- Dec 5, 2018 at 10:34 pm #3567676
Max Neale published a very nice review of the Patagonia Grade VII puffy jacket (https://maxneale.blogspot.com/2018/11/patagonia-grade-vii-best-down-parka-review.html), but for some reason I cannot comment on his blog so I though I might as well ask here (my wife and I are moving for good to Finland next year, hence my interest in warm jackets).
The questions are:
- in the review there are a lot of comparisons between the Grade VII and other jackets, all presented in graphs — what is the scale? how have these comparisons been done?
- Can I add a ruff to the hood of the Grade VII without having to do any DIY?
I like the idea of a durable, warm and lightweight parka (there is some vague work opportunity that would see me work in Northern Lapland..), but I’d like to understand the review better.Dec 6, 2018 at 12:18 am #3567696
The Grade VII fabrics are relatively durable for their light weight. But if you’re looking for a jacket for work in a northern climate, I would consider other options as well.
“Work” can mean many things, but in general you don’t necessarily need or want to pay a premium for the combination of the best warmth to weight ratio, with the sacrifice of long-term durability that brings, for daily working outside. I don’t think you need to go for a full-on Canada Goose-style jacket with heavy cordura, but I think looking at the heavier, more durable end of lightweight expedition parkas would be worthwhile.
At the end of the review he mentions the Feathered Friends Khumbu, for example, for guides working in the mountains, as it’s going to be more durable overall, despite being a bit heavier: Pertex Shield fabric (30d? 40d?) with reinforcements.
I don’t know if you’d be able to attach a ruff without at least some modification to the actual jacket, in the form of buttons, snaps, or velcro.Dec 6, 2018 at 10:25 am #3567756
My experience of Finnish winters has been that as long as I do enough activity the amount of insulation I need is well below puffy levels — as long as the layering system lets transpiration raise and freeze to the surface of my clothing it’s all good. Because I would go out, do stuff and never actually stop, and go back indoors, I never needed a puffy that I would put on when static over a long time outdoors. So I am puffy-less.
A Canada Goose type of thing seems ideal if you go out and never do anything that makes you generate heat and sweat (from start to finish). If on the other hand I go out, cycle for X hours and then have a prolonged stop I need a puffy to put on during the stop, so I assume I’d need something packable.
From a ‘work’ standpoint, that might require some level of exertion, so I am not immediately looking at a CG type of puffy, because it would not be suitable. Hence my interest in understanding Max’s Grade VII review — Max lives in Alaska, so I assume he would need something that does work even when things do not happen as planned.Dec 6, 2018 at 5:31 pm #3567800
Totally — and I am agreeing that you don’t need a Canada-Goose style parka. I am just saying that you may want something that is more durable than the Grade VII parka for daily use in a setting that does not require the best weight to warmth ratio. If you are willing to sacrifice even a tiny bit of weight, you can find something that may a) be less expensive, and b) be more durable, while still being incredibly warm, packable, and relatively light.
Max himself points this out at the end of the article when he recommends the FF Khumbu parka.
But I also shouldn’t be offering unsolicited advice!
In terms of your specific question, I kind of doubt the graphs have much quantitative meaning behind them. It seems more like he might be using them as a visual aid for comparison. Ie., perhaps “warmth” is measured with the aid of instrumentation, or perhaps it’s just a subjective ranking. Or “weight”: why does the heaviest jacket in the review score a 2, and the lightest score a 10? How heavy would a jacket have to be to score a 1? I have no idea.
I don’t read enough of his stuff to know if there’s a system behind it, but personally if the scale and methods aren’t clearly explained with the graphs, I would take them with a grain of salt. They’re nice visual aids until then.Dec 6, 2018 at 8:23 pm #3567826
You make a good point — I will look in the FF Khumbu too. Max says ‘If you don’t mind carrying around a two-pound parka’, to which my Finnish friends would reply ‘are you weak?’ — they all ended up in the special forces in their service, they do not understand UL (apparently anti tank mines do not come in UL version).Dec 6, 2018 at 10:06 pm #3567838
Actually, I Max has just published a mega review of down jacket here on BL, I will use it as a guide. Incidentally given a choice I’d go fo something available off the shelf in Europe to avoid the non trivial aggravation of importing stuff from the Americas.
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