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Down jacket under pro shell

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi. I've reasently bough a Gortex pro shell ski jacket in the sails and am now looking for a down jacket to go underneath. Please can you advise me of the best one for the job.
Rab is good but expensive but what tog or fibers should I look for. A few people have said that Decathlon are cheep but do a great job.
Please help
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Down is not a great mid-layer unless it is going to be very cold. Any moisture trapped by the shell will dampen the down. If all you want is a very warm midlayer I'd suggest a hi-loft fleece (thermal pro) or one of the full-range active synthetics like Patagonia Nano-Air (expensive).

Having said that, I have multiple down jackets and do like them so if you go down that route, buy one from a supplier that some control over it's down sourcing, e.g. Mountain Equipment and their down codex.
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Get a decent fleece. Cheaper, breathes better, and dumps heat better when you want to vent.

Down under a shell doesn't make a huge amount of sense to me as it's better when it's not compressed - i.e. as an outer layer.
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Was going to say the same, seems an odd combo.
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Yup, another vote for the responses above. I've been skiing the past few winters with a Sweet Protection fleece under my shell (Polartec Thermal Pro material) and it's been brill. Super warm (sometimes I ski with just it!), lightweight, and breathable.

It's starting to die now (1 full season, 2 more winters with quite a few trips), and I'll be looking for the same again.
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another point to consider - it's unlikely to be wet if it is cold enough to need to ski in down so you can throw the down on top of the shell when you need the extra warmth. e.g., when you stop moving for a bit.
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It was very cold in Val Thorens last week and as I had left my heavyweight fleece at home ("it's April, I won't need that...") the best I could do was a merino base, mid-weight fleece and a shell. Thankfully I'd packed my down jacket due to its light weight and this did a great job as an extra layer under the shell.

As @clarky999 says, compression hinders performance, so go for a really thin one rather than a massive puffy jacket, and make sure your layers are no too tight and compressed.

Echoing above, a fleece would be cheaper and more durable for everyday use, but if you need something light and packable as an emergency layer, you can't beat a down. I have a Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer which weighs 200g.
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Scarlet wrote:


Echoing above, a fleece would be cheaper and more durable for everyday use, but if you need something light and packable as an emergency layer, you can't beat a down. I have a Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer which weighs 200g.


Absolutely agree with that (and the thinner jacket if you do want one for layering), though personally I'd still wear it over the top. I like the Norrona Lygen Light - light but cut long so keeps your back and bum warm!

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Decathlon do a down jacket with Primaloft (I think) arms. It's OK and significantly cheaper than the likes of Rab. I only use it if gets very cold, -20 ish. Otherwise I just wear a lightweight Icbreaker merino base.
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Decathlon do a down jacket with Primaloft (I think) arms. It's OK and significantly cheaper than the likes of Rab. I only use it if gets very cold, -20 ish. Otherwise I just wear a lightweight Icbreaker merino base.
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@clarky999, I can see the practicalities of putting the down on top, but I guess it depends on the jacket. Mine would not fit over a shell (too fitted) and I would be wary of damaging it – the shell is much tougher and would protect the delicate down from harm as well as keeping it dry.
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clarky999 wrote:

Absolutely agree with that (and the thinner jacket if you do want one for layering), though personally I'd still wear it over the top. I like the Norrona Lygen Light - light but cut long so keeps your back and bum warm!


That style of jacket would be my choice as well but I guess Scarlet just had to work with what she'd brought, the Ghost whisperer only has 70g of down in it and is micro baffled so wouldn't be anywhere near as warm as your jacket. It's also pretty fragile.
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@galpinos, That's a pretty serious jacket though, and going to be a bit warm for your average skier as a mid layer. @clarky999 at least looks like he's been on an expedition, even if that photo was taken in his back yard NehNeh
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Like the idea of wearing an insulated layer over a shell, especially as it's easier to add without having to take your shell off. My one concern has always been how to keep my down jacket dry. Has anybody had the opportunity to compare primaloft as opposed to an outer layer rather than down and if so can you recommend anything to go over the top of a norrona pro gortex shell?
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Sailskibum wrote:
Has anybody had the opportunity to compare primaloft as opposed to an outer layer rather than down and if so can you recommend anything to go over the top of a norrona pro gortex shell?


It's the defualt option for winter climbing, a good example being the Mounatin Equipment Fitzroy. You'd be a bit warm skiing in the most of the time. http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/fitzroy-jacket

I have skied in a Mountain Equipment Bastion which was a lighter fill but a more durable outer in lieu of a shell when it was parky.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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The ME Eclipse Hoody a great fleece mid layer to wear under your shell.

http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/eclipse-hooded-jacket
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RichClark wrote:
The ME Eclipse Hoody a great fleece mid layer to wear under your shell.

http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/eclipse-hooded-jacket


I find hoodies annoying as ski jackets typically have a high collar and hood. I have a haglöfs polartec fleece (bungy model) as a mid layer. With merino base layer and shell jacket I've been ok down to -20C. With wind it gets a bit chilly so I wear another base layer.
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I have skied in a shell with lightweight down jacket underneath for a few years now. Used it first when it was minus 26C. Contrary to the opinions above, I love it. My down jacket is a North Face thunder 800 fill. I wear a base and mid layer merino underneath. It's so light I forget I have it on and there are no drafty bits at all! It was definitely streets ahead of a basic fleece. Doubles as an alternative jacket for nights out in the ski resort. I've never felt it feel sweaty.
Try looking on Sportpursuit for bargains...
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There a non hooded eclipse too. I just recommended the one I own Very Happy
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Thanks All. My previous Jacket is Gortex with a Premalof integral liner.
Relatively thin, very effective.
I had considered the fleece option as I have several variants.
Lockwoods in Lemington suggested the same option last year. Seems to be a winner.
It's all very individual. I get quite hot so like to layer up or down. But don't want to lug any more in my back pack than is nesaserry
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clarky999 wrote:
Scarlet wrote:


Echoing above, a fleece would be cheaper and more durable for everyday use, but if you need something light and packable as an emergency layer, you can't beat a down. I have a Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer which weighs 200g.


Absolutely agree with that (and the thinner jacket if you do want one for layering), though personally I'd still wear it over the top. I like the Norrona Lygen Light - light but cut long so keeps your back and bum warm!



Great choices sir! Looks like we have the same ski pants, gloves and down jacket 😎
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Down under a GoreTex shell works very well for me.

I have both an Arcteryx Thorium jacket and a Patagonia Down Sweater (vest). These are both designed as layering pieces, though I suppose they could be worn as the top layer in dry conditions.

The vest, base layer, and shell are usually enough for me, but there were plenty of days in St Anton this year when the Thorium was very welcome.

It comes down to how much you feel the cold, and perhaps how much you sweat, but there does not seem to be a technical reason why a suitable down piece will not work under a shell.
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It's not the down that's the issue, it's the liner and outer fabric collecting condensation that'll make stuff more damp: they tend to use shiny fabrics for the DWR and it collects moisture rather than wicks IME. I tried synthetic down once as a mid as an experiment. I've used fleeces (or a Rab vapour rise lite in spring/touring) ever since. Never been cold enough to need down as a mid. Super useful to throw over a shell at lunch stops as suggested above.
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Arcteryx Cerium LT. Comes as a hooded or non hooded version. Exactly the right fit for me which helps but no good as an over layer. I don't use it very often due to the reasons above though but is good for round the resort as well as really cold days. RRP is crazy though so you would have to get a good discount.

I usually use a softshell/fleece type midlayer or a synthetic one designed as midlayer for more "normal" conditions
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mmgg1988 wrote:
Arcteryx Cerium LT.


I have the hooded version. A thing of beauty, well cut, great craftsmanship, the cuffs are sublime, the areas of coreloft instead of down is a great idea but...... I only really wear it "about town". It's ridiculously warm for it's weight so it's rare for it to be required as a midlayer skiing in Europe and it's trim fitting so it has to go under your shell so not great as a "poo-poo hits the fan" jacket. I do think it's lovely and pack it when going light but it seems like one of those jackets that's not got a specific purpose.

I guess that applies to all micro baffle down jackets.
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Quote:


It's not the down that's the issue, it's the liner and outer fabric collecting condensation that'll make stuff more damp: they tend to use shiny fabrics for the DWR and it collects moisture rather than wicks IME


This - the shell of a down jacket has to be very tightly woven or the down escapes. This means it is pretty damn wind proof. Great as an outer layer but if you start getting warm and sweaty it is really hard for the damp air to escape - fleeces are much more porous (unless you have a windstopper type membrane which achieves the same thing - makes it great as an outer layer but damages its performance as a mid layer.

I normally ski with the pit zips of a hard shell open unless it is absolutely arctic so that warm damp air can vent. A down jacket midlayer would prevent that. A vest is a better option for me but because I am generally skiing with a close fitting ABS pack my back would tend to get sweaty.

As you can see from this thread - not everyone has the same experiences. I think that is due to physiological differences - some people just get much sweatier when exercising than others (I get very sweaty, my son hardly ever breaks sweat even when playing football). If you don't sweat much then the brilliant warmth to weight of down makes it a great mid layer but if you do, it's a poor choice.
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Cheers. I swet. Ive seen people using down jacket and pro shell together so assumed that was the norm. However if I ware a waterproof in the UK I won't think of putting a down jacket underneath
So will stick to the Marino base and fleece made
PS
Marino boxers are the best
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Cheers. I swet. Ive seen people using down jacket and pro shell together so assumed that was the norm. However if I ware a waterproof in the UK I won't think of putting a down jacket underneath
So will stick to the Marino base and fleece made
PS
Marino boxers are the best
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Quote:

I guess that applies to all micro baffle down jackets.


I think they are a great as a warm up layer when you are exercising hard in cold/dry conditions (e.g., stop when you are out for a run in winter).
They are also great when you are moving between centrally heated buildings and cold outdoors (shirtsleeves inside, down out). I also wear mine when I'm working from home during the day in winter and the central heating is off!

But it is a collection of niches
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Quote:

Arcteryx Cerium


I have a cerium vest which I keep in my bike bag in winter in case I have 15 minutes wait on a cold platform after getting hot and sweaty on my way to work - pulls on over my close-fitting cycling jacket
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galpinos wrote:
mmgg1988 wrote:
Arcteryx Cerium LT.


I have the hooded version. A thing of beauty, well cut, great craftsmanship, the cuffs are sublime, the areas of coreloft instead of down is a great idea but...... I only really wear it "about town". It's ridiculously warm for it's weight so it's rare for it to be required as a midlayer skiing in Europe and it's trim fitting so it has to go under your shell so not great as a "poo-poo hits the fan" jacket. I do think it's lovely and pack it when going light but it seems like one of those jackets that's not got a specific purpose.

I guess that applies to all micro baffle down jackets.


I have the hooded one. I don't generally get that hot whilst skiing downhill anyway so have worn it as a mid-layer 2-3 days this season with temperatures <-15. As mentioned it fits well under a shell. In the spring, I mainly use it as you describe, for wandering around resorts for apres etc with a shirt underneath. Also packs well for an extra layer if it gets cold later in the day or when stopping.
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I've got the Arcteryx Atom LT with no hood. Coreloft only, great under a shell on chillier days. Last week in Val D there were a couple of fairly chilly days, -12 ish and windy. Had a merino t shirt, long sleeve merino base, added the Atom when cold, and a shell over the top. Never felt cold when others were complaining. Packs really small as well.
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I have an LL Bean Goretex XCR shell, into which I can zip either a heavy Polartec windproof fleece or Down jacket....depending on how cold.
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Got a Decathlon hiking puffer jacket. £29.99. Then my ski guide was wearing the same item. He said it was better than his expensive Rab and North Face. Good enough for me!
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north face polartec fleece or norrona warm 2 if it's very cold under a norrona lofoten shell. works great.
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colinstone wrote:
Got a Decathlon hiking puffer jacket. £29.99. Then my ski guide was wearing the same item. He said it was better than his expensive Rab and North Face. Good enough for me!


Any idea why he said was better? Did he mean better value?

I'm reluctant to buy down form a company without an ethical down policy.
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I'd advise a belay jacket, designed for climbers and meant to be worn on top of the shell on cold belays. Usually synthetic insulation and a water and wind resistant outer layer. Also a pertex and pile mix such as Buffalo or Montane can be worn over a shell.

I actually carry a very light Rab synthetic jacket which can be worn under my shell, it's takes up very little space in the sack but off piste could be a life saver in an emergency situation. I have only worn it for apres drinking outside though.
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Quote:

Great choices sir! Looks like we have the same ski pants, gloves and down jacket 😎


@BobinCH, Me too apart from my Lyngen jacket lives most of the time in my rucksack, its too hot to ski in, plus I wear a super thin down Mountain Equipment gilet under my Arcteryx or Sweet shell.
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