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Eric Hansen
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PostSun Oct 14, 2018 5:52 pm 
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I'm looking to buy a synthetic hooded jacket for cool/cold overnight trips. Think ski tours with night time lows in the 25 to 30 degree range -- and a need to be standing around, cooking, doing camp chores. Not a jacket for being on the move. Want a bunch of warmth, along with reasonably lightweight, stuff ability.

I've got a good down sweater and side zip pants but down is a risky bet for the trips I've got in mind. And I've got older Patagonia puffball sweater and side zip pants which are OK but not warm enough for these kind of trips.

Any thoughts?

I'm looking at Outdoor Gear Lab's comparative review.   https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/clothing-mens/best-insulated-jacket?specs=n&n=0&sort_field=#compare

Rab Xenon X Hoodie, their top pick, looks promising. Or, maybe the Patagonia Nano Air Hoody, or Hyper Puff Hoody.

Thanks, Eric
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DIYSteve
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PostMon Oct 15, 2018 7:26 am 
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Eric Hansen wrote:
standing around, cooking, doing camp chores. Not a jacket for being on the move. Want a bunch of warmth, along with reasonably lightweight, stuff ability.

Warm is a function of loft. High quality synthetic insulation is measured by mass/area (g/mē).

On the warm end of the spectrum: Patagucci Hyper Puff (100g/mē) and Arc'teryx AR Atom (120g body, 80g under arms and side panels). Both are fine products. Fit is different, so try before you buy.

The not-as-warm end of the spectrum: Patagonia Nano Puff and Rab Xenon (60g/mg/mē insulation). IME, the 60g jackets are fine for 3-season camps but not warm enough for mid-winter camps.

I prefer much warmer and much more compressible down jacket for winter (<20F) camps. I carry an old tattered 100g jacket for colder mid-winter day ski tours. I will soon replace it with the Hyper Puff or AR Atom.

Patagonia Nano Air is a different animal, designed as a replacement for fleece, breathes great (for baking sweaty layers during breaks) but not as warm and worthless in wind without a shell over it.
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Eric Hansen
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PostMon Oct 15, 2018 7:11 pm 
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Thanks Steve. Yeah, I notice the Hyper Puff and its 100 grams of insulation. Extra few ounces in weight don't stop me. It's the stuff ability that makes me hesitate. I keep picturing a stuff sack near as big as my sleeping bag.

I'm still sorting through the gear, weight and bulk implications. Maybe I'm just destined to be a spring (i.e. warmer, lighter packs) ski tourer. Gotta love a 20lb pack for 3 nights out (with a primo forecast).
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JVesquire
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PostTue Oct 16, 2018 7:33 am 
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I have the Xenon and I think you'd be cold in it standing around in 25 degree temps without a lot of layers underneath, which wouldn't be that comfortable given how tapered it is. Exercising in it is obviously a different story. I sometimes sleep in it in a bag that's comfortable down to 30 if it gets much colder than that.
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hbb
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PostTue Oct 16, 2018 1:02 pm 
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Is there some reason why you want a single, stand-alone coat rather than layering? I ask because I seldom use my puffiest coat, but most trips will involve one or more of my lighter weight puffs, either worn separately or layered.
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pula58
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PostTue Oct 16, 2018 1:29 pm 
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If you are going to be using it in winter, with no risk of rain, and if you're going to be standing around in it, or at camp, then, DOWN is the only thing I would personally consider. It's warmer for a given weight, probably will even cost less than synthetics, and can be packed/unpacked without destroying its loft. You'd need your rain shell to be able to fit over the jacket though.

In summer, spring, fall in WA state I use Montbell Superior Down jacket (with hood). It weighs about 9 oz.
For winter I think I'd up it to a Montbell Alpine Light jacket. It has roughly twice the amount of down and weighs-in at about 12 oz. That is what I hope to purchase quite soon for winter activities.

I don't feel that 60g synthetics are warm enough for winter even with a midweight fleece underneath.

Could you tell us why you are thinking of going with synthetic insulation?
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Bronco
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PostTue Oct 16, 2018 1:49 pm 
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This is another area where it helps to have a quiver to choose from.  I have a light weight, mid weight and heavy weight synthetic puffy for trips and a medium weight down jacket which seems to only get worn around town.  If I'm wearing a pack, my back gets pretty wet from sweat so synthetic works the best for me.
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Eric Hansen
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PostTue Oct 16, 2018 5:17 pm 
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Thanks all

JVesquire. Good point about the Xenon being a slim fit not given to layering, and appreciate your comment on the limits of its warmth.

hbb. I think I'm wondering if there is a synthetic equivalent of my down sweater - one layer that adds a ton of warmth. I'm starting to sense that that one big layer (especially in a bulky synthetic version) would be more limiting than nimble (and you right about layering).

pula58. I have down that I'm happy with. 20 year old Patagonia down sweater and side zip pants.
I'm interested in upgrading the synthetics I have, never had a synthetic hoodie and looking at the options. This would be for trips where for one reason or another I'd feel uncomfortable being dependent on down clothing. Edit: My biggest concern with down is accumulation of dampness on a multi day trip.

Bronco. Yep, I'm with you on good to have a quiver, and the sweaty back concern. Down's fabulous but if you don't have daily bouts of mid day sunshine available to dry it I start to wonder about its loft. Especially after multiple days out, possible vapor buildup. Much more so with down sleeping bags (with body vapor rising) than down clothes but it is still a concern.
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DIYSteve
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PostWed Oct 17, 2018 8:50 am 
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Eric Hansen wrote:
I think I'm wondering if there is a synthetic equivalent of my down sweater

No, not in terms of compressibility (one of your priorities)

Eric Hansen wrote:
My biggest concern with down is accumulation of dampness on a multi day trip.

Have you tried a VB or semi-VB under down? It works.
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Eric Hansen
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PostWed Oct 17, 2018 12:12 pm 
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Yep, have done VBL years back, both a sleeping bag one and using UL rain gear as a UL layer. I should try it again. Memory has it calling for strong mindfulness towards the end of the day before transitioning.
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iron
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PostTue Oct 23, 2018 8:10 pm 
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i dunno what the current montbell syn puffy is nowadays, but 8 years ago, it rocked.
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PostMon Dec 03, 2018 11:49 am 
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Bumping this thread because we are shopping for winter syn puffs, will likely get Patagonia Hyper Hoody puffs. (FTR, we have FF down jackets for dry clothing/body.) I was surprised how well the Hyper Puff stuffs for such a lofty piece. Any other suggestions? I checked out the Arc'Teryx Atom LT Hoody, but the knit underarm/side panels turns me off for a belay/break parka. I believe the Atom AR does not have the knit panels and I like the idea of 120g/m2 body and 80g/m2 sleeve combo, but I have not found one to try on.

Any other suggestions for a mid-winter (i.e., 100g/m2 insulation) puff? No need to respond re 60g/m2 pieces because I'm up to speed on those, having used them for years.

pula58 wrote:
Could you tell us why you are thinking of going with synthetic insulation?

I can't speak for Eric, but for me there are good reasons to go synthetic for mid-winter trips. Of course, down is obviously the way to go in cold dry weather when you and your clothing is dry, but IME a synthetic puff is the way to go for a belay piece, breaks on ski tours or other insulation on stop & go trips when the piece will be placed over damp layers. Also, synthetic puff under a shell is nice for breaks in falling wet snow/humid (common PNW mountain) conditions. Contrast a down piece between body and shell, which IME usually gets fouled with moisture.
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