Apr 5, 2021 at 4:48 pm #3707781
I find shopping online for insulated jackets very difficult. I don’t have a solid understanding of all the properties and types of insulation to have a good feel for how warm a jacket might be without seeing it in person. Since I don’t have ready access to great outdoor gear stores, I’m hoping you all can help.
I currently own a Rab Xenon X, which I’ve been very happy with as a wind-resistant and pretty warm, very packable outer layer for summer alpine trips. I also own an old Mountain Hardwear Kelvinator as my ‘big puffy’, which I bring on shoulder season trips where the temps might drop a bit lower. The Kevlinator is warm but a bit heavy and not as supremely packable as I think more contemporary puffies can be.
I’m interested in something that might approach the Kelvinator in warmth, but be lighter and perhaps fit better under a shell. Even something halfway between the Xenon and the Kelvintor in warmth would be good. I’m not necessarily wed to either down or synthetic, but I’m guessing down will probably offer better warmth:weight. The use will primarily be for warmth at camp/rest stops; I’m not really thinking of this as an active layer.
Anyone have any leads on specific models or tips on what specs I should look for? I get completely confused by insulation specs, particularly all the varieties of down fill…
Thanks!Apr 5, 2021 at 7:28 pm #3707814Steve HBPL Member
Lisa you may consider Feathered Friends EOS. About 8 oz light than the Kelvinator (I think), certainly more compressible & a very good warmth to weight ratio.Apr 5, 2021 at 7:34 pm #3707815Edward John MBPL Member
Lisa you MH link goes somewhere else. FYI.Apr 5, 2021 at 9:43 pm #3707831
Ahh, whoops…Now people will forever know how I was feeling about potentially returning to the office someday. I don’t think there’s a way to edit a post?
Here’s the link I intended: https://www.backcountry.com/mountain-hardwear-kelvinator-jacket-womensApr 6, 2021 at 4:56 am #3707855JCHBPL Member
Bang for buck it’s pretty hard to beat Montbell. You may find the new Alpine Down Parka interesting at 14 oz and $299. Certainly lighter and more packable than the Kelvinator and very likely warmer.Apr 6, 2021 at 11:51 am #3707917Marcus IBPL Member
Im a huge fan of my Montbell Alpine Light (mens version). They can be found on sale for under $200, likely in the next couple months when summer closeouts happen.
I see the Womens Alpine Light only has 3oz down (vs 5oz in the mens) so the Womens Alpine (not light) with 6.5oz may be the ticket. That’s 46% down by weight. Pretty good!Apr 6, 2021 at 12:03 pm #3707918David ChenaultBPL Member
@davecLocale: Queen City, MT
You can spitball warmth estimates from down jacket to down jacket by doing the math. 6 ounces of down (what I’d guess might be in that Kelvinator) times 650 fill power means that (in theory) you have 3900 cubic inches of insulating muscle. Compare that to 3840 cubes (800 x 4.8 oz) in the Montbell Alpine Light.
Shell fabric, construction, and how tightly the down is packed all make a difference but the numbers will let you at least mostly compare apples to apples.
If I company doesn’t list the down weight don’t bother.Apr 7, 2021 at 12:53 pm #3708116J RBPL Member
I suggest you talk to Ben at Goosefeet Gear, he can customize a jacket to your exact specs, and the end result will cost about the same as off the rack.
Point of reference: a few years ago I had him make a puffy for me that has 3 oz of 950fp Downtek insulation and the whole jacket weighs less 6 oz and at the time cost $265. Not as warm as what I think you’re looking for but as I said he will customize.Apr 7, 2021 at 5:45 pm #3708159Robert SpencerBPL Member
@bspencerLocale: Sierras of CA and deserts of Utah
Some great contenders mentioned already. Another custom option would be something in down or synthetic from Nunatak. They are known for very light and very high quality garments and quilts if you are willing to wait for items not in stock. Of course, down is generally more packable.
And I also wanted to mention the Western Mountaineering Flight Jacket. My wife uses hers in camp and at rest breaks as you describe and it has become a must-have in her pack. I don’t think there is a women’s specific version of the Flight, but still worth considering.
I am a big believer in proper fit — the last thing you want is a bunch of dead air space you have to heat up again and again. If Mountain Hardwear works for you there is the Women’s Ghost Whisperer UL Hoody — spendy but ultralight. Or if the more tapered cut of Rab is to your liking, consider the Microlight.
Online shopping takes patience — I often purchase two or more for comparison and then return all but my favorite. Best of luck.Apr 14, 2021 at 9:45 pm #3708961
Closing the loop on this one…I went with the Arcteryx Cerium LT hoody. It fits perfectly (which is a challenge for me, being very petite), is warmer than my Rab Xenon, is quite light but still feels fairly durable, and not so puffy that I won’t be able to fit it under a shell. The list price is outrageous but I was able to snag a pretty decent deal, making it a bit more palatable.
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