- Jul 25, 2005 at 10:24 am #1216424
I’m looking for a synthetic jacket for ultrlight backpacking that I can wear under my rainshell at night for in camp warmth. I’ve decided to go with synthetic since my bag is down and I’d like to have a jacket that insulates when wet.
I want something as warm as Western Mountaineerings Down Flight Jacket (10.5 oz). From what I’ve heard the Patagonia’s Micro Puff Pullover at 12.5 oz or the Bozeman Mountain Works Cocoon at 8.5 oz aren’t as warm as the Flight jacket. I’m considering two synthetic jackets that are each a little heavier-about 15oz.(medium). The Golite Coal Jacket and the Wild Things Primalight Jacket (per Wild Things it has the same warmth as the Wild Things EP Jacket when the Primalight is warn under a rain shell). Any insight into if these jackets will be comparable in warmth to the somewhat lighter Flight Jacket? Any insight into which of the two jackets is warmer, plus or minuses of each? I like that the GoLite has a hood but I carry a fleece balaclava anyway which I often use for adjusting my temperature while hiking.
ChrisJul 25, 2005 at 10:46 am #1339504
@mrschurrLocale: SW US
You might want to add to your list the Montbell U.L. Thermawrap.Jul 26, 2005 at 12:29 pm #1339533
Bill LawBPL Member
@williamlawLocale: SF Bay Area
I have a GoLite Coal and swear by it. Every once in a while I’m tempted to get something lighter but the Coal has definite advantages: being synthetic, it can perhaps be used in wetter conditions than down; and it is really long (i.e., covers more of one’s behind than most of the alternatives) which adds considerably to the warmth factor, IMO.
At the time I bought mine, price was a considerable advantage, also (only $49 or something like that).
Bill LawJul 26, 2005 at 1:01 pm #1339535
I second the Montbell Thermawrap!Jul 27, 2005 at 8:37 am #1339558
I second the Golite Coal. It isn’t as light as the Patagonia MicroPuff I have, but it has a hood, it is warmer, if covers more of the groin and butt, and is still pretty darn light. I use the Golite Coal is I am planning or seriously worried about an unplanned overnighter; it substitutes for every other warm layer, from fleece to lightly insulated windshirts. The only other layer I carry is a Marmot Precip jacket, oversized to fit over the Coal, or a poncho; so although the Coal is heavy and bulky, you save on other layers.
I also have the Western Mountaineering Flight jacket which is a beautiful piece, but it has no hood, its a “shorty”, and I get conflicted about using it anyway: it’s so nicely made and expensive I don’t want to mess it up; I don’t want to overcompress the down and lose loft; and I don’t trust down where it could get wet. So I think I will save this jacket for traveling to China etc. were product failure isn’t so important. In other words, it is a beautiful product, but except for a snowy winter I would worry about using down, and the lack of a hood severely limits its utility. On the other hand, if you are into “ultralight travelling” it is pretty neat, and since carry on bags on airline are even smaller than a lot of thru-hiker packs, the ability to compress it down is great.Jul 27, 2005 at 8:54 am #1339561
@foodLocale: Colorado Rockies
The GoLite Coal has been out of production long enough that they are getting hard to find. I wish I had bought a half dozen when they were on sale for about $50.Jul 31, 2005 at 8:35 pm #1339754
Thanks everyone for your input. I’m thinking I will go with the Cocoon along with a light to midweight base layer and Rainshell. Then see if I can pick up a GoLite for colder backpacks.
ChrisJul 31, 2005 at 9:47 pm #1339756
@daneLocale: Western Washington
I am planning on getting a BMW Cocoon sooner or later as well, but instead of getting another jacket for colder conditions I intend to wear a Montbell Thermawrap vest under it. This adds about a third of an inch of loft over your torso. If both of those were worn over a windshirt and midweight base layer, and used in conjunction with a high loft hat/balaclava, I think you could get down to some really cold temperatures before needing a warmer jacket. For my purposes I don’t see myself ever needing more warmth than that, but perhaps a more durable jacket would be better for mountaineering.
Would current Cocoon owners recomend sizing up to wear the Montbell vest under it?
And are there any good high-loft hats or balaclavas other than the Nunatak down balaclava?Aug 1, 2005 at 6:28 am #1339757
Kevin LaneBPL Member
Is wearing such a compressable layer under the cocoon going to do much? The cocoon is very tight fitting and I would think that its snuggness would negate much of the benefit in such a systemAug 1, 2005 at 8:56 am #1339759
Kevin, I think that’s what Dane was asking, whether the fit was tight enough that he ought to size up the cocoon if he ever wanted to use the thermawrap vest underneath.
However, I think you may be right in the direction you are headed with this. Oversizing the cocoon may remove some of the benefits of the cocoon in the first place (snug fit increases warmth and reduces weight, oversizing the Cocoon is definitely going to increase its weight and may sacrifice some warmth).
But then again, it’s all a matter of choice. For Dane, the convienience of allowing the dual-layering scheme may be worth sacrifice of carrying an ounce or so more, and a degree or two of warmth when wearing the cocoon alone.Aug 1, 2005 at 7:01 pm #1339770
How about going the other way with layering the vest over the jacket to keep the jacket weight and size down?Aug 1, 2005 at 8:04 pm #1339771Aug 2, 2005 at 7:42 am #1339780
Actually Richard, I thought of that last night sometime afte I posted. All I can think is that the vest under the jacket *should* be warmer than the vest over the jacket as there will be more air trapped the first way. However, my guess is that it will be more often that temperature will only require the jacket so you’re strategy is probably more appropriate.Aug 2, 2005 at 8:24 am #1339783
Joshua and Dane,
I recognized that the vest inside the jacket would be warmer with less wind entry, but I just suggested it as something to consider.
As an alternative, consider the Patagonia Micro Puff Pullover (my large weighs 11.6 oz plus .4 oz for stuff sack), Jacket (my large weighs 17.4 oz plus 1 oz for stuff sack) and Vest (my large weighs 6.6 oz with built in stuff sack). I believe that though a little heavier, the Patagonia Pullover may be sized a little larger than the Cocoon. Mine would probably be sized to take the Thermavest inside. I believe that my Patagonia Micropuff Vest would fit under my Patagonia Pullover and either the Pullover or the Vest would probaby fit under the Jacket.
RichAug 2, 2005 at 10:29 am #1339786
Heard great thing about the micro-puff, a little heavier than the cocoon.
However, I”ve never been one to focus soley on weight.
Poking around, it looks like there are some discontiued colors on serious sale at the moment.Aug 2, 2005 at 10:35 am #1339787
Joshua and Dane,
I had purchased all 3 Patagonia Micro Puff pieces on eBay for very good prices earlier this spring. They were all new with tags. You may want to periodically also check eBay for these pieces as well. My Jacket and Vest were picked up in Black and my Pullover was picked up in Blue.
RichAug 2, 2005 at 2:15 pm #1339804
@daneLocale: Western Washington
What would you estimate the average loft to be on your micro-puff vest?
What size does it stuff down to?
I haven’t seen the micro-puff vest before, but it looks nice. I think the full length zip on the montbell vest is unnecessary.
Thank you as well for the link to the FF Volant hood. Quite a bit cheaper than the Nunatak balaclava, although I like the front snaps on the Nunatak.Aug 2, 2005 at 2:56 pm #1339806
The Patagonia Micro-Puff Vest is a pullover, has I believe 4 snaps for closure, probably about the same loft as the Patagonia Micro-Puff Pullover (about .6″ according to the article on BPL: http://tinyurl.com/dupvv), and stuffs into its own inside pocket to the size of about a softball.
The FF Volant Hood has a brim and uses a shock cord and several velcro strips for front closure and for adjusting the hood. Mine in eVENT outer faric and nylon inner fabric weighs 3.2 oz even though the FF site lists it at an average weight of 4 oz.
FF is invariably substantally less expensive than and is probably of equal or about equal quality to Nunatak.
RichAug 2, 2005 at 5:43 pm #1339820
@jagcLocale: Pacific NW
The micro-puff pullover in “sunrise” (orange) is now on sale at their internet site for $89 instead of the regular retail price of $145.00Aug 7, 2005 at 4:55 pm #1340034
Thanks everyone for the input. I like the idea of a vest/jacket combo. What I ended up ordering is the Cocoon pullover top (8.5oz)and Cocoon bottoms(7oz) for synthetic and then a Western Mountaineering down Flight vest 5oz. one size larger to go over the Cocoon. With my oversize rain shell on the top this should keep me toasty with a good combo of Synthetic for safety and down for warmth.
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