chewed their feet up on rocks and barnacles. I found real Crocs and knock-offs for the camp to use as universal shoes.Nov 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm #2044167
Valerie, thanks for sharing a find you made with the BPL community. It is sad to me how often these kind of helpful posts get immediately sidetracked into negative socio-political commentary. If the jacket fits I plan to use it with zero qualms or guilt. And I think a 98.5% positive feedback rating with over 7000 reviews is pretty darn good. Valerie, thanks again.Nov 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm #2044171
There appears to be a sizing chart that only comes up about half the time you click on the item (for me anyway). I assume it is in cm. A quick conversion seems to indicate that the sizing is EU, not Asian. Therefore, it would be 1 size off???
It will be interesting to get some feed-back from those actually ordering the bigger sizes.Nov 13, 2013 at 1:51 pm #2044174
I appreciate her sharing a good deal with us, but unfortunately some of us have a more acute, more sensitive conscience and do think or wonder about some things that to others are inconvenient to think about. Fortunately for you, you're in the majority. Unfortunately for the world those who do think and care about stuff like that are the minority, which is why things tend to stay status quo more or less.Nov 13, 2013 at 2:11 pm #2044178
No mater who you order it from, the product still comes from there.Nov 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm #2044181
Sometimes a wind shirt is just a wind shirt :) I am glad some folks believe they are saving the world one purchase (or non-purchase) at a time. Go get 'em.Nov 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm #2044184
"So you are saying that insulated jackets are no good?"
I think I said a fleece plus a windshirt would be less trouble and more versatile.
Thin insulated jackets aren't very warm and don't breath very well. They are only good for a narrow band of temperatures and not very good for hiking in due to breathability and more so with down and perspiration issues.
Note the recent review by Will Riteveld, where he found that a light down jacket wasn't of much use for temps below freezing at rest.
As you have surmised, they are two windshirts with a thin layer of fill between.
If (and only if) you normally use a windshirt, IMHO, a fleecy mid layer like Power Dry/R1 or Power Stretch is as warm and far more versatile. Even a basic 100w fleece will work. My point is that much of the insulated jacket is a duplication of your windshirt. The fleecy mid layer can be worn with your rain shell and for sleep. Fleece can be worn alone while you launder or dry your base layer too.
The logical extension of the windshirt and fleece system is that it can be taken to lower temps by simply taking loftier fleeces like R2 or R3.
You have the option of using fleece vests with a windshirt as well. I'm have a Power Stretch vest that makes an excellent paring.
At some point, the spreadsheet will show that a loftier puffy style layer is a real advantage, but that should be 100g or better synthetic jacket or down for cold/dry conditions.
I own a NanoPuff and use it around town and for travel, but not for hiking. It sucks for anything more active than a stroll in the park. The new 40g jackets coming out are more fashion and folly than useful hiking clothing.
The bottom line for me is this: if you are going to the expense of a puffy layer and then hauling it over hill and dale, it should keep you warm to be worth the bother. If you don't need much warmth and you are already taking a windshirt, then adding a fleecy mid layer is more efficient over a range of uses rather than just a 20-25f temperature range on rest stops and camp. If you are going to add a puffy to your layering system, get a puffy one!
You will have the windshirt. Get or use your existing light fleece and try it before making your insulated jacket.Nov 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm #2044185
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I think you guys should spend more time getting drinking water to third world countries instead of talking about lightweight backpacking : )Nov 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm #2044191
"MEC has the same standards as patagucci and still gives 1% back to charity… at half the price"
I'm not familiar with MEC. Could you explain their "standards" in comparison to Patagonias?
Also, have you read "Let My People Go Surfing" by Patagonia owner, Yvon Chouinard?Nov 13, 2013 at 3:13 pm #2044208
@lunchandynnerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Thanks, Valerie! I just ordered one for myself and one for my lady.Nov 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm #2044218
delNov 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm #2044219
That jacket has nothing to do with Patagonia and I am pretty sure that it is just a wind jacket with the Wolfskin name on it.
As far as I am aware, Jack Wolfskin does not sell anything like that but in any case it would be about 10x or more than that.
BTW, all Jack Wolfskin jackets have the logo on the other side.
Also if you compare the logo you will find that it does not match :
Nov 13, 2013 at 3:40 pm #2044226
"Sometimes a wind shirt is just a wind shirt :) I am glad some folks believe they are saving the world one purchase (or non-purchase) at a time. Go get 'em."
Tadpole, whatever you do, you make ripples in the pond. I have visions of abused workers, corruption and shoddy goods. When you put money in, you encourage more. Think.Nov 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm #2044229
I'm not familiar with MEC. Could you explain their "standards" in comparison to Patagonias?
ill let you read all about it … it will take up a lot of posts just to put everything on BPL …
code of conduct …
factory list …
2012 accountability report manufacturing section …
MEC 1% for the planet
MEC charitable donation and land acquisitions … note that MEC is a major financial supporter of acquiring land for local parks to preserve areas from real estate development … in squamish they helped decades ago with serious financing to preserve the smoke bluffs, today likely the busiest climbing area in canaada … they also recently helped acquire the upper malamute to preserve the climbing routes for future generations
Jim Rutter, manager of the FMCBC, discovered that the Smoke Bluffs were to be bought by a property developer and closed to the public for good. Unfortunately, the FMCBC didn’t have the money to purchase the bluffs. After some discussion, there was a pause as Dad tallied up his life savings then said, “Tell them I’ll offer $70,000.” And to their surprise the offer was accepted. Suddenly The Smoke Bluffs belonged to Mr. John Randall and were safe.
But Mr. and Mrs. Randall weren’t in a financial position to purchase crags willy-nilly. My Dad’s actions gave the FMCBC time to act, and it agreed to purchase the bluffs from Dad. With Jim Rutter’s efforts in securing a loan from The Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Smoke Bluffs became the property of the Federation, who quickly put fundraising schemes into motion to permanently secure the area.
The climbing community has been working for years to protect and secure access to this important area which has, until now, been privately owned. New life was breathed into the campaign when the property was sold about three years ago for a fraction of its value (recently estimated to be $1.66 million). That’s when MEC became actively involved by making a $15,000 grant to The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) to support the research and groundwork required to land a deal.
and a recent story on overseas partners …
for patagucci you can read about it here …
i would say MEC follows the "same" standards in terms of sustainable and ethical practices as any other "outdoor" company you can name out there
and their gear is pretty good, and substantially cheaper …
i indicated this years ago that patagucci "premium" for "ethics" and "sustainable" practices can be had just as easily at MEC for a better value .. it wasnt well received back then
hopefully the made in CANADA T2/T3 layers that many BPLers did a group buy on can start to change some minds
;)Nov 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm #2044230
I have become concerned about the conditions in which my threads are produced ever since this summer's horror show in Bangladesh. Interestingly enough, Patagonia has very detailed information on their suppliers; REI has a general statement that they support ethical standards and decent working conditions (presumably that would include factories that do not collapse spontaneously). Noting that I had several items of theirs labeled from Bangladesh, I wrote to Duluth Trading and inquired about their feelings on the issue. I got a pro forma response "Your concerns have been conveyed to the Board of Directors." Too bad – their stuff is pretty good, but I won't be buying it anymore. I will be happy to spend more at Pat and similar enterprises.
Anyone have more info about ethical retailers?
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