- Sep 8, 2014 at 3:29 pm #1320717
I'd like to get a pair of down pants for winter camping/backpacking in Michigan. I would use them as an over pant, so the full side zips are necessary.
I know the Helios is sewn through and uses Pertex Endurance and the Volant is baffled. and uses Pertex Shield XT.
Does anyone have any experience with either of these down pants? What are your thoughts?
Thanks in advance!Sep 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm #2133669
I have a pair of the Volant pants
with an Event shell which are about 6 years old and absolutely love them.
They have seen a lot of use the 2 winters in Michigan.
I tend to use them on trips below 10f or so.
From what I remember there is not much weight differnce between the two.Sep 8, 2014 at 4:14 pm #2133672
Thanks for the post Stephen, I'm glad you like the Volant. My hunch is that Event is probably more breathable then Pertex Shield XT, and maybe a little less breathable than the Pertex Endurance. I'm guessing the Shield XT is maybe a little more durable than the Endurance as well, but I'm really not sure on any of this.
If I get the Volant, I worry a little that they might get a little clammy, but then I think that if they do I can always vent them by unzipping the side zips….I don't have any experience with either of these shell fabrics, so maybe the thought that they might get clammy is unfounded on my part.
They also are selling the Helios with the Shield XT fabric as well, so if I decide in favor of the Helios I then have to decide which shell fabric I want.Sep 8, 2014 at 4:28 pm #2133677
I presume they are for static use.
Mine only go on in camp or is stopped for more than 20mins.
Have you spoken to FF, you could ask them to make a pair with an event shell.
I have slept on them a few times with a down parka and a 20f bag.
My XL come in at 540g.Sep 8, 2014 at 4:49 pm #2133683
Yes, they would be for static use, although on the camping trips, we can be standing around all day getting snowed on…
I called Feathered Friends just before I started this thread, and the salesperson wasn't very helpful…He told me there was no difference in breathability between Pertex Endurance and Pertex Shield XT as far as he knew. He did tell me to look at the size chart and go up one size though, so that was helpful. It kind of sounded like he wanted to get rid of me, so I'm guessing he had other customers in the store.
I don't know if they make gear with event anymore, or even if they do custom orders anymore, although I know they used to.Sep 8, 2014 at 5:00 pm #2133687
I have called them a few times over the years and they were either very helpful or useless. No happy medium.
I think for static use you prob aly wont notice any differnce between event and the Pertex.
What down Parka are you using.
Another option is WM's Flight pants, my Large come in at 350g, I have them for the 30-10f space.
Where in Michigan are you based?Sep 8, 2014 at 5:33 pm #2133694
I have a WM Flash XR which I really like, but I want to get something warmer as well. I layer an XL sized 100g Primaloft One Jacket over it but I still get a little cold standing around. I've been looking at the Rab Neutrino (with Primaloft Jacket layered over it), Rab Neutrino Plus and the FF Icefall, particularly for the camping trips where we are standing around a lot. If I get cold backpacking I just crawl in my sleeping bag.
I was looking at the Flight pants, but I thought the Helios (which would be equivalent) might be a little more durable given the Endurance shell fabric. I still am looking at the Flight pants though.
I'm in the southern part of the lower peninsula, south of Lansing, but a lot of my winter trips are on the west side of the state near Lake Michigan, so lots of lake effect snow. I'll go anywhere for trips, but the U.P. is quite a drive.Sep 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm #2133697
I have a Rab Neutrino Plus coming on Wednesday to try out.
I am based west of Bay city so go to West Michigan and the UP a lot.
You should come along on one of our Bpl winter trips.Sep 8, 2014 at 6:04 pm #2133701
I'd definitely be interested in your opinion of the Neutrino Plus. It looks like a great jacket. Regarding the winter trips, definitely! I love winter trips.Sep 8, 2014 at 6:24 pm #2133704
I will definitley let you know about the Neutrino Plus, I tried one on a few years ago and really liked it. I got one from Campsaver heavily discounted.
I am from Ireland so find the summers far too hot here, I much prefer it here from October to April. I really
love winter and out most weekends cross country skiing, snow showing, and camping every 3 weeks or so.Sep 8, 2014 at 8:01 pm #2133728
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
If FF doesn't have what you want or they won't make it, try contacting Goose Feet Gear. Ben may be able to make you some down pants with whatever features you want – it would be worth askingSep 8, 2014 at 8:36 pm #2133742
Edward JursekBPL Member
@nedjursekgmail-comLocale: Pacific Northwest
The Helios line is for milder weather/conditions and the Volant line is their warmer, beefier "expedition" line. The fill difference between the Helios or Helios XT and the Volant pants are just over an ounce. I have found the FF staff to be helpful and very honest about the actual difference between shell materials, without all of the marketing spin the manufacturers claim. If they say the shell materials basically perform the same, then they probably are about the same. You might want to go with basic the Helios pants and have them add an ounce over overfill, which will likely cost a lot less then the Volant pants.Sep 9, 2014 at 2:48 am #2133791
Donald DavisBPL Member
I have been thinking about trying the down pants from Borah Gear. Has anyone here tried them?Sep 9, 2014 at 5:08 am #2133794
The Borah are very nice if you can get the fit right. I had a pair for a while but swapped them out for the WM Flight.Sep 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm #2133985
Thanks for your response. I think FF can be very helpful but I think it depends on who answers the phone. The gentleman I spoke with seemed surprised by my question and I honestly think he had no idea about the fabrics. On the other hand, I have spoken with others there while purchasing other items and was given very in depth responses. I'm glad your experiences have been good.
Your idea of an ounce overfill to the Helios is a good one…still won't be as warm as the Volant due to the Volant's baffled construction vs the sewn through construction of the Helios, but my guess is it would get close.
Thanks again for responding!Sep 9, 2014 at 5:43 pm #2133996
The Neutrino Plus arrived its very nice indeed, superb quality and good features.
I obviously won't be able to comment
properly until Winter hits. I have a Montbell Permafrost and Eddie Bauer Peak XV I want to try out also before deciding which one (or two) to keep.Sep 9, 2014 at 5:53 pm #2134004
Great to hear…I think I'm going to call Moosejaw and have them send an Endurance and a Plus to one of their stores for me to try on. Rab gear seems to have well thought out features.
BTW, I went ahead and ordered both the Helios and the Volant pant, so sometime next week I'll be able to figure out which one I like best.Sep 9, 2014 at 6:41 pm #2134026
Good call on ordering both trousers,
that will take the "what if" out of the equation.
I just tried on the 3 Parkas with the layers I may have underneath them and the Plus and Peak XV have plenty of room.
Will send you a pm.
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