Sep 2, 2014 at 12:39 pm #1320542
Hey everyone. Trying to finally decide on a down jacket after flip-flopping between choices for a long time. I live in the PNW and need a down jacket that is comfortably warm year round. My layering system for cooler temps consists of usually a cap 2 or 4 base layer, Arc'teryx Atom LT and now I'm trying to nail down the down and hard shell. I do stand around a lot not moving early in the morning and late evening as I am a photographer.
The choices I had been looking at (and the downfalls I see in each):
Arc'teryx Cerium LT (9.5oz) – on the heavier side, apparently loses feathers
MH Ghost Whisperer (7.5oz) – worried about durability
Montbell Ex Lite Down Anorak (7oz) – worried not warm enough, not great looking
Montbell UL Down Parka (9oz)- doesn't look great
Patagonia UL Down Hoodie (9.3oz) – on the heavier side
Any reason I should pick one particular one of the other? Please save my sanity and try to convince me one way or the other!Sep 2, 2014 at 12:55 pm #2132210Richard LyonBPL Member
@richardglyonLocale: Bridger Mountains
I have owned three on your short list, the two MontBells and the Patagonia. I give very high marks to the MontBell UL Down Parka and Patagonia Down Hoody as excellent midlayers that can be used as an outer jacket down to about 20F. The MontBell Ex Light is as warm as the UL but has no pockets which makes it problematic without a shell atop it. I'd quickly opt to one with a hood but that's a personal preference.
RichardSep 2, 2014 at 1:28 pm #2132213David UreMember
I have the Ghost Whisperer and MB UL Down Jacket so I can comment on those. The Ghost Whisperer has dry down which is a nice feature to have although admittedly, I don't get my jackets wet. It is also noticeably warmer to me than the MB. As far as durability, I haven't had issues with either – mine are used as around camp warmth and as part of my sleep system.Sep 2, 2014 at 2:26 pm #2132223Steven ParisBPL Member
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
You don't have your PM set up; send me an email: s/g/paris/2010 at gmail (take out the slashes) so I can run something by you about a Ghost Whisperer.Sep 2, 2014 at 2:46 pm #2132227
PM'd Steve, not sure why you're having troubles with my PM. I received a couple only yesterday haha.
Thanks a lot for the thoughts so far guys. Looking a bit more into the Patagonia and Ghost Whisperer now.Sep 2, 2014 at 3:41 pm #2132244Rick MBPL Member
delSep 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm #2132250John DavisBPL Member
I have the MH Ghost Whisperer. It functions as anticipated: light, packable, and warm. It has been used with a thin merino base layer for chilly temps and for colder weather I just layer under and over as necessary. Also works well with my sleep system.Sep 2, 2014 at 4:08 pm #2132251
Hi Rick, this is interesting. I don't quite understand the technicalities here. Would fleece, something like a R1 hoody go better below these down jackets? The Atom SV and Nuclei would be a bit heavier than the downs I've listed here.Sep 2, 2014 at 4:53 pm #2132263James holdenBPL Member
One hint is to get a down sweater that fits under yr atom
– protects the down from external moisture
– allows the internal moisture to migrate outward to the synthetic
The downside is that its more faff when you want to put on the down ull need to take off the synth, but since you arent climbing its not a big deal
Sweaters with 2-3 oz of down honestly arent very warm for the PNW shoulder seasons or winter
Something in the 4 oz+ range is more or less ideal when layered under a synth … Any thicker and you should probably get a dedicated down puffy (not sweater)
Im wearing an EB down vest under a 19$ old navy synth puffy as i type this
The body heat is drying off my layers from todays damp rain and all the moisture will end up in the outer synth layer
The question folks should be asking you is
what temps do you expect to be standing still for a decent amount of time
;)Sep 2, 2014 at 5:21 pm #2132270
Thanks for the info Eric. Not 100% on temps but I would like my layering system to get down to 20 degrees with the Cap 4, R1 Fleece or Atom LT + Down. Not sure if that's a reasonable request. I'll be spending some time in the Canadian Rockies late September and in the Enchantments in early October.Sep 2, 2014 at 5:38 pm #2132275James holdenBPL Member
I would recommend a hooded down sweater that has ~4oz+ of quality 800 +down at minimum for 20F … Preferably one that can fit under (and over) yr atom
This might a bit conservative but remember that our PNW winters often mean freezing rain, slush, humidity and a lack of sun to dry things out
I personally use a EB downlight hoody with that amount of down with an atom lt
I havent used the DWR down personally but it cant hurt in out humid conditions here
Other folks can speak to the temps in the rockies … But below 20F (or standing still for long periods, of if u run cold) i would want a "real" down poofay with 6+ (and above for colder) oz of quality down
Unfortunately when you get to that size of a poofay ull need to layer it over yr synth … But if its that cold itll be less damp anyways
IMO god is in the side of down quantity in the winter … Last thing u want to do in winter is end up too cold … A margin is a good thing
One other consideration is that for general all the time wear around town a more durable shell may be wanted … The exl is quite fragile (i own one as well) … The EB for example is heavier but more durable and can be worn daily
;)Sep 2, 2014 at 5:39 pm #2132276Chad “Stick” PoindexterBPL Member
@stickLocale: Southeast USA
I have been just fine hanging out around camp at 20 F with a cap 2 long sleeve crew, R1 pullover (not the hooded version) and my MB UL Down Parka. I also had my rain shell to throw over it all if I needed, and of course, if I did get cold I could still pull my sleeping bag/quilt out and drape over me (not that I ever had too though). I also had gloves and my BRG down boggin on too…
I did just place an order for the new MB Ex Light Anorak though and looking forward to checking it out… and if I like it I will likely need to get rid of my UL Down Inner Parka, and my basically new Ex Light…
Edit to add, this is for me in the SouthEast.Sep 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm #2132279Trill DaddyBPL Member
I've used all of them, and the Cerium is the warmest, due to loft. The thing is a furnace under a shell.Sep 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm #2132280Edward JursekBPL Member
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
I would also look at the Feathered Friends Daybreak jacket.Sep 2, 2014 at 5:59 pm #2132287Rick MBPL Member
delSep 2, 2014 at 7:36 pm #2132310Mike MBPL Member
I had a Patagonia down sweater (sans hood), a MB Ex-light (also sans hood) and now the MH Whisperer- 3 oz of down in a 7.7 hooded garment w/ slash pockets and a drawstring waist, not too shabby :) it's as warm as the Patagonia sweater and warmer than the Ex-light, lighter than both- mine is holding up very well, also sleep in it fairly often as well
won't get into the syn vs down discussion as that wasn't your questionSep 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm #2132337Jeff JeffBPL Member
I use the Montbell UL Down year round in the Cascades. I don't find a hood to be necessary at the typically mild temps we get here.
I also have an Alpine Light which I use if I am going to be sitting around. I don't use it much because I don't sit around camp very much.Sep 2, 2014 at 10:13 pm #2132338Jeff JeffBPL Member
Also, what is the point of an R1 in mild temps? You should be fine with a cap 3 or cap 4 while you are moving. Then put on the puffy when you stop. I bet you can get a down jacket that is warmer and lighter than the down + fleece combo.
I would only take the fleece if it's cold enough to be needed while on the move. For me, that is in the teens. Pretty rare in the PNW.Sep 2, 2014 at 11:01 pm #2132347Mitchell EbbottSpectator
It doesn't sound like price is an issue for you, but the Uniqlo UL Down Parka will save you a good chunk of cash. As far as I or anyone else on this forum who owns one can tell, it's comparable to those jackets on your list. Size down.
My small weighs 9 oz, and they're on sale for $60. They also make a version without the hood, so you could shave some weight there if you like.Sep 3, 2014 at 3:26 am #2132357
This was basically my plan for a layering system too Chad. Cap 2 or 4 > R1 fleece or Atom LT (I have both) > Down Jacket > Hard Shell when needed. I do run pretty warm so I think it should be sufficient down to 20F. Just trying to get the right down jacket for the job.Sep 3, 2014 at 7:35 am #2132387Brett PeughBPL Member
I recently purchased two different OR jackets from Sierra Trading post but had to send them back. The first was a Transcendent Hoody because in an XXL it weighed close to 19 oz. and that was a bit much for me for only having 4oz of down. The second was a Maestro hoody that was supposed to have 10 oz. of down at 25 oz. but it was sewn through so there was not much loft. I guess I shouldn’t complain too much but an XXL jacket that has 4oz. of down is going to weigh rough around a pound. I guess I am lucky in that years ago I was able to pick up a Montbell Alpine jacket in XXL and it is box baffled so while it was only supposed to have 6 oz. of down I think they put much more in there and it is definitely more puffy because of the baffling and only weighs 20 oz. No hood but I did try out a Nunatak balaclava for a bit but it was always too warm for my head and was hard to breathe through so that I always fogged up my glasses.
I don’t know if they make a 4oz box baffled down jacket but I would go for something like that as it would be much warmer.Sep 3, 2014 at 10:58 am #2132428
Thanks for the info Brett, appreciated.
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