- Dec 20, 2018 at 7:12 pm #3569603
My wife uses my old (1970s) Sierra Designs 60/40 jacket X-C skiing in the winter, and I made one like it for myself out of Taslan. Both have an integrated hood and four large pockets in front, which we find indispensable. I’m always putting my hat on or taking it off, same with my mittens, depending on the current temperature and wind conditions (which can change quite quickly).
Also, the 60% cotton / 40% nylon fabric is exceptionally breathable, perfect for cold conditions, even if snowing (rain is a different matter).
But I see very few jackets like these on the market, they all seem to go for waterproof / breathable fabric and have few if any pockets (probably to avoid having to seal the pocket seams). I expect these will get very humid inside when X-C skiing, as even the best WPB fabric is nowhere near as breathable as 60/40 and similar fabrics.
Am I the only one who really appreciates completely breathable fabrics for cold conditions and jackets with lots of pockets?
BTW 60/40 fabric was designed to be somewhat waterproof and breathable, before GoreTex and the like…the cotton fibers supposedly swelled when wet and filled the spaces between the nylon fibers. I never found this worked very well, but it might have been the best at the time. The alternative was PU coated fabrics, completely non-breathable. I still have and use as a wind jacket my no longer waterproof TNF cagoule from the 1970s.Dec 20, 2018 at 9:32 pm #3569620
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
They are found in Army Surplus stores, usually in camo or dive drab. ;o)Dec 20, 2018 at 11:21 pm #3569641
I had a Snow Lion Ventile Cloth parka back in the 1970’s, and in 1982 got a Sierra Designs 60/40 Parka.
I recently sold the 60/40 Parka on ebay for $300!
I have/had no use for that many pockets, or the weight of them. Loved them “in the day” but life marches on. There are other, more breathable fabrics than the various WPB fabrics like Goretex, so that’s where I’d start.
Nostalgia aside, those things were darned heavy!Dec 20, 2018 at 11:33 pm #3569643
@iagoLocale: Boston & Galicia, Spain
Fjallraven may have something along those lines…Dec 20, 2018 at 11:56 pm #3569649
Interestingly there is a local company who have a NYCO jacket in stock in the old style but without the liner.
I don’t see the point myself in the shell without the liner because it was the slippery liner that made the old Mountain Parka such a treat to wear. While heavy I really liked mine while it lasted and it did last 20 years or so, the last decade of its life was my winter city jacket for traveling on public transport, just enough weather protection for that.
Never have too many pockets in a mountain shell for general walking use but they have to be big which was where the old style got it absolutely right IMO. Pockets on modern coats and jackets are so small they may as well not be thereDec 21, 2018 at 12:01 am #3569651
Bruce TolleyBPL Member
@btolleyLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Check out Filson, LLBean, Cabelas and other outfitters who make jackets and parkas for hunters or general outdoor wear. I think I saw a 60/40 parka last year on LLBean. Often you see “waxed cotton.”
These fabrics are all correctly described as “water resistant.”
My first backpacking parka was an REI 60/40 cloth parka purchased from the mimeographed, stabled together REI catalogue. It never really repelled all that much water but was windproof.
CheersDec 21, 2018 at 1:03 am #3569660
I’m not sure I would buy one of the real old style ones again. Too heavy, but I would be very interested in a modern interpretation using much lighter fabrics with the same “feel” and “hand”
If I am wearing and using garments in this weight it is military surplus.Dec 21, 2018 at 2:19 am #3569669
It is true some of the old models could be quite heavy, my wife has one from the 1970s that must weigh two to three pounds, bombproof but unbelievably heavy. My SD 60/40 doesn’t weigh too much, and my Taslan version is just a single layer and is pretty light.
For day trips the weight doesn’t matter too much to me (within reason), comfort is more important, especially breathability.
I guess some folks like pockets and some don’t. I find them very useful (gloves, hats, map and compass, maybe some food, who knows what else. The SD 60/40 had a back pocket, that I never found useful as I always have a daypack.
$300 for an old SD 60/40! My wife just lost it, I’m going to sell it!Dec 21, 2018 at 9:33 am #3569683
Federico CalboliBPL Member
This is what you’re after. Varusteleka might have a US based shop, but it is so cheap it might be worth the shipping and duties.Dec 22, 2018 at 4:30 am #3569771
The big difference between the Sarma smock and the old style mountain shell was and is the full nylon liner. The liner makes a huge difference in wearability and weatherproofing. It’s a timely post for me as I am soon to start making a new weatherproof shell suit for a Northern winter and debating the merits of Ventile Vs heavy weight EPIC fabrics. That PU whisper coat on the Sarma does increase weather resistance but it really does decrease the breathability of the garmentDec 23, 2018 at 1:32 pm #3569850
Nathan WattsBPL Member
Is it mainly the pockets you’re seeking? Could something like a Gamma MX Hoody work with its 4 front pockets?Dec 23, 2018 at 4:40 pm #3569864
To be a little clearer, the old 60/40 jackets had large, bellows pockets below, and smaller bellows pockets above. It was easy to put a thick wool hat or a pair of thick gloves in the lower pockets. The upper pockets didn’t hold too much (a small camera, some food, map/compass, things like that).
So yes, I’m looking for four pockets, but the lower ones need to be large enough to comfortably hold hats and gloves. I found this old picture on the web, see how large the lower pockets are:Dec 23, 2018 at 5:43 pm #3569865
Gunnar HBPL Member
Fjällräven are still using their G-1000 fabrics a lot. Has been around for decades. They sell the type of jacket I understand you are you are looking for.
https://www.fjallraven.com/about-fjallraven/materials/g-1000/Dec 23, 2018 at 11:21 pm #3569892
Paul S.BPL Member
Their Greenland jacket looks like the Sierra Designs picture. https://www.fjallraven.com/shop/fjallraven-greenland-winter-jacket-m-F87122/Dec 24, 2018 at 2:26 am #3569903
The Greenlane parka looks similar, but costs 333 euros! Way out of my price range.
I found some Taslan in my fabric stash, maybe enough to make a jacket, which is probably what I’ll do. Only problem is modifying my old pattern to fit the new, bigger, more-to-love me. Since I want it to fit over a puffy down jacket I’ll have to increase by at least one size, maybe two, not entirely sure how to do that. I made my current 60/40 style parka decades ago.Dec 24, 2018 at 4:36 am #3569910
Just buy a new pattern KwikSew 2651 is an OK pattern and you can easily modify the patch pockets to proper pockets
Sized with a reasonable amount of ease
You will need to look on the evil auction site tho as it’s discontinued.
You cut the back much wider than the pattern calls for and gather at the shoulder. To do it really well tho you should make a full yoke and use an insertion seam to gather at the double layer. Ruching can be one tuck or many but fold away from the centreline so you get better shoulder movement
Make sure you get an uncut pattern thoDec 24, 2018 at 3:17 pm #3569935
Chris RBPL Member
“The Greenlane parka looks similar, but costs 333 euros! Way out of my price range.”
No one pays full price for Fjallraven. I picked up a Greenland jacket for 130 Cdn$ in the sales.
Nice jacket. Hood is not great but generally not an issue as I am usually wearing a cap of some sort. I have a Singi jacket as well for deep winter that I added a fake fur ruff to the hood as well as severa pairs of their pants. None bought at much more that half the advertised retail price.Dec 24, 2018 at 3:45 pm #3569938
Nathan WattsBPL Member
And even at 300 euros, if you’re getting almost half a century of use out of these things, that doesn’t seem too bad.Dec 24, 2018 at 7:52 pm #3569965
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Look under “travel jackets”. LL Bean makes one that is 74% cotton/26% polyester https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/91038?page=l-l-bean-travel-jacket&bc=12-26-593-504714&feat=504714-GN2&csp=f
Search “parka” vs “jacket” too.
They were heavy and not a rain shell. I equate them with external frame packs and leather waffle stomper boots. You could carry a both wind and rain shells with higher preference and less weight. Add a fanny pack for gloves and hat.Dec 25, 2018 at 1:22 am #3570010
Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
I suppose for cross-country skiing you don’t care about weight, but have you considered wearing a running vest so that you have convenient pockets for storing things?Dec 25, 2018 at 2:37 am #3570024
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Cross country is high output stuff and skiers wear stuff like runners.Dec 26, 2018 at 6:46 am #3570095
“Cross country is high output stuff and skiers wear stuff like runners.”
Racers maybe but not all of us and certainly not when the wind is blowing and snow is coming sideways, then even the racers tend to don a windshirt over the Lycra one piece tightsFeb 25, 2019 at 12:43 am #3580393
Just ordered the Varusteleka, we’ll see how it works. I got XL long to fit over my puffy down jacket and cover my butt, might be too large, but they have a good return/exchange policy. I’ll try to remember to post a picture when it arrives.Mar 12, 2019 at 1:44 am #3583055
Just received my XL-Long Varusteleka Sarna Windproof Smock.
It’s really big on me but I sized it to go over my puffy jacket so this was expected (and not a problem). Lots of pockets, very generous sleeve diameter, fits over my really cold weather down jacket perfectly. Nice and long, covers my butt pretty far down. Sleeves a bit long on me, but they have velcro closures so no problem. Note that I’m 5’5″ and 172 lbs.
Just what I was looking for, but with one caveat: this is not a lightweight jacket. I wanted this for X-C skiing, hauling wood, etc. in the cold of winter in the Adirondacks, not for UL camping. For this it’s perfect. But if you are looking for something UL, look elsewhere.Mar 13, 2019 at 11:06 pm #3583361
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