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would a nano puff jacket and an ultra lite down sweater topped off with a lite weight shell make a good combination for lite weight layering.

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..i would think so. A puffy layer under a hard shell of any type is normally a winner for warmth...though when active the insul layer is prone to get damp.

 

that setup of 3 layers seems good for versatility. ..but hard to know for weight, though likely won't be bad. i have a nano pullover and the insulation is sufficient for a lot (mostly summer or while moving) but isn't much in and of itself for warmth in cold temps. lightweight insulation means the ratio of insulation to zipper/shell material is lower. it is plausible a single medium-heavy down coat will weigh the same as the two light-layers and offer more warmth. but then you do lose versatility.

 

i like your idea for moving in the mountains those-layers-often don the micropuff in colder times under a shell or windbreaker/etc cause sweating in it not an issue like down.

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I have a Pat. down sweater and have used it under a hard shell but it doesnt vent too well thats why I thought maybe a syn. under the down might help that out a little. I also have a big WM puffy but it is on the too warm side if your moving alot. I'm trying to cut weight of clothing. What is your fav. soft shell pants for alpinism? I am going to buy a new pair and have taken notice of Pat. alpine Guide Pant. 19.7 oz.

 

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i think you're on the right track going syn under a hard shell if you're going to be active with it-i dont do that with down-- not sure about it venting better but it is a consideration. The nano puff pullover zip goes down pretty low (somewhere between my sternum and belly button).

 

my fav softshell pants... old backcountry.com brand overhang pants.. they had a layer of bonded fleece (subtle..not like fullon fleece) on the inside--really nice, though over time the fleece has gone away on the knees, thighs, butt. the new version of them is just softshell. people like those pata guides and guide lites though seems a lot of people bitch about how the version from this or that year in the past was made with scholloer, or it had grommits and this new one doesn't etc. check'm out, if you like'm they're good.

 

also like the EB 1st ascent softshell guides (i think they're called). They're a winter softshell. for summer REI sells 'endeavor' which is a softshell pant that zips off--perfect in my book for a huge part of the year. The EB ones i have them though they will probably go back--the crotch is oddly low on me or something--I notice it with stride of skinning or high stepping (steeper slopes)--it pulls at the crotch--impedes stride a bit i guess--but hell if they work for you they're some nifty nice pants, good material and such, worth trying on if you can.

 

if you haven't checked out Dane's cold-thistle blog he has pontificated on many many angles of layering.

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I have a Pat. down sweater and have used it under a hard shell but it doesnt vent too well thats why I thought maybe a syn. under the down might help that out a little.

 

Wearing synthetic under down isn't going to help vent. It will just be warmer and sweatier.

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I did go to Cold Thistle and the article advocated syn. over syn. so I thought I'd get some thoughts on down over syn. Thanks

 

 

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would a nano puff jacket and an ultra lite down sweater topped off with a lite weight shell make a good combination for lite weight layering.

 

For what? Your "action suit" climbing? Or just cold weather, like sitting on a chair lift?

 

"Layering" is an interesting term. Not really very descriptive any more. What you have described would work fine in a cold dry environment with a couple of definative caveats. It will work best with a very breathable shell. Hopefully your shell offers some moisture protection for the down, so it doesn't fail from moisture on the outside. And the shell breathes well enough that your sweat doesn't soak the down on the inside first. Best to match your use to the shell's abilities. The shell will define how consistantly warm your down will be.

 

What you have suggested is a fairly common system. Just not a very effective one. Down is great if you can protect it. And know how and where to use it. Once wet it is not very useful.

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if you are simply sitting around ... the down will work better UNDER the synth ... the problem of course being that you need to take off the synth to get the down on ... thus more faff ...

 

but youll be doing that anyways i guess with with the shell on the outside

 

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I personally will not risk down clothing in any potential serious survival situation. Yes down is warm and packs down small and light, it is far better to carry than synthetic in this regard but it will not insulate when wet. If one was in a dry climate then down clothing is a consideration.

 

As for down sleeping bags that is a good choice as long as you plan to carry a good quality tent that is double wall. Down sleeping bags you are on a clock of one to a two days when damp such as a bivy sack in bad weather or a dripping snow cave or a leaky tent. So far the synthetic sleeping bags have not been warm enough for me as compared to down sleeping bags. But I have not tried the newest synthetics.

 

In fact if one is on a budget a simple heavy polyester insulated coat with a hood is not a bad option for a over top layer if it is waterproof or made waterproof.

 

Imagine stuck out on a mountain, raining all night without a tent you can't stay dry. You will be soaked to the bone most likely. Even with a poncho it is hard to stay dry. Wet from sweat and wet from rain. And that is one night, several days and nights then it is impossible to stay dry. In fact I have been wondering about the old school boiled wool sweaters, want to find one cheap at a thrift store to test out.

 

Dan

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