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Down Jackets

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hey all

I am debating getting a new jacket as there are a couple that I fancy but can't decide if I need some extra warmth. I'm *not* a cold person and normally wear baselayer, football shirt or a hoodie then a shell jacket. But March in Tignes only a couple of days were warm while the other days bottomed at -17. It was freezing. The last day in particular by 12 pm I was so cold I headed back to the hotel. I was flying out in the night anyway but man was it cold. I just don't want to spend big money on a jacket then find out its too warm for me. What are most people's experiences?

I'm thinking about either http://www.snowandrock.com/4-square-men%27s-adams-jacket/snowboard-jackets/ski-snowboard-outdoor-sports/fcp-product/13413

or http://www.snowboard-asylum.com/snowsports-clothing/bonfire/312001/men%27s-sitka-jacket

The latter being a down jacket.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Fri 26-11-10 12:26; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Down jackets are great for not freezing to death on the way home from the pub, but IMHO way too hot for riding in, mind I am a hot person.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
You will melt if wearing a down jacket to do anything active and the sweat won't be good for the down. If you are getting really cold you might be able to carry one to throw on on lifts or when stationary.
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I agree that down will be waaaay too warm for anything active. But as Swirly says, it might be useful to have one to fling on while you're standing or sitting around. I have a ME Helium that packs down to little more than the size of a couple of fists and this often goes out in my pack.

You might be better off with a pile jacket. The classic pile jacket was made years ago by Javelin and they saw duty in many high places. They've fallen out of fashion but similar ones are still available if you look hard enough. Alternatively, go for something like the stuff made by Buffalo Systems, Montane and others that combines pile with a Pertex skin. You could then put your hard shell in your pack for rainy days.

http://www.buffalosystems.co.uk/
http://www.montane.co.uk/products/men/extreme
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Ditch the football shirt / hoody. Get 2 fleeces. If it's mild, wear one of them, if it's cold, wear both.

Down is way too warm most of the time - a packable down vest (I've got an ME Helium as well) can be a good thing to have around for really cold days.
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Don't agree with all this 'down is too warm' stuff. I have one of these: http://www.mountain-equipment.co.uk/the_gear/clothing/insulation/vega_jacket---410/ - wore it for both skiing and boarding most of last January, was never too hot. Mind you, it was pretty cold last January.

Having said that, I'd agree with stevomcd, - get rid of the sports fashion kit and buy fleeces. This will be a whole lot cheaper than a down jacket as well.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
if it's really cold i sometimes wear a down gilet (rab neutrino) under or over my jacket. packs down small and sits at the bottom of my pack the rest of the time
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Gainz, last Jan in -20 I was plenty warm enough with 1 x long sleeve merino, 2 x 100 weight fleeces and a shell......
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1 cwt sounds a bit bloody heavy for a jumper. Laughing
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Lizzard, i've a patagomia primo down jacket - was ok in serre che last year, but it did get a bit warm on a sunny half hour hike...........
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Lizzard wrote:
1 cwt sounds a bit bloody heavy for a jumper. Laughing
Toofy Grin Laughing
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Lizzard wrote:
1 cwt sounds a bit bloody heavy for a jumper. Laughing


i found myself skiing with a physics PHD student who pointed out that neutrino was a stupid name for something which is supposed to be light because no-one has successfully weighed a neutrino rolling eyes
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
if you're too cold, (depending on what you've got already) get yourself a better layering system. down won't help you if you've got cold sweat sitting close to your skin on poor quality man made or cotton thermals.

and, as an alternative to down... i've been very impressed over the past few years with my TNF jacket with Primaloft insulation. Kept me nice and snug on a few really cold days (-20ºC).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've never had a down jacket, so may be talking / thinking rubbish, but doesn't the filling get wet if you fall (some people do, I hear Little Angel ) or if skiing in falling snow Puzzled
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
yes, sounds like more and better layers is the answer. What's the hoodie made of?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Montana, well, not really (for me). first, all decent down jackets have a shell which may not be waterproof but is at least water resistant. second, the down only comes out if it is really frikken cold so falling snow (and snow you have fallen into) generally just gets brushed off
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Montana, no. If was warm enough that the snow was wet, you wouldn't be wearing the jacket in the first place.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Montana wrote:
I've never had a down jacket, so may be talking / thinking rubbish, but doesn't the filling get wet if you fall (some people do, I hear Little Angel ) or if skiing in falling snow Puzzled


depends how wet the snow is when it's falling, I've never had a problem but I only wear mine when it's really cold. Only time I've worn it riding is when I'm off on a tour and have to do a bit of downhill first so I'm normally not wearing much under it, then it come off for the skinning.


btw if you don't want to spend a fortune on one: http://www.alpkit.com/shop/cart.php?target=product&product_id=16341&category_id=298

I have a Mk 1 one of these (no hood) it only cost £35 back then and is toasty.
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Coldest I ever skied in was -40c/f in Canada. 7 layers, and my thick gloves. Only problem was around the eyes, my goggles were passing a bit of air that was freezing on my eyeball. Got new goggles.
Primaloft is the way to go, warm when wet.
I have just ditched a large down jacket, which in 30 years never got worn for going up hill, very nice for cold mornings when camping, but my snow camping days are now over.
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Montana, my down jacket has awaterproof outer shell - patagonias H2No fabric which is well waterproof and breathable - not far off goretex performance, i don't get wet in the pouring irish rain - let alone in the snow. you gets what ya pays for........
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Gainz, you'll cook.
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Gainz, try a Mountain Hardwear Monkeyman (thick fleece, not bulky or heavy) or a Patagonia R4 or something similar. I hung out in -35C whistler a few years back in only a t-shirt, R4 and a down vest.

Toasty.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ok, well I have to say that my baselayer is not merino but a HH polypropalene, hoodie is a Burton Dryride with a thermex fleece. My jacket is 10k waterproof and breathable. I also have a lightweight fleece but never wore all 4 together. On a normal day a baselayer and a football shirt is enough under my jacket but f**k me it was cold in Tignes. The wind chill battered my nose and lips to the extent it took weeks for them to heal.
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Gainz, then I recommend one of these for your face - keeps mine lovely and warm and stops goggle mist!
http://tinyurl.com/2vbktw6

Very Happy
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ronaldothefrog, I was thinking of one of these:

http://www.bargainboards.co.uk/P/Demon-FACE-GUARD-Ski-Mask-DS5108%282900%29.aspx

until I saw someone with one on and they looked like Hannibal Lecter. I guess it doesn'r matter if you're warm.
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I've a Volcom down jacket which i wear to ride on the cold days, and a volcom shell jacket for the warmer ones wouldnt be without the down jacket

I've found the down jacket to be plenty warm enough on the cold days and made cool enough by using the vents and pit zips if its warmer, in January and February.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I have a gortex ski jacket with a removable duck down inner. For -10C to -30C conditions the duck down never gets me too hot. A front zipper means that the cold can be let in should I ever get too warm, e.g. if it gets warm in the afternoon.

I also have a buffalo jacket, which I hate because there is no front zipper, and so no control over temperature.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Gainz, I have had one of those in the past. They are fine, but the nose flap looks a bit daft when you've got goggles on.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I got a down jacket, and it was a bit rubbish - too bulky, unwearable in mild temps. Got a midlayer synthetic down layer now, and it's awesome. I've been wearing it in the UK as a jacket while it's been cold, and I've layered it, midweight merino, lightweight merino and been warm at -30 too. I have some helly hansen job, but I assume there're others.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
look at TNF hectik down jacket.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just get a duvet from BHS, cut a hole in middle & put a belt round your waist. You might look like the Marshmallow man , but you'll be toasty & have your very own duvet day on the slopes
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I love Down jackets! Perfect for cold weather....and down comforters too Smile


______________
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
It's a matter of opinion. I'm a huge down fan and wouldn't contemplate wearing it while boarding. I am a generally cold type person but as swirly says you would just melt in down if you're exerting yourself at all.

I usually have one or even two down jackets with me on ski trips for walking about in resort but have never felt the need to wear one on the hill. I saw a guy skiing with a down jacket identical to the one i have once - he was in pieces, all red faced, sweaty with his hair plastered to his head. Not cool

like some other posters i think the answer for you lies in a better layering. A little bit more attention to your baselayer and some better midlayers and you'll be sorted.
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Are people here skiing/boarding in -20 or even more or less.... without windchill?
Is that normal or not for everyone?.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Tirol 164, Apart from Bansko, everywhere else I've been to its been bloody cold.

I don't like down jackets in general. I had a TNF 700 down parka for general winter use and it was like having a sleeping bag around you. I bought myself a 550 down jacket which is much less restrictive. In resort I only wear a thick hoodie and sometimes a bodywarmer if its really cold. So I guess a down jacket would be suicide. I recently looked into a primaloft jacket/mid layer to wear under my hardshell. They fold into a pocket and offer good insulation but the prices are steep as I don't see myself wearing one during the winter generally. Anyone with any experience of these jackets?
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Gainz, My life was saved by having a down jkt on a climbing trip when a big storm hit. I wouldn't wear one for skiing though.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Gainz,

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=68999

£150 brand new - outstanding down jacket, with Primaloft over the top to protect the fill.

Quote:

Berghaus athlete Leo Houlding explains what this jacket means to him:

“Literally a life saver. Belay duty on Asgard was brutal. Hanging in the shade, on a vertical wall, with thousands of feet of freezing air beneath you for 5 or 6 hours at a time, for pitch after pitch, for day after day would have been unbearable but for these jackets. The windproof, water resistant outer provided a crucial barrier against the killer arctic wind. The Primaloft outer fill stops any moisture reaching the thick layer of down inner fill keeping us from freezing even whilst stationary for hours, exposed to the most savage ice storms. I don't think we'd have got to the top without these jackets.


Cheers!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I have a couple of Nike ACG down jackets. The one I have with me today is mahoosive and doesn't have any vents. My other one is also quite padded but has vents and I have boarded in it in Cham, when it was -26degC in January, 2 years ago. It was perfect and as it was so incredibly cold, I almost had the whole of Balme to myself.

Both the Nike coats are waterproof (I have worn them in the rain) but it needs to be seriously cold to consider wearing even the lighter of the two down jackets. Warmer than -15degC and I would always wear my Billabong shell and several layers, with a view to losing some layers to my rucksack, once I had warmed up from the first couple of runs.

Overheating is likely to accelerate dehydration, which will bring on fatigue and loss of skills application.
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Why not get a decent shell and then a down insulator jacket like this? CLICK
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ronaldothefrog, I'm thinking now to get a lightweight primaloft jacket like this:

http://www.outdoorkit.co.uk/product.php?product_id=583&utm_source=froogle&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=froogle

( how to do the little link?)

packs into its own pocket so I can have it in my backpack. I am concerned about its breathability but maybe I don't have too many options left. My shell is decent by the way.
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