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Lambone

Laminate vrs. Microfiber...???

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This came up in another thread and I thoght I'd throw it out there...

 

I'm curious what others think because I'm trying to decide between a down coat with a Laminate or one with microfiber. I will leave the brand names out of the question because I don't think the specific type of laminate or microfiber is all that important.

 

Whats your take? Which is more important, breathability, weight, stuffability, waterproofness??? I want to use the coat for everything, summer trips paired with a suffer bag to ice climbing belays.

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quote:

Originally posted by Lambone:

I'm curious what others think because I'm trying to decide between a down coat with a Laminate or one with microfiber.

 

Whats your take? Which is more important, breathability, weight, stuffability, waterproofness??? I want to use the coat for everything, summer trips paired with a suffer bag to ice climbing belays.

If it's not raining, then I would think that high breathability is important so that the down stays dry from sweat. If it is raining, then you can always layer your rain shell on top. Of course, this may be too warm for +32 F weather. My limited experience is that keeping clothing dry is the most important factor in staying warm.

 

Interesting topic.

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quote:

Originally posted by Lambone:

Whats your take? Which is more important, breathability, weight, stuffability, waterproofness??? I want to use the coat for everything, summer trips paired with a suffer bag to ice climbing belays.

IMHO, I think you are asking a single piece of gear to do to much. And therefore will be making too many compromises. As attitude pointed out, a down jacket will probably be to warm in temp's where liquid water is falling anyway. Although, it may be perfect for a "suffer bag" [laf] with a shell over it. You won't be perspiring much in that senario anyway.

 

For sub freezing climbs I think a laminate (even dryloft) or microfiber is overkill, especially with down insulation. If your moving, you will be getting wetter from the inside out than the outside in. Because niether will breath much once a frost layer forms on the outside. I think the best solution is somthing like Patagonia's encapsule fibers. I have had very good luck with them staying breathable in sub freezing temps and they repel enough water in light rain or freezing mist. If I expect miday temps above freezing and bad weather on an otherwise cold climb (the worst case senario for dry cloths) I throw in a very lightweight shell in addition to a parka. This affords me the ability to mix & match accordingly.

 

Sorry I don't have a magic bullit, but I hope this helps.

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Think about it this way, If it's raining why would you have a down jacket one? Rain=Temperatures above 32. Ok so I'm guilty of wearing my puffy coat (senior puffy) when it's not super cold but it's so comfortable. My rational was I would rather have a little bit of "breathability" for when it is really cold and you have to wear it while doing physical activity, as it can help reduce the amount of vapor build up that subsequently makes yer base layer wet. As for sleeping bags, tent/bivy sack condensation may necessitate the more advanced fiber. That's my amatuer opinion, which may be wrong but hey who cares .

 

Crackbolter, what do you think?

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One jacket to do everything eh? In a perfect world it would take about three.

 

For the purpose of ice and winter alpine climbing, as well as backcountry skiing at lower altitudes on the West Coast, I'd say skip down and go with primaloft and a DryLoft shell. Although not as warm as down per given amount of weight, the combination is just idiot proof when it comes to wetness. Ice tools do less damage too. At the risk of spewing party line, look at the MEC magma.

 

For a down jacket for winter use, go with a laminate. It's just too damp around tree line much of the time for MFs. The real problem with down though, is the fact that often you put it on for only brief periods. For 15 minutes you'll blow all the moisture stuck in your outer layer into the down jacket, but then take it off and stuff it before anything comes out the other side. The cumulative effects of half a dozen stops like this are pretty noticeable. Laminates make it even worse, but all too often the falling snow around here turns to falling slush. Every MF I've tested then fails.

 

For summer use, I'd go with MF because it's more comfortable and has a wider temperature range. Laminate would be too sweaty.

 

For very cold weather, in theory MF is the answer due to superior breathability. Unfortunately sooner or later the weather will be warmer, or dampness will be encountered in a snowcave. At that point you'll wish you owned a laminate.

 

Final point: If you own a laminate that's damp and the weather is clear, wear it inside out to dry it faster.

 

GB

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Twight says that down sucks, and you should only wear synthetics. Keeping that advice in mind, go to golite.com, they have a two pound polarguard 3D parka the Dave Sheldon calls "the warmest coat I've worn", for about 100$!!!!!! (on sale)

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I used to think the same as twight, but I caved in and bought a down jacket and let me tell you 'senior puffy' is da bomb. My plan is now to combine it with a lighter weigh down bag and I got the ultimate all weather set-up (as long as I don't sleep in a creek).

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Golite = junk with lifespan of mayfly. Buy only if you have easily disposable $$ cause you will be buying a new one next season.

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I like that golite coat...(bought one from jim on sale). I plan on having it for a long time, or at least until the insulation packs out.

 

But it doesn't compare with a nice fat down coat...

 

Thanks for the thoughts, I should have also mentioned that I will not be able to fit the coat under my shell.

 

[ 10-18-2002, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: Lambone ]

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Anyone out there have any experience with the Cloudveil Enclosure deal with the primaloft insulation? I have a down jacket that was great for the rockies but I've had my eye on one of the synthetic jobs for the wet PNW conditions. Looks like a pretty sweet coat and it's received favorable reviews elsewhere.

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quote:

Originally posted by JayB:

Anyone out there have any experience with the Cloudveil Enclosure deal with the primaloft insulation? ... Looks like a pretty sweet coat and it's received favorable reviews elsewhere.

I have the Enclosure Parka (hooded version). Weight is 34 oz size M, NOT the 23 oz stated in their online catalog.

 

In comparison to the 34-oz GoLite Parka, which I've also used, the GoLite has more loft and more coverage (covers the butt, the Cloudveil doesn't). The Cloudveil is a better fit (slightly trimmer) all-around, with enough headroom for a helmet. The GoLite Parka skimps on hood room. The Cloudveil's trimmer fit makes it a very efficient insulator, and with a parka, fit probably means more than loft - you have to try to stop convection currents within the garment or it won't work as well as you want it to. This of course is the biggest benefit of down parkas, IMO.

 

Cloudveil has some unnecessary stitching in the construction, especially in the sleeves, which makes it somewhat cumbersome.

 

My buddy has a Patagonia DAS Parka. It has more loft than the Cloudveil and about the same as the GoLite, and weighs only 28 oz size M. But it has an even larger fit. If you normally wear a medium, you may want to go to a S etc.

 

Don't skip looking at the Integral Designs Dolomitti Jacket. It's probably the best of the lot in terms of warmth:weight ratio. Its weight is 24 oz with hood.

 

For the most part, there is meaningless differences between Polarguard 3D and Primaloft in terms of their ability to "insulate when wet". You really have to soak the stuff through and then wring it out to notice any differences. You never get this wet on a climb, even if you wear the parka in wet sloppy snow for hours. Down of course, is another story, and there is benefit to Dryloft et al to protect it...

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Nice discussion guys.

 

Nice to see such a great discussion. My only addition is that PTFE laminates do not have a permanant DWR on the fabric which over time means it is going to wear off and the fabric will wet out easily. This leaves you with a soaked down jacket which you must pack which can push the water into the jacket rendering the down matted out. At least with microfibers and encapsulated polyesters, the moisture can be wiped off before you pack it to eliminate this problem.

 

Unfortunately for the PNW, it is tough to have just one jacket for everything. I own a light down vest for conditions closer to freezing and humid. This way, I can layer a waterproof shell over the down vest which does a pretty good job at keeping me warm and it also protects the vest from getting too wet.

 

For colder conditions when I know I will need much more than a vest, a full on jacket or parka with an encapsulated polyester shell can't be beat.

 

I still reccommend PTFE for 8000+ meter climbs. Only because the folks who are climbing these peaks can't really afford to ever get their down products wet. The weight is much, much greater but they will never have to worry about what happens if they are in a 5 day storm and their down bag gets wet.

 

Nice to meet the infamous Lambone. Nice jacket!!!

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quote:

Originally posted by Big Sky Ry:

www.BackpackingLight.COM


FYI. Ryan has spent a fair bit of time examining the claims and performance of lightweight outdoor gear. Check it out here.

 

[ 10-23-2002, 12:36 PM: Message edited by: Attitude ]

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