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eadraper

Synthetic Insulation Jacket

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I am hoping to get into winter climbing this year by taking an avy class and a winter climbing class, but need to upgrade my insulation jacket. I am looking for a synthetic insulation jacket for climbing in the Olympics / Cascades in the winter / spring. I have read many previous posts on the DAS parka, but wanted to know if people had much experience with the Arcteryx Dually Belay jacket, Montbell Flatiron, or Rab Belay jacket. Thanks

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Synthetic jackets are a great choice for year round in the Cascades, however, the DAS parka and similar weight parkas are overkill, except for perhaps Rainier in February. I would look into a lighter weight hooded jacket like the Patagonia Micropuff, Wild Things EP jacket and similar weighted jackets.

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While I've heard lots of people express dps's view that the DAS is overkill for the Cascades, being a princess (aka whiny little bitch) I tend to run cold and have been cold at times even in the DAS. So know yourself and buy accordingly. That said, even I also have a lighter weight jacket for spring conditions.

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Just saw a Duality in store - looks AWESOME. Lighter and seemed more compressible then my DAS, plus WAY warmer - seemed almost twice as thick.

The Duality looks like a great jacket, I might size down though. I take a medium in everything, with this one I think I might go for a small-even as a belay jacket.

Oh-and the hood does not have one of those rear cinch-cords. Not necessary but I enjoy the one on my DAS. Not sure why Arcteryx chose not to include on on their much more expensive Duality.

Cheers,

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If you add a sweater and whatever, this garment would work pretty good for most Cascades winter conditions.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=11084332&findingMethod=rr

 

It's $15 new, vs hundreds$$$ for what you're currently considering, and it weighs well under a pound.

 

No doubt you'll be a laughingstock among the ultra brand-conscious, but at the same time perfectly warm, well-batted and yet unencumbered -- and that much more wealthy than your friends.

 

I flunked economics 101, but this has to do with marginal utility (or something marginal anyway) and how one perceives value of a dollar, and other values that are mostly cultural rather than practical.

 

Consider the shock-value of recognizing "emperor has no clothes" and whatever jokes can in this context be wrung from that.

 

 

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thermawrap parka is what I use year around basically. Stuffs very small, is very light for the warmth is packs. pockets are good.

 

however it is of the ultra-light variety so it does require more ginger care than other things. i wouldn't want to scrape against too much rock or brush with it. (in fact barely at all or the primaloft will start pilling out a bit.)

 

 

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I've been pretty happy with my Mammut hooded Stratus jacket. It's warm, not too heavy and pretty nice. I've played with the Montbell Flatiron is a pretty lightweight jacket - I'd call it a "summer" weight jacket. Nice, but not very warm.

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Thanks for the replies. I have a Thermawrap jacket and like it a lot in the summer. Looks like the thermawrap parka has more insulation than the jacket. I usually run warm, a down sweater is enough for me in the summer, so I'll take a look at the Micropuff.

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Micro puff is a nice piece as is the Mountain Hardware Hooded Compessor....lwt weight, nicely detailed. Worth looking at as well.

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If you add a sweater and whatever, this garment would work pretty good for most Cascades winter conditions.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=11084332&findingMethod=rr

 

It's $15 new, vs hundreds$$$ for what you're currently considering, and it weighs well under a pound.

 

 

Just cut the tag out. It'll save weight. Man, if you save your bucks here, you can put them into a couple of Camalots to beef up your rack!

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why not buy the new walmart brand of camming devices? I heard you can buy some rope in the hardware section too.

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I'm not really into the "spray" responses of some on this site, but most people here want advice from other experienced climbers. I respect the experience and advice of people who have used the gear in real situations and climates where your life depends on the quality of your gear and savvy in using it. I doubt anyone would hesitate buying from Walmart or any other store if their products were proven in quality as well as price. Nobody I climb with cares about fancy labels...just the durablility and quality of the gear they use. I'd take your advice more seriously if you would post some TR's of your outdoor adventures.

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Montbell Powderlight Parka is a warm synthetic parka that sheds water and wind well, which makes it really handy as a belay jacket.

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Might not be anything wrong with the $15. Walmart jacket.

 

I've climbed some decent routes in clothes and boots that many here would laugh at. Take a look at the Cassin thread and see what the 1st ascent part used for gear before you scoff at other options.

 

I'm a die hard gear whore. The difference in what will work and what works the best for you can be staggering. At one time I had a Patagonia DAS, a Micro Puff Hoodie, a MH Compressor Hoodie, a Wild Things Belay Jacket, A NF and may a couple I have forgotten about in the closet. I choose one out of that bunch that I liked a lot and now own two of them. The reason I own two? If you use them they wear out. Climbing is tough on gear. If you depend on that gear for your survival best to keep it in good shape. On hard climbs I use the jacket in the best shape. The extra expense is worth it to me to have a "beater" jacket and one I use for the special project.

 

The wrong/right gear has never kept from suceeding on a climb. Typically only my brain failed.

 

That said, the difference for all those jackets are the details. The best fit (for me) the best hood (for me and my helmet), cuffs, zippers, pulls, and pockets is all I am interested in. If a $15. jacket was the best for my own use a Walmart tag wouldn't slow me down a bit. One of the best climbing soft shells I own was well under $100 from REI and it is a woman's style and size! My favorite mixed boots you can buy on sell at 1/2 Sportiva's retail...just rip off the lace system and add eyelets.

 

Next time I am close to a Walmart it will be worth checking out a $15.00 "climbing" jacket.

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I'm not really into the "spray" responses of some on this site, but most people here want advice from other experienced climbers. I respect the experience and advice of people who have used the gear in real situations and climates where your life depends on the quality of your gear and savvy in using it. I doubt anyone would hesitate buying from Walmart or any other store if their products were proven in quality as well as price. Nobody I climb with cares about fancy labels...just the durablility and quality of the gear they use. I'd take your advice more seriously if you would post some TR's of your outdoor adventures.
Well said. Nothing worse than getting a few days into a two-week back county trip and be miserable cause your cheap pants, coat, tent or whatever gear rips apart a few days after you bought it. Also, some brands charge way too much but at least you get a lifetime warranty on many products. I got one of the original TNF "Windy Pass" gortex jackets when they first came out in the late 80's. I used it for about ten years and when it no longer fit and leaked I sent it back to them cause it says right on the tag it has a lifetime warranty. They sent me a BRAND NEW, much nicer version, which I used for about another 10 years. I just sent that one back and they gave me a gift card for the TNF store for much more than the original jacket cost. So, I originally had a jacket that was about $100 back in the day, which served me well for many years and now I am still able to use it/them due to the superior warranty they provide. I have had many other similar experiences with other good brands like MSR, Sierra Designs, Raichle boots and others. Try that at WalMart.

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Not the message I was sending. I use a lot of thrift store finds when I'm hiking and climbing. I have found Schoeller pants, bibs, boots, helmets, fleece vests, etc at Value Village and Goodwill that I still use. I WISH that Walmart was my number one stop for gear...I'm not rich and would rather spend money on trips and food. My climbing partner will tell you I am Mr. Bargain Gear Whore. I do the climbing...not my gear, but I depend on it with my life. By the way, my synthetic parka is a Moonstone clearance shelf find in way visible red. It won't be me scoffing or laughing at you, too much respect...Cheers!

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I agree, never, pay retail. Internet makes that much eaiser thankfully. My comments weren't directed at anyone in particular as the $15 might well be a decent piece for the right climber.

 

I'm pretty spoiled and like the detailing to be perfect. And willing to pay for it...always have been...even when Ramen and PB&J was a staple of my diet at home so I could afford to climb.

 

"Johndavid" gets some shit for coming up with some silly ideas for mtn gear. But worth looking at them anyway never know what he might come up with. I got a good laugh out of his tent suggestion. Only takes once being in a tent as the seams come apart in a storm to know that is a bad idea. Think Bibler tent and 17K'. and 100 mph winds.

 

But also have spent some time on alpine bivys in harsh conditions survived with just lwt coated nylon tarp or a home made bivy bag. Can think of one night in particular that the night before the tarp seemed useless high up on a narrow ledge and the next night it was a true luxury on an unplanned night out in the rain, bivied again in a high alpine meadow another full day's walk from the road. Cheap funky tent that would have worked as both bivy bag on the climb and rain shelter down low would have been just the ticket.

 

Cheap because any long bivy on a ledge is going to trash most goretex bivy sacks...bad enough that the holes are not going to keep out a rain storm.

 

So cheap, as in disposable, is a nice option if what ever gear will get you through the climb. A few very good climbers are using sacks that are made specifically to just hold up for one climb. Might not make sense to some but I get the reasoning if it saves some weight and will still work for your needs.

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I dont think Ratagonia is making the Das Parka anymore. Take a look at the micro puff parka.

 

It may take some trial and error to find what works best for you. Dont be afraid to buy used and sell it if its not cutting it. Check out the yard sale here.

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I'm assuming people know enough about using gear to fairly judge exactly what they need and when they need it. But the false judgment is sometimes made that high-end gear is always required.

 

People think I'm lying or fantasizing, but I used a coated K-mart puptent for 9 or so months of various camping trips back in the 1980s and it worked just fine in the right conditions. I met at least a couple of other very hardcore users. Mftg tech has improved since then.

 

Today I do have a few bits of super-high-end softgoods made by elves that I want to preserve for specialized circumstances and normally leave at home, taking instead old wrags that I can continue to wear out and perhaps be buried in when the time comes.

 

The practical differences between the $15 Wal-Mart Jacket (do you think it's stuffed with grass?) and $200 brands is almost certainly much less than is often imagined.

 

In "Cascade Voices, Jim Nelson is quoted as scorning his guide clientel for wearing expensive Gore-tex jackets. He preferred (at the time) cheap coated nylon.

 

Assume he's changed his mind. But nearly everybody knows the general point here.

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I just love having a great piece of equipment that I know has been designed specifically for keeping me warm and dry.

No reason to buy the most expensive, but I do use my equipment, relay on it, and can afford to put some money into it.

 

Will the wallmart fleece/puptent/puffy/ect work - YES! ... Most of the time.

I just prefer not to use gear that pisses me off, and the features, weight, and quality of some of that gear does. SOME of it is great though.

 

My point is that brand name gear DOES NOT have to be expensive (used, sales, ect), and most of that time it preforms and lasts significantly better and longer then the cheap stuff.

Sometimes the cheap stuff is great when you want something for just one trip.

But most of the time I would prefer quality over quantity. I think most people do.

I also hate the impact that cheap gear that breaks has on the environment. I prefer to buy it to last, or not at all.

But that's the great thing about the internet, the economy, and democracy, we are all entitled to our opinions and the numbers will sort it all out.

 

I do however have issues though with Wallmarts business practices. I would encourage you (and everyone else in the thread) to watch thestoryofstuff.com - if you assume (as I do) that that Wallmart tent will wear out FAR before my SD tent - it is a good, accurate, explanation of the impact of consumer goods that are intended to be disposable. It is a very good watch.

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