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Dane

Hoody fans???? A sweater or a jacket?

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Take a look here for the previous thread...on hoody's for a first or mid layer.

 

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/866219/1

 

Perfect garments to go under what follows and maybe even ditch your current soft shell outer?!

 

One of the things I have reccently realised is there is a big difference between a belay jacket and a bivy jacket designed specifically for climbing. It has only been with in the last couple of seasons that I have actually seen jackets that I consider real belay jackets. The difference to me is a belay jacket is something light enough that you can really climb hard technical ground in after freezing your ass off on a cold belay and NOT get way over heated and "fried" by the end of the pitch. I still own a bivy jacket. The kind of jacket you would use with a half bag to bivy in ( or bivy in just the jacket) or on Denali for extra warmth with a light bag. But something you'd only climb in on the type of days you really shouldn't be out at all. Windy and cold summit days on Denali or Rainier in winter type of days. Never used one any where else.

 

A belay jacket you'll put on earlier and take off later and then realise you can use it to dry things out as you climb and still not over heat. Your own heat management will be more efficient because of it, if the design and materials are up to the task.

 

Using my terms once you start climbing in a true belay jacket the "bivy" jacket won't see much use. I wouldn't take one that heavy to Denali now. And for many things you might start thinking 1/2 pound of well designed stretchy synthetic insulation might well be be really useful to climb in during some really cold weather...say alpine stuff in Canada's winter.

 

Kinda a heavy weight hoody with wind protection....more like a belay sweater? To coin a new label.

 

Never seen a garment to match that description till just recently. Although Ueli Steck mentioned a similar garmet that he used when soloing the McIntyre/Colton last winter. Which is why I went looking for something similar. While a great piece for climbing, Mountain Hardwear labeled Steck's jacket the "Compressor Hoody". But the commercial version really wasn't what Steck was climbing in. Looks to be a shell and a pile jacket under it. Hard to belive this one is insulated but I liked the idea and where it was used.

 

26b6ba5a3bda3b4748d9f02ab869a8ca.jpg

 

http://www.alpineexposures.com/pages/ueli-steck-smashes-the-grandes-jorasses-north-face-record

 

I was thinking something more like this ......and this one should be an awesome new garment for cold and nasty weather technical climbing. Mid or outer layer? The ATOM LT Hoody by Arcteryx. 14oz

 

25467.Image.1.jpg

 

http://www.arcteryx.com/Product.aspx?Mens/Atom-LT-Hoody

 

 

The Mtn Hardware Compressor Hoody and good example of what I consider a belay jacket. I only use this one as an outer layer but it too could be a mid layer in harsh weather. And one of my all time favorites, here: 19oz

 

mountainhardwearcompressor.jpg

 

http://www.feedthehabit.com/outdoors/mountain-hardwear-hooded-compressor-jacket-review/

 

Used as a belay jacket here.

ado.sized.jpg

 

And rather classic "bivy weight" jacket...admittedly on the light side, the Patagonia DAS. 28oz.

 

84099_823_med.jpg

 

http://www.steepplanet.com/proddetail.php?prod=Patagonia-Das-Parka

 

And in use where it is a perfect "fit".

 

31.JPG

 

http://colinhaley.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html

 

or as the perfect "belay" jacket in these photos

agu.sized.jpg

 

n1099338977_30384804_8265761.jpg

 

And something a little thicker and 28oz!....French down circa mid '70s.

 

3325_1140978040181_1099338977_30428843_536514_n.jpg

 

YMMV of course :>)

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As usual Dane has interesting and useful information to share; I just want to offer a differing viewpoint that I have found to work very well for my heat output/metabolism - I run very warm when moving (i.e. I'll sweat while climbing 5.9 rock @ 32F in a t-shirt) but chill off very quickly when stopped. As such I typically wear lighter "action" layers but heavier "stopped" layers than my partners, as Dane said YMMV but here is what works for me.

 

Summer:

Lightweight Wool t-shirt (~4.5oz) or midweight synthetic long sleeve shirt (~5.5oz) depending on temperature

Hooded windshirt (~5oz, Arc'teryx Squamish, Patagonia Houdini)

Custom FF Hooded Hyperion down jacket (13.5oz, ~7.5oz 850 fill)

 

Winter:

Patagonia R1 Hoody (10.6oz)

Hooded windshirt (~5oz)

FF Volant down jacket w/ hood (~24.5oz, ~10.5oz 850 fill) or DAS Parka

If it's really cold I'll add either my wool t-shirt underneath the R1 or a non-hooded lined windshirt between the R1 and hooded windshirt (e.g. Marmot Dri-clime or Patagonia Alpine Wind jacket, ~10.5oz)

 

I'm planning to experiment with using Powerstretch fleece (Arc'teryx Rho AR or Cloudveil Run Don't Walk, ~11oz) and/or Montbell down or synthetic sweater (6-8oz, ~2oz fill) as mid layers this winter and taking my lighter belay jacket. I'm not sure how I'll like it though as I really like the simplicity of one warm layer to just throw on over everything else as soon as I stop and not having to mess around with multiple layer setups.

 

On trips with good forecasts or shorter than 2 planned overnights I leave the waterproof stuff at home, otherwise I have an Arc'teryx Alpha SL Pullover (11.4oz) that rarely gets used but does the trick when needed.

 

As I said I run very warm when moving so I've only ever climbed in my belay jacket once, it was a FF Hooded Helios (similar bulk to a MH Phantom or slightly less than a TNF Nuptse) and did not feel impeded by it on 5.10 ground although I probably would have with anything larger.

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I wasn't trying to define what anyone would/should wear at any given instance so much as what is available for technical insulated clothing currently. We are getting close to super light, water proof, 4 way super stretchy and totally breathable gear. Clothing that will shrug off any environmental influence and allow you to dry items inside that "armor" while moving or sleeping.

 

The other point I was trying to make is that how we label clothing may not be exactly the best use for that particular garment. Lots of "belay" jackets available these days. I have owned many of them. Found very few satisfactory for my own use. (read: cold weather, winter technical climbing) Where I climb in summer may not be the same climatic zone you climb in. Same goes for winter. Icefields in Jan. isn't the Ruth or Chamonix in Jan. What I take for clothing on a 4 day trip is going to be different than what I take on a long day out in the same environment.

 

Everyone's heat output/metabolism changes on a minute by minute basis depending on your health, level of fitness, food and water consumption, level of activity and environmental influences. A Atom LT hoody might be too much at one moment and a DAS not nearly enough the next. Alpine climbing...which was the context of my first post is all about the conditions. Hopefully your choice of clothing is similar. It should change to match the conditions ideally. Although down has some signifigant advantages in specific instances I can't imagine a down jacket ever being able to accomadate the changes in environment/conditions that a modern synthetic jacket easily can.

 

I was trying to point out we have more options in insulated mid layer and outer layer for the alpine environment with the newest light, compressable insulation encased in the most modern water resistant and stretchy shells.

 

Lucky us :)

 

 

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Great post Dane.

 

I second the compressor jacket; it's one of my favorite pieces of clothing. I use mine for extra warmth on things in the summer, as my moving layer when its around 20 degrees, and as a mid layer when it's really cold. It's worked great for all of them. The water resistance has really been nice too.

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Much of what it out (by many manufactures) imo is dated now. New outer materials, and combinations of materials, cut and better insulation and coatings have done that.

 

I have owned a Wild Things "Belay Jacket" for the last couple of years and recently sold it.

 

From the Wild Things web site:

 

http://www.wildthingsgear.com/shop/

 

"Our Belay Jacket combines the lightweight warmth of Primaloft® insulation with a weather-beating EPIC by Nextec® shell to create a windproof, breathable, water resistant and packable jacket." 34oz

 

It certainly is more than a Compressor Hoody. But certainly not twice as warm or a good comparison when you look at the difference in weight. Much more akin to the DAS in warmth, a bit heavier, and build hell for stout. Sadly, Wild Things are the past masters of "light is right".

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FWIW I tried on the Arcteryx piece and the hood isnt large enough to fit over a helmet which is a big strike against it for me.

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John,

 

Perhaps this is why...taken from Backcountry.com

 

"Gusseted underarms and articulated elbows won’t restrict motion when the Atom LT is under your hardshell, and the Scuba Hood fits under your climbing helmet for winter climbs."

 

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If that were the case it would limit its use for me as well. I have one of the Atom LTs in XL (nice fit for a XL) and the hood fits over my large, yeller, Grivel Salamander helmet with ease. And I am a really picky bastard on the details. Belay jackets or sweaters in this case are required to have a useable hood that easily fits over your helmet and still offers good protection from the weather. Gone are the days of faux hoods. In my size and my buddie's size Large with a Petzl helmet it does. Almost like the Atom LT was actually designed to use it with climbing helmet inside the hood :) The Compressor Hoody by MTN hardware was.

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John,

 

Perhaps this is why...taken from Backcountry.com

 

"Gusseted underarms and articulated elbows won’t restrict motion when the Atom LT is under your hardshell, and the Scuba Hood fits under your climbing helmet for winter climbs."

 

funnypost.gif

 

I don't think I've ever had a jacket where the hood actually fit over the helmet. That would definitely add to the warmth factor.

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John,

 

Perhaps this is why...taken from Backcountry.com

 

"Gusseted underarms and articulated elbows won’t restrict motion when the Atom LT is under your hardshell, and the Scuba Hood fits under your climbing helmet for winter climbs."

 

funnypost.gif

 

I don't think I've ever had a jacket where the hood actually fit over the helmet. That would definitely add to the warmth factor.

 

Never??? :confused:

 

How big is your helmet? Something like this...?

 

207924850.jpg

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It certainly is more than a Compressor Hoody. But certainly not twice as warm or a good comparison when you look at the difference in weight. Much more akin to the DAS in warmth, a bit heavier, and build hell for stout. Sadly, Wild Things are the past masters of "light is right".

 

I'll guess that they've figured out that selling in bulk to the military is more profitable than selling to the public: Climbing New Heights for the Military

 

 

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220 MILLION US AMERICAN DOLLARS! Money talks and climbers walk.

 

Sadly the niche players in the civilain market will always be the cutting edge. Once involved in the military feed bag hard to keep up with what it the best, fastest, lightest, coolest.

 

Long ways from Bouchard and Stump to Arcteryx and Cilo and a host of others I have yet to hear of.

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220 MILLION US AMERICAN DOLLARS! Money talks and climbers walk.

 

Sadly the niche players in the civilain market will always be the cutting edge. Once involved in the military feed bag hard to keep up with what it the best, fastest, lightest, coolest.

 

There is some truth to that in terms of large contracts, but look at how the NASA work glove thing is starting to transform glove manufacture or the strange growth of wool long underwear after the Army expresses interest...

 

Anyway, Dane, I think you want a synthetic knit dicky with a hood. I used to see those back in Montana, but perhaps a talented seamstress could work one out. You could probably just call the 3M technical support line and codge a sample yard of the material you want out of them, which would probably be enough for a small thing like this.

 

And then it would fit John's Vader helmet. ;)

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Hey Graham. In the almost 30 years that I was using Wild Things gear they have always done well. As the new kid on the block I suspect you realise just how hard it is to stay on the cutting edge and make any money doing it. I sure don't begrudge Marie's success and applaud Wild Things having the military contracts. Those serving our country deserve the best. For that use pretty hard to fault Wild Thngs gear and designs.

 

Now, about that high tech dicky?

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...I sure don't begrudge Marie's success and applaud Wild Things having the military contracts. Those serving our country deserve the best...

 

Shoot, in part I started CiloGear because I wanted a pack I couldn't afford. And I certainly do applaud Marie for getting her $6 million slice of government work over the past eight years and selling the company*. It was the smart thing to do. I only hope that she was compensated very well for all her work.

 

I also agree that those serving our country deserve the best, but of course, I reserve the right to have a different opinion on that point vis-a-vis backpacks. ;)

 

Now, about that high tech dicky?

 

Seriously. Think about something like MFT's dream of an action suit with a nonbreathable back or a mesh back where your pack is. Just cover the upper back, shoulder harness and hood-over-helmet. Maybe the arms too...

 

It will be warm toasty and absolutely warrantied to make you glad you already reproduced as all chance of that occuring in the future will be over.

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If you don't want to read the .pdf, two bottom feeding private equity fund bought wild things in July of '08 for about $3 million dollars. Not what I would call a great deal for Marie, as I suspect a lot of the cash went to debt service. Anyway, you should really expect that:

 

"Wild Things will sell consumer outdoor apparel, such as backpacks and jackets, aiming to turn its military name into a household consumer name."

 

 

In other words, RIP as a company that makes real gear...

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Dane, I own a Compressor without a hood that is a little packed out, but even at its warmest seemed a little cool for me. What is your layering setup for legs, some softshells and long underwear? Do you throw a insulated set of pants on at belays? I'm a little financially limited so am using some beater Gore-Tex bibs and long underwear, but it seems that I need a heavier jacket even in the not super cold. Wondering if something else for the legs is important.

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JBo....couple of things jump out at me in your querstion.

 

Sorry the answer turned out way longer than I expected :) I obviously reallllyyy need to get out more!

 

No I don't normally add anything to my legs.....but have thought about it for some really cold climbs. Just never done it, even in Alaska. I know a few guys with way more experience that do use them on a regular basis though.

 

First thought that jumped out at me was the lack of a hood. You know this I am sure but worth repeating for those that haven't heard it. Major difference in the amount of heat a jacket with a hood will retain for you. Way more than you might rightly expect.

 

Now that suitable garments are available everything I wear past my lwt weight first layer against the skin has a hood. In really cold weather I might have 3 layers of hoods in and out of my helmet. I like the hoods out so I can pull them on and off. That is three layers before I get to the Compressor hood. On approaches I use a different top layer system than what I climb in. I strip to the skin and relayer in dry gear when i pull out my harness.

 

Leg layers and top layers are dependent on the temps and work load. Although been awhile since I used a hard shell outer on my legs or top. The colder it gets the more I wear bib style layers on the bottom. Eliminating gaps and belts that both cut off heat and allow you to wear less with similiar heat retention.

 

Belted pants work fine in mild to chilly weather. When it gets really cold I go to one or two layers of bib style pants....inner liner of stretch fleece and heavier soft shell outer and regular long johns as well.

 

I use to be a big fan of Goretex one piece suits because you could wear less insulation for a similar amount of heat retention over a two piece shell system. That has gone by the way side with the huge advantages during movement and breathability of soft shell gear.

 

The gig is the most amount of warmth for the least amount of clothing, while staying dry and mobile right?

 

I don't like being specific in what works for me because it is specific only for me, that particular day, in those temps, on that articular climb. But here is ONE list of how I have used the Compressor Hoody in fairly cold conditions a number of times. Icefield's winter, say -20C to -30C at the bottom end, which is about as cold as I'd want to go with this system using a Compressor Hoody as a belay jacket.

 

Duofold short sleeved T shirt (or) smart wool long sleeved T- neck. I decide which by how cold it is going to be (wind/sun/cloud cover) and how fast I plan on moving as the t shirt drys faster but the T-neck is warmer if I can keep it dry.

 

Patagonia Rashguard hoody

Patagoinia R1 hoody

Arcterxy Gamma MX Hoody

Compressor Hoody

 

FWIW on the right climb my plan is to replace the Gamma MX with the Atom Lt...and if everything was perfect I might replace both the Gamma MX and the Compressor with the Atom Lt and plan to keep moving to stay warm enough. But at the moment that is all speculation on my part.

 

What works well for me may not work for you at all.]/b] Just trying to get others thinking of options and different combinations that might work well for you.

 

Pictures can tell me more generally. Here are four different combos from last winter trying to match the conditons and climbs effectively. Two sets of pictures from 2 totally different climatic zones. 2 are in the Cascasdes and 2 are from the Rockies. I'll let you guess which. You can see how cold I was just by how many layers are inside my helmet and how I use that little nuance to effectively control my own body temp.

 

Lower layers (legs) don't offer quite as many options generally and are harder to add and subtract. Hopefully this will give you some different ideas.

 

Patagonai Micro Puff pullover, pile hooded pull over, R1 hoodie...plus lwt layer under the R1

ada.sized.jpg

 

This was a cold one..merino wool t-neck 1st layer, stretch hoodie mid weight pile jacket, Gamma MX, Compressor and a hat!

 

adq.sized.jpg

 

We started this one in warmer conditions. 1st layer was a Doufold T shirt, then a R1 and the Gamma MX. We climbed much of the later part of the day in a wet snow storm so I ended up climbing a lot that day with the Compressor Hoodie over all this. Compressor was totally soaked through by the end of the climb but I stayed warm and by the time we were 1/2 way down the jacket had dried out. Compressor jacket impressed the shit out of me on that one!

 

aas.sized.jpg

 

Cold, dry and in the shade here. Doufold T shirt, Rash Hoodie, R1 Hoodie and the awesome Gamma MX. Perfect combo for the temp and how hard the climbing was. Glad we were down by the time the sun set as I left the Compressor at the base for this one. Smart move if you pull it off...really dumb (and painful) if you don't.

 

aho.sized.jpg

 

Thought you guys might get a laugh from a little historical perspective, pre-helmet days :)

 

Dec 1972, top of Cascade as the sun went down....temp in Banff that day? -40C.

Wool top to bottom, single leather boots, supergaiters, a down vest and a bit chilly walking down Rogan's.

 

adx.sized.jpg

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those native american wool hats are pretty much a helmet, albeit without the hard shell. love the dark helmet post above.

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Last spring I got my wife an Arcteryx Fission jacket. They're around 22 oz. and unlike the Patagonia parkas totally waterproof which makes then nice for routes when it's snowing. She found it a tad hot to climb in -- but most of the time when climbing she only wears a shell (if that) so the belay jacket / puffy stays in the pack unless it's blowing or we're stopped / descending.

 

Retail they're ungodly expensive ($699) but I scored one off SAC for $160 last April. They're not worth full retail but if you can find a used or cheap one they're nice.

 

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I have both a MH Compress and at WT Belay Parka. They're apples and oranges, totally different pieces in the quiver. I've been out at -25F here and -15F in the Can rockies in the WT belay jacket. I wasn't what I'd call comfortable, but it was as comfortable as those temps can be. So, it'd obviously be way overkill for anything in the Cascades, any time of the year. The MH Compressor is a year-round go-to jacket. I'd use it for most of my day routes in AK, even in the middle of winter. I had a MEC northern lite pullover before I moved up here that came with me for 75% of my time in the cascades or northern Idaho, often time just layered over one or two light base layers sans real shell. Keep it breathable, real breathable, and you'd be surprised how little shell and insulation you really need.

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Hey Will, nice jacket! Never seen one but the sticker shock would have kept me away :) I'll have to make a point of seeing it in person.

 

Thought this might help since we are posting in both C and F.

 

180px-Raumthermometer_Fahrenheit%2BCelsius.jpg

 

-20C = -5 F

-30C = -25 F

 

used the Compressor Hoody in fairly cold conditions a number of times. Icefield's winter, say -20C to -30C at the bottom end, which is about as cold as I'd want to go with this system using a Compressor Hoody as a belay jacket.

 

I agree the MH Compressor Hoody and the WT Belay Jacket are apples and oranges. In the temp range mentioned I found one jacket very useful while I found the other jacket not very useful for my own pursuits.

 

That is the problem with specific recogmendations...everyone is different and what YOU require of a garment may be totally different than what someone else requires.

 

Although I think the bigger problem is the label, "belay jacket".

"Belay sweater", "belay jacket" and "bivy jacket" I think are better descriptions. Assume all must have a hood that fits over a climbing helmet, all have a wind proof shell and some sort of insulation.

 

Few things I would call a "belay sweater". Atom Lt the first I've really seen.

 

Belay jacket on the other hand lots of folks make in synthetic and down. Think of a jacket you'd be willing to climb hard technical ground in but not really warm enough spend a -25 (/F) night out in. And a reasonably small stuffed package in the pack. Recently a number of manufactures have offered such jackets.

 

Bivy jacket you can climb in when things get really cold but not the most pleasant garment to do so....you really wish for something lighter. Makes a cold night out bearable but is about the size of a stuffed sleeping bag in your pack. Something you have often wondered about...should I take the jacket or lwt sleeping bag...which is a better option to carry? These have been around a long time...and when stripped of extra features are now generally called "belay" jackets.

 

The last is a garment I have owned since I started climbing but also one I have seldom used.

 

 

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