- Sep 20, 2017 at 8:56 am #3492031
I tend to find myself always in the wet and humid for most of my trips. I typically bring a 100 wt to suppliment on warmer trips and as a buffer for that raw cold wet feeling in camp. I have a MH monkey man jacket that is very comfortable but without a hood and the heavier weight doesn’t make it out as much since I have to suppliment it more with additional items for sleeping.
However I am looking to add a melanzana high loft fleece hoody for those trips when it is cold and rainy typically in the 32-45f range which I get a lot of. I would be using it under a shell in camp and as a sleeping layer in my quilt for the nice comfy hood. If the weather got bad enough I could wear it under a wind shirt or rain shell.
I have been using a rab strata hoody or a rab generator with additional beanie and neck gaiter (adding a few ounces to the weight so they are about equal). I am hoping to compare these to the high loft fleece hoody. The strata is fine while moving but at rest I don’t think it is cutting it for insulation. The generator is starting to lose its warmth and the compression using it for sleeping is accelerating the decline. I know there are better synthetics now in apex but I am not considering those due to price and longevity concerns. Plus I can use the fleece casually without detriment.
I have seen people quote 14 oz for medium high loft hoodie and if I don’t need to carry an extra beanie and neck gaiter I could save about 3-4 ounces on leaving those bringing it to about 10-14 oz in my list.
Where does the Melanzana High Loft Fleece stand? Is it a worth while successor for my uses? Is it warm enough with a shell?
Please feel free to open my logic for discussion as I want to make sure I reason this out properly before I purchase.
Thank you!Sep 20, 2017 at 9:40 am #3492042
I am using a wind shirt over it or a rain shell. Oh and just as an add I do bring a truly static down insulation piece once the temperature requires it.
I am guessing that the high loft hoodie is not as warm as the Generator when new but warmer than the Strata. basing some of my thoughts on this thread too. https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/polartec-alpha/
Sep 20, 2017 at 10:53 am #3492049
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by CARLOS C..
Synthetic jacket is warmer for the weight, for example Patagonia Micro Puff – 9.5 ounces
Fleece is not as warm for the weight, for example Patagonia R1 – 11.5 ounces, less warm than micro puffSep 20, 2017 at 11:01 am #3492050
I don’t do synthetic insulation jackets because they don’t last that long and are pricey. I have used a Patagonia R2 for years with a wind shirt and rain jacket and am fine while moving around freezing. Take off the shell and you can go to much higher degrees or layer over top of it to go much lower. Much more versatile system than an synthetic insulated jacket. The R2 is comparable to the Melanzana.Sep 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm #3492073
given the OP saying ” feel free to open my logic for discussion as I want to make sure I reason this out properly”
a synthetic like the Micropuff will weigh a little less and be 2 or 4 times warmer than fleece
for me, WPB jacket, nylon base layer, synthetic vest (2.5 Apex – weighs 5 ounces) is good down to freezing. Below that down to 20 F I add a down vest (5 ounces). Many people like sleeves which is fine – adds a few ounces. Adding anything fleece is heavier for the same situation.
I wear fleece at home because it lasts longer. And my wife bought one at the Goodwill which was cheap : ). And it does better when wet, although synthetic is almost as good. Maybe it would be good when snowshoeing or something when it’s really cold and a synthetic jacket would be too warm.Sep 20, 2017 at 1:39 pm #3492077
Dena KelleyBPL Member
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
I can’t speak for the Micropuff but I have a Nanopuff and I wouldn’t actually classify it as the same type of jacket as a fleece. My Nanopuff I call my “never get cold” jacket because I literally have never been cold in it. But it also doesn’t breathe, and I frequently overheat in it. A fleece I don’t tend to do that in, at least not nearly as often and not nearly as uncomfortably. Since the OP already indicated he’ll be bringing a puffy when appropriate, I’d think a fleece is a more of a midweight layer, whereas a Micropuff (if it’s anything like the Nanopuff) is more like the final layer excepting a shell in inclement weather.
Sep 20, 2017 at 2:54 pm #3492088
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by Dena Kelley.
micropuff similar to nanopuff, micropuff 9.5 ounces, nanopuff 12.8 ounces
When I get into overheating situation, I either open up my WPB jacket and synthetic jacket, or I remove the synthetic jacket. But yeah, that’s the situation where fleece could make sense.
R1 fleece hoody weighs about 12.9 ounces, I’d rather eliminate that weight.Sep 20, 2017 at 8:00 pm #3492155
The Melanzana rep quoted me a different weight and surprisingly it is lower. The medium weighs in at 13.4 oz. this doesn’t seem like a huge weight penalty(especially if I can eliminate the extra beanie for sleeping and the fleece neck gaiter. I don’t need the warmest piece out there because I run hot when hiking and sleep pretty warm (I don’t enjoy sleeping in my down jacket) .So essentially when I need the piece the most is when in transition from moving to sleep when it is cold and wet.
I fully acknowledge that warmth for weight fleece falls behind Synthetics and Down. However it wins out in cost and durability not to mention versatility if it gets soaked from either water or sweat( not that I wouldn’t vent or take the garment off if I was over heating). Another main reason I am considering fleece over the rest is the resilience to humidity and wetness.
People say that synthetics hold up in when wet but I find that difficult to believe because they aren’t breathable and because they have two face fabrics they cannot dry as fast as fleece.
Isnt the drying times drastically differentSep 20, 2017 at 8:47 pm #3492166
That makes sense – cost and durability. And many people like fleece.
I think the drying time has to do with how much water it absorbs, and then how much energy (BTUs or Joules or whatever) it takes to evaporate that water. For most face fabrics, they’re plenty breathable.
I think fleece would absorb a lot more water. That is, the water that sticks to the outside of the fibers. There are more fibers in the fleece. Synthetic does not absorb much water.
I have gotten my synthetic wet and it keeps it’s loft and dries pretty quickly.
There’s that video of Navy Seals jumping into an ice pool in their synthetic insulation so it gets totally wet, then they walk around and it dries off.
Somebody will have to do an experiment. Make a jacket half fleece, and half synthetic, get it wet in realistic situation, then see which one dries out quicker…Sep 21, 2017 at 3:09 am #3492212
Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
About the short lifespan of synthetic insulation, it depends on which model you take because I have a MB UL Thermawrap bought in perhaps 2005 and it’s still going strong.Sep 21, 2017 at 4:03 am #3492213
Ethan A.BPL Member
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
It also depends on how you use your synth jacket as Richard Nisley noted. Wearing it to sleep often should degrade it much faster. My Montbell Thermawrap also kept its warmth for years but I would drape it over my sleeping bag if necessary and not sleep in/on it.Sep 21, 2017 at 4:17 am #3492215
So which synthetic filaments are the most resistant to degradation? And what is a realistic life expectancy for a synthetic fill jacket? Does brand play a significant role with garment design?Sep 21, 2017 at 6:50 am #3492228
Woubeir (from Europe)BPL Member
Jackets with synthetic insulation with continuous fibre like Climashield (Apex), MB Exeloft, … Life expectancy depends on how you use it e.g. I never used my jacket with a pack on but only during breaks or in camp. The brand can play a role but I bought my jacket online and so couldn’t try it before buying.Sep 21, 2017 at 7:25 am #3492234
I will do a soak test around the neighborhood tonight to see if I can dry out my synthetic garment in a short time and compare it to the fleece as well. If i can’t do it easily or effectively in my warm temps now I won’t be able to safely in colder temps. Does that sounds like a correct hypothesis?
Maybe I need to reevaluate if I need another piece at the moment and should just wait until the generator is fully depleted. I will take a picture of the garments I have with weights. Perhaps I just love fleece jackets (jackets in general) and have a problem (wife thinks so lol)Sep 21, 2017 at 7:55 am #3492238
To talk to the fact that you are often out in conditions that are wet and cold, I often use pieces that act like a Paramo system which they use in cold and wet places in the UK. I use a Patagonia R2 (you can use a thinner ‘pile’ fleece) like a pump liner paired with a OR Wind Pro balaclava and over that a Patagonia Level 4 Epic hooded wind shirt. You will get damp some but you will also be warm and it breathes really well, ;like 20cfm or better. The Epic is like DWR but will never wear off. The whole system cost me close to $120 since you can get many of the pieces used and the windshirt is 70D so it will take a long time to wear out.Sep 21, 2017 at 8:16 am #3492245
Brett a system like this is what my intention is to build. I have had reasonable success with a baselayer + classic 100wt and windshirt in the low 50s-70s temp range and I am looking to replicate that experience down further the temp range to freezing. Typical winter here straddles the temp range 20-40 plus windchill. So the difference for us is if the precipitation is rain/sleet or ice and snow (the wetter variety). What ever garment I use I want to be able to use it in the above situation and then in pulling into camp and potentially as a sleep system addition.Sep 21, 2017 at 8:27 am #3492251
Definitely look at the Epic hooded windshirts. For the fleeces you want something that has a ‘pile’ to it, ie it looks like hair or fur or is puffy. Fleeces like the R2, Monkeyman, etc will keep very light rain off of you while walking just by themselves. I use my fleece in camp, sleeping, as a pillow, sling, etc or whatever because it is a fleece and can take it. For when you get into camp, that is when you put the synthetic or other high loft jacket on over it to keep you warm.Sep 21, 2017 at 8:39 am #3492254
I think that would be a good test to soak fleece or synthetic and then wear it around the neighborhood
I wonder what would happen if you had synth with a breathable layer outside?
If you tightly stuff your synthetic in your pack, I think it will shorten it’s life. I try to pack it loosely.
I wear my synthetic while sleeping and it doesn’t seem to be compressing it much, but I don’t really have a good long term test result.Sep 21, 2017 at 9:02 am #3492265
Would an additional wind breaking layer just further decrease the breathability or are you talking about using it as another defense against outside moisture?
Depending on the trip I do have to sometimes tightly stuff the synthetic jacket hence my concern . I use a hammock and tent so the volume inside my pack definitely varies as well as how the garment gets compressed in sleeping if used. I got a new pack for shoulder season and winter to help with this situation.
Sep 21, 2017 at 10:24 am #3492298
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by CARLOS C..
Edward BartonBPL Member
The new alpha direct fleece could work well for this – for instance the Rab alpha flash jacket, though unfortunately it lacks a hood. The weave is relatively open, making it lighter (90-125g/m2), faster drying, and more packable compared to R2 or monkeyman. I imagine it may have a broader temperature/exertion range, and in truly nasty conditions you could try it under a wpb shell, where thicker pile fabrics might be too warm.Sep 30, 2017 at 12:58 pm #3494052
It’s been about a week and I haven’t been able to really test things due to the high temperatures my area has been experiencing. In the meantime I have been doing additional reading on some of the newer synthetics insulators as well as some of the newer active use jackets like the nano air series and direct alpha.
I think I have been trying fix something that isn’t broken. I believe that with the various fleeces (vest fleece too) and windshirt I current own I have the combinations I need to get the warmth I need on the move. I think the answer for me may be to not buy a additional fleece or synthetic at this time and just wait a while longer until I need to replace the generator completely.
So maybe I just need to boost the warmth of my setup in camp and for sleep. My generator has no hood so I have been using a fleece buff and hat. Perhaps that isn’t enough and I need a synthetic balaclava or a down balaclava to boost the warmth? Which I can wear to sleep as well. This way I can replace the jacket later on with a nice apex garment and still make use of the balaclava? Also I can wear the jacket backwards not zipped with my quilt and not compromise the back insulation (don’t know why I didn’t think of this before…)
Does this seem more logical?Sep 30, 2017 at 1:41 pm #3494057
that seems logical
I always carry a fleece balaclava but rarely use it because it’s so warm and feels restrictive. It’s good as emergency backup. I don’t take it in the summer – it’s about time of the year to start taking it.
with your current setup, when you’re hiking, don’t put anything on except base layer and outer layer. Open up the outer layer as much as possible. Then, if you get fairly cold, close up outer layer, put hat on, and don’t put on a mid layer unless you really need it.
I do outer layer plus base layer down to 20 F. I can think of one trip that was maybe 30 F but very windy so I had to wear mid layer, but after a while the wind lessened and I got warm so took off mid layer.
Recognize when you start over heating and sweating a little. It’s easy to ignore this because it’s a pain to take off the mid layer, then get wet from sweat, then get cold and difficult to dry off.Oct 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm #3494213
Eric BlancheBPL Member
@eblancheLocale: Northeast US
I recently acquired a melanzana hi-loft fleece and have a patagucci hooded r1 w/ awkward diagonal zip both sized small. For reference, R1 size small is 12.1oz and Melanzana size small is 12.8oz on my scale.
The Melanzana is nice but does not have thumb holes/loops which would work perfect given the extra sleeve length. R1 fits nice and snug and the melanzana hi-loft fits similar so definitely size up a size or two if you intend on doing any significant layering underneath.Oct 1, 2017 at 1:40 pm #3494221
Link .BPL Member
. Patagonia Nano Air Light Hoody: the fleece killer you might enjoy this articleOct 1, 2017 at 2:36 pm #3494230
Thanks Link. I follow Dave’s blog and this post along with the one Ryan J posted regarding inclement weather gear choices helped guide me to re-evaluate non fleece synthetics. After searching more on this forum I stumbled upon this thread which help me quantify better the warmth numbers of fleece vs nano air and similar active garments. I have an R1 and R2 vest plus the windshirt which I could compare to.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by CARLOS C..
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