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Vests


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  • #3764290
    Josh J
    BPL Member

    @uahiker

    I’ll be honest I’m not really a vest guy, never really saw the point of then but I’m thinking of trying one because I believe I have a form of reynauds but never officially diagnosed.  My fingertips turn pure white and hurt! I put them under warm water and they come back to normal shortly after……. so I’m willing to try a vest to keep my core warmer but looking for suggestions on a vest and wondering why others wear them?

    #3764292
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    I love my Patagonia nano puff vest. I wear it every day in cool and colder temps. Perfect for layering when it gets COLD outside and if I dont need it I can tuck it away in my pack. It just works for me.. hiking and every day use.

    #3764304
    Scott Smith
    BPL Member

    @mrmuddy

    Locale: Idaho Panhandle

    I’ll ditto the Nano…

    Super light…warms great…hardly know u even have it on…other than u r very cozy while wearing…easily takes layers without giving u the Michelin Man effect…And, it looks good 🙂

    #3764807
    Bruce M
    BPL Member

    @va3pinner

    Locale: In the shadow of the Shenandoah

    on another direction – have you tried a warm base layer t shirt?   A merino T shirt under my regular shirt is a great help in keeping my core warm. I wear them all winter, both in the house and outside.

    I also use two types of vests, puffy or fleece depending on temperatures and what I’m doing.

    #3764851
    Mark Verber
    BPL Member

    @verber

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    I like a vest because it keeps my core warm while providing good mobility for my arms and easier to vent excess heat when active when compared to an equiv insulated jacket.

    I could be mistaken, but my memory is that keeping your core warm won’t stop the vascular constriction associated with raynauds in colder conditions, but there is some hope if you are willing to do some work.

    I know of two people who resolved their issues with raynauds by followed a protocol developed by Murray P. Hamlet of the US Army Soldier research center in the 1980s?  I can’t find my stashed copy of the full paper, but there is a summary that appeared in Wilderness Medicine Newsletetter https://wildernessmedicinenewsletter.wordpress.com/2006/12/08/cold-related-injuries-6-raynauds-disease/ and a more recent article which talks about some of the advances https://www.raynauds.org/2019/09/26/classical-conditioning-raynauds-therapy/

    #3764902
    Monte Masterson
    BPL Member

    @septimius

    Locale: Changes Often

    I’ve been lusting for a Montbell Plasma 1000 Down Vest to make up part of an SUL fastpacking kit for some time now, but at $245 it probably won’t happen unless I hit lotto. Weighs 3.1 oz (M) and has 1.1 oz 1000 fill with a 7D shell. There has been some debate here on BPL as to whether or not 1000 down fill is a marketing gimmick. In other words, it might not be any better than 900 fill (yet it’s considerably more expensive). https://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=25146&p_id=2301259&gen_cd=1

    #3764973
    Mark Verber
    BPL Member

    @verber

    Locale: San Francisco Bay Area

    I use the plasma vest (Japanese version that has handwarmer pockets), typically combined with a macpac nitro hoody (alpha direct) and/or a patagonia micro puff hoody. It does provide a good amount of warmth for a tiny weight but it’s not amazingly warm compared to other high quality ultralight vests. The cut is fairly generous… which some people might like, I prefer a more slim cut with a neck that seals a bit more.

    BTW:   If you know someone who will be in Japan soon you could get it for around $159 USD due to the current exchange rate.

    I haven’t seen one in person, but the specs and reviews of the $119  Cumulus Minilite looks pretty good.

    #3765105
    Jeff
    BPL Member

    @jkpaulsen

    BTW:   If you know someone who will be in Japan soon you could get it for around $159 USD due to the current exchange rate.

    You can also buy direct from Montbell’s Japanese site. Lots of great deals to be had there right now.

    EDIT: If you do buy from the Japanese site, make sure to check sizing. You may need to go up a size or two.

    #3765123
    George W
    BPL Member

    @ondarvr

    Isn’t it typically the heat loss between your core and extremities that creates the cold hands and feet? Keeping your core warmer, if it was even cool to begin with may not help.

    Wasn’t there just a discussion on this subject where adding insulation to your core was less helpfull than adding it to the sleeves and hands themselves?  Your core is not typically cold if you’re active, so warming it more doesn’t help much.

    #3765126
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    O

    I’ve had a Western Mountaineering down vest for years. I don’t know the specs anymore but it’s very high rated fill (900) and light and most importantly, doesn’t scrimp on the down. I’ve never understood ‘saving’ one or two ounces on a SL down piece and then having to bring a 6 or 7 ounce mid layer to make up for the fact that (less than) 2 ounces of down isn’t enough to do the job. Get 5 or 6 ounces of down and leave the make up mid layer behind.

    I don’t think I have Reynauds. but I also can suffer from white fingers. In winter people are shocked when they shake my hand. When Nordic skiing, I’d wear merino inners and hefty Rab mitts, but of course have to click into my skis wearing just the inners.  It would take a half hour of skiing to finally warm my hands. Ridiculous. (Nordic skiing is highly aerobic and heat generating.}

    #3765724
    SIMULACRA
    BPL Member

    @simulacra

    Locale: Puget Sound

    I’ve been trying to find a synthetic fill pullover vest with hood, kangaroo pocket, light weight to warmth ratio & technical fabrics. EE stopped making their _Torrid vest. Tried that anyways. Their cut was not agreeable to me. Sold. So far the closest I’ve come to is the Ortovox Piz Boe and Piz Duan vests. They don’t hit all my marks. Are insulated with Swisswool and there’s next to no real world reviews on these items aside from the industry. It really surprises me there aren’t more options out there for this type of vest. I want to use this mostly in my sleep system or when static in camp as part of my modular layering system. 2-3 season use. I’ve found more often than not, when layering, that I don’t need as much insulation on my arms. Some, because the fabric layers begin to bind with each other, causing limited mobility and movement of the arms. But also because I’ll tend to overheat. Will be using a synthetic base layer top, no hood. (short or long sleeved, depending on season). The R1 hooded as a mid layer. The hooded vest, top layer. And my rain/wind jacket as a shell if need be.

    #3765728
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    My right fore finger sort of does that.  If it’s cold, it turns whitish and numb.  If I warm it back up it’s fine again.

    I think this could get worse so I try to avoid it.  By wearing gloves more and a warmer vest.  That seems to help avoid.  Also, when the finger starts to get white I’ll put more insulation on and put my hands in my pocket.

    Insulated arms restrict us of my arms – the Michelin man effect. I prefer a vest.

    I make my own vest.  Synthetic insulation is good because it’s better when wet.  And if I’m exercising, too much warmth will cause sweat.  Down is warmer for the weight and packs smaller.

    #3765734
    Bill K
    BPL Member

    @offtraildog

    I often use a vest or pack one as a potential extra layer. Like Jerry, I don’t like restricted arms.

    I have a Patagonia synthetic vest, a synthetic BD Access vest, a midweight Voormi vest, a really old  Patagonia fleece vest and a lightweight MH Merino wool vest. My warmest is the synthetic Patagonia vest I got 10+ yrs ago. still works great .. might be the original nano model.

    My wife is now a vest convert .. great way to add some extra insulation without bulking out your arms

    #3765780
    Bill in Roswell
    BPL Member

    @roadscrape88-2

    Locale: Roswell, GA, USA

    I’ve been looking to replace my old Primaloft vest with something newer and warmer, still synthetic. The OR Strand LT vest looks keen. I know a couple guys with the Strand jacket and are happy with it. Anyone tried out OR Strand yet?

    #3766059
    SIMULACRA
    BPL Member

    @simulacra

    Locale: Puget Sound

    True. Only, no hood though

    #3766071
    AK Granola
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    I have to keep my arms and hands warm to prevent cold fingers and hands. I wear goose down mittens when it’s really cold. I can’t recommend a vest, but I can tell you that one of the best places to look for a high quality inexpensive down vest is at a thrift shop. They always seem to have tons of vests.  Check there before you spend a lotta dough new.

    #3766077
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I don’t like hoods for the same reason I don’t like arms – it restricts movement.  And restricts hearing.

    If it’s raining, I have no choice – hood restriction better than getting wet

    I have what’s like a detached insulated hood if it’s really cold.  Overlaps my collar at the bottom to minimize movement restriction.  I can leave it open for better hearing, or if really cold I can snap it closed so it covers my ears and cheeks better.

    #3766118
    Bill in Roswell
    BPL Member

    @roadscrape88-2

    Locale: Roswell, GA, USA

    Good call AK. Goodwill (they do a huge volume in metro Atlanta, esp in the upscale neighborhoods that toss out last years colors annually) and other thrift sores can have numerous gems. Pata, REI and a few others sell used gear in good shape online (diff rules than REI garage sale items). Worth apending some time to search before paying full retail on the newest color…..

     

    #3766223
    Phong D
    BPL Member

    @poledancer

    If your trying to see if warming your core solves issues with your fingers, I think you should just try it.  I think all backpackers have just one particular special need that its worth adding weight to address.  For example, I carry the Sea To Summit sleeping pad even though its heavier than the uber light, because I am heavy and bottom out most pads.

    But putting that special need aside, I think there might be some overlap between the purpose of the vest and a light 2.5 ounce outer layer like a Montbell Tachyon wind shirt.  Like, they are both meant to keep you warm but not too warm that you can’t hike.  In this case, the vest is better at warming your core, where the outer layer might be a better all rounder.

    Anyway, I own neither a wind layer OR a vest, and in a recent cold hike I wanted a wind layer.  But its interesting to know a vest might also be an option.  Does anyone have an opinion which is better?  Or maybe you feel they are different enough?

    #3766272
    SIMULACRA
    BPL Member

    @simulacra

    Locale: Puget Sound

    The vest isn’t a win all for every climate, time of season, person or scenario. Just like any article of clothing. They have a specific purposes of use. For the OP, I don’t believe the vest is the way they need to go. Warming the core only goes so far. I normally use the Montbell EX light down anorak. That keeps me very toasty inside my down bag. I’m sure there’s other options that are better, cheaper, different and more awesome. On a side note, I did find that Norrona offers two hooded vest options. The Lyngen has Alpha90 as its insulator and the Falketind uses 750 down. Both very spendy for what they are. You’ll notice the modular layering system being used with them.

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