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#1055083 - 01/26/12 08:24 PM Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase.
Theodore Offline
journeyman

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 51
TRs: 1 Photos: 0
Loc: Olathe, KS
I'm trying to narrow down a new jacket purchase and am looking for some suggestions. I read Dane's blog on heavier jackets took some good notes, just trying to see if there is anything out there that I'm missing.

I'm looking for a bigger puffy/hooded jacket. I used a MH subzero on Hood last year, weight seemed ok, but conditions weren't bad, so I'd like something a little burlier for a try on Rainer this summer. At some point I'd love to get up Orizaba, Kili, Aconcagua, and wondering if jackets for something like Aconcagua is going to be overkill for a Rainier jacket. (I know, I know, it all depends on the weather...) I'd like to buy one warmer jacket than 2 down the line.

In consideration as of now:

MH Chillwave - essentially my Sub0, but with a hood.
Rab Neutrino
Norrona Lyngen - from Dane's review
FA - Peak XV - heard good things, but hard to find in L now a days

Would getting something like a MH Absolute Zero be complete overkill for Rainier?

Any synthetic jackets I'm overlooking?

Thanks for any help!

Ted

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#1055089 - 01/26/12 08:59 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
DPS Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 3589
TRs: 19 Photos: 54
IMNSHO, trying to buy one parka that covers everything you mentioned is a mistake. I would say get a 100 gram Primaloft hooded parka for the PNW, and a quality, baffeled, hooded 800+ fill down parka for the drier and colder mountains.
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Dispensing piss poor advice for since October, 2000.

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#1055098 - 01/26/12 10:37 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
montypiton Offline
addicted to cc.com

Registered: 07/04/06
Posts: 658
TRs: 4 Photos: 0
Loc: central Washington
consider the advantages of owning two parkas - one oversize so you can wear them both together in deep cold. you'll likely use them individually more often than together, but you'll also likely find the versatility far more satisfying than a single big parka that's overkill for 75% of your trips. I've had several friends summit Denali without ever owning a BIG puffy - wearing one midweight inside another. I do the same thing with sleeping bags as well - a one-pound down bag for summer trips, a two-pound three season bag for all-season use in the lower forty-eight, and the one-pounder inside the two-pounder in the Alaska range, and on Aconcagua. and I don't have a closet full of "expedition-weight" gear taking up space and gathering dust between the big trips.

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#1055104 - 01/26/12 11:31 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Dane Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 3097
TRs: 12 Photos: 138
Loc: Issaquah
Daniel is on the right track. But I think even two is too limited.

"Rainer this summer...Orizaba, Kili, Aconcagua"

I've been working on a project/review over the last year that is a multilayers/multiuse cold weather system based on a 60g and 100g insulation set up. DAS is 170g in comparison. I have used up to 4 layers or 280g plus the resulting eight layers of nylon shell material that comes with it. 3 layers @ 60g and one at 100g. Surprized actually at just how easy/well the system works and can be so easily regulated for mid winter technical climbing at altitude, a cold bivy or a quick ascent of Rainier in summer or Fall/Spring alpine climbing. One garment at a time makes the buy in easier and the mutilayers should give you a lot of use/durability over the long haul.

I have a good many choices in the closet and find myself actuallly using this system full time these days. Simply because it is the lightest, breathes the best and is the easiest to pack. Generally 2 layers of 60g. When it is really cold I'll add the 100g as a third layer. A fourth for bivies.

More to come shortly on the blog.
_________________________
www.coldthistle.blogspot.com

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#1055114 - 01/27/12 04:58 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Theodore Offline
journeyman

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 51
TRs: 1 Photos: 0
Loc: Olathe, KS
Thanks guys, Dane I'll keep my eyes peeled!

Can you name an example of a 100g primaloft (or similar) parka? I don't need you to list off a ton, just so I have an idea when looking since you usually have to dig a bit for fill weights.

...and I'd definitely agree with the 2 jackets, I just have a wife that always does the "why do you need THAT..." laugh

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#1055209 - 01/27/12 10:40 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Dane Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 3097
TRs: 12 Photos: 138
Loc: Issaquah
The Arcteryx Atom SV and Patagonia Micro Puff are 100g jackets. The Atom Lt or the Patagonia Nano Puff series are 60g.

I did a review on the SV last spring and the Atom LT previous to that. Nano Puff is in there as well I think.
_________________________
www.coldthistle.blogspot.com

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#1055226 - 01/28/12 07:38 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Julian Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/13/06
Posts: 291
TRs: 2 Photos: 51
Loc: South Carolina
The Atom LT/SV combo may be the best technical insulated outerwear system ever designed (whether or not Arc'teryx actually intended them to be used together). Both garments are designed and cut absolutely perfectly.

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#1055233 - 01/28/12 10:26 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Theodore Offline
journeyman

Registered: 09/30/11
Posts: 51
TRs: 1 Photos: 0
Loc: Olathe, KS
I have an Atom LT hoody already that I love. Very nice and versatile jacket!

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#1055234 - 01/28/12 10:47 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Sig Olsen Offline
journeyman

Registered: 01/27/12
Posts: 77
TRs: 1 Photos: 0
Theodore, first thanks for pointing me to this post. Great thread. Answers a few questions I had. I wanted to find out more specifics on layering, but seems most info is old and outdated. I will buy a lighter down parka/jacket (with hood) now and bring all my other layers ( light base long sleeve, medium poly pro long sleeve, heavy fleece) and should be good to go. I like the idea too of adding a lighter sleeping bag to my mont bell ul super spiral #3 to make it suitable for 0 degrees. Another layering trick. Thanks again for this info and will be following this thread
_________________________
I am not Ueli Steck

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#1055235 - 01/28/12 12:30 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Dane Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 3097
TRs: 12 Photos: 138
Loc: Issaquah
"down parka/jacket (with hood) now and bring all my other layers ( light base long sleeve, medium poly pro long sleeve, heavy fleece) and should be good to go."

Pardon my response here..but down insulation (no matter the garment) is not a very good layering insulation. As it can not be kept dry in most sitautions and uses. It gets wet from the inside out when layered. I specifically listed Primaloft and Coreloft garments that do layer well. They will dry from body heat alone from the inside out. Adding Down to a pile garment of any sort is not an effecient layering system for a multitude of temeratures, climates and uses by comparison to what is currently available.

I have and use a lot of down garments but their use is so limited in any of the current forms one could easily just discard them and generally be more comforatble in the synthetics now available.

Sleeping bags are a totally different use of down.
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www.coldthistle.blogspot.com

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#1055236 - 01/28/12 12:38 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
RafalA Offline
member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 186
TRs: 0 Photos: 17
Loc: Canmore, Alberta
It seems Dane and I are coming to the same conclusions regarding winter climbing clothing: a lot of layers is good!

I've been using a similar combo lately and it's superb: excellent mobility, light weight and extremely versatile:

Atom LT Pullover / Atom SV Hoody / Alpha FL / Fission SV

The Alpha FL is in there as a windblocking layer over the Atoms, neither of which is fully windproof. I take it off if I'm putting the Fission on for active use as that has it's own Gore-Tex layer, though this happens very rarely as I use it more as a belay jacket than activity piece (the thing is just too damn warm for regular use - I've worn it over a mid-weight base layer at -30 and have been perfectly warm!)

The Atom LT p/o (60g) + Atom SV Hoody (100g) + Alpha FL as windblocker is a very, very warm combination, comparable to the Fission SV in my 'tests' (Fission SV is 200g Primaloft Sport torso, 133g P. Sport arms and hood, Gore-Tex Pro Shell outer). Very comparable in weight, too (+/- 1050g total for the three vs +/- 1000g for the Fission).

Whatever Coreloft is, it's amazing. The stuff is incredibly breathable and staggeringly warm for its weight. And it compresses almost like down. I'd love to see a dual-layered belay-style parka using 100g Coreloft (or 100g + 140g Coreloft from the Kappa Hoody) to replaced the Dually.
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My little project: The Alpine Start .

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#1055239 - 01/28/12 01:32 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Dane Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 3097
TRs: 12 Photos: 138
Loc: Issaquah
Saw elsewhere Theodore got the idea the preference for synthetic insulation is a NW thing (wet climate and all).

It's not. The full combos being listed are way too warm for anything in the Cascades except mid winter climbs on the rare occasion. I've spent a good amount of time in Alaska in the spring, Canada and the Alps in the winter and used down and synthetics in both places. I think in general the synthetics are a better answer for anything but mild activity and/or really cold dry places. Even then I am using synthetics by choice these days everywhere.
_________________________
www.coldthistle.blogspot.com

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#1055247 - 01/28/12 05:09 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Dane]
tvashtarkatena Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 09/25/06
Posts: 19140
TRs: 99 Photos: 16
Loc: ked Down
What total bullshit. Down rocks. It's for below freezing mostly, yeah? 700+ fill (recommend 800) for longer life/lighter warmth. Event or equivalent is nice. FF for a full weather monster, Mt. Hardwear for value/weight, WM or Montbell for the purely weight conscious - little to no weathproofing. RAM and Millet make some good stuff, too.

The hype about it getting wet is bullshit, too, Easy to avoid if you're a thinkin' man and use it when it's appropriate, like all through fall, winter, spring here.

Primaloft's great if you don't mind freezing your nuts off during the 99 out of 100 times a down jacket would've been a more weight/warmth efficient choice.

I just went on a winter trip during the big storm we had 2 weeks by with 7 other experienced guys. Did anyone whip out their primaloft when the shit came down?

No.


Edited by tvashtarkatena (01/28/12 05:13 PM)
_________________________
All things to all people, all the time.

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#1055256 - 01/28/12 06:39 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
lummox Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 4342
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Shop at MEC, save some $, and get a couple jackets.
_________________________
lummox gots ta reprazent.

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#1055262 - 01/28/12 07:30 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
NotMessner Offline
n00b

Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 40
TRs: 0 Photos: 0
Since the zipper on my Atom Lt is not locking, I sewed a Velcro closer across the top of the jacket, so the zipper does not ooch down. Now the jcacket is close to perfect.

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#1055263 - 01/28/12 07:38 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Dane Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 3097
TRs: 12 Photos: 138
Loc: Issaquah
http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1053145

Giving full disclosure, the "great test" of down mentioned above was actually an over night inside a building while it snowed outside.rolleyes

Nothing wrong with down. But for actual climbing there are alternatives these days. There is a reason the Patagonia DAS is likley the most used belay jacket ever producted. Here are two comments on winter layering, down and synthetics included.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3533

http://coldthistle.blogspot.com/2010/02/winter-layers.html
_________________________
www.coldthistle.blogspot.com

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#1055264 - 01/28/12 07:44 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Julian Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/13/06
Posts: 291
TRs: 2 Photos: 51
Loc: South Carolina
"There is a reason the Patagonia DAS is likley the most used belay jacket ever producted."

Advertising, sponsorship, and market saturation? laugh

I semi-kid, but there's also a reason Arc'teryx is kicking Patagonia's (and everyone else's) ass six ways from Sunday lately in terms of almost all design and cut related aspects.

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#1055265 - 01/28/12 07:51 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Dane Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 3097
TRs: 12 Photos: 138
Loc: Issaquah
I whole heartily agree with every word Julian. But giving credit where it is also do, Patagonia was one of the first to product a jacket to match Twight's specs. as a belay jacket to go over the "action suit." Now there are lots of options and with Primeloft and Coreloft at the party better options than down a majority of the time for actual climbing.

In the really cold conditions a down jacket will/might work for that. Over load what the down insulation can transport for moisture and you end up with a worthless piece of insulation.
_________________________
www.coldthistle.blogspot.com

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#1055275 - 01/29/12 04:03 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Sig Olsen Offline
journeyman

Registered: 01/27/12
Posts: 77
TRs: 1 Photos: 0
One thing I want to point out, is that I am in Florida. So in may when I head to climb out there it will be around 80 here. I will not be acclimated to the cold as a native would. I read quite a few of your blogs Dane and found them to be amazing. Thanks for all the info and time it takes. Because of your blog I am looking to find a place to order the Scarpa ultra phantoms :-)
_________________________
I am not Ueli Steck

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#1055294 - 01/29/12 09:25 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Dane]
tvashtarkatena Offline
Sick Spray Bird

Registered: 09/25/06
Posts: 19140
TRs: 99 Photos: 16
Loc: ked Down
Originally Posted By: Dane
http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1053145

Giving full disclosure, the "great test" of down mentioned above was actually an over night inside a building while it snowed outside.rolleyes



Full disclosure is usually self applied. It's more accurate that way.

Innernut tit for tat aside, we had a big storm two weeks ago - 15 F, 15 mph winds, 2 feet of snow deposition in 12 hours. I was climbing in those conditions for 3 hours in my puffy, and wallowing in knee deep snow to boot - aside from a little frost on the surface, the puffy was fine and toasty after all that.

Last year I wore my puffy during the upper half of an ascent of Liberty Ridge on Rainier - sunny day, mid 20's F, 20 + mph winds. Perfect for puffies. By the time you're at the top of your pitch, you're ready for a little cool down during your belay.

Any time its dipping down to around 20 (whether with wind chill or not) I'm thinking about climbing in a puffy.

But it's not just about what to put on when you're going. It's about how to keep your body heat in the minute you stop, it's 25 F outside, and you're a little damp from sweating. If you go out at all much in the winter, that will be a nice, warm, light puffy.

Finally...synthetics have not come up with a viable alternative to the weight to insulating power of down. Primaloft was invented in 1986 - and that's still the 'latest/greatest' in a syntho down front. Maybe they will someday, but so far...the difference is easily noticed when you go out in a NW winter and virtually everyone has a down puffy. Or go to the store and try on a good down puffy and a comparable weight syntho. That stark difference only gets worse in real conditions.

And therein lies the rub. Synthetics just aren't gonna handle the lower temps for most people. And once you've got everything on and you're STILL cold...what happens next? You can get severely hypothermic in our winter conditions in well under half an hour. And THEN what happens next?

Reading the blogosphere is fine, if you can wade through the sales pitches and typical innernut bluster, but its no substitute for actually going out in winter on a regular basis, observing what everyone's actually using, asking questions, and adopting things accordingly.

Primaloft et al has its place in warmer, wetter conditions probably. But as a substitute for down in winter conditions? Um...no. Not even close. The latest, greatest synthos today have only half the insulation/weight of 800 fill down. That SUCKS! Since I carry several other layers than better handle those conditions (windshirt and softshell is mostly what's on when its above freezing and poopooing a bit), so far, a syntho puffy seems a bit bulky and redundant.

Primaloft et al is also cheaper, but not when it comes to life cycle costs, because synthetics don't last nearly as long as down. Compressing syntho destroys it, so you get a jacket that's 50% less warm out of the box, then goes down hill from there. I've got a feathered friends volant jacket I just retired after 25 years of hard use. The down is still fine...the fabric's shot.



Edited by tvashtarkatena (01/29/12 10:24 AM)
_________________________
All things to all people, all the time.

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#1055298 - 01/29/12 10:23 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
wetslide Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/01/11
Posts: 337
TRs: 4 Photos: 88
Loc: The Pain Cave
I haven't had much luck climbing in down jackets. They always are wetting out. Be it Mountain Hardware or First Ascent. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong? Synthetics, on the other hand, are a different story. The Stoic Luft is my go-to on hard alpine and ski touring. It preformed well on a particularly trying climb and since then I've trusted it completely. Now it's hard for me to justify bringing anything down in the cascades (besides the Peak XV- which doesn't have the wetting problem as far as I've experienced but is too warm for most things).

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#1055301 - 01/29/12 10:51 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
ryanb Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/14/06
Posts: 312
TRs: 2 Photos: 4
I'll just leave this here:
http://gearjunkie.com/water-resistant-down-jacket

If the marketing pans out it could be awesome. I also love montbell's baffle construction down jackets (not the "light" series which are sewn through but the old "alpine" which I have and new frostline that has a hood) for warmth to weight to sale price but my synth stuff gets more use for typical "chance of snow or rain" cascade ski touring etc.

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#1055302 - 01/29/12 10:59 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
genepires Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 06/27/01
Posts: 3440
TRs: 8 Photos: 59
Loc: monroe-ville
unfortunately for you Sig, it comes down to different solutions for each individual. Being in FL ain't gonna help you much as being out there and finding what works best for you is the ideal. For example I am a hot and sweaty hiker so I go very light when moving. In tvashs recent example, I was hoofing it out without as much insulation as he and mine was synthetic when it was on. For me, down is best in very dry conditions. Maybe you don't sweat as much like Tvash. Maybe you do. WIll never know till you get into the nasty weather.

I think your MH jacket is fine for rainier. Keep the hood on any jacket you get. Also get hoods on almost every other top piece you buy like a R1 hoody or similar or softshell jackets.
_________________________
climbing is good enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not good enough for climbing.

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#1055303 - 01/29/12 11:03 AM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
genepires Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 06/27/01
Posts: 3440
TRs: 8 Photos: 59
Loc: monroe-ville
not exactly familiar with the MH subzero, but a fairly durable and very warm jacket is good for any higher altitude climbing. The walk is slow so the metabolism is slow also. It is very easy to gets cold. I had a good FF volant that did very good for me. Probably better to get one that hangs over the waist more.
_________________________
climbing is good enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not good enough for climbing.

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#1055314 - 01/29/12 12:49 PM Re: Looking for thoughts on a parka purchase. [Re: Theodore]
Dane Offline
spray'prentice

Registered: 01/11/03
Posts: 3097
TRs: 12 Photos: 138
Loc: Issaquah
Here is a list of ACTUAL weights of some of the better jackets available.

Belay jackets

Wild Things, Belay Jacket, 34oz pre 2010 / 963g
Eddie Bauer XV 38.5oz / 1091g
MEC Tango, 31.7oz / 898g
Patagonia DAS (new) 36.9oz / 1046g
Arcteryx Duelly 28oz / 794g
Narrona Lyngen 26oz / 737g
Narrona Trollveggen 37.5oz / 1063g
Arcteryx Atom Hoody SV 19.0 oz / 538g
Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoody Primaloft 1 19.8oz / 561g
Mammut Ambler 47.2oz / 1338g

Lightly insulated jackets (belay sweaters) and shells

EB Downlight Hoodie Pullover XL 15.4 oz / 455g
EB Frontpoint XL 18.5oz / 547g
Arcteryx Atom lt Hoody large 14.4oz / 429g
Arcteryx Atom Hoody SV 19.0 oz / 562g
Mountain Hardwear Compressor Hoody 19.8oz / 586g
Arcteryx Gamma MX Hoody XL 24oz / 710g
Arcteryx Squamish pullover XL 5.6oz -166g

As an example
Arcteryx Duelly 28oz / 794g
Narrona Lyngen 26oz / 737g

The Narrona is one of the best down jackets available these days with the addition of Primaloft. But the Dually is all Coreloft and a lot warmer for that 2oz in increased weight.
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